Rose coach, county AD suspended with pay

Rose High School football coach and district athletic director suspended (Reporter: Amanda Brannon)

GREENVILLE - The head football coach at J.H. Rose High School and the Athletic Director for Pitt County Schools are suspended with pay.

According to Pitt County Schools spokeswoman, Heather Mayo, J.H. Rose head football coach Todd Lipe and district athletic director Ron Butler are suspended with pay.

Mayo would not go into details about why the two men were suspended but she did say it was a "personnel investigation."

NewsChannel 12 asked Mayo how long these suspensions may last.

"It depends upon the findings of the investigation how long it takes them to complete it. Really every investigation is determined on a case by case basis," she said.

Sources of NewsChannel 12 said the suspensions have to do high school student Maleek Gorham being found ineligible to play sports at D.H. Conley High School.

Last year, Gorham played football at J.H. Rose High School. He transferred to D.H. Conley this year.

After initially being cleared to play football, he was later found ineligible by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for 365 days.

NewsChannel 12 also asked Mayo about the connection between Gorham and the latest suspensions.

All she would say is "Uh it's personnel and I cannot comment on the specifics of an individual personnel investigation."

However, Pitt County NAACP President Calvin Henderson believes they are connected.

"We are pleased at the decision because we think it's a step in the right direction in order to address a great injustice that has been done...The men in these positions need to be permanently suspended...permanently terminated," Henderson said.

The suspension for both men is indefinite until the investigation is completed, according to Mayo.

Lipe is a social studies teacher at the Greenville based high school. Mayo said a substitute teacher will teach his classes.

The Pitt County Board of Education plans to hold an open forum meeting next Monday November 5th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be in the county commissioner's auditorium in the Pitt County Office Complex. The public is invited to attend.

Stay with NewsChannel 12 as we continue to follow this story.

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