College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Thursday, April 4, 2002
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer
Shooting for 'Return to Glory'
“Return to Glory” is the phrase East Carolina defensive coordinator Tim
Rose used to describe the Pirates’ goals in football for the 2002 season.
“We’re going to put the pride back in the program that East Carolina fans
deserve,” Rose told a gathering of the Harnett/Johnston chapter of the
Pirates Club on Wednesday night. “You’re not expecting much but we’re going
to give you a great return.”
Rose termed reaction to the 6-6 record in 2001 a matter of perception on
whether the glass is half empty or half full. He didn’t fault the team’s
“Our players sold out,” he said.
Dennis Young, executive director of the Pirates Club, said that Rose
studied tape for 10 days after ECU’s 64-61 overtime loss to Marshall in the
GMAC Bowl in Mobile, AL. He analyzed the breakdowns that resulted in the
completion of every opponent’s pass in 2001.
Improvements in pass defense were emphasized in spring practice as ECU
sought to regroup from a three-game losing streak that concluded the
“We were 6-3 going into November,” Rose said. “Then we had a game with
Louisville in which our offense outplayed their offense and our defense
outplayed their defense. We made one mistake in our kicking game and lost
that game. Then we played Southern Miss and that was a debacle. We turned
the ball over and couldn’t stop them on defense.
“Then we went home and watched Texas Christian beat Louisville, knowing
that if we had won our game with Southern Miss, we would have been
Then came the bowl game in which a 30-point halftime lead unbelievably
Rose said coaching is based on having a philosophy and tactically
implementing that philosophy against particular opponents with
considerations for the capabilities of available personnel.
“And I love it,” Rose said.
The Pirates defense has made schematic and personnel changes for the 2002
season. Rose’s unit will be extremely fast. They will also be anxious to
alleviate the frustration that resulted because the glass was less than full
Return to glory. It has a nice — and appropriate — ring to it.
Williams rallies rank and
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Assistant coach Richard Morgan subbed at the meeting for men’s basketball
coach Bill Herrion, who was involved in recruiting some needed perimeter
shooting to complement ECU’s talented returning frontcourt.
Co-chairman of the fund-raising effort for a new baseball stadium, Walter
Williams, spoke about the drive that has raised $3.9 million thus far.
Williams said the drive may reach its goal of $6 million without selling
the naming rights for the stadium or the field. Price tag on the stadium
name is $1.5 million; the field, $1 million.
Williams likes the statement that would be made if a large number of rank
and file donors put the drive over the top rather than one or two big
Griffin may be too slow
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The pro scouts who check height, weight, speed and a variety of physical
abilities and attributes in the complex formula that tells them whether
college players are prospects or not would not be impressed with ECU inside
linebacker Pernell Griffin’s 40-yard time in recent workouts in Greenville.
Griffin was Conference USA’s leading career tackler with 460 stops, well
ahead of the previous record of 417 set by former Memphis linebacker Kamal
Shakir from 1997-2000.
But Griffin’s 40 time was 5.3 seconds despite preparing for his NFL exam
with workouts in Florida. That reads as slow and would give the NFL
braintrusts big concerns about situations in which Griffin would have to
drop into pass coverage. That may make it difficult for him to get a serious
look at the next level.
Peculiar. His speed didn’t seem to be a factor when he was going sideline
to sideline to bring down opposing ball carriers.
The real deal with Durant
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Darian Durant had a change of heart and decided he wanted to remain in
the North Carolina football program. That’s apparently the spin the Tar
Heels have applied to his aborted transfer.
That may be what ultimately happened — but after the announcement that he
was leaving UNC last month, Durant got virtually no response from South
Carolina, Georgia or East Carolina — programs he notified of his scholarship
Uninterested in the Division I-AA level on which he could have played
without sitting out a season, Durant’s decision to leave turned into a
The realization that he wasn’t wanted elsewhere made the grass look a lot
greener in Chapel Hill. Coach John Bunting’s readiness to allow Durant to
come back to the team turned a broken power play into a reverse.
who split time with Ronald Curry at quarterback during UNC’s 8-5 season in
2001, didn’t want to compete with C.J. Stephens, the transfer from Florida,
for the starting job. That was the situation that precipitated the whole
In the meantime, Stephens has ascended to the starting spot on the UNC
depth chart. The Heels finish spring practice on April 13.
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02/23/2007 12:57:26 AM