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View from the East
Thursday, August 8, 2002

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

No 'monkey business' when it comes to academics

©2002 Bonesville.net

Academics have improved greatly in terms of graduation rates during Steve Logan’s tenure as football coach at East Carolina.

“I don’t know what the graduation rate was when I got here,” Logan said. “But it wasn’t what you would want. In my perception, there was a lot of tension between the academic community and the athletic community.

“We’ve done everything we could do in the last 11 or 12 years to communicate with the faculty. We have a guest coaching program and we’ve worked to develop a real positive relationship with the faculty.

“I think the faculty has a real good understanding of what these kids go through and I don’t think that they think that we put up with any monkey business. We hold players accountable academically.”

Logan and the football staff work closely with Darrell Bryant, the assistant athletics director for student development, to monitor players’ academic performance. Position coaches keep up with class attendance for the players with which they work.

“Mrs. Bryant and the assistant coaches have done a great job of staying on top of it,” Logan said. “I’ve exited kids from the program who were academically eligible. We check class attendance constantly. Kids skipping class will exit. Every now and then you’ve got to do that to some pretty good players. Then the other kids realize we mean business.”

ECU was recognized recently by the American Football Coaches Association for graduating over 70 percent of its incoming freshmen in 1996-97, one of only 25 Division I-A programs to do so. That class included Mbayo Ahmadu, Andrew Bayes, James Bell, Rashon Burns, Devone Claybrooks, Rod Emery, Kwabena Green, Marcellus Harris, Sherwin Lacewell, Jamie Wilson and Marc Yellock.

Additionally, ECU ranks second to Army in terms of grade point average for football programs in Conference USA.

Newcomers report

ECU’s February signing class reported to campus over the weekend and has been working out this week.

Those with the best chance to play in 2002 are incoming defensive backs, which include Jared Brogden of Apex and Reicko Jones of Riviera Beach, Fla. Junior college transfer Richard Moton of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College was recruited for immediate help at free safety and qualified academically.

The incoming class includes two non-qualifiers, defensive tackles Shauntae Hunt of Warren County and Eric Terry of Richmond County.

The lone signee who did not report was offensive lineman Steve Mercier of West Brunswick. Mercier missed the East-West game because of an ankle injury.

“The injury had not responded and the young man had been discouraged by that,” Logan said. “He decided he wasn’t going to play college football.”

Several walk-ons have joined the signees including offensive lineman Caleb King of Havelock, receiver Jamaal Dickens of Wilson Beddingfield, safety Cameron Briggs of Washington, D.C. and kicker Steve Drewnainy of Florida.

There has been speculation that punter/kicker Ryan Dougherty of Orlando might play immediately but Logan said he would like to get him a redshirt year and develop him exclusively for punting.

Chris Baglio, a sophomore from Apex, will get a look for kickoff duties. He has a strong leg and may solve ECU’s problem of relatively shallow kickoffs in recent seasons.

Upcoming schedules

ECU will have an appealing and challenging non-conference football schedule in 2003. Non-conference games are scheduled at Wake Forest and 2001 national champion Miami. The Pirates will host North Carolina and West Virginia in addition to playing eight Conference USA games.

ECU has agreed to a multi-game contract with West Virginia. In 2004, ECU will visit the Mountaineers, host Wake Forest and meet N.C. State in Charlotte. There is also the possibility of meeting Virginia Tech in the Black Coaches Association game that season, according to sources.

Discussions are ongoing about additional games with Syracuse and a game that was moved off the schedule this season with the Orangemen, due to C-USA going from seven to eight games, has been moved to 2006.

Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.

Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 12:57:34 AM
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