College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Saturday, December 13, 2003
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
ECU leaders wrestle past and
In effect, East Carolina is still working to stem the fallout
from the rift between former athletics director Mike Hamrick and ex-ECU
football coach Steve Logan.
The latter got an
unsolicited amendment to his contract
buyout agreement approved by the board of trustees on Friday. A search
committee has started its work in looking for a replacement for the former.
A clause in Logan’s resignation pact had stipulated he could not be on the
ECU campus without permission of the athletics director.
“It came to my attention that that provision was in the contract,” said
interim chancellor William Shelton. “It was creating some discontent and I
didn’t know the reason for it. I recommended that it be removed and the
board approved it.”
Former chancellor William Muse and Hamrick designated the terms of the
buyout contract, which was also signed by Charles Franklin, former chairman
of the board of trustees.
Logan was on campus occasionally last spring when his younger son, Nate, who
subsequently transferred to Campbell, was in the ECU baseball program.
Muse did not recommend extensions on the contracts of Hamrick or Logan. He
signed off on the dismissal of Logan and helped Hamrick get the athletics
director’s job at Nevada-Las Vegas in August. Hamrick’s relationship with
Logan polarized the ECU community and ultimately helped pave the way for
Hamrick’s own departure from the ECU scene.
The three biggest internal players in ECU athletics one year and one week
ago are now all gone. Muse, of course, was forced out in September.
One void has been filled.
John Thompson was assigned the coaching task of returning the Pirates to
glory on the gridiron. His personality gave the fan base something to focus
on and get excited about — before a 1-11 season subdued the mood. Obviously,
Thompson and staff are hard at it on the recruiting trail in addressing the
issue of the record.
The search committee, which will make a recommendation on Hamrick’s
successor, held an organizational meeting at the Mendenhall Student Center
on campus on Friday. There is also a chancellor search being conducted.
Simply stated, those two hires are vital to ECU's future.
The AD search committee shared thoughts about what it wants to see in terms
“I want someone with a vision for East Carolina and the ability to implement
that vision,” said Lynn L. Lane of Winston-Salem, chair of the ECU
foundation and a member of the AD search committee.
“We need someone with communication skills and integrity,” said James Talton,
chairman of the board of trustees and an ex-officio member of the AD search
David Dosser, faculty athletics representative, favored “an integration of
academics and athletics” as well as concern for the full range of sports —
beyond football and basketball.
Timing is everything and the AD search is included in regard to the pending
chancellor hire. The question of hiring the AD before the chancellor was
viewed by some as getting the cart before the horse.
“One major question I hear is ‘Why are we in such a rush?’ ” said committee
member Walter Williams, whose financial support of ECU athletics is
legendary. “Who we pick might prefer to know who his immediate boss is going
The urgency of having a fulltime hire in place has diminished since the
domino effect of conference affiliation bypassed the Pirates. AD search
chairman Stephen Showfety indicated he would direct the search in a timely
manner. Then it would be up to the chancellor, interim or otherwise, and the
board of trustees to determine the advisability of hiring an AD if a new
chancellor had not yet been determined.
Interim chancellor William Shelton said the university can’t stop during the
search processes. He pointed out that there is a pending hire for a vice
chancellor for finances.
“I don’t believe we should just hold off,” Shelton said.
Indications are that there are numerous applicants for the AD post although
none are so prominent that conversations will stop at the mention of their
names. Sources indicate that some good potential candidates have been
reluctant to apply because of the uncertainty about the chancellor’s
The chancellor search may be completed as early as March. Interim AD Nick
Floyd is capable of overseeing the program in the meantime and may be a
candidate worthy of consideration in his own right. The next chancellor
would be a good one to make that determination.
ECU can afford to wait on an AD. Get the chancellor in place.
Let that person be on the same page with the next leader of the athletics
program. We’re still seeing the fallout when top figures in the ECU
athletics administrative chain of command don’t have a functional
relationship. The Pirates can’t afford another negative trickle-down affect.
THE AD SEARCH COMMITTEE
Chairman: Stephen Showfety (Greensboro), vice chairman
board of trustees, alumnus; Committee members: Marvin Blount III
(Greenville), board of visitors, alumnus; David Dosser (Greenville), faculty
athletics representative; John P. Hudson (Durham), ECU Foundation, alumnus,
Pirate Club, board of visitors; Dan Kinlaw (Fayetteville), secretary of
board of trustees, alumnus; George Koonce (Greenville), former ECU and NFL
player, alumnus; Lynn Lane (Winston-Salem), chair of the ECU Foundation,
board of visitors; Charles Martin (Greenville), president ECU parents
council, board of visitors, alumnus; Pete Murphy (Wallace), alumnus, name
donor of the Murphy Center; Angela Sye (Greenville), women’s basketball team
member; Margaret Ward (Burlington), president of ECU alumni association,
trustee, chairwoman of board's athletic committee, alumnus, board of
visitors; Walter Williams (Greenville), major supporter, alumnus. Ex-officio
member: Jim Talton (Raleigh) chairman of the board of trustees, alumnus.
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