College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Friday, September 19, 2003
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
Shelton tackles watershed
University of North Carolina system president Molly Broad probably made
the best possible appointment of an interim chancellor in terms of East
Carolina’s athletics interests when she named Dr. William Shelton on
Thursday to bridge the gap between Dr. William Muse and a permanent
At a time when ECU wants the best possible conference affiliation,
Shelton is the best man. As ECU’s vice chancellor for university
advancement, Shelton’s responsibilities have included overseeing athletics
operations. He was brought in by Muse in July and given responsibility of
monitoring the potential league affiliation situation.
“My responsibility is to ensure that whatever the league affiliation, it
is in the best interest of East Carolina,” Shelton said. “That includes not
only the possibility of the Big East or the ACC, but Conference USA also,
because as current members we have a vested interest there.”
Shelton said he has heard nothing official from the Big East at this
point and no news may be good news. Memphis media has reported that the
Tigers have been told by Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese that they will
not be considered as prospective members.
Shelton received undergraduate and master’s degrees in history from
Memphis. His doctorate in higher education administration is from Ole Miss.
His career in college administration includes a stop at Henderson State
University in Arkansas, where he was also a sportscaster, “the voice of the
Reddies.” Coincidently, he called games at Henderson State when Cincinnati
coach Rick Minter and ECU offensive line coach J.B. Grimes were playing
“I certainly did enjoy that,” Shelton said. “At that point in my career I
had to do something to supplement my career in education administration.”
Shelton typically did one game a year as a guest color commentator when
he moved on to be vice president of institutional advancement at Kent State.
During his 11 years as president at Eastern Michigan, from which he retired
in 2000, Shelton spent seven years on the NCAA’s presidents commission. He
served as chairman of the NCAA committee on sportsmanship and ethical
conduct. He was president of the Mid-American Conference in 1995.
James Talton, chairman of the ECU board of trustees, endorsed Shelton’s
appointment from an athletics perspective.
“He’s been immersed in athletics at East Carolina,” Talton said. “I feel
very good about his leadership.”
Talton on AD search
Dr. Muse had planned to initiate the search for an athletics director
after football season, reasoning that the pool of candidates might be better
at that time. Talton has indicated his feeling that the sooner, the better
in terms of filling the position on a permanent basis.
“I haven’t spoken with Dr. Shelton about it,” Talton said. “It is my hope
that he would share most of the board’s view in favor of bringing some
permanency in the near term to the athletics director’s position. ... I do
feel it has a degree of urgency. There are a lot of things going on right
now with the Big East and Conference USA.
“At the same time I have a high degree of confidence in Nick Floyd. He’s
an experienced trooper and I’m sure he’ll do an outstanding job.”
Floyd, senior associate AD at ECU, was appointed interim AD by Muse when
Mike Hamrick accepted the AD job at Nevada-Las Vegas in August.
Hamrick settling in
Former ECU AD Mike Hamrick has bought a house in Las Vegas and sold his
house in Greenville but has been living in a hotel temporarily as he settles
in to his new responsibilities at UNLV.
“I’m enjoying it very much,” Hamrick said this week. “I’ve got
outstanding coaches to work with. John Robinson, our football coach, is just
an outstanding class act. He has opened up his arms to me. He was the
athletics director before me and he’s been wonderful to work with in this
“He’ll go anywhere anytime I need him and — knock on wood — I think we
have a pretty good team.
“I’ve got an excellent contract and we have excellent facilities.”
UNLV has seating for about 19,000 for basketball and about 40,000 for
The Rebels are coming off a stunning 23-5 football win at Wisconsin,
which put them at 2-1 with a home game tonight — yes, Friday night — against
Hawaii. It’s UNLV’s second Friday night game this season, although the
television contracts for those games were done before Hamrick arrived.
“It doesn’t seem to be an issue here,” said Hamrick, who was inundated
with controversy when he agreed to play Cincinnati on Friday night, Dec. 6,
last season to accommodate ESPN and Conference USA. Hamrick had taken a
stance against Friday night games which conflicted with high school football
a year earlier.
Speaking of high school football, Hamrick’s son, Brett, has already
earned positions as a two-way starter for Coronado High School in Las Vegas
at strong safety and wide receiver. Hamrick’s wife, Soletta, and his three
children have been in Las Vegas for about two weeks.
Hamrick is aware of the difficulties at ECU with the football team’s 0-3
start and Muse’s resignation.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Hamrick said. “There are just so many wonderful
people and the place has so much potential. The place was good to me. It was
a great 8 1/2 years of my life.”
Pirates vs. Pirates in Meadowlands
ECU men’s basketball coach Bill Herrion said he expects the 2003-04
schedule to be announced next week, possibly on Monday.
“Nick Floyd had to mail back one of the contracts,” he explained.
In addition to matchups already announced, East Carolina will be playing
the Seton Hall Pirates in the Meadowlands on Dec. 6, and Virginia Tech on a
neutral floor at Old Dominion on Dec. 27. There will be one Division II
opponent, UNC Pembroke.
“I think playing some Big East people could be helpful right now
considering our situation with conference affiliation,” Herrion said.
Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.
Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville
02/23/2007 12:41:41 AM