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College Sports in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, February 23, 2004

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Shelton occupied on multiple fronts


If the duration of an episode of phone tag last week with Bill Shelton is any indication, East Carolina’s interim chancellor is a busy man.

Shelton was in Chicago during the Valentine’s Day weekend for meetings of Conference USA institution leaders and it took until Friday to catch up with him.

The conference office will be moving to Dallas before the league CEOs meet again in June.

“We actually had two days of meetings,” Shelton said. “The first day involved the remaining members of Conference USA plus the programs that will be coming in.”

The incoming members include Central Florida, Marshall, Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa.

“We got to know each other a little bit in a general discussion,” Shelton said. “There was not a hard agenda and we talked about general things. One of the things we talked about was TCU leaving the league. We did talk in general terms about ‘Where do we go from here?’ It was just a general conversation without anything decided.”

Shelton noted that he was on the NCAA presidents commission at one time with the current presidents of SMU and Tulsa when Shelton was president at Eastern Michigan.

Shelton said the second day of discussions involved C-USA’s current membership.

“We talked a little bit about operating procedures relating to the future and how things will be done in 2005,” Shelton said.

Tulane president Scott Cowen has been the point man for non-BCS football programs in Division I, including East Carolina, in their attempt to reform the current system of postseason play and compensation.

“Scott has represented our conference and reported back to us,” Shelton said. “(ECU) is part of that whole effort to seek change. What Scott has done is update us on where we are. The BCS representatives have made recommendations and our group has made recommendations.

“The groups meet again near the end of February. It’s my opinion that that meeting should show some definite movement or we will reshape our thinking. Both sides have made proposals as to how these issues might be addressed. From my perspective the upcoming meeting will indicate if there will be a collegial solution.”

One possibility is that a bowl will be added to the current BCS lineup of four bowls which would create two more slots for teams in the elite and financially-rewarding system.

“Scott has shared the ongoing process and a lot of proposals have been put on the table,” Shelton said. “I don’t know specifics but there have been proposals to the effect that if a team (which is a current member of a conference without an automatic berth in the BCS for its conference
champion) is ranked in the top 12, 15 or 20 that they would automatically go to a BCS bowl or some variation.

“Access to participate in a BCS bowl and distribution of revenue have been the core issues the whole time.”

Shelton has not been an active candidate in the search for a fulltime successor to former ECU chancellor Bill Muse, who resigned in September. That approach was adopted by Shelton to permit his full focus on the responsibilities of the position on an interim basis.

Still, the chancellor search committee could ask him to interview if they feel he would be a viable candidate.

Shelton expects the chancellor search to intensify over the next couple of weeks.

“In late February or early March a relatively small number of candidates will meet with the board of trustees,” Shelton said. “That will be followed by a recommendation of a slate of candidates to (university) system president (Molly) Broad.”

Shelton expects the chancellor selection process to be completed by mid-March, with ECU’s new administrative leader taking office July 1.

Shelton commented on the search for an athletics director as it relates to the chancellor hire.

“That process is going on so that upon the selection of the new chancellor, we could be at a stage to have the field of candidates for the new chancellor to interview. That’s as opposed to the new chancellor coming in July 1 and then conducting a full AD search. Many athletic director candidates would be locked in contractually by July 1 so we wanted to proceed with the preliminary stages of the AD search.

“We were never going to go ahead and make a decision on the AD before the chancellor was selected as some people thought. It would be impossible to do that (AD) search between July 1 and September 1. Hopefully on July 1 or before, we can have an AD on board so that they will be able to focus during the summer on getting ready for the fall.”

Herrion keeps hustling

What do you do if you’re ECU men’s basketball coach Bill Herrion and you have a week following Saturday night’s 75-70 home win over TCU before the Pirates host South Florida at 1 p.m. this Saturday? Well, Herrion had a flight to Philadelphia to look at a high school prospect on Sunday. Then he expected to hit New Jersey on that recruiting swing. He has a midweek recruiting junket on tap to Texas.

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02/23/2007 12:45:06 AM

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