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View from the East
Friday, February 27, 2004

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Winnowing of AD candidates commences


The search committee for East Carolina’s new athletics director meets this morning and Saturday at a location near the Raleigh-Durham Airport.

The committee, chaired by Stephen Showfety, is scheduled to go into closed session for interviews with candidates. The present intent of the search committee is to narrow the field of prospective ADs to a group of finalists, who will be evaluated by the new chancellor once that position is filled.

Known internal candidates include interim AD Nick Floyd and Dennis Young, executive director of the Pirate Club. Floyd has handled the position with an apparent degree of competence in the six months since Mike Hamrick left to become AD at Nevada-Las Vegas. Floyd also is connected with television and bowl interests from his time in the Conference USA office.

Young, ECU class of 1969, has successfully directed the athletics fund-raising arm at his alma mater since September of 1991. The Pirate Club recently announced new annual goals of $3.7 million in unrestricted gifts and 9,000 members.

Other possible candidates to be interviewed outside the ECU community, according to sources, include former Indiana athletics director Clarence Doninger, Maryland assistant AD Joe Hull, South Carolina Gamecock Club director Jeff Barber, Oklahoma assistant AD Rick Hart, Wichita State AD Jim Schaus and Eastern Illinois AD Rick McDuffie.

Names of possible candidates that surfaced early who had indicated interest in the ECU AD position are retired Air Force AD, Col. Randall W. Spetman, and North Texas AD Rick Villareal.

Doninger was the Hoosiers AD during much of Bobby Knight’s reign as basketball coach.

Hull was instrumental in raising money for Maryland’s basketball arena, the Comcast Center. He is an N.C. State graduate who is formerly associate director of the Wolfpack Club. Hull was involved in raising funds for NCSU’s portion of the RBC Center price tag.

Hart is the son of former ECU AD Dave Hart, now AD at Florida State. He is a North Carolina alumnus, class of 1994. Barber is an ECU graduate who still feels strongly about returning to his alma mater and has some support through ties in the Greenville area.

LeClair birthday coincides with Invitational

ECU interim athletics director Nick Floyd said that baseball coach Randy Mazey and director of operations J.J. McLamb would not make a decision on the status of today’s games in the Keith LeClair Invitational based on weather conditions until this morning. ECU (8-0) was scheduled to meet Georgia Southern at 1 p.m. today and Clemson in the following game.

Information on the status of today’s games can be obtained by calling the ECU ticket office at (252) 328-4500 or 1-800-DIAL ECU.

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday looks favorable. Saturday will be LeClair’s 38th birthday. He was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, during the 2002 season.

Clemson is coached by Jack Leggett, LeClair’s coach at Western Carolina. Leggett got LeClair started in coaching as a Western assistant and LeClair took over the head job in Cullowhee in 1992 when he was just 26 years old. Georgia Southern Coach Rodney Hennon played for LeClair at Western, as did Eagles assistant Mike Tidick.

LeClair has seen six of ECU’s eight wins from his customized van along the right field line at Harrington Field.

“They have played extremely well defensively,” LeClair said. “They have pitched as well as any ECU team I have seen. Offensively, they are doing just enough to win and getting big hits when it counts.”

LeClair speaks at home by means of a computer keyboard on which he types messages through a sensor linked to his eye movement. His typed statements in the system are made audible electronically.

LeClair expressed hope that this tournament will raise awareness of ALS and will encourage people to donate to the effort to find a cure.

Basketball tiebreakers

Head to head competition is the first criteria when two teams are tied for a seeding position for the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament. If the teams split during the regular season, the next step favors the team which has a win over the highest seeded team and so on down through the standings.

Houston, currently 3-10 in the league, as is ECU, holds the head to head tiebreaker advantage over the Pirates. Houston’s remaining schedule includes trips to TCU (Feb. 28) and Saint Louis (March 5) and a home game with Charlotte (March 3).

ECU holds a head to head advantage over Tulane (4-9 C-USA). The Green Wave hosts Saint Louis on Saturday and winds up with trips to Southern Miss (March 3) and Charlotte (March 6).

If more than two teams tie for a seeding position, then their winning percentage with other teams involved in the tie becomes the determining factor. Then it proceeds to wins over teams in descending order in the standings.

ECU needs a win over South Florida (1-11 C-USA) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum to continue its run for a berth in the league tournament in Cincinnati, March 10-13. The top 12 teams among the 14 basketball playing members of C-USA make the league tournament field.

Saturday will be the final home game of the season for the Pirates, who play at Marquette on March 3 and at Southern Miss on March 6..

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02/23/2007 12:45:06 AM

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