Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

College Sports in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, May 24, 2004

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Selection panel has unique view of ECU


Mike Hamrick’s recent appointment to the NCAA baseball committee can’t hurt East Carolina’s chances for favorable positioning in the NCAA Tournament.

The former ECU athletics director knows from personal experience how Grainger Stadium in Kinston and Fleming Stadium in Wilson served as off-campus sites for the Pirates in the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

“Great places for college baseball, no doubt,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick also knows from personal experience the quality of the Pirates program and the competitive level of Conference USA. He also believed in Randy Mazey’s coaching ability when he hired him to guide the Pirates program as Keith LeClair’s successor.

That’s not to say that Hamrick would give ECU any unfair advantages, but he can relate from personal experience what an exceptional group this year’s Pirates team must be and that should help ECU get the seeding it deserves.

Hamrick's vantage point is not the NCAA group's only first-hand perspective on the long-successful Pirates baseball program. Florida State senior associate AD Charles Carr, a former athletics administrator at ECU, is the committee's chairman.

Work to be done

There’s still some work to be done before the Pirates begin their quest for Omaha. The job at hand is the C-USA Tournament in Houston starting Wednesday, when the top-seeded Pirates play Louisville in the first round.

In eight previous league tournaments, the regular season champions have won the conference tournament four times. Three times the second-seeded team has captured the automatic NCAA berth that goes to the tournament winner. ECU, of course, went in as the sixth-seeded team in 2002 when Kinston hosted the event and the Pirates became the lowest seed to win the league tournament.

It was an emotional scene as the Pirate players ran to LeClair’s van parked in foul territory on the first base side to share the feeling of triumph with their ailing coach.

The regular season champion has won the league tournament three of the last four seasons.

ECU was 2-1 in its series at Houston last season.

The AD situation

It’s hard to figure the athletic director search process, so it’s easy to sympathize with the difficult decision that incoming chancellor Steve Ballard faces.

He misread the reaction his initial choice, Rick Hart, would receive. He saw Hart as a compromise candidate for a search committee that had been essentially divided between interim AD Nick Floyd and alumnus Jeff Barber, now director of the Gamecock Club at South Carolina.

At this point, the best solution would be to give Floyd a one-year contract with an extensive evaluation of job performance at the end of that time.

The correct way to approach the search would have been to employ a consulting firm to identify candidates and downsize the search committee to a more manageable number.

Those steps could be taken at the end of a one-year contract for Floyd if his work is not satisfactory. His work on an interim basis suggests he is capable.

Ballard unfortunately is like a blind man stumbling through a maze. He has little sense for ECU’s athletic leadership needs, as the choice of Hart indicates. Hart fell considerably short of the qualifications listed in the description of the AD job. A short term contract for Floyd would buy Ballard needed time to become more familiar with the situation.

The choice between Floyd and Barber appears to be one of Nick’s credentials versus Jeff’s charisma and ECU diploma. Credentials are a safer choice under the circumstances.

Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.

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

02/23/2007 12:45:43 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.