College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Monday, May 24, 2004
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
Selection panel has unique
view of ECU
recent appointment to the NCAA baseball committee
can’t hurt East Carolina’s chances for favorable positioning in the NCAA
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
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
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
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
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
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02/23/2007 12:45:43 AM