College Sports in the Carolinas
Watch for Al Myatt's
profile of new ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004
from the East
Monday, August 30, 2004
By Al Myatt
ECU, Tech still cultivating
ties after BCA shuffle
Order Bonesville Magazine Online Now!
ORDER ONLINE NOW!
PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
Tracking the Classes
NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
New Leader Takes Charge
SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door
KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams
BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate
Southern California began defense of its Associated Press national
championship as East Carolina's replacement in the Black Coaches Association
game with a
24-13 win over Virginia Tech on
The Pirates originally agreed to give up a contracted home game to meet the
Hokies in Blacksburg in the 2004 BCA showcase game. ECU's cut for the move
was to have been about $750,000.
Virginia Tech had been scheduled to play Georgia Tech in a previous BCA
Kickoff Classic that was ultimately cancelled by lightning that also ignited
the rental car of ESPN analyst Lee Corso.
The Yellow Jackets bowed out of a rematch and that opened the door for ECU.
"There were discussions and a preliminary agreement but it had never gotten
to the contractual stage," said Nick Floyd, ECU's interim athletic director.
"The BCA changed promoters and decided to go in another direction."
The BCA announced the pairing of VPI and USC last December and the new
promotional interests relocated the matchup to Landover, Md.
The reshuffling involving this year's game included the insistence of Hokies
athletics director Jim Weaver that a game at LSU, originally scheduled for
this weekend, be moved, and the Tigers agreed to play that game in 2007.
"We've got fees to join the ACC and we need another home game," Weaver said
of the Hokies' present situation and the need to postpone the trip to the
Hokies coach Frank Beamer also was not enthralled with the prospect of
meeting both winners of the 2003 split national title in successive weeks.
Floyd said ECU still has a game with the Hokies in Greenville from an
existing contract. That's some good news for the Pirates financially because
Virginia Tech fans travel well. The crowd of 45,123 that saw the Hokies and
Michael Vick top ECU and David Garrard 45-28 in a Thursday night ESPN battle
on Sept. 7, 2000, is the second largest in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium history.
Floyd and Weaver have been talking about more business involving their
football programs, too. Expect an announcement soon that the series will add
additional home and home games.
Better news on another BCA front
East Carolina basketball coach Bill Herrion is happy to have landed a spot
in the 8-team BCA Tournament hosted by N.C. State on Nov. 17-19.
"It gets us up to Raleigh and into that arena (RBC Center)," Herrion said.
"We've had some tough times scheduling. We've improved and we're pretty
tough at home. If you want good home games you've got to guarantee a lot of
money, which we aren't doing, or you've got to play a lot of these people
home and home."
ECU the answer for Bell
Herrion seemingly has more Philadelphia contacts than Dick Clark, whose
American Bandstand show got its start there.
The Pirates announced last week that forward
David Bell was transferring from LaSalle
to join the ECU hoops program. Ironically, the announcement came in roughly
the same time frame of speculation that Herrion might be a candidate for the
Bell, who must sit out the 2004-05 season, joins Philadelphians Mike Cook,
Marvin Kilgore and Charles Bronson in the ECU program. Herrion and
second-year ECU assistant Dino Presley formerly coached in Philly at Drexel.
Bell averaged about six points and 20 minutes per game last season as a
Bell was a highly-regarded prep player at Olney High in Philadelphia and
later at the Mount Zion Academy in Durham, where former Pirate player
Derrick Wiley also developed.
"We knew about David as a high school player but didn't recruit him,"
Herrion said. "His move to leave LaSalle was a basketball decision. He was
really playing out of position at LaSalle. He's 6-foot-7 and about 195
pounds, a bit lanky.
"He's a natural wing player and that's where we'll plan to use him, but out
of necessity he was playing the four spot at LaSalle. The uncertainty about
the coaching situation also contributed to his decision."
Two LaSalle players were allegedly involved in a sexual assault. Apparent
attempts to cover up the situation led to the dismissal of the Explorers
women's coach as well as men's coach Billy Hahn.
Bell needs to add some strength in the weight room, according to Herrion,
and his physical development will be entrusted to Danny Wheel following the
Jim Whitten has left the ECU strength and
conditioning staff for a position at Virginia Military. Wheel
is an assistant in the ECU strength and conditioning program.
Herrion on the USA's bronze
The United States had to settle for the bronze medal in basketball in the
Athens Olympics after a semifinal loss to Argentina. The USA had missed
wake-up calls dating back to a loss in Indianapolis in the world
championships, a setback in exhibition play and defeats in pool play in the
"I think it goes back to how much the other countries have improved,"
Herrion said. "Argentina has some NBA players like (Mano) Ginobli of the
(San Antonio) Spurs. They're good. It's taken a lot of these countries 25 or
30 years, but they're catching up.
"It also proves something that's true at any level if you can't shoot the
basketball, it's hard to win. By 2008, the NBA has got to do something with
the selection process. The threat of terrorism was a factor. Do you blame
some of the guys for not wanting to go?"
Herrion's program scrapped a trip to Europe two years ago because it was not
advisable for Americans to be overseas.
Herrion said USA teams used to intimidate opponents.
"That factor's gone," he said. "The respect is gone. Once that's gone,
anybody can beat anybody."
ECU has overcome its fear factor in Conference USA.
"We've definitely proven to ourselves that we can compete," said the Pirates
coach. "To break through to the next level, we've got to keep increasing the
Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.
Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville
02/23/2007 12:46:19 AM