College Sports in the Carolinas
Don't miss Al Myatt's
profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004
from the East
February 7, 2005
By Al Myatt
Beware the long arm of the
The busybodies that are the self-appointed
spin masters and guardians of political correctness occasionally work
overtime it would seem as they try to extend their jurisdiction into
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
would appear to be a case in point.
East Carolina is fortunate to have a nickname
— Pirates — that has historical significance for its region as well as
connotations of ferocity. Pirates such as Blackbeard, of course, used to ply
their treachery off the North Carolina coast.
ECU's University of North Carolina system
sister institution located at Pembroke has a nickname that also is
entrenched in the roots of its region and one which evokes an aggressive
image, which seems desirable for an athletics identity.
But a recent Associated Press report indicates
that the NCAA is concerned that UNC-Pembroke is known as the "Braves."
The NCAA has asked the institution formerly
known as Pembroke State, a school founded to educate Native Americans, to
study the use of its American Indian logo and Braves nickname.
The university must submit a report to the
governing body by May 1. In 2002, UNCP was among 31 schools identified by an
NCAA committee as having mascots or logos that could be considered
UNCP used an American Indian mascot until
1991, when former chancellor Joseph Oxendine banned its use and replaced it
with a red-tailed hawk. The school logo shows an Indian with a hawk sitting
on his shoulder. The school has used the "Braves" nickname since the 1940s.
UNCP athletic director Dan Kenney is a former
ECU assistant basketball coach.
"It is a little bit frustrating for us,"
Kenney told The Fayetteville Observer. "In 2003, we thought we should have
been pulled out of this process because of our uniqueness. But they did not.
If the community ever tells us this is not the link that they want to our
past, we will pull it. I feel that the community is comfortable with it."
The university was established as the Croatan
Normal School in 1887 to educate American Indians and they still make up
more than 20 percent of the student body. The university's board of trustees
has reaffirmed its support of the logo and nickname.
Doesn't the NCAA have more important things to
devote its time and resources to?
This region has some of the more colorful
names in college sports. I've yet to see why having a team nicknamed after
Native Americans is not appropriate. It would seem to be an honor to have
athletic teams who choose to identify with the characteristics associated
with "Braves" and "Indians."
More spin from Cincinnati
Perhaps "Scholars" would be a suitable
nickname for Cincinnati if the NCAA ever has a problem with "Bearcats."
Coach Bob Huggins' basketball program has
developed a negative image for low academic performance by its players but
the UC sports information department headed up by Brian Teter, former
director of media relations for Conference USA, issued a statement in the
game notes when Cincinnati played in Greenville earlier this year:
"To dispel some of the
myths about UC's graduation rates:
"Eight of the 14 departing
seniors over the past three seasons have earned their degrees.
"24 of the players who
completed their eligibility under Bob Huggins have earned their degrees.
"Cincinnati had a 100
percent graduation rate in men's basketball on the 2002 NCAA Division I
graduation rates report, for the class which entered in 1995-96.
"Cincinnati won the
Conference USA Sports Academic Award in men's basketball in 2001-02 for
having the highest grade-point average in that sport."
And now you know the rest
of the story. Maybe.
Heard this one?
College jokes often attack the
intelligence of rival institutions such as one involving Albert Einstein when
he was supposedly reincarnated and was mingling at a party.
Einstein asked one guy what his
IQ was. The guy replied "180." Einstein asked him where he went to school and
the guy says, "N.C. State." Einstein says, "I'd love to talk with you later
about contemporary engineering."
Einstein asks another guy his
IQ and the guy says "190." Einstein says, "Where did you go to school?" and
the guy says, "East Carolina." Einstein says, "I'd love to talk with you
later about theories of modern education" and excuses himself to use the
When he gets to the rest room
he finds a guy on his knees throwing up in the toilet. The guy gets up and
there's an awkward silence so Einstein says, "What's your IQ?"
The guy says, "95."
says, "How 'bout them Heels?"
Pirate Club caravan
The Pirate Club banquet
circuit begins this month with new athletic director Terry Holland and new
football coach Skip Holtz serving as featured attractions for the schedule
that continues into late April.
Holland will be at the
Duplin/Sampson meeting on Feb. 15. Holtz will be at the
Martin/Hertford/Bertie gathering on Feb. 17. Holland and Holtz will be on
hand for the Pitt County fete on Feb. 25.
A complete calendar is
ecupirateclub.com and more information
is available by calling the Pirate Club at (252) 328-4540 or your local
Pirate Club representative.
I have to brag on Perry
Hudson, the PC rep for Harnett and Johnston counties. He signed up 65 new
Pirate Club members to repeat as PC rep of the year, as was announced on
Jan. 29 at a banquet following ECU's hoops win over Charlotte.
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02/23/2007 12:33:02 AM