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Don't miss Al Myatt's profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004 Bonesville Magazine.

View from the East
Monday, February 7, 2005

By Al Myatt

Beware the long arm of the P.C. police


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 unwarranted areas.

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 controversial.

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 bathroom.

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." Einstein 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 available at 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

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