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Bailey's Take on the Pirates

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, December 14, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Par for the Course: NCAA Defies Logic;
Williamston Reunion in Dowdy-Ficklen


Mikulas Ruling Makes No Sense

The NCAA finally put out the word on the eligibility of Gabriel Mikulas this week.

Actually, the NCAA didn’t disappoint — their ruling made absolutely no sense at all, as expected.

Common sense says the eight games Mikulas has already missed were enough, but the NCAA says otherwise.

Now, Mikulas is being penalized for working with a team in his native country of Argentina. His national team wanted to get a look at Gabe after his elbow surgery. He played in five games with that team, but they were not sanctioned.

All Gabriel did was play basketball. He didn’t receive any payment. He just played.

The NCAA struggles with the easiest of rulings. Just the other day the NCAA admitted they lost a transcript from a player and made that player sit out an entire season.

It doesn’t make any sense at all. Gabriel Mikulas and other players were punished for playing on the same team as professionals. Gabe wasn’t paid, but now he’s paid the ultimate price.

A half of a season will be in the books when last year’s CAA Rookie of the Year finally takes to the floor against UAB on January 8.

He’ll miss the Conference USA opener with Cincinnati. He will have missed the non-conference season.

Worst of all, we will have all missed a great player for 13 basketball games.

Here’s hoping that Gabriel keeps his head up, and moves on when he finally comes back.

Williamston Reunion

Former Williamston High School star Pernell Griffin welcomed his former coach to practice on Thursday.

Coach Harold Robinson brought his Tigers to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to work out the night before his team will play Swain County for the State 1A championship.

The state title game is set for Kenan Stadium Friday night. Coach Robinson wanted to get his team a chance to work out in a big stadium before the title tilt, and worked out a deal with Pirate Coach Steve Logan.

Robinson got all over his former linebacker during the Pirate’s final sprints from practice. Griffin finished last a couple of times, and Robinson let him have it from the sideline.

It was all in good fun, and Griffin, a three-time first-team All-Conference USA performer and the league's all-time leading tackler, enjoyed seeing his former team.

“I was there when they won last week,” Griffin said. “It’s just a lot of fun to see my former school doing so well. I really enjoyed playing for the Tigers, and I hope they can win again this week.”

Bowl Week is Upon Us

The Pirates will leave around noon for the GMAC Bowl on Friday.

Word from Mobile is that the Mobile, Alabama Bowl, renamed the GMAC Mobile Bowl, renamed the GMAC Bowl is much improved since that first year.

Many of these same Pirate players were in that bowl game, and most of them tell a very similar story about the 1999 trip.

“We were too worried about material things the first time we came to Mobile,” explained Offensive Lineman Aaron Walker. “We were more concerned with gifts then with playing football. This time, we’ll be thinking about football — I promise.”

David Garrard agreed.

“I think we’ll go back to Mobile and put on a better show this time,” Garrard said. “We’ll be concentrating on football. Marshall is a great football team so it should be a great game.”

Going into Friday, the Pirates are a one-point favorite. Marshall can’t stop the run, and the Pirates have trouble against the pass.

It should be fun.

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02/23/2007 01:19:59 AM

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