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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports


From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 6, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9


I stand corrected, but...


There is really never an excuse for getting a fact wrong.

I apologize, and I have done so to every N.C. State fan who has contacted me about my error in last week’s column.

In case you missed it, I said that N.C. State had a basketball game scheduled for the same night, December 6, that East Carolina and Cincinnati will play in football.

That is not correct.

Actually, I was just trying to make a still valid point.

Last year, N.C. State played a Friday night basketball game during the state high school football playoffs — and the N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), which has lashed out at the timing of the ECU-Cincy game, didn’t have a problem with it.

My error in last week's column was based upon a misunderstanding of something I was told — and the mistake was made.

I should have elaborated more.

North Carolina goes to Charlotte in early December each year and plays on a Friday night in what used to be called the Tournament of Champions.

Last year, the finals of the BCA Invitational were scheduled in Raleigh on a Friday night. N.C. State was the overwhelming favorite to play in the title game on that Friday. State did play on that Friday, against East Carolina.

Numerous Wolfpack fans flooded my e-mail with a variety of prose selections.

One guy said that I purposely fabricated the story to make N.C. State look bad and to make East Carolina look better.

Yeah, and sometimes I change the scores on the air to help the Pirates! Geez!?

Another wrote that he was a Greenville resident, and realized it was fashionable to down the Wolfpack at every opportunity to make East Carolina look better.  Actually, I think East Carolina can take care of itself against the Wolfpack without any help from a sportscaster.

My point was that the NCHSAA should also look into basketball games for taking away from the gate during the football playoffs.

The best note that I received, though, ran down like this:

“Before you look like a downeast backwater fool who bathes in the Tar River and eats road kill, you night want to do a little bit of research before you slam another school. While ECTC might not be up to par with the real colleges in this state, I know that they should have at least taught you to find out the facts before you make yourself look stupid.”

By the way, I am a graduate of Old Dominion, not East Carolina, and certainly not ECTC.

This was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again. But again, it wasn’t a slam on N.C. State at all.

By the way, the Tar River is nice and warm this time of the year, and the road kill on the barby is mighty tasty!

Rookies report

Twenty-two brand new Pirates entered the fold on Sunday, as the freshmen and transfers reported.

Several local players are in that group, including former Rose High quarterback Kort Shankweiler, former Williamston star Kevin Roach and former Havelock standout Will Bland.

The freshman will spend the first two or three days getting set for what life will be like when the veterans arrive later in the week.

This is a very talented bunch, but it’s a group of players that we probably won’t hear a lot from until next year at the earliest.

Still, this group is brimming with confidence.

Will Bland was a great talent at Havelock and he has big goals.

 “I’m just looking forward to taking the next step,” said Bland. “I want to go to the NFL, and this is the next step.”

The NFL must seem like light years away as a bright-eyed freshman gets set to enter a whole new football world.

The veteran players are due back on campus on Wednesday, with media day set for Thursday, and the first practice of the 2002 preseason scheduled for Friday.

Pirates crack key Top 25 ranking

Congratulations to Pirate Coach Steve Logan and his staff for being honored by the American Football Coaches Assocation (AFCA) for the program's academic success.

ECU was one of just 25 schools and the only member of Conference USA to be recognized for its team's academic achievement. According to the AFCA, a team must graduate 70 percent or more of its football student-athletes to earn the honor, which is based on a study involving the freshman class from the academic year of 1996-97.

Check out the list of other schools that were honored. It’s highlighted by a “who’s who” of outstanding academic institutions, including the only other Carolinas school to make the cut — Duke:

AFCA Top 25 Division I-A Football Programs for Graduation Rates: Northwestern, Boston College, Duke, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Penn State, Rice, Vanderbilt, Western Michigan, Ball State, Central Michigan, Florida, Hawaii,  Indiana, Kansas State, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi State, Southern Methodist, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Utah State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin and East Carolina.

Northwestern won the AFCA's 2002 Academic Achievement Award by recording a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its football squad. All members of the Wildcats' freshman class of 1996-97 earned degrees.

Congrats Coach Logan for a job well done!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:21:49 AM

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