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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

ECU athletics at a crossroads




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Steve Logan’s departure from East Carolina answers some of the many questions swirling around the Pirate athletic department.

But there are so many more questions that need answers.

For starters, who will hire the new football coach?

Will it be Mike Hamrick, the athletic director, who, like Logan, didn’t get his contract renewed last year?

Will it be the Board of Trustees, who get together at the end of this week and have a closed session scheduled to discuss personnel?

Or, will it be Dr. William Muse, the East Carolina Chancellor, who according to most reports inked the letter that Hamrick presented Steve Logan this past Saturday?

Trying to piece this together is sort of like that 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the ocean. All of the pieces are so similar, but in the end, so very different.

I never really considered myself a 'Logan Sunshiner,' but I did have tremendous respect for the man and his program. We butted heads on a couple of occasions, but I know that I had respect for him — and I think that he had respect for me.

Ironically, the first time that I can remember ruffling Logan’s feathers came after East Carolina’s win over N.C. State in Charlotte. Rumors were circulating that Boston College might give Logan a call. One rumor said that BC reps would be in Charlotte for the game.

Before Logan’s post-game news conference, several of my friends at stations all around the state joked that I should be the guy to ask Logan about Boston College. I knew the question needed to be asked, but I joked back that I had to live in the same town with this guy, that someone else should ask about BC.

The news conference was ending, and so I asked the BC question.

“Coach, is there anything to the Boston College reports, and do you plan on meeting with anyone from BC tonight or in the near future?” I asked.

Logan peered up and gave me that infamous glare.

“I’ve got no comment on that,” Logan said. He mumbled as he left the podium, and I watched as a couple of writers bellied up to him. They, too, mentioned Boston College and Logan was a little more receptive in the less formal situation.

Earlier that season I had written a column, trying to be humorous, about Logan’s insistence that spring scrimmages be closed to the public.

I had heard that Logan was upset with that column and with the question about Boston College, so later that spring I called the Coach and invited him to lunch.

That lunch was fascinating. He explained that he didn’t think the question was a fair one at the time, and I explained that someone in the media had to ask it.

I then told him that writers have an advantage on the rest of us, that they often get their best stuff when the interviewee is away from the podium.

He literally had no idea. We sat at the old Pargo’s in Greenville for the better part of three hours. In the end, he had salt and peppershakers in formations, and he was writing things down on napkins.

He told me what he didn’t like about the media, and I told him how I didn’t understand some of his “ways”.

I told him that scrimmages used to be a part of our coverage of ECU football, and he told me that those days were in the past.

All in all, it was a very informative meeting. I was still a young reporter, and he was really still learning about the roles and responsibilities of a head football coach.

Logan’s name would come up several more times through the years for other jobs. Some of those jobs were talked about in the media, and some were not. It is the strangest of ironies, especially after what has just transpired.

I will miss the quips, the quick wit, the professionalism, and the integrity of the Pirate coach.

They say that nice guys finish last. In this case, the nice guy finished second.

ECU hoops: 'Six against five' gives Pirates major edge

I’m taking some vacation time this week, and what better way to spend a night off then to catch a Pirate basketball game.

It is just plain fun to go to Williams Arena for basketball!

The Pirates certainly weren’t at their best against Virginia Tech, falling behind by 13 in the first half. But ECU dominated the second half, and won 76-60.

Of course, East Carolina had a huge advantage, playing six against five. The Pirate crowd was excellent, especially the students, and the sixth man was the key.

Derrick Wiley led five Pirates in double-figured scoring with 17 points to help ECU erase a 36-29 halftime deficit. Freshman Belton Rivers added 16 points and was 4-of-6 from three-point range.
Moussa Badiane scored 13, Travis Holcomb-Faye added 11, and Erroyl Bing notched 10 points.

Badiane also became the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, and he still has over two and a half seasons to play.

The Pirates are now 6-0, with Mount Olive coming to town next Saturday.

After a weekend of turmoil, it was most comforting to see Pirate fans rally together to help lead their team, and their school, to a very important basketball win.

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02/23/2007 01:21:58 AM

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