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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, January 25, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Coach Got a Whiff of Something Bad on the Way


Pirates Backtrack in Loss to DePaul

For one night the Pirates played like they were back in the CAA.

You remember those nights — when the last place team in the league would come to Greenville, and the Pirates would sleepwalk to a six-point victory over American or William & Mary.

You can’t take naps in major conferences. DePaul took advantage of the slumbering Pirates and came away with its first Conference USA win of the season.

At his post-game news conference, ECU coach Bill Herrion said he sensed ahead of time that something was coming.

“I’ll be honest with you — I have just smelled something the last couple of days around our basketball team and I knew I didn’t like what I smelled," he said.

Neither did the fans on Wednesday night. The Pirates simply stunk it up. They couldn’t shoot, couldn’t rebound and got blown out of their own gym by a team which was previously winless in the league.

Herrion was at a loss for an explanation, but he pointed to a possible letdown from the exhilaration in which the Pirates bathed after their previous outing in Williams Arena.

“I don’t know if it was because you beat Louisville last week, you have a great win and the fans storm the court. That was a great moment," he said.

Herrion went on to clarify what he meant:

"You hear what I said? Moment — a temporary moment. Okay, but now you’ve got to play 12 or 13 more league games.”

The message was obviously one intended more for his team than for the media members on hand.

Hopefully, down the road, we’ll look back at the 80-58 loss to the Blue Demons as a growing pain. It certainly was a bump in the road, and a huge setback as the Pirates try to make the C-USA tournament in their first season in the league.

Where’s Dee?

East Carolina women’s coach Dee Stokes is still sidelined by what the university is calling a personnel matter.

Pirate athletic director Mike Hamrick said on Wednesday night that he would not make any further comment on the situation.

Coach Stokes told me on Monday night that she had no comment at the time about what was going on, but that she would comment at a later date.

As of Thursday afternoon, the women’s basketball team at East Carolina was still without its head coach. One report says she was suspended indefinitely, while another said she was on a leave of absence.

Apparently, there is more then one issue that is trying to be resolved between Stokes and Hamrick. The ECU women host Houston on Friday night, and sources tell me that they hope the issue will be resolved by then.

With this thing dragging out, you have to wonder just how long Stokes will continue at East Carolina. You would think, though, that you either fire a coach, suspend a coach or do something.

Baird in Town for Hot Stove

Former East Carolina player and baseball coach Hal Baird was in town on Thursday night. Baird was the guest speaker for the 13th Annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League Banquet.

Baird is now the senior associate athletic director at Auburn, where he also served as the head coach of the baseball program. He now runs the day-to-day operations of the Auburn athletic department.

He told several stories at the banquet about his ties with Eastern North Carolina baseball. He said he was amazed when he left ECU for Auburn to discover that the state of Alabama couldn’t compare with North Carolina on the diamonds.

Baird is also reportedly very close to East Carolina's new chancellor, Dr. William Muse, who previously served in the same capacity at Auburn. If the time comes in the next several years that ECU faces the task of seeking a new athletic director, Baird might be the perfect fit!

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02/23/2007 01:22:24 AM

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