Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Friday, March 28, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
East Carolina officials should clear the air
It's time for Chancellor William Muse and the East Carolina University
Board of Trustees to remove the question marks, one way or another, about
the status of ECU athletics director Mike Hamrick.
The Board is meeting today, and a review of Hamrick's job performance is
once again on the table.
One has to wonder how many reviews any of us could survive. First, it was
the Gene Corrigan report, and it seems there has been a sort of perpetual,
informal review going on since then.
The choice is clear. Either give Hamrick a new contract and an
unequivocal vote of confidence or set in motion the process that will lead
to the hiring of a new director of athletics.
The rumors and speculation — fueled by behind-the-scenes unrest and
arm-twisting among factions on both sides of the issue — have gone on way
too long. Last Wednesday, those rumors returned to the front burner.
Dr. Muse is a very difficult person to get up with. In addition to
recently undergoing heart surgery, he has a busy agenda and, perhaps
understandably, putting himself at the disposal of the media is not exactly
at the top of his 'To Do' list.
I did talk with Dr. Muse on the day that John Thompson was hired as the
East Carolina football coach back in December. I asked him at that time
about the status of Mike Hamrick as athletic director.
“We will continue the process of evaluating the athletic director,”
said Muse at the time. “This will be an ongoing process and we will know
more in the spring.”
I then asked Dr. Muse if he could give his athletic director a vote of
“I can certainly give our football coach a vote of confidence," he said
on that day in December, "and that’s why we are here today.”
I took his last comment to heart, and after discussing the situation with
my news director; we decided not to air those portions of the interview at
that time. We didn’t want to take anything away from John Thompson’s day.
That spring timeframe Dr. Muse referred to is upon us. Today's Board of
Trustees meeting is the appropriate venue for ECU's leaders to put the issue
At this stage, a vague statement issued after the meeting would be unfair
to Hamrick and would undermine his ability to be as effective as possible in
Is Mike Hamrick the person to direct this athletic department in the
future? Or will this Pirate program be better served by new blood, new
ideas, and new enthusiasm.
The “new blood” theory seems to have produced tangible results in
football so far. John Thompson’s enthusiasm has brought on a whole new
excitement to the Pirate Club banquet circuit.
Would a similar change in the A.D.'s office result in positive new energy
in the department and among the constituencies whose funding is the
lifeblood of ECU athletics. Or is Hamrick, who has struck a wrong chord in
some important quarters while overseeing a period of rapid growth and
transition in the school's sports endeavors, best suited to carry on the
Dr. Muse, who has pondered the matter meticulously and with great
deliberation, apparently holds all of the cards and he’ll play them when
ready. Hopefully, he'll play them today in a manner that will ultimately
prompt all crew members, from the officers on down to the deckhands, to
begin rowing the Pirate ship in the same direction.
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02/23/2007 01:26:24 AM