Take on Pirate Sports
TOM SOUTHERN, ECU '74
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Sky falls but hope perseveres
Some Pirate fans ran through the streets on Tuesday,
proclaiming that the sky had to be falling.
The Big East made its choices official, that Louisville,
Cincinnati and South Florida would replace Virginia Tech, Boston College and
Meanwhile, Conference USA has added Central Florida to go
with the other additions of Marshal, Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa.
No, this isn’t the scenario we were all hoping for five or
six years ago when this talk first surfaced. The Pirate nation was hoping
for a berth in the Big East, to be a part of college football’s elite with
access to the Bowl Championship Series.
Pirate interim athletic director Nick Floyd is still very
“It’s really not a matter of if the BCS will change,” said
Floyd. “The questions are what changes will be made. Will there be a fifth
bowl game added to the mix? Will the Big East keep its automatic bid to the
BCS? I still think that we are in line for access to the BCS in some
The Big East may or may not keep their automatic bid.
Trading in Virginia Tech, Miami and to a lesser extent Boston College is
like giving up Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Girls for the waitresses at the
This is certainly a case of apples and oranges, and the
Pirates have to hope that the fruit salad in the mix comes through with some
type of BCS access.
Some have called this the death of East Carolina sports. If
that’s the case, then invite Southern Miss, Memphis, Texas Christian and
Marshall to the funeral.
It’s not the case, but patience will prove to be a virtue.
There are just too many outstanding universities and athletic programs for
the playing field not to even out!
Somber Pirates look to bounce
In just about every news conference this season, Pirate
Coach John Thompson has talked about his team getting better. He couldn’t
say that this week.
“I’m embarrassed,” said Thompson. “We did not get better in
the loss to Memphis last week. We have a lot to work on and we have to get
better this week with a very good South Florida team coming to town.”
As if the Pirates needed any other problems, Desmond
Robinson went down with a high ankle sprain against Memphis. Redshirt
freshman James Pinkney came in and struggled early, but did find success
late against the Tigers.
Robinson limped into Tuesday’s news weekly news conference,
and has hopes of playing this week.
“The training staff is doing a good job with treatments,”
said Robinson. “It feels better today, but I’ll just have to wait and see.”
The Pirate coaches have decided to once again give Paul
Troth a look at the quarterback position. Troth certainly has the
experience, but he has fallen out of favor with the Pirate coaches.
For the second straight week, Pirate Coach John Thompson
called late timeouts when the game was out of reach.
Louisville took exception and scored on a running play after
one of the late timeouts in that game.
Memphis also took exception to the practice on Saturday, and
threw a deep ball against the Pirates after another meaningless time out.
“I have to do what’s best for my team,” explained Coach
Thompson. “We are trying to teach these players that you fight until the
final play of the game. However, I can see how that might be
Thompson decided against any further time outs after the
Tigers tried to tack on another score.
Let’s hope the Pirates use their timeouts this week in a
meaningful way down the stretch against South Florida. How about a timeout
to get the special teams on the field to kick a winning field goal for
Now that would be a timeout we’d all like to see.
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