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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
By Brian Bailey

Pinkney's redshirt year safe, assures J.T.

Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• STEVE BALLARD: New Leader Takes Charge

• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door

• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams

• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate



East Carolina football Coach John Thompson says he was stunned at the amount of attention Patrick Pinkney received after playing quarterback in the Pirates' junior varsity win last week over Hargrave Military.

“People keep asking me about it,” Thompson told me in a one-on-one session after East Carolina’s weekly news conference. “It is much ado about nothing. We wouldn’t have played him in that game and allow him to lose a redshirt year. We went through our compliance, the NCAA and everything.

"He had shoulder surgery this past Friday that was already scheduled. It was not going to be anything to hurt him for playing in the game. He had a debilitating injury that was already documented. The surgery just worked out at the right time. If we had played a week later, the surgery would still have gone on Friday, and he wouldn’t have been able to play.”

Thompson seemed to want to end any speculation that there might be a possibility that Pinkney could lose his redshirt season.

“Sometimes the rules fall in your favor,” Thompson continued. “Remember, though, that you don’t apply for the (medical hardship waiver) until after the season. We’ve got everything in place and we are sure that it’s going to be all right.”

I pressed Thompson further, asking if he was 100 percent sure that Patrick Pinkney would receive a medical red shirt and retain his four years of eligibility.

“One hundred percent sure,” Thompson said. “We checked it and double checked it, and double checked that. We checked the checkers on the whole thing because I was surprised that we were able to do this. But by rule it worked out that way, so from our medical staff, from our compliance, from everything, so it’s a non issue for me.”

Pirates eye Golden Eagles

The other quarterback named Pinkney had a smile on his face at the weekly news conference. James had a week off to rest his body a bit, and he says this team is ready to go.

“We are playing with so much more confidence,” Pinkney said. “We know if we go there and play ‘Pirate’ football, then we can come away with a win.

"We have to play perfect on offense with no turnovers. We have to control the ball with no mistakes. If we play well on offense, we think we can win.”

On defense, Chris Moore and company realize that they have a long way to go in developing a top-notch defense. Moore says it takes a total team effort to be effective.

“Our defense is based on schemes,” said Moore. “All eleven players have to play on every down. If one player messes up, the entire defense is destroyed. Right now, we just want all eleven players to play together.”

Thompson familiar with rivalry

Do you remember the ECU-Southern Miss game in 1995? John Thompson sure does. He was on the Southern Miss sideline, and watched as East Carolina faked a field goal, threw a long pass, and picked up 15 much needed yards for a field goal to win the game in the final seconds.

“That’s one of those things that just goes in slow motion,” Thompson said. “We told our team that it’s third down, and to watch--- the--- fake. We change some of our field goal fakes off of that now. The guy was standing straight; we could tell he wasn’t going to kick it. It was pass interference, I guess,” Thompson chuckled.

“I remember all of the players involved in that. That game was to decide which team went to the Liberty Bowl. It was something!”

Thompson hopes to make new memories with his own team. ECU lost to Southern Miss last year, and the Pirates are 20-point underdogs this week.

Maybe J.T. himself has a trick or two up his sleeve this time out…

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02/23/2007 01:29:47 AM

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