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Henry's Highlights
Thursday, January 8, 2004

By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner of Greenville Cable 7

Here's to wisdom for ECU and N.C. leaders


AUDIO: Replay Midweek Tip-Off with Henry Hinton, Mike Steele and guests David Garrard and Bill Herrion: Select clip...

This is the time of year when it is sometimes instructional to look back and set some goals for bettering ourselves in the new year. There is usually plenty of room for improvement for us all. East Carolina University is no exception.

2003 will not go down as a banner year for our university. The problems have been well documented and there is no need to innumerate them again. Instead, let’s look at how 2004 can be the biggest rebound ever.

Leadership is an issue. The Board of Trustees must make some decisions soon to get us back on track.

While many are sarcastically referring to East Carolina as “Interim U,” the lack of a permanent chancellor and athletics director could actually be turned into a positive if things are done right. However, hiring the AD before making a decision on who will lead the university seems unwise at best, if not downright impulsive.

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Pick up the newspaper and you can read almost daily about an AD who is in trouble with a new president who didn’t hire him. You can also see coaches who are being moved out by athletic directors who have been positioned above them.

Heck, just look at the last 12 months at ECU. Is there anyone who believes that Bill Muse didn’t want a new football coach and a new athletic director when he came in?

What have we learned? Hopefully ECU will not make the same mistakes again. The chancellor should be in place before any decisions are made about who will lead the department of athletics.

Unfortunately, it appears that message may not be getting through. The stated timetables for hiring these two key university positions seem to be in conflict with good common sense. It just would be imprudent to bring in an AD before the decision on the chancellor’s job is settled.

There are some members of the BOT who would like to ask Dr. Bill Shelton to accept the position on a full-time basis for at least the next three or four years. Others are more in favor of continuing the interview process with the search committee and outside consultant.

Whatever the decision, it seems reasonable this process should be completed before hiring the AD. If the timetable can be expedited, it should be. ECU needs strong leadership... NOW.

Things seem to be running smoothly inside the department under the direction of Interim AD Nick Floyd. The next hire for this position is critical for the future of ECU Athletics. The new chancellor should sign off on the decision and have the chance to sync up philosophies and plans before the hire is made.

Here’s another noble goal for 2004…. public relations.

East Carolina has repeatedly been in the news throughout the state and region this past year. Much of it was negative.

Perhaps a public relations firm should be hired to look at how to enhance the image. At the very least an on-campus task force should be formed to oversee how the university is presented in the public eye.

Not a spin machine, but a group commissioned to put the best face forward and tell the stories about the great things going on daily at ECU.

Politics also became an issue for ECU in 2003. The new year should bring a renewed effort to remind members of the General Assembly of the disparity in state spending. It is time for an all-out effort to halt the inequities.

The uneven treatment brings to mind the words of a good friend of mine, Tom Campbell, host of the statewide political television show "NC Spin."

Henry Hinton: Henry's Highlights - 01.08
Here's to wisdom for ECU and N.C. leaders
Bonesville: AFCA backs non-BCS schools - 01.08
Bonesville: Blazers escape town with win - 01.08
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.08
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Live@5 Segment - 01.08
Troy Dreyfus, Jon Ellerbe & special guest William Shelton
Greg Vacek: Daily Web Headlines Roundup - 01.08

Ron Cherubini: Reflections - 01.07
Note to conspiracy theorists: Count me in
Brian Bailey: From the Anchor Desk - 01.07
UAB game has big implications
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.07
Letter to the Editor: Jon Rogers, Alexandria, VA - 01.07
Cable 7 Audio: Midweek Tip-Off - 01.07
Henry Hinton, Mike Steele, guests David Garrard, Bill Herrion
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Live@&5 Segment - 01.07
Troy Dreyfus, Jon Ellerbe, guest Bill Herrion
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Sportsline Segment - 01.07
Patrick Johnson, guest Denny O'Brien

Denny O'Brien: Pirate Notebook No. 167 - 01.06
Showdown with Blazers is Herrion's biggest
Bonesville: BCS needs major surgery - 01.06
Bonesville: Final AP & Coaches football polls - 01.06
Bonesville: AP basketball poll - 01.06
Cable 7 Audio: Brian Bailey Show - 01.06
Guest Greg Herenda
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: From The Locker Room - 01.06
Kevin Monroe & Sean Farmer
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: The Press Box - 01.06
Troy Dreyfus, Brian Bailey, Jody Jones & Jim Gentry
Al Myatt: View from the East - 01.05
'Great night for purple and gold'
Bonesville: USC shares glory - 01.05
Bonesville: BCS looks to hoops for answers - 01.05
Letter to the Editor: P. Jeff Martin, Akron, OH - 01.05
Bonesville: Presidents say no, no, no to playoff - 01.04
Bonesville: Rebs scuttle Pirates - 01.04
Bonesville: Change inevitable for failed BCS equation - 01.03
Denny O'Brien: Pirate Notebook No. 166 - 01.02
Pirates getting fortified for league gauntlet
Bonesville: Juco dragnet snares another tight end - 01.01

“Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight should be provided with a new map," says Campbell. "The one he currently uses only has Dare County, the Northeast, and Chapel Hill.”

The cardiovascular institute proposed by by ECU's esteemed Dr. Randolph Chitwood could well be the most important allocation of state funds in years for all of North Carolina. Who can argue that such vital research in a region noted for heart-related afflictions is not a worthy use of our state funds?

Leaders in the General Assembly need to get over the fact that it will be in Greenville instead of Chapel Hill. Having a world class surgeon and heart center here makes ECU the perfect venue for this research initiative.

There appears to be positive momentum on this project, but still no commitments have been made beyond some political grandstanding. House Co-Speaker Jim Black has come to Greenville to show support. With that momentum, and while Basnight seems to be on his pilgrimage of redemption, its time to get this project done.

It’s a fresh year which means we can all get a fresh start. Hopefully lessons learned in one of the unkindest years of all at ECU will be instructive and motivating enough to do things the right way in 2004.

Perhaps this will be the year we can stop scratching our heads and saying things like “What were they thinking?” about the university we love.

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02/23/2007 10:13:05 AM

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