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Read Henry Hinton's feature story on veteran Hollywood actress and ECU alum Beth Grant in Bonesville Magazine.

Henry's Highlights
Thursday, September 23, 2004

By Henry Hinton

University's smooth ride of late hits pothole


Talk of the Town: Replay Wednesday's Talk of The Town with Henry Hinton and breaking news about a lawsuit against ECU: Select clip


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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

Just when it looked like the bad news of the last year had turned to good on main campus at East Carolina University, a bomb was dropped on the school's administration this week.

Former ECU Provost William Swart has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university.

Talk 1070 and Cable 7 broke the story of the lawsuit against ECU on Talk of The Town Wednesday afternoon.

Swart, who was recruited to ECU from Old Dominion University by former chancellor William Muse, was reassigned from his position of provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs last September after the controversial Muse's departure from Greenville.

After Muse was forced out as chancellor last September, the spotlight went to Swart, who had been under fire inside and outside the university for his hiring practices.

News of the lawsuit breaks a recent string of positive events since the Muse affair, including the hiring of new Chancellor Steve Ballard and Director of Athletics Terry Holland.

Last year, Old Dominion University president RoseAnn Runte accused Swart of improper and unethical recruiting practices in separate letters to Charles Franklin, then chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, and UNC system president Molly Broad. Swart had offered positions to several at ODU and Runte made it clear that she felt Swart was trying to “raid” her staff.

In the legal complaint which was served on ECU attorney Ben Irons on Monday, Swart says Runte’s comments were “defamatory, improper, untrue, and wrongful statements” about him.

He alleges, however, that the ECU Board and administration used those comments against him after the exodus of Muse and he was subsequently asked to step down as provost “for the good of the university.”

The complaint states that Swart refused to resign and was involuntarily reassigned to the ECU faculty. It also states that “ECU has acknowledged and admitted that the termination and reassignment was without cause, wrongdoing, or misconduct on plaintiff’s (Swart’s) part.”

Swart’s complaint goes on to say that he was injured financially due to a cut in his $200,000 annual salary and that ECU failed to pay housing allowances previously agreed upon.

He is asking for a jury trial in hopes of recovering money he says the university owes him and damages for the embarrassment he contends he has suffered professionally.

The action against ECU is not a defamation suit, however. The pretense is that ECU breached his contract by removing him from his position without cause.

Roundball slate creates buzz

For those who have complained that the early season ECU basketball schedule has been stuffed with powder-puffs in recent years, the release of the 2004-05 schedule on Wednesday may have been a surprise.

Bill Herrion’s team could face Pepperdine, Oregon State, N.C. State, Old Dominion, Toledo, South Carolina and Clemson all before New Year’s Eve.

Murderer’s Row? Well, maybe for a team which then has to turn its attention to a gauntlet of stiff Conference USA challenges.

The exciting schedule features a formidable front-loaded home slate, including January visits by South Florida, Cincinnati, UAB, Saint Louis and Charlotte.

In an unusually light home schedule for February. Marquette, Southern Miss and Houston are the only teams scheduled in Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates will participate in the Black Coaches Association Invitational tournament in the RBC Centura Center in Raleigh November 17-19 to open the season.

The Clemson game will be regionally televised on Fox Sports Net South on Wednesday December 29.


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02/23/2007 10:14:00 AM

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