Dynamics beyond the sidelines
More Than a Game
Monday, April 4, 2005
By Ron Cherubini
Time to call
out the 'Dead Moose'
|Pat Dye, right, coached at East
Carolina from 1974-79, compiling the highest winning percentage
among coaches in ECU's modern era.
Below: Dye was featured in the 2004 Bonesville Magazine.
In corporate America, it is called the "Dead Moose."
It’s that moment where something is so amiss or so out of
place and yet, despite its obviousness, no one addresses it.
It just kind of sits there in the middle of the room and
everyone talks around it.
In consultative marketing courses, you are always encouraged
to point out the dead moose… get it on the table, address it, and move on.
The savvy businessman is the one that walks into the room and when no one is
saying anything says, “Hey guys, what’s up with the lavender car parked in
It is Hall of Fame time again at East Carolina University
and there is a big, whoppin’ dead moose sitting in the room and it has been
there for years… since 1989 to be precise… and no one seems to want to talk
It’s that big, gaping, obvious hole in the Hall of Fame
Gallery over in the Ward Sports Medicine Building where Pat Dye’s photo
should be hanging.
See, 1989 was the year that, technically, the former Pirate
coach became eligible. Inexplicably, however, years continue to roll off the
calendar without his induction.
It is almost unbelievable that
Dye has not yet been
I know, I know… there are the questions about skating around
some NCAA rules near the end of his tenure as the head football coach at
Auburn University. Okay, maybe that lives up to the exclusion criteria for
the Hall, saying that a candidate cannot bring shame to the university —
though I have yet to read anything linking the allegations at Auburn to East
I contend Dye's affiliation and accomplishments at Auburn
only intensify what he did as a Pirate.
Consider this: If he brought so much shame to football, why
is he still held in such high esteem at Auburn, the school he supposedly
is actually on the ballot this year
for inclusion into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall
Comparatively speaking — and I am a huge Ed Emory fan — Big
Ed's departure from ECU was followed by a swirl of fuzzy rumors about NCAA
issues. Yet Emory is in the Hall — and deservedly so in my opinion.
Imagine what it must look like from the outside.
How does one who is an ECU fan honestly explain why Dye is
not in the ECU Hall of Fame already? I seriously doubt that college football
fans would buy the NCAA allegations thing as being the determining factor
against having Dye in the Hall.
From an ECU historic perspective, Dye has a clear place
among the coaches who are considered benchmarks. While Jack Boone is
synonymous with the earliest beginnings of the East Carolina program; and
Clarence Stasavich is credited for marking the moment when the Pirates
became serious about being a big-time program; and while Ed Emory is
credited with ushering in the big-time schedules that would follow; and
while Steve Logan is credited with taking the Pirates into the modern era of
glamour ball, with regular television and bowl appearances... Patrick Fain
Dye authored that exhilarating chapter in ECU lore when the Pirates simply
weren’t going to take it any longer from the over-funded, over-hyped schools
in the Triangle.
Further, consider simply how hard it is to get around Dye’s
numbers. The man was 48-18-1 in his six seasons at ECU.
Doing a little math, here, let’s take a look at how Dye
compares to ECU’s coaching legends:
• Stasavich coached eight seasons and his record was
• Boone coached ten seasons and his record was
• Emory coached five seasons and his record was 26-29.
• Logan coached 11 seasons and his record was 69-56.
In ECU's modern era of
football, Dye was the Pirates' most statistically successful coach — by a country
Stasavich, Boone, and Emory are already in, and barring Mike
Hamrick returning to ECU, Logan will certainly be enshrined circa 2012. The
dead moose is growing.
What Dye did at Auburn, posting another gaudy record of
99-39-4, only adds to the ECU story and gives even more reason for his
inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
Many of the great Pirate players he developed are stunned
that he has not yet been included. Guys like
Danny Kepley, Harold Randolph,
Kenny Strayhorn, Mike Weaver,
Terry Gallaher, Reggie Pinkney,
Jimmy Bolding, Mike Brewington, Tommy Summer, Anthony Collins, Willie Hawkins, Billy
Ray Washington, Theodore Sutton, Dr. John Grinnell, Jeff Hagans, Jake Dove,
Don Schink, Nick Bullock
and Wilbur Williamson to name a few. These are players who are so entwined
in all that is ECU football and they are asking, “Where is Pat Dye?”
Though Dye left abruptly after he determined that he could
no longer work with then-chancellor Thomas Brewer, who according to Dye
decided he knew more about football than the coaching staff, the coach left
a winner in place.
While I am no expert on ECU football history and am the
first to admit that I clearly don’t what reasoning is cited by those people
who have been fighting to keep Dye out of the Hall, I certainly know a dead
moose when I see one in a room.
So I ask, “Hey, why isn’t Pat Dye in the ECU Hall of Fame?”
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02/23/2007 02:05:40 PM