Nuggets of Gold
Friday, December 21, 2007
By Adam Gold
Adam Gold is
program director of the Triangle's "850
the Buzz" and host of "The G-spot with Adam Gold"
mornings from 6-10 a.m.
A MESSAGE TO ADAM GOLD
• DIG INTO ADAM GOLD'S ARCHIVES
Dear Santa, I can explain
By Adam Gold
All rights reserved.
For those of you who feel
that Christmas wish lists are reserved for children, I have some news:
Adults send letters to Santa as well.
Granted, they’re not
written in Crayola, and there’s a fair chance that the letters “E” and “S”
are facing in the proper direction. But, I can assure you that wanting to
make your gift needs known does not end when you reach middle school.
I have a list — heck, my
wife demands I tell her what I want in July. She even goes as far as to
threaten to shut me out entirely if I don’t come up with something by
My son actually sends
letters — several of them, in fact — directly to a Mr. K. Kringle in North
Pole, Alaska, looking for a sign that he’s on the nice list.
Recently, due to a U.S.
Postal Service mix-up, I received a letter that was originally intended for
the North Pole and before I forwarded it on, I just had to take a peak.
Sorry, the curiosity was too overwhelming, so sue me. (Like you wouldn’t
have done the same thing!)
This hasn’t been the best
year for me in Greenville. I really made things tough on my head football
coach with an incredibly difficult out-of-conference schedule with four
teams from major conferences including a pair that made it to a BCS game. On
top of that, by the time my team got to the middle of the season they were
plum worn out. We didn’t have a bye week until after we’d played 11 games
and we looked gassed by the time November rolled around.
I won’t apologize for the
difficulty of the schedule because it raised the profile of our football
program and we could have — maybe should have — split those four
non-conference games. But I should have demanded a break in the schedule
before we started hunting down a turkey for Thanksgiving.
I also shouldn’t have
arranged for financial aid and a part-time job for my brother. Granted, the
money wasn’t exorbitant, it was financial aid that might have been available
to any prospective 51-year old student looking to finish up a degree in
history, and the part-time job was physical labor in athletic facilities and
amounted to less than $10,000 a year. But it looked bad. And it looked worse
when there was the appearance that there was some cover-up. That wasn’t my
intent and I paid the money back to the university out of my own checking
account. I was only trying to help out my brother, who hasn’t had as much
success in life as I have, so it was all done with good intentions.
One more thing before I
give you my list, Santa. I had to do something this year that hurt me more
than anything in my entire professional career. I had to fire/reassign/kick
upstairs/let go someone I've been close to almost all his adult life. We’ve
never been great at basketball at East Carolina, but last year was the
bottoming out for our program and I had to fire Ricky Stokes. Granted I
should have never fired Bill Herrion and replaced him with Ricky in the
first place, but I’ve known Ricky since he was 16 years old — he played for
me at Virginia — and he needed something good to happen to him in his
professional career. And it wasn’t like Bill was taking us to a string of
NCAA Tournaments, you know.
In any case, as much as
it hurt me, after just 9 wins in two seasons against Division I competition,
I let Ricky go this summer. I tried to reassign him to a job in fundraising,
but that didn’t work out and he’s no longer associated with the university.
So, Santa, any mistakes
I’ve made this year were the result of trying to help people that I love and
with the best interests of the university at heart. I hope you’ll take all
that into account when you decide if I’ve been naughty or nice.
Here’s what I’d like for
Christmas this year….
I’d love a big win in
basketball. We really need something good to happen to the young men who’ve
committed themselves to the Pirates’ program. If you could just bring us a
win over, say, Sidney Lowe’s N.C. State Wolfpack, I would be grateful
forever. I think if you could get one of the elves to sprinkle some magic
dust on Sam Hinnant, we could actually pull this off — especially if the
Wolfpack players waltz into Minges Coliseum as if they're the future of
I’d also like a brand new
conference to play in, Santa. This arrangement in Conference USA isn’t doing
us any favors in Greenville. If the Big East isn’t going to invite us to
join them, maybe we can convince the folks in our own league to invite a few
more teams, divide into two eight-team divisions and have the winners meet
for the conference championship. I just don’t like taking our players to El
Paso or Tulsa or Houston for a so-called conference game every year.
One final thing,
Santa. I want to do something good for the people of Pirate Nation.
They’ve been so supportive and so generous to East Carolina athletics
since I’ve come to Greenville that I want to do something for them. If
you could arrange for our team to play a bowl game in Hawaii just before
Christmas, they would have a great excuse to spend the most wonderful
time of the year in luxurious Honolulu as opposed to dirty Mobile,
Alabama. I think they’d really be excited about playing a game against
Boise State with Mele Kalikimaka playing in the background as opposed to
listening to the blues in Mobile before a January 5th game against
Bowling Green when everyone in this area is watching college basketball.
Thanks again, Santa. The
milk and cookies will be on the mantle and there are carrots for the
[E-MAIL ADAM GOLD]
[ADAM GOLD ARCHIVES]
01/05/2008 03:23:25 PM