From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Justin Hardy deserves better

Receiver Justin Hardy breaks an ECU career receiving record every time he catches a pass. The senior from Vanceboro is poised to break the all-time NCAA career receptions standard. He needs four receptions to pass the career mark of 349 set by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles in 2011. (Bonesville archive photo by W.A. Myatt)
East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill was miffed upon learning from a questioner at his weekly press conference on Monday that record-setting ECU receiver Justin Hardy was omitted from the list of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, an honor bestowed annually upon college football's best receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. (Archive photo by W.A. Myatt)
Audio: Brian Bailey Show
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guests were prep football coaches David Wojtecki, Bobby Curlings, Paul Cornwell, Sport Sawyer and Scott Gardner: Replay show...


Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday as the Pirates prepare to host Tulane on Saturday (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; file photo): Select clip...


American Football Schedule

SMU at UCF, 12 pm (ESPNN)
Tulsa at Houston, 3 pm (ESPN3)
Tulane at ECU, 3:30 pm (ESPN3)
USF at Memphis, 4 pm (ESPNN)
Cincinnati at UConn, 8 pm (CBSSN)
LAST WEEK'S AAC SCORES >>> ..... | Thursday > Cincinnati 54, ECU 46 (ESPN2) ..... | Friday > UCF 31, Tulsa 7 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Penn State 30, Temple 13 (ESPN2) ..... Memphis 38, Tulane 7 (ESPNU) ..... USF 14, SMU 13 (CBSSN) ..... .....


UNC-Asheville holds off Pirates

GREENVILLE — UNC-Asheville's Andrew Rowsey stands 5 feet, 10 inches but he was huge on Sunday afternoon. Rowsey, a sophomore, scored 28 points to lead an 83-79 nonconference basketball win at East Carolina. ... More...


Pirates cruise in hoops opener

GREENVILLE — East Carolina rolled past North Carolina Wesleyan 99-81 to open the 2014-15 basketball season at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum on Friday night. The Pirates won their first game of the season for the 15th consecutive time. ... Story, photos, post-game audio...
Pictured: Sophomore forward Michel Nzege compiled a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds in ECU's season-opening win over N.C. Wesleyan. The native of Geneva, Switzerland sat out last season after transferring from Winston-Salem State. (Photo by W.A. Myatt.)

Post-game: Lebo, Nzege, Guilmette...




Inside Game Day | Ruff Post-game Audio...

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Thursday > Cincinnati 54, ECU 46 (ESPN2) ..... | Friday > UCF 31, Tulsa 7 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Penn State 30, Temple 13 (ESPN2) ..... Memphis 38, Tulane 7 (ESPNU) ..... USF 14, SMU 13 (CBSSN) ..... .....

Time to deal with tough loss

Al Myatt

CINCINNATI — The schedule will soon compact for East Carolina's 2014 football team with three games in 13 days. The Pirates will host Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 22 to start the close to the regular season. They'll play at Tulsa the following Friday before returning home to face Central Florida on Thursday, Dec. 4. ... More from Al Myatt...

FROSTY AFFAIR: That masked man bearing up against the bitter cold at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati is East Carolina mike linebacker Zeek Bigger. © [Al Myatt photo]

View Al Myatt's game day gallery...

Audio: Ruff Post-game

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the press after the Pirates' loss to Cincinnati on Thursday night (recorded by Al Myatt; file photo): Select audio clip...

By Brian Bailey
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View ECU's 2014 football schedule


Justin Hardy has been snubbed.

East Carolina's spectacular receiver will most likely set the all-time NCAA record for career receptions this week when the Pirates host Tulane. Hardy needs just four catches to break the record set by Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma in 2011.

Hardy has 80 catches this season for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns.

Still, he was snubbed by the Biletnikoff Award on its list of the 10 national semifinalists for the award that goes to the nation’s top receiver.

Here is that official list from the NBC Sports College Football Talk web site:

 • Nelson Agholor (USC): 82 catches, 1,079 yards, 10 TDs

 • Amari Cooper (Alabama): 87 catches, 1,303 yards*, 11 TDs

 • Rashad Greene (Florida State): 75 catches, 1,042 yards, 5 TDs

 • Rashard Higgins (Colorado State): 67 catches, 1,280 yards, 13 TDs*

 • Tyler Lockett (K-State): 60 catches, 878 yards, 6 TDs

 • Vince Mayle (Washington State): 86 catches, 1,152 yards, 9 TDs

 • Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma): 50 catches, 957 yards, 5 TDs

 • Nelson Spruce (Colorado): 99 catches*, 1,091 yards, 11 TDs

 • Jaelen Strong (Arizona State): 71 catches, 982 yards, 9 TDs

 • Kevin White (West Virginia): 91 catches, 1,207 yards, 8 TDs

 *Denotes Football Bowl Subdivision leader

Obviously Hardy was a long shot to win the award because of the likes of Amari Cooper from Alabama and Rashad Greene from Florida State. Still, Hardy deserved to make the top 10 and his snub didn’t go unnoticed.

“He’s not!?,” exclaimed Pirate head coach Ruffin McNeill when asked about the snub at his weekly news conference on Monday. “That’s the most idiotic thing I have ever heard in my life that they would not put that young man on there. What are you looking for? A student? He already graduated. We had an academic meeting today and tried to find out how he can make the Dean’s List.

"He’s getting ready to break the all-time receptions record. I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but here is a ‘C,’ here is an ‘A’ and I think there’s a ‘T’ around here somewhere (and) that spells CAT.

"Justin Hardy isn’t on there? I don’t know who is picking that. I hope these words get back to whoever didn’t choose him and my number is right here. I’m here all day.”

Rarely does Coach Ruff react to something like that, especially when it’s an individual deal. McNeill preaches team and family. He also wants his “boys” to get the recognition they deserve. Ruff doesn’t buy into the ‘big name’ philosophy that goes into so much of college football.

“There is respect and disrespect,” said McNeill. “When you’re young, you probably deserve some, but when you respect others then, in theory, they should respect you. And we respect all. So in turn, maybe it’s naïve, but I expect respect to our university, our athletic program and our kids. When it doesn’t happen, I’m going to stand up for them. I want somebody to challenge me on that. I’m the easiest guy to find.”

After back to back losses for the Pirates, East Carolina now grasps at other goals, like winning out. Tulane is up first and the Pirates lost to the Green Wave last year in New Orleans in triple overtime.

The Pirate coach says last year’s outcome won’t be discussed heading into this matchup.

“I look at Tulane as a chance to get back on the field and get a win,” explained McNeill. “It’s about being ready to get that taste (winning) back in our mouths. These guys are used to winning and they have a chance to accomplish some things as a group of seniors that may have never been done before.

"The preparation that gives us a chance to be successful on Saturday is what I’ll focus on, but I won’t bring up anything that happened last year.”

Saturday is Military Appreciation Day at East Carolina. The weather is expected to be fairly nice and it’s the final chance for a Saturday tailgate.

Here’s hoping that Hardy gets that record early in the game, and the Pirates get back on the winning trail.


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11/18/2014 04:43 AM