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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

----- Editor's Note: The following is a Brian Bailey editorial. -----

Hamrick rolls another Lucky 7


Windows Media Audio: Replay the Cable 7 audio from Monday's Brian Bailey Show...  LISTEN...

Considering the contentious dealings I had with Mike Hamrick in recent years, I know that I’m probably the last person that you would expect to write a positive column about the former East Carolina athletic director.

But give the man his due.

Hamrick had more lives then a litter of kittens. He had the “Midas Touch,” for no matter how badly things looked from one side, Hamrick would come out the other side unscathed and smelling like a rose — and with extra money in his pocket to boot.

How many of these dates ring a bell? June 1st, June 30th, July 31st, and how about September 1st? According to rumors that circulated inside the ECU athletic department and among people well connected with the program, these were each designated — as recent months clicked by — as Mike Hamrick’s final day as Pirates AD.

As things turned out, none of those pull-the-plug days actually came to pass. While everyone in the world had him on his last days, Hamrick marketed himself as one of the up and comers in the world of college administrators.

The saying goes that one man’s trinket is another man’s treasure. It’s all in perception and you have to credit Hamrick for creating the illusion that all was fine in Greenville.

Hamrick did the same thing a few years ago with the Kansas job. Several sources indicated that Hamrick was never really in the running, but the illusion was that Hamrick was ready to bolt East Carolina for the Jayhawks. The Board of Trustees never called the bluff, and offered Hamrick a sweetheart deal.

Talk about a Poker face! Hamrick will do well in Vegas. Luck and the magical touch will make for an incredible combination in Sin City USA.

In my opinion, Hamrick had a few virtual media puppets in our area, and I was not one of them. Sure, it cost me several stories. But by standing up for what I believed, I think I earned the respect of many who are Pirates to the core.

I sincerely wish Mike Hamrick and his family the best of luck at UNLV. Despite my issues, Hamrick did some good things at East Carolina. I agree with those who believe that East Carolina's athletic department is stronger after Hamrick’s eight years.

But it came with a price, and now fences need to be mended. I think that Chancellor William Muse will get the right man for the job when the time comes. Muse has the connections and knows exactly what this university needs.

My early favorite for the job is Jeff Barber, who’s currently serving as the head of the Gamecock Club at the University of South Carolina.

Barber is a Pirate, and a guy who has worked the last dozen years to be in position for this job, should it come open. He will have none other then Lou Holtz on his list of references.

Barber brings great class to the table. He is up front and honest. He is enthusiastic, much like first-year Pirate football coach John Thompson.

There will be other candidates as well. This may very well be the most important hire in the history of East Carolina athletics.

Chancellor Muse made his first move on Monday, naming Nick Floyd as the school’s interim athletic director. Muse also said that the search for a new AD wouldn’t begin until after the football season.

The thinking there is that it is very difficult to conduct two and three day interviews during the football season, because athletic directors usually travel with their schools.

The wind of change has blown through East Carolina University. It’s time now for the Pirate family to reunite, to form a bond so strong that a BCS league has to come calling!

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02/23/2007 01:25:19 AM

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