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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Football powerbrokers eclipse coaches' gatherings


Conference USA’s football coaches are meeting in Memphis. The Atlantic Coast Conference coaches are meeting in Georgia.

And BCS bigshots are meeting — somewhere.

Yes, even the Bowl Championship Series honchos are active this summer, with a couple of curious nuggets coming out last night.

First, it’s official that the Big East Conference will remain a BCS member, at least until the current contract ends after the January 2006 bowls. That was really never an issue, although this new look Big East isn’t anywhere close to being as strong as it was before the ACC went fishing.

In fact, a BCS oversight committee official was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the Big East’s chances of remaining in the BCS in the next contract depend on how attractive the reconstituted conference would be to television networks.

Also, the BCS says it won’t consider using a tournament to determine its so-called national champion, despite pleas to open its controversial path to the title to more schools. The school presidents serving on the BCS committee instead instructed the commissioners of the six BCS leagues to come up with proposals for changing the BCS without a playoff.

The potential good news is that the panel will meet with representatives from the five non-BCS Division I-A conferences on September 8 in Chicago to hear their concerns about the current system.

Tulane president Scott Cowen is leading the non-BCS cause. He says the invitation is a positive step, but adds that eliminating options such as a playoff before the meeting raises the question of "what are we talking about?"

While all this is going on, you can add another Florida team into the mix of Division I-A programs searching for a BCS connection. Florida A&M is moving up. The NCAA has approved the Rattlers' application to advance to Division I-A as early as next year. No other historically black college is in the NCAA's highest classification of football-playing schools.

The school's pending promotion makes it ineligible for the 2003 Division I-AA playoffs and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football title.

None of this is earth-shattering information, but it does seem to reflect at least some type of sentiment towards the non-BCS schools.

Preseason prognostications a mixed bag for Pirates

The C-USA coaches collectively predicted East Carolina will finish sixth in John Thompson’s first season. Texas Christian was their top pick while Southern Miss was second.

Intriguingly, the Pirates did pick up a single first place vote from one of the league’s coaches. I wonder which coach that was..?

Three prominent ECU players were named to the preseason All Conference-USA team. Running back Art Brown, offensive lineman Brian Rimpf and kick returner Terrance Copper were all tabbed.

Herrion navigates summer recruiting freeway

When he’s not in camp, he’s on the road. Pirate basketball coach Bill Herrion has had a busy summer.

“The month of July is a very busy month for college coaches,” Herrion said. “There is a lot going on on the recruiting trail. We do a lot of our recruiting in the summer. We are looking at a lot of youngsters who are rising seniors in high school. We go to the exposure camps, the Nike, the Adidas camps, so we’ve been pretty busy trying to find some guys for the future.”

Herrion is and always will be a tireless worker. He realizes that this ECU hoops job is a challenging one and he just refuses to get outworked.

“We continue to build our basketball program at East Carolina, trying to get better in Conference USA," he said. "We need to keep increasing the talent level and that’s what we use the summer for.”

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02/23/2007 01:26:03 AM

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