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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports



From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Sky falls but hope perseveres


Some Pirate fans ran through the streets on Tuesday, proclaiming that the sky had to be falling.

The Big East made its choices official, that Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida would replace Virginia Tech, Boston College and Miami.

Meanwhile, Conference USA has added Central Florida to go with the other additions of Marshal, Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa.

No, this isn’t the scenario we were all hoping for five or six years ago when this talk first surfaced. The Pirate nation was hoping for a berth in the Big East, to be a part of college football’s elite with access to the Bowl Championship Series.

Pirate interim athletic director Nick Floyd is still very optimistic.

“It’s really not a matter of if the BCS will change,” said Floyd. “The questions are what changes will be made. Will there be a fifth bowl game added to the mix? Will the Big East keep its automatic bid to the BCS? I still think that we are in line for access to the BCS in some respect.”

The Big East may or may not keep their automatic bid. Trading in Virginia Tech, Miami and to a lesser extent Boston College is like giving up Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Girls for the waitresses at the all-night diner.

This is certainly a case of apples and oranges, and the Pirates have to hope that the fruit salad in the mix comes through with some type of BCS access.

Some have called this the death of East Carolina sports. If that’s the case, then invite Southern Miss, Memphis, Texas Christian and Marshall to the funeral.

It’s not the case, but patience will prove to be a virtue. There are just too many outstanding universities and athletic programs for the playing field not to even out!

Somber Pirates look to bounce back

In just about every news conference this season, Pirate Coach John Thompson has talked about his team getting better. He couldn’t say that this week.

“I’m embarrassed,” said Thompson. “We did not get better in the loss to Memphis last week. We have a lot to work on and we have to get better this week with a very good South Florida team coming to town.”

As if the Pirates needed any other problems, Desmond Robinson went down with a high ankle sprain against Memphis. Redshirt freshman James Pinkney came in and struggled early, but did find success late against the Tigers.

Robinson limped into Tuesday’s news weekly news conference, and has hopes of playing this week.

“The training staff is doing a good job with treatments,” said Robinson. “It feels better today, but I’ll just have to wait and see.”

The Pirate coaches have decided to once again give Paul Troth a look at the quarterback position. Troth certainly has the experience, but he has fallen out of favor with the Pirate coaches.

Timeouts quandary

For the second straight week, Pirate Coach John Thompson called late timeouts when the game was out of reach.

Louisville took exception and scored on a running play after one of the late timeouts in that game.

Memphis also took exception to the practice on Saturday, and threw a deep ball against the Pirates after another meaningless time out.

“I have to do what’s best for my team,” explained Coach Thompson. “We are trying to teach these players that you fight until the final play of the game. However, I can see how that might be misinterpreted.”

Thompson decided against any further time outs after the Tigers tried to tack on another score.

Let’s hope the Pirates use their timeouts this week in a meaningful way down the stretch against South Florida. How about a timeout to get the special teams on the field to kick a winning field goal for homecoming!

Now that would be a timeout we’d all like to see.

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02/23/2007 01:26:43 AM

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