Friday TV game avoids fireworks
By Danny Whitford
All rights reserved.
(Information from an ECU news release
contributed to this report.)
Comments from the N.C.
High School Athletic Association's top official indicate that the
shifting of an East Carolina home football game to a Friday during the
state high school playoffs will avoid the wrath a similar schedule
change wrought in 2002.
According to NCHSAA
Executive Director Charlie Adams, ECU regularly consulted with the
governing body for N.C. high school sports during the process that led
to Conference USA's announcement on Tuesday that the Pirates' 2008
regular season finale against Texas-El Paso will be shifted from
Saturday, Nov. 29, to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28, to accommodate a
national telecast by CBS College Sports.
"We are very appreciative
of East Carolina University keeping us informed every step of the way as
discussions about its football scheduling continued," stated Adams.
"This in no way will conflict with any of our state football playoff
games, which will be played in their traditional Friday night time
slots. As a result, sports fans across the state should have an
opportunity to watch the Pirates in the afternoon and then go and
support their local high school football program later that night.
"Again, we are grateful
for the relationship we have with ECU and its concern for our programs."
Adams is an alumnus of
East Carolina, CBS and
C-USA officials established the 1:00 p.m. kickoff time in consideration
of the high school playoff schedule during the Thanksgiving weekend, the
ECU Media Relations Office indicated in a release announcing the
East Carolina's diplomatic
handling of the schedule adjustment and the announcement's friendly
reception by Adams were in stark contrast to
the brouhaha that erupted in 2002
when former ECU athletic director Mike Hamrick failed to inform Adams or
former ECU football coach Steve Logan before issuing a press release
that the Pirates' Dec. 6 game that season versus Cincinnati in Dowdy-Ficklen
Stadium would be televised during evening primetime by ESPN2.
The resulting festering
controversy and Logan's outspoken opposition to the developments helped
set the stage for
Logan's abrupt ouster at the end
of that season and
Hamrick's subsequent departure
under pressure the following summer.
“We appreciate and
certainly value our relationship with the high school programs in the
state, especially with Charlie Adams and his leadership to the North
Carolina High School Athletic Association,” stated Terry Holland, who
has been ECU's AD since 2004. “If last season’s thrilling game with UTEP
is any indication, I’d like to think that this year’s matchup has the
potential to be equally as attractive and exciting, if not more.”
The Pirates traveled to El
Paso last October and
defeated the Miners 45-42 in overtime.
Next season's ECU-UTEP
contest is one of three CBS College Sports broadcasts that will feature
the Pirates at home, including the Houston game (Sept. 27, 3:30 p.m.)
and the Marshall game (Nov. 8, 3:30 p.m.).
Altogether, at least six
East Carolina games will be nationally televised. ECU had earlier
announced that the Pirates' matchup with Virginia Tech in Charlotte on
Aug. 30, their home contest versus West Virginia on Sept. 6, and their
game in Orlando with Central Florida on Nov. 2 would be carried by ESPN
View East Carolina's complete 2008 football schedule.
04/16/08 03:39 AM.
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