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'Painting 'em Purple'

From the Booth
Thursday, December 19, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates

Passion on the rise for ECU basketball


Listen to FROM THE BOOTH with Jeff Charles live on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on WCZI 98.3 FM, or play the audio archive the next day on Bonesville Internet Radio.





Call it Pirate Hoop Hysteria. The announced crowd of 5,711 last Saturday night for the Mount Olive game was a terrific testament as to how far this basketball program has come.

Bill Herrion does our pre-game radio show two hours prior to tip-off and we were both hoping for about 3,500.
When we go on the air thirty minutes prior to what public address announcer Morgan Ahlers calls “Show Time,” and there are people sitting in the end zone seats, that’s a good sign.

Believe me, after announcing Pirate basketball for 15 years, there have been many nights with less than one thousand fans in the stands.

I’ve always wondered what happens to all those Pirate football fans when basketball starts.

I can remember many years when 35,000 fans would watch a football game on a Saturday, and then only a couple thousand would show up 48 hours later for a basketball game.

If you are going to have a quality athletic program, both sports need to be supported with the same kind of passion. It’s been here in football and it may be starting in basketball.

I do a lot of guest shots on various talk shows, and Morgan Patrick at 850 The Buzz, our Raleigh affiliate, asked me about Herrion’s public relations commitment. He seemed almost surprised that Bill is out constantly talking to anyone who will listen about Pirate basketball.

To my knowledge, Herrion has never turned down an opportunity to speak. That’s been going on for the four years he has been here.

When you are losing and working your fanny off, no one pays much attention. When you start winning, all the fruits of your labor start to surface.

Bill has laid the groundwork with a solid foundation that started the first day he arrived at East Carolina. There have been bumps in the road, but he never got discouraged. I’m happy for him that he’s having a taste of success. He deserves it because he’s worked so hard and kept a positive attitude.

Herrion's is still one of the toughest jobs in Division I basketball. He is making progress against great odds and Pirate fans everywhere should be grateful for that.

Pirate Sports Radio Network News ‘N Notes…

It’s busy here right before the holidays…

  • Tonight, the Pirates host George Mason with airtime at 7:30. In his radio show last night, Coach Herrion said Luke MacKay will finally be available again to his team. We are hearing the Patriots will play without star center, Jesse Young, who’s been suspended for an off the court incident. The Lady Pirates play North Carolina A&T in the preliminary game.

  • It’s on the road again Saturday. ECU takes on Campbell in the beautiful Crown Center in Fayetteville. Airtime will be 4:30 p.m. Those of you going to the game can tune us in on AM 1230 WFAY ESPN Radio in Fayetteville. Billy Lee’s Camels compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference — that’s the old Trans America Athletic Conference.

  • Monday night, it’s down to Coastal Carolina for a match up with the Chanticleers in Conway. Kimbel Gym will be the venue and it’s a real bandbox. There’s talk of a new arena in Myrtle Beach. Coastal has played some games at the Myrtle Beach Civic Center. The Beach Ball Classic is played there every year and attracts some of the best high school teams and players in the country.

  • Remember, the “Bill Herrion Television Show” Sundays at 12:00 noon on WITN Channel 7. Time Warner Cable Systems also air the show. For those of you in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill look for the show Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. Raleigh is Channel 24, Durham is Channel 23, and Chapel Hill is Channel 23.

  • All of our games are distributed on the Internet, but we still have the Teamline Service. That’s the telephone number you can call and hear the radio network broadcast. This year we had the fourth highest number of calls in the country. During the 1996 season, we had the most calls of any school in the nation. We’ve dropped from first to fourth, so it must be time to fire the announcer!

Till next time, “keep painting’em purple.”

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02/23/2007 10:23:48 AM

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