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
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
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
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
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!