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Governor's letter to the Big East's commissioner


RALEIGH – Gov. Mike Easley is supporting East Carolina University’s bid for membership in The Big East Conference.  Easley sent a letter earlier this week asking Conference Commissioner Michael Tranghese to give strong consideration to ECU to fill one of their three current vacancies.

The text of Easley’s letter to the Commissioner follows:


I encourage you to consider strongly East Carolina University (ECU) for membership in The Big East Conference.  As one of North Carolina’s largest public institutions, East Carolina has a rich tradition in intercollegiate athletics and a strong commitment to maintaining a high level of competitiveness.


Offering twenty varsity programs, the University has gained national recognition for excellence in both the athletic and academic arenas.  The graduation rate for the Pirate football team is among the best in the NCAA.  Numerous individual athletes have been recognized for their success on the field as well as in the classroom.  East Carolina’s athletics facilities are attractive and modern.


Perhaps most importantly, ECU enjoys outstanding support from its passionate fans and friends.  This year, membership in the Pirate Club surpassed the 8,000 level.  Football season ticket sales topped 17,000 this fall with several games drawing near capacity crowds of the 46,000-seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.


ECU is a good fit – geographically and competitively – with The Big East Conference.  ECU’s membership in the conference will give The Big East a presence in a rapidly growing state along the eastern seaboard.


The State of North Carolina is proud of its university system.  ECU is one of its finest institutions of higher learning.  We believe that ECU would be a great addition to The Big East.  Furthermore, The Big East will be a wonderful addition to the State of North Carolina.


I hope you will take this matter in consideration with the utmost importance.


02/23/2007 11:20:47 AM

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