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2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Daily Report & Photo Blog No. 3

Brian Bailey's photo gallery for Thursday is directly below. His daily report is below the slide show.

Links to Day-by-Day Coverage: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

(This gallery includes 11 photographs. Click the left or right pointers to slide the thumbnail navigation strip.)


A sizable crowd attended Thursday's Liberty Bowl Awards Banquet. (Photo: Brian Bailey, ©2009 and WNCT-TV 9. All rights reserved.)



KEY LINKS:  Daily Report...  Photo Blog...  Audio Clips...

Dustup was an unwanted distraction

By Brian Bailey

WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director Brian Bailey is on the scene in Memphis bringing daily coverage of bowl week to Bonesville's readers and Channel 9's viewers. The week climaxes Saturday with East Carolina's Liberty Bowl showdown with Arkansas.

MEMPHIS — Just when I thought I'd seen everything!

Thursday started innocently enough. The highlight of the day was the Liberty Bowl Awards Luncheon, featuring both East Carolina and Arkansas.

Soon after the salads were distributed, an altercation broke out. It reminded me of a bar fight, where everyone scattered first, and then the crowd converged to separate things. I had never really seen a bar fight until after my divorce, and they are fascinating adventures.

I'll admit that I didn't get a great view. It happened so quickly that it was really over before it started. I did see Jonathan Williams dust himself off quickly when he was separated from the other player.

From all indications, Williams and Leonard Paulk got into a disturbance over a pack of sugar. That's the story! According to everyone I talked to, Williams was at fault.

Williams missed practice on Thursday, and Paulk was allowed to stay with the team.

It was really bizarre. Coach Skip Holtz was visiting with some of the Arkansas brass and never saw the incident. ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland and Chancellor Steve Ballard were pretty close. I believe both saw the scuffle first hand.

The sad thing is that one person can ruin a great thing. Williams has had so many chances that his act has to be wearing thin.

I really felt bad for Coach Holtz and all of the East Carolina contingent. This is an outstanding program and university that simply doesn't deserve what happened at the banquet.

Holtz was upfront with the media after practice, saying that he would continue to gather facts about what happened, and would meet with Williams on Thursday night. Holtz meets the media again on Friday at noon for his final press conference of the week.

On a brighter note, defensive line coach Rock Roggeman arrived in Memphis on Thursday. Roggeman continues his battle with cancer, but he rescheduled some treatments and was able to make the trip. His players were especially happy to see him.

Content: Brian Bailey. ©2010 and WNCT-TV 9. All rights reserved.


PAGE UPDATED 01/03/10 05:41 AM.

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