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News Nuggets, 07.20.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Meet, mingle and eat with the Pirates


07.19.03: C-USA formally shifts into football mode... .. Get up close and personal with J.T... .. Key U of L football players banished... .. Gators get head start in rejecting ACC... .. Physician admits torching dead player's medical data... .. LSU football coach survives aquatic knockout plunge... ..  More...
07.18.03:  East Carolina names new ticket operations boss... .. Dollar draws NCAA wrath... .. Athletes' rights crusader gains steam... .. Banished football program seeks new life... .. Blood clot stymies Buckeye lineman again...  More...

GREENVILLE — Meet the Pirates Night, East Carolina's annual preseason football fanfest, will be held Saturday, Aug. 16, according to an announcement from the school's athletic department. In what has become known as a family-friendly affair, fans are invited to a catered meal and an opportunity to get to know the members of the 2003 ECU football team. Players and coaches will be seated among fans in a relaxed dinner setting.

The location of the event will be the north (upper deck) side of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Entrance at Gate 7 will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Meal tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Advance reservations are required. Seating is limited and reservations will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 8, at 12 noon on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following the dinner, a photo and autograph session with the ECU football team is scheduled on Bagwell Field starting at approximately 8 p.m. Free football posters and schedule cards will be available and officially licensed ECU souvenirs will be on sale. There is no admission charge for this portion of the evening.

For ticket ordering information, call (252) 328-4530. Checks may be mailed to: Meet the Pirates, ECU Sports Marketing, Ward Sports Medicine Building, Greenville, NC 27858..

Date dampens demand for WVU-VPI ducats

West Virginia, which expects to soon surpass the 25,727 season tickets it sold a year ago, is 10 days into a campaign to sell single-game tickets and has reportedly run into unexpected lethargy from fans regarding one game in particular. According to the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, an expected rush for tickets by bitter fans eager to cast scorn on Virginia Tech when the Hokies come to town for their final appearance before departing for the ACC has failed to materialize. The reason: The Oct. 22 matchup is one of those Wednesday night made-for-ESPN accommodations. The paper reports that WVU has sold more tickets for home games with Rutgers (2,612), Cincinnati (1,214) and Central Florida (1,199) than for Tech (1,132).

Non-BCS CEO's sign up in big numbers for Cowen summit

Presidents of 44 of the 53 Division I-A schools which do not belong to college football's Bowl Championship Series have agreed to join Tulane University President Scott Cowen in a "dialogue" on altering the BCS alliance and urging the NCAA to support higher academic standards and reconsider its new Division I-A membership criteria, according to a Tulane announcement. The presidents will take part in a July 22 teleconference convened by Cowen to discuss the issues. Representatives from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the NCAA have also signed up for the session. NCAA president Myles Brand has indicated he will listen in to the discussions. Tulane officials say that a press briefing will be held immediately after the exchange.

Monetary affairs discourage in-state rivalry

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas State coach Steve Roberts has no reservations about what being able to schedule a game against SEC neighbor Arkansas would mean to his football team. "I think it would be a major step for our program," said Roberts. However, it's a step that likely won't happen any time soon. The two schools have never played each other and money is the first barrier. Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles said scheduling home-and-home non-conference games means the Fayetteville school misses out on about $2 million at the gate. Plus, those in Fayetteville like the current setup. Arkansas State, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, isn't ready to push the matter because it is trying to meet requirements to remain an NCAA Division I-A program. The school's athletic director, Dean Lee, is hoping to attract prominent nearby schools to War Memorial, such as Ole Miss, Oklahoma State or Louisiana Tech. Developing home-and-home series with Division I-A teams is a must for meeting NCAA scheduling and attendance standards. The Indians need to average 15,000 in home attendance and must play at least five home games against I-A opponents starting in 2004. Two of the school's five home games this season are against I-AA programs Tennessee-Martin and Southeast Missouri State.

49er keep one, lose one

Charlotte basketball coach Bobby Lutz has announced that he has accepted the request of 6-8 senior forward Kevin "Butter" Johnson to return to the team, reversing Johnson's decision to transfer earlier this year. "I believe in giving second chances to people when the situation merits it," said Lutz. Johnson, from the Bronx, NY, was fourth on the team last year, with a 6.6 scoring average and 3.5 rebounding average. Meanwhile, Raleigh sophomore Vincent Grier says he is transferring from the 49ers program. Grier, a 6-6 reserve forward/guard, averaged 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds for the 49ers, while averaging just under 20 minutes a game as a freshman.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, Associated Press, ECU, Conference USA and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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