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News Nuggets, 10.01.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Fans show ECU ticket office they're not ready to give up the ship


09.30.03: Avast ye scurvy dogs! 'Bones' to officially fly in Ficklen... .. ECU releases 'new formula' hoops schedule... .. ACC, Miami lawyers squabble with Big East attorneys... .. More...
09.29.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. Cincy rolls out ticket promotion for USM game... .. Polls unkind to unbeaten TCU; Cardinals, Wolfpack on the cusp... .. Marquette books Costa Rican hoops journey... .. More...
09.28.03: Administrative shakeup continues at East Carolina... .. Bower elevates freshman to starting QB role... .. Famed actor's son leads Morehouse past Johnson C. Smith... .. Mean Green tie NCAA record for safeties in Sun Belt win... .. More...
09.27.03: Tuition jackpot and other booty on the line for ECU students... .. C-USA alums picked for Olympic baseball trials... .. TV shifts Louisville-TCU basketball game... .. Maine handed a 'W' in Isabel-canceled William & Mary game... College football TV capsules for Saturday... .. More...
09.26.03: Muse resignation paves way for Cowen to make NCAA waves... .. Ticket deals announced for ECU-Houston game... .. Pirates set out in pursuit of Omaha treasure... .. Tulane says to students: 'Get on the bus, Gus'... Three-year walk-on earns SLU hoops grant... .. More...
09.25.03: Hattiesburg greets Husker Nation with open cash registers... .. Tickets running out for Southern Miss-Nebraska battle... .. 'Horns vs. Wave equals infantry vs. air force... .. Isabel leaves impact on William & Mary football schedule... .. More...
09.24.03: Relaunch of Pirates' jayvee football program a winner... .. USM's Davis online today for ESPN Chat Show... .. Frogs coach suspended following arrest ... .. Another parking infraction keeps FSU quarterback in hot water... .. More...
09.23.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. C-USA executives meet face-to-face instead of by phone... .. Fox-ESPN rights conflict nixes TCU-Arizona TV... .. Horned Frogs cruise upward in weekly rankings... .. AP and USA Today/ESPN Polls... .. More...
09.22.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. C-USA executives meet face-to-face instead of by phone... .. Fox-ESPN rights conflict nixes TCU-Arizona TV... .. Horned Frogs cruise upward in weekly rankings... .. AP and USA Today/ESPN Polls... .. More...
09.21.03: USM sells cut-rate tickets for matchup with Huskers... .. TCU names football field for Texas oil baron... .. Athlon picks 49ers No. 2 in C-USA hoops behind Cincinnati... .. More...

East Carolina's struggling football team can look to its rabid followers for inspiration and the encouragement to persevere.

Pirate fans showed up in force — 33,250 of them to be precise — for Tuesday night's nationally-televised home game against Houston.

For a weeknight game which fans could choose to watch from their living rooms on ESPN2, it was a remarkable turnout for a program off to its worst start since 1986.

The Pirates lost to the 4-1 Cougars 27-13, falling to 0-5 for the first time since the second year of Art Baker's tenure as ECU's head coach, but the team take solace in knowing the fans will converge on Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in near-record numbers for the next home game.

The purple and gold diehards sent a clear signal with their wallets that they are enthusiastically committed to the cause, at least for the time being, based on the ECU athletic department's announcement prior to last night's game that the Pirates' Oct. 11 home game against North Carolina is officially a sellout.

All available tickets for the Tar Heels' first-ever visit to ECU's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium had been sold as of noon on Tuesday, excluding ECU student tickets that have been set aside for pickup for the week of the game.

The game will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised throughout the state by six network stations, including originating station WITN-TV of Washington/Greenville.

Other stations carrying the game will be WRAL in Raleigh, WXII in Winston-Salem, WJZY in Charlotte, WECT in Wilmington, WBSC in Greenville(SC)-Spartanburg-Asheville.

Should any tickets be returned to the ticket office prior to the game, they will be made available for public sale at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, the day before the game.

Check, the school's official athletic department web site, for any announcements regarding the availability of returned tickets.

Vols' thoughts with critically ill player

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee reserve center Chuck Prugh was listed in critical condition Tuesday in intensive care with an unknown illness.

Prugh was admitted to University of Tennessee Medical Center last Friday, discharged briefly, readmitted the next day and has remained there since.

"Chuck is about the same - in stable condition, hasn't improved, hasn't gotten worse," coach Phillip Fulmer said Tuesday.

UT Medical Center spokeswoman Karen Bultman said his condition was critical but couldn't give any other details.

Fulmer also wouldn't say whether doctors had diagnosed his illness, citing new laws that protect the privacy of medical records.

"That's all I can tell you about it," Fulmer said. "Hopefully he'll do well, and everybody's prayers and thoughts are with him."

Prugh started to have flulike symptoms Sept. 23 and took antibiotics, but couldn't recover.

Prugh transferred to Tennessee from Carson-Newman in 2000 as a walk-on and was awarded a scholarship this fall. He is the backup for starter Scott Wells.

11-team configuration vexes ACC schedule makers

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Scheduling formulas and perpetuating rivalries were topics at an Atlantic Coast Conference business meeting Tuesday, but athletic directors said expansion was not discussed.

"This was not a meeting about expansion," Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman said after two sessions that lasted about six hours. "We have enough on our agenda without having to worry about that."

The conference will add Miami and Virginia Tech next season, creating an 11-school league. The focus of the meetings is determining the best way to set up its schedules for basketball, football and Olympic sports.

Athletic directors also dismissed rumors that Notre Dame and Boston College were being targeted as a possible 12th ACC team. The talk has increased since an ACC proposal to allow 10-team leagues to hold a lucrative football championship was rejected by an NCAA panel last week.

"We did not discuss expansion," said Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver, who led a school contingent to its first ACC meetings. "I don't think expansion is even on the agenda. It's not on my agenda."

Lee Fowler, athletic director at North Carolina State, said 11-team schedules are more difficult to set up because coaches, athletic directors and others all have ideas about what's best for their school.

"We've had a lot of meetings that coaches have had, that (senior women administrators) have had, so we're hearing a lot of reports back from some of them about what they'd like to do and what their preferences are," Fowler said, adding that a lot of the preliminary work was completed to allow Wednesday's sessions to produce some scheduling resolutions.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford declined to speak with reporters Tuesday as he left the building, but said any conclusions reached in the meetings will be detailed during a news conference Wednesday.

Among the predominant topics are whether to break the conference into divisions or allow it to compete as one big division, and how best to create perpetual opponents that will allow rivalries to continue.

Virginia football coach Al Groh said Monday that he imagines Virginia would draw Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland as its so-called partners, the latter two because of long-standing border rivalries.

Some schools are mutually interested in keeping rivalries going, Fowler said, and others that might seem like natural choices may go by the wayside as the league tries to juggle partners for all 11 schools.

"Everybody — every fan, every Internet guy — is not going to be happy with everything, but we've got to try to work out what's best," he said.

"We try to get to one, then talk about two. Everybody's not completely happy, but hopefully by tomorrow we'll be able to work it out and come up with something we all agree on, or at least the majority agrees on."

The athletic directors hope, at the least, to have details about how their football schedule will be set up by the end of the two-day meeting.

Plans call for each football team to play eight conference games.

"I'd be awfully disappointed if we didn't get to it," Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage said of the football details. "I think we have to have a football schedule tomorrow when we leave here."

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

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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