Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

News Nuggets, 01.20.04

Previous Day Nuggets...             Next Day Nuggets...

Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Tigers' 2004 football slate includes journey to Greenville


01.19.04: Ref dies during Wesleyan-Shenandoah game... .. Louisville assistant nabbed for DUI... .. Memphis adds three years to Calipari pact... .. C-USA basketball standings & scoreboard... .. More...
01.18.04: Auburn CEO resigns over secretive plot to change coaches... .. Nutt demands on-air apology from 'goofball' Alberts... .. Drunken fan cuffed after beheading mascot... .. More...
01.17.04: Pitino absent as Louisville makes quick turnaround... .. Southern Miss staggers No. 21 Marquette in Green Bay... .. Kentucky fan gets 27-year exile for web recruiting operation... .. More...
01.16.04: Houston, Hawaii kiss and make up... .. Southern Miss in danger at 'home' in Green Bay... .. Basketball rules changes delayed... .. More...
01.15.04: Punishment in the works for Hawaii Bowl brawlers... .. ECU-U of L tickets: Get 'em while you can... .. Bearcats dispel doubts, rip non-cream puff... .. More...
01.14.04: 'Meet the Baseball Pirates' feast on deck... .. Coach with ECU ties takes over at Citadel... .. USF AD Selmon sidelined by health issue... .. NCAA reverses field on Argentine transfer... .. More...
01.13.04: Charlotte guard honored for 'Demonizing' ECU, DePaul... .. Brindise, McFarland hirings become official... .. Minter hooks up with old boss Holtz... .. AP basketball poll... .. More...
01.12.04: NCAA considers sanctions for academic dawdlers... .. UAB's Finley among candidates for Senior CLASS Award... .. C-USA basketball standings, scores & schedule... .. More...
01.11.04: Punishment looming for Hawaii Bowl brawl... .. Saban assistant takes over UCF defense... .. Hundreds bitten by bogus Sugar Bowl tickets... .. Redick one shot away from new record... .. More...
01.10.04: Las Vegas Bowl ponders overthrow of Liberty Bowl arrangement... .. Clemson duo plans to play for pay... .. Bulldogs' Croon picks up a 'Beamer'... .. Amputee expected to see action in Shrine game... .. More...

The University of Memphis football team will play 11 games during the 2004 football season but just five of those contests are to be played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

"We had a very strong home schedule in 2003 with seven games played in our stadium'" said Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson. "This year we are having to return some of those games, but given the strength and depth of our team, I believe that we will have another great year."

The Tigers, coming off their best season since 1963, won nine games in 2003, including a 27-17 victory over North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl.

Memphis will play three non-conference opponents this fall. The Tigers will face UT-Chattanooga in Memphis and will have road games against Ole Miss and Arkansas State.

Conference USA foes for the fall of 2004 will be the same as the 2003 season with the only change being the location of the match-ups. The Tigers will play Southern Mississippi, Louisville, Tulane and Houston in the Liberty Bowl and will travel to South Florida, UAB, Cincinnati and East Carolina.

"I have said a number of times that Conference USA is a good football league with balance from top to bottom," said Memphis head coach Tommy West. "I'm sure that our league will be very competitive again next season.

"Playing two of our three non-conference opponents on the road will be a great challenge, especially when we have to take on Ole Miss and Arkansas State in their own backyards."

Four of the Tigers' 11 opponents for 2004 participated in bowl games, including Southern Mississippi which played in the AXA Liberty Bowl, Louisville, which played in the GMAC Bowl, Houston, which took on Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl and Ole Miss, which won the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX.

Despite knowing the opponents for 2004, the U of M has not been given the dates of the 11 games. Conference USA will set the dates after conferring with television rights holder ESPN.

Hawaii mascot draws fire for rough antics

The loutish behavior that generated criticism of stadium security after a brawl broke out between the competing teams in the wake of Christmas Day's Hawaii Bowl apparently extends to the University of Hawaii's sideline bit players.

The Warriors' sports opponents and even school officials think the university's Polynesian warrior mascot has gotten too, well, warlike.

Vili the Warrior, played by Vili Fehoko, is being criticized for overly boisterous antics including taunting opposing players and throwing a bracelet at a cheerleader.

In a November football game against the University of Alabama, the 6-foot-tall, 290-pound Vili tossed and made a wrestling-style jump on the school's mascot, an elephant called Big Al played by a student weighing a not-so-big 165 pounds.

"I think Vili took it too far," said Debbie Greenwell, coordinator of Alabama's cheerleading squad. "He really could have hurt our mascot."

Fehoko, a former Polynesian Cultural Center dancer who has played the school's drum-pounding mascot for four seasons, brushes off the complaints. He said he and Big Al had discussed the wrestling stunt ahead of time, although Greenwell disputes that.

"If you understand sports, people understand that," said Fehoko, 38. "That's part of the game. It's all about entertainment. I'm not going to change what I do."

Fehoko certainly has his fans. He's often spotlighted during game telecasts, has appeared in newspaper and television ads and is sought for pictures with fans, opposing coaches and cheerleaders — even referees.

But Vili's antics have university officials saying they may change the mascot program. He most recently was criticized after the Warriors' triple-overtime victory over Houston in the December 25 Hawaii Bowl, which ended the on-field donnybrook marked by Vili's sideline taunting.

"We hear our fans loud and clear," said Tom Sadler, associate athletics director at the university. "We don't condone that type of behavior. We're going to address it."

Asked whether a revamped mascot program would include Fehoko, Sadler said, "We're keeping all our options open."

Most university mascots are students, but Fehoko is paid $400 for each athletic event he performs at, according to his contract.

Sadler said he met with Fehoko to set general behavior guidelines after the incident with the bracelet, which was captured on home video and shown on a local newscast. Sadler said several dozen people have lodged complaints with the school.

Last week, Hawaii and Houston officials announced that a number of players from both teams would be disciplined for their part in the Hawaii bowl fight.

Houston athletic director Dave Maggard lambasted stadium security for tolerating a hostile environment and contended that the fight was not started by Houston players.

Associated Press basketball poll

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 18, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

[Conference USA and Carolinas teams in bold.]

 1. Duke (45) 14-1 1,763 2
 2. Stanford (24) 14-0 1,733 3
 3. Saint Joseph's (1) 15-0 1,548 6
 4. Connecticut 14-2 1,529 1
 5. Louisville 13-1 1,443 8
 6. Cincinnati (2) 13-0 1,429 10
 7. North Carolina 11-3 1,262 9
 8. Pittsburgh 18-0 1,207 13
 9. Kentucky 11-2 1,181 5
10. Wake Forest 11-2 1,072 4
11. Georgia Tech 14-2 1,068 12
12. Kansas 11-2 1,026 14
13. Syracuse 13-1 1,004 17
14. Arizona 11-3 971 7
15. Gonzaga 14-2 921 16
16. Texas 11-2 833 18
17. Florida 11-3 549 15
18. Texas Tech 14-2 530 22
19. Mississippi State 14-1 501 20
20. Oklahoma 10-3 337 11
21. Wisconsin 11-3 303 19
22. Vanderbilt 13-2 292 23
23. Purdue 12-4 247 _
24. Oklahoma State 12-2 140 _
25. South Carolina 16-2 115 _

Others receiving votes: Creighton 107, Maryland 66, Western Michigan 46, Utah State 35, Providence 32, Marquette 25, Illinois 21, LSU 13, North Carolina State 10, Utah 10, Air Force 6, Alabama 5, Hawaii 5, Northern Iowa 4, Boston College 3, Memphis 2, Toledo 2, Dayton 1, Manhattan 1, Rice 1, Southern Illinois 1.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.