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News Nuggets, 03.10.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

ECU boosters anoint new lineup of leaders


03.09.05: 49ers' Basden, Pirates' Hammonds honored by C-USA ... Gamecocks' Thompson surrenders to police ... Holiday Bowl doles out highest all-time payout ... More...
03.08.05: ECU QB derby a focus as spring drills kick off ... Pirate pitcher recognized for taming Dogs ... 2004-05 All-Conference USA basketball team ... Cards top trio of C-USA teams in hoops poll ... More...
03.07.05: ACC membership no boon for Miami baseball ... C- USA Tournament brackets and TV lineup ... C-USA Final Regular Season Standings ... More...
03.06.05: C-USA Roundup: Cards buck trend on day of upsets ... C-USA Final Regular Season Standings ... More...
03.05.05: Last chance for Cardinals to earn an outright title ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... SEC football to use instant replay next season ... More...
03.04.05: ECU sprint sensation speeds to the big bucks ... Cards thump 49ers to nail down top seed ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... Spurrier lays down law on behavior at USC ... More...
03.03.05: Burglary rap adds to latest turmoil at South Carolina ... C-USA roundup: 49ers, Cards collide; SLU stuns Tigers ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
03.02.05: Tulane, with an eye on ECU, faces Cincinnati ... South Carolina rushing star gets the boot ... C-USA standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
03.01.05: Self-recrimination mounts for iconic Temple coach ... Louisville, Charlotte, Cincy climb in hoops poll ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
02.28.05: Mother nature stops baseball Pirates' weekend roll ... College baseball coach wins 1,400th game ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
02.27.05: Merritt makes splash at C-USA Indoor meet ... C-USA roundup: 49ers, Cards on collision course ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...

John P. Hudson, an alumnus and prominent Durham Booster, has been tabbed to serve a two-year term as Executive President of the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, the athletics fundraising organization commonly referred to as the Pirate Club.

Hudson, who has served on the governing panels of the ECU Foundation and the ECU Board of Visitors and is a former recipient of the school's Distinguished Service Award, will head the following slate of recently elected Pirate Club officers and Executive Committee directors for 2005-06:

 — Grant Jarman, Greenville, Executive Vice-President
 — S. Earl Boykin, Executive Committee
 — Kenneth L. Gray, Alexandria, VA, Executive Committee
 — Harvey R. Lewis, Greenville, Executive Committee
 — Judy Lovelace, Richmond, VA, Executive Committee
 — Danny Nichols, Greenville, Executive Committee

The school's athletic department announced the new roster of Pirate Club leaders in a Wednesday news release.

The Pirate Club, with 31 community chapters spanning locales from Atlanta to Washington, DC, raises funds to provide athletic scholarships for ECU athletes and to help underwrite capital facilities projects. It has announced 2005 goals of increasing its membership to 9,000 and providing $3.8 million in unrestricted funding for athletic scholarships.

From an ECU Athletics report.

Tournament shocker: USF ambushes Houston

View updated C-USA brackets & TV times in new window

Louisville won its first Conference USA regular season championship in this, its final season in the league. If the Cardinals are to add the conference tournament title to their farewell run, they will have to avoid the kind of stumble experienced by Houston on Wednesday.

Terrence Leather snapped a tie at 64 by scoring with 26 seconds left, and South Florida held on to upset the Cougars 69-64 Wednesday night in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament.

The sixth-seeded Cougars (18-13) came in wanting to boost their chances of landing an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

But No. 11 seed South Florida (13-15) proved that Houston still can't win in the month of March, even under first-year coach Tom Penders. Houston now has lost eight straight games in March dating back to March 1, 2003.

The Bulls will play 21st-ranked Cincinnati in the quarterfinals Thursday night. The tournament is being staged at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.

In Thursday's first contest, sixth-ranked Louisville, which will move to the Big East next season, squares off against Texas Christian after sitting out day one with a bye.

The Cards (26-4) had never earned even a share of the C-USA title until winning it outright this season with a 66-62 victory over DePaul on Saturday.

During its current 15-1 stretch, Coach Rick Pitino's team has an average margin of victory of 17.4 points and is shooting 40.1 percent from 3-point range while outrebounding opponents by 4.7 per game.

The eighth-seeded Horned Frogs (19-12, 9-8) earned the matchup with the league's top team by beating Marquette 60-57 in overtime on Wednesday, as senior Cory Santee, the school's all-time second-leading scorer, hit a 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds remaining.

In Wednesday's other opening-round games, host Memphis routed Saint Louis 79-59 and DePaul defeated Tulane 81-71.

Thursday's quarterfinal matchups in the C-USA Tournament:

(Note: Teams denoted by # had an opening round bye.)

  • Louisville# vs. Texas Christian, 1:00 PM (ESPN Plus)

  • UAB# vs. DePaul, 3:30 PM (ESPN Plus)

  • Charlotte# vs. Memphis (ESPN Plus)

  • Cincinnati# vs. South Florida 9:30 PM (ESPN Plus)

View updated C-USA brackets & TV times in new window

Basden, Pitino cop league's highest honors

Charlotte's Eddie Basden has added the Conference USA Player of the Year award to his growing list of postseason recognition. The senior swingman was named to the All-Conference first team and awarded the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor earlier this week.

Basden, who also was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2003-04, further stepped up his all-around game this season to lead the 49ers to a second-place regular season finish. The senior ranked in the Top 10 in the league in points (10th, 15.3 ppg), rebounds (5th, 8.5 rpg), assists (10th, 3.6 apg) and steals (1st, 3.3 spg).

Louisville’s Rick Pitino was named the Ray Meyer Coach of the Year after directing the Cardinals to their first C-USA regular season championship. The No. 6 Cardinals entered the C-USA Tournament as the top seed and ranked sixth in the country. U of L, which had a bye on Wednesday, will play Texas Christian on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

This is the fourth time Pitino has been honored as a conference Coach of the Year, having earned the SEC’s top coaching accolade in 1990, 1991 and 1996. He has been recognized as a National Coach of the Year three times and ranks among the 10 winningest active NCAA Division I men’s basketball coaches by percentage.

The accolades for Basden and Pitino were announced Wednesday by the league office.

From a Conference USA report.

Marshall football coach hangs up whistle

HUNTINGTON, WV — Marshall football coach Bob Pruett retired Wednesday after nine years at the helm of the program, saying it was time to move on.

The 61-year-old Pruett told the team of his decision in the morning and held a final news conference three hours later. Larry Kueck, Marshall's associate offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will serve as interim coach.

``It's not about winning and losing. It's not about money. It's not about anything I didn't get,'' Pruett said. ``It's just time. It's well thought out. This is not a sudden thing.''

Athletic director Bob Marcum was disappointed, but he respected Pruett's decision.

``There's no doubt, I've tried everything possible to talk Coach Pruett out of it. In fact, I offered him my job,'' Marcum said jokingly. ``I said, 'Listen, if you want to be the athletic director, that's no problem. I'm highly mobile.'

``He said, 'That's crazy. I'm giving up one pressure cooker. Why do I want to take another one?'''

The decision comes as Marshall prepares to enter Conference USA this fall. The Thundering Herd finished their final season in the Mid-American Conference with a 6-6 record, their first non-winning season in 21 years. The school moved to Division I-A in 1997, a year after it won the Division I-AA national championship.

Pruett is the most successful coach in Marshall history, going 94-23 with five MAC championships and five postseason bowl victories.

During his tenure, Pruett coached several future NFL stars, including receiver Randy Moss and quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.

Marshall won the conference championship from 1997-2000 and in 2002. Pennington led the 1999 team to a 13-0 record, capped with a top 10 national ranking.

Pruett, who said his health was fine, wanted to spend more time with his four grandsons.

``I'm not stepping away from Marshall,'' Pruett said. ``All I am is just taking a different role. I'm becoming a supporter and a fan.''

Pruett said he plans to meet with interim Marshall President Michael J. Farrell in April to see if he can continue with the university in another capacity.

Kueck, Pruett's interim successor, plans to make few changes other than to accommodate the roster turnover from last season. An assistant coach at 12 different schools since 1975, Kueck came to Marshall with Pruett in 1996 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for one season, then returned in 2002.

``It's a bittersweet day for me,'' Kueck said. ``Anybody that tells you you're not excited is lying to you. But I'm really going to miss seeing a really good friend every day.''

Pruett signed a contract in 2003 that would have kept him at the school through the 2010 season. He earned a guaranteed $266,000 annually, but the contract stipulated that it could be renegotiated if Marshall changed conferences.

The coach's tenure was marred by a lawsuit filed in 2003 that accused Marshall and several administrators of scape-goating the school's former NCAA athletic compliance director in an attempt to conceal an improper employment scheme for student-athletes. The lawsuit alleges that Pruett and other members of the coaching staff tried to cover up the employment program.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:21 PM


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