Dynamics beyond the sidelines
More Than a Game
Sunday, May 22, 2005
By Ron Cherubini
circular logic, Tranghese-style
If ever East Carolina
officials want to make a case against Mike Tranghese's argument that
television market merits a key to the Bowl Championship Series vault, which
in turn fosters success on the field, Temple's example should be exhibit No.
They can remind Tranghese that
his stated guidelines in restocking his decimated league with teams do not
square with how meaningless those differentiators were in the case of the
Owls, who were unceremoniously thrown out of the Big East after the 2004
Yet, that seemed to be the
logic put forth by Tranghese in indirectly labeling East Carolina as not a
good fit in the primarily northern-based league.
Temple, located smack dab in
the heart of Philly, presumably has all the key factors going for it in
terms of ingredients for success — at least by Big East standards: huge
television market, fine facilities, name recognition, almost exclusive first
dibs on South Jersey and Philadelphia metro public schools, large and
growing student and alumni base, tourist draw… everything that ECU is
Bobby Wallace is a fine coach,
too. The former ECU assistant under Pat Dye won three Division 1-AA titles
at Northern Alabama and was quoted the other day in the Philly papers as
saying, “Hey, it’s not like I all of a sudden I forgot how to coach,” when
asked about his failure to turn around the Owls program.
In the Mid-American
Conference, I believe that Temple will produce respectable competition but
still won’t be a contender — that league is too good. But, then again, had
the Owls stayed in the new Big East, they probably would have been
competitive too given the decline in league's power quotient now that Miami,
Boston College and Virginia Tech are gone.
Here’s hoping that the Owls
turn it around in their new conference.
May I rant?
The latest debates raging in
the North Carolina Legislature only serve to ratchet up my discontent with
the state government apparatus. The fact that UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State
have enough power to even get their bid for freedom to reclassify
out-of-state scholarship students as in-state for tuition purposes is
What in the world is the UNC
System Board of Trustees thinking?
I often wonder that. Back
during the whole ACC raid of the Big East, the only action our state
legislature took was the governor giving the governor of Virginia a phone
call to let him know that N.C. supported his move to get Virginia Tech into
Where was the support for ECU.
With friends like these, who
needs enemies? You would think that as stewards of the taxpayers’ funds and
advocates of the broader UNC system, the legislature would be livid that ECU
is not in a BCS conference, raking in a cool $8M plus just for showing up.
Instead, however, it seems that too many legislators allow their rooting
interests for their alma maters to trump what's in the public's overall best
interest when it comes to matters of money and privilege.
It is a sad state of affairs
when the state’s third-largest academic institution can’t get unqualified
support from those who should be out front leading the charge. The guilty
parties should be embarrassed and ashamed for their overt tendencies to
publicly devalue ECU, the academic choice for thousands of the children of
North Carolina each year.
Can we secede from the UNC
Former ECU soccer standout
Clyde Simms, a 23-year-old from Jamestown, NC, made the headlines last week,
being selected for Bruce Arena’s U.S. National Team. That is no small feat
for any player playing in the U.S., and it is doubly impressive given the
fact that Simms was the only player invited to the selection camp who didn’t
have MLS experience. And, he was a replacement player at that, due to a
dispute the United States Soccer Federation and players were in at the time.
Even after the two sides resolved their differences, Simms was asked to
remain and train with the national side. In that training, he impressed a
lot of people.
That camp time, more than his
impressive professional debut with the Richmond Kickers of the USL First
Division, led to a professional contract with MLS powerhouse D.C. United
back in February. Simms’ meteoric rise culminated in his selection to the
Perhaps Simms’ accomplishments
will have the impact that Blue Edwards had when the Utah Jazz selected the
shooting guard as the 21st overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft.
For the NCAA Selection
Committee to snub the ECU softball team because of a weak OOC schedule is
what is weak. When a team wins 55 games — second best in the nation, by the
way — you place them in the tournament. A quick exit from the C-USA
Tournament really should have had no bearing whatsoever. The tournament
should only have served to help ECU should they have advanced, but not hurt
them. Their league record was plenty good to mitigate whatever concerns the
committee could come up with in regards to ECU’s short stay at the league
No, I believe ECU was simply a
victim of a selection process heavily weighted to the big conferences. It
might even be that the committee was just plain lazy and didn’t take the
time to investigate teams like ECU. Whatever the reason, the gals were
shanked. You play the games that are on your schedule and that is all you
can do. No disrespect to South Florida, but if it qualified then it only
drives home the point that ECU was shanked.
And that really sucks.
If anyone wants an indication
of just how different the attitude on the football team is these days, one
only need to take a look a the young bucs — those players who are only
Pirates by signature and not yet on campus. In interviewing the incoming
class of scholarship players for the forthcoming 2005 Edition of Bonesville
The Magazine, there was a clear and common thread: get to ECU as soon as
possible. An unprecedented number of the incoming class is scheduled to
arrive in June and be in classes for second summer session. This bunch wants
to be in the system ASAP, learning and working out with their new teammates.
Kudos to this coaching staff for selling the program in such a manner that
these kids cannot wait to get on campus. … Speaking of players coming into
the program, sources are indicating that J.J. Millbrook, Quentin Cotton, and
Marcus Hands are apparently hitting the books and hitting them hard this
summer, making the final push to ensure qualification for the Fall. The
three leave no doubt about their talents on the field and their impact on
the Pirates should be immediate, but it is refreshing to know that academics
are being focused on daily. … Speaking of Fall additions to the roster,
sources are indicating that it is a real possibility that quarterback James
Pinkney may actually regain eligibility this summer. Early rumors were that
the talented young QB had dug himself too deep a whole for anyone to
seriously consider that he might return, but now it is looking like a real
possibility which will be welcome news for the program. … Anyone expecting
to get a preview of the new unis for the Pirates — forget it! You are going
to have to buy a ticket to the Duke game to get a first look at the new
gear. Rumor has it that the uniforms will have a much more traditional look
with Purple/White at home and White/Purple on the road. I was given a pretty
detailed description of the unis, but it was off the record so I can’t
elaborate. I will say, however, that to identify one of the big changes,
look at the hElmEts.
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02/23/2007 02:05:52 PM