Messages Of Sportsmanship
Sept. 25, 2008
As we welcome back our team after two tough road games, they will need another great effort from the Pirate Nation to help us win an important C-USA game against a high-scoring Houston team.
As you heard me say earlier, the game atmosphere the Pirate Nation created at the West Virginia game was the best that I have seen at any big time event during my 48 years in intercollegiate athletics as a player, coach and administrator. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making game days so special for all Pirates!
The post-game events were the only exception to a perfect game day and resulted from the best of intentions on the part of everyone involved. The Student Pirate Club and the SGA both offered to sponsor an initiative to help athletics pay the $10,000 but as I told both organizations "athletics will happily pay the fine for those fans who simply wanted to go the extra mile to support our team."
CUSA has allocated 40% of the fine to be used to distribute Purple and Gold "GO PIRATES" placards promoting sportsmanship at Saturday's game.
However, we are all now aware of the serious consequences that can result from having unauthorized individuals on the field immediately after a game. The amount of the fine is inconsequential compared to the possibility of losing the opportunity to host CUSA events as well as non-conference regular season games.
It is absolutely imperative that we continue to improve our hospitality to and respect for all fans of both teams. There were isolated reports of harassment of WVU fans, including WVU parents waiting for team members after the game, but there were many more WVU reports of tremendous Pirate hospitality as well as respect for the program you have helped Coach Holtz and his staff build here at ECU.
This is also Family Weekend and a wonderful time for everyone to pull together to stay undefeated in C-USA play and then celebrate the win with the "players storming the stands" instead of vice versa. Another tradition that some fans may not be aware of is the gathering of players, their families and fans around the Pirate statue after the players have taken care of their media responsibilities and showered.
We are all a part of this exciting program. Administrators, coaches, players, students and fans have all made a commitment to building East Carolina Football. After playing three of our first four on the road, we are ready to come home and play in front of our awesome fan base! My favorite part of a home Saturday, is singing the fight song with our band and student body after the game. This is our way to say thank you to everyone in attendance and let you know how much you mean to what we are doing on the field.
Go Pirates and we will see you Saturday!