N.C. State-ECU football series stirring up trouble off the field says 850 the Buzz and 99.9 the Fan

Posted by Andy Durham on September 25, 2008 at 9:40 am under College | Comments are off for this article

Big talk on 850 the Buzz this morning with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies and the talk was brewing yesterday at 99.9 the Fan about the N.C. State-East Carolina series. Here’s some of the talk going around on the future of Wolfpack-Pirate football games.

Raleigh, N.C. — There is some controversy about the future of the N.C. State-ECU football series after the two leaders of the schools’ athletic departments provided contradictory accounts Wednesday of what the future holds.

Lee Fowler, the athletics director at N.C. State, and Terry Holland, the director of athletics at East Carolina, had differing ideas of how many games the teams had scheduled between now and 2016.

Fowler joined 99.9 FM The Fan on Wednesday and said that the two schools have reached a scheduling agreement for the near future that works for both sides.

“We play them in ’10, ’13, and ’16, and we haven’t scheduled any further out than that,” said Fowler. “We had more games over those six years, and I think Skip (Holtz) and Terry (Holland) got together and said, ‘We’ve got to make sure we can win and do some things properly,’ so I think they wanted to back off every other year or every year, home and away.”

Holland was under the impression that the schools were still scheduled to play five more games between now and 2016 and said ECU is more than willing to play the Wolfpack.

“The bottom line is that ECU and N.C. State have a signed contract to play in Greenville in 2009, 2012 and 2016 and in Raleigh in 2008, 2010, and 2013,” Holland said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Until there is a different schedule mutually agreeable to both teams, ECU is prepared to continue honoring that contract and expects N.C. State to do the same.”

Dave Horning, State’s senior associate athletics director for men’s sports, said Wednesday night that the schools agreed over the summer to change the dates of two games.

Horning oversees scheduling for the football program and said the games scheduled right now were the three Fowler referred to on The Fan.

“We had an agreement with the athletics departments [to move some dates], which I still believe is the case,” Horning said.

Horning said N.C. State has a letter of agreement this summer that “was basically a letter from Terry to us.”

Horning said the school’s athletics directors, who are good friends, will need to talk to resolve the issue.

Here are the facts according to ECU AD Terry Holland:
1. Skip Holtz and Terry Holland want to play the other public Football Bowl Subdivision institutions in our state (NC State and UNC) as often as possible. These are great rivalry games that are good for the economy of this state and for eastern North Carolina in particular.

2. If NC State and UNC called today and told us that they would each play us home and home every year, we would do whatever necessary to make that work, as we did in 2006 when we moved the Virginia Tech series back a year in order to play at NC State in 2006 and have NC State and UNC in Greenville in 2007. We believe those games are that important to the future of this area economically and otherwise. We are therefore TOTALLY committed to playing games against those institutions whenever the opportunity arises for us to play them.

3. Last spring, NC State and ECU began discussions about moving games around to allow each to achieve their desired home and away “balance.” ECU specifically asked about moving the 2009 game scheduled for Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to the 2010 season. We wanted the local rivalry game with NC State in 2010 when we expect to have completed our East End Zone project that could add between 5,000 and 7,000 seats to our stadium. Our only contracted non-conference home game for the 2010 season is Navy, and having NC State in that particular year would obviously make our season ticket package more attractive for the 2010 season.

4. There have been a number of suggested resolutions to achieve each institution’s desired balance, including playing once every three years in the short term while leading to a longer term agreement to settle the issue of future games when the current coaches and athletics directors are not likely to be in their present positions .

5. However, the bottom line is that ECU and NC State have a signed contract to play in Greenville in 2009, 2012 and 2016 and in Raleigh in 2008, 2010, and 2013. Until there is a different schedule mutually agreeable to both teams, ECU is prepared to continue honoring that contract and expects NC State to do the same.
*****from Jim Modlin, courtesy of ECU Athletics and from Adam Gold and Joe Ovies mornings on 850 the Buzz in Raleigh*****

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