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ECU plans to expand stadium to 60,000 by 2016


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#1 ECUPantherFan

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

We went from this...(42,000)

east-carolina-university-dowdy-ficklen-s

 

To where we are now...(50,000)

Dowdy-FicklenStadiumTLS11a_1.jpg

 

Next we're adding 2nd level to the pressbox side, as well as adding a pressbox on top that resembles NC State's.... minus all the red, obviously.  To get us to 60,000.  People didn't think we'd be able to fill 50,000 when we were at 42,000... so I'm sure there will be naysayers, but ECU's fanbase is growing every year, and we're getting 50K for teams like UAB and Memphis.  We'll get 60K when Cincy, UCONN, USF, & co. come to town.

wolfpack07sp-1.jpg



#2 4Corners

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:58 PM

When did NCSU enclose their horseshoe design? I haven't been to a game at the Rowdy Dowdy in a while man. Extremely tough place to play at when ECU brings it. 



#3 kman72

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:59 PM

Never been to ECU, it looks nice though. Do they sell-out regularly? How do ECU fans feel the Big East will change peoples view on ECU? what if they go in and struggle for 2-3+ yrs, will people still support or do they lose fans?



#4 pstall

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:54 PM

i wish they could get 1 other good non conf team in there. besides the typical ACC teams.

 

what football conf are they in now?



#5 ECUPantherFan

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

Never been to ECU, it looks nice though. Do they sell-out regularly? How do ECU fans feel the Big East will change peoples view on ECU? what if they go in and struggle for 2-3+ yrs, will people still support or do they lose fans?

 

Thanks!  Yeah, it is a really nice campus and great stadium.

 

ECU fans are pretty excited about joining the New Big East (AAC or The American Conference) but I'd say we are MORE excited about getting the heck out of Conference USA.  The way we look at it, we may not be in the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, or ACC... but we're better off than we were.  If you look at it, had we stayed in C-USA, we'd be playing teams like:

 

UTSA, Rice, UAB, UNC-Charlotte, FIU, FAU, UTEP, etc.

 

Now, in The American Conference, we play teams like:

 

Cincinnatti, UCONN, USF, Temple, Houston, UCF, etc.  It's much, much better.

 

I honestly don't think we'll struggle in this new league.  Louisville and Rutgers will be gone by the time we officially join the league in 2014, and we are improving every year.  But even if we came in had a few subpar seasons, attendance wouldn't drop.  ECU football is the only show in Greenville, and we have rabid fans that would go watch us play anybody, regardless of our record.



#6 ECUPantherFan

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:38 AM

i wish they could get 1 other good non conf team in there. besides the typical ACC teams.

 

what football conf are they in now?

 

The AAC or "The American Conference."

 

We have multi-year home and home contracts with: VT, South Carolina, UNC, NC State, and West Virginia.  We just signed a home and home with BYU, so that will be a good out of conference matchup.  ECU has never hidden from the "Big Boys."  We will play anyone, anywhere, anytime.  I think the main reason they schedule ACC teams is just for regional interest.  (The same reason why we occasionally schedule App State or ODU)



#7 Cary Kollins

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

Never been to ECU, it looks nice though. Do they sell-out regularly? How do ECU fans feel the Big East will change peoples view on ECU? what if they go in and struggle for 2-3+ yrs, will people still support or do they lose fans?

 

 

Honestly, ECU has some of the best fans in the state.  ECU will never lose fans. I attended school there during the John Thompson era when the team was God-awful (3 wins-20 losses), and there were still good crowds every weekend. It's a great environment in Greenville on game day.  Basically the entire town shuts down and everyone is invested in the game.  It really is a great football town.



#8 Panthercougar68

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:57 PM

Went to the App Ecu game in 2009...all I remember was how hot it was in Greenville whew.

 

Great college environment for football though, I had a great time. 



#9 kman72

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:12 PM

No I agree, ECU is in a better place then they were (at least for football)  At first I thought it was a bit dangerous for the school with the uncertainty that was in the Big East at the time. Now that Uconn, Cinci, USF, UCF and Houston are all staying/joined the conference should be solid throughout most sports. 

 

How do you feel the school will do? I feel that ECU will be ok in football, they need to catch up to Cinci and Houston who will be the top 2 IMO. ECU has been around the same level as most of the other programs in recent years. I haven't followed ECU in a couple yrs since Lance Lewis Graduated (friend of mine) I believe Hardy is still there and I really think he is a solid player.

 

Problem is can ECU be competitive in other sports? I feel that is where the move will hurt the most.

 

I am a Charlotte alumni so I am very excited for the program we are starting. We are already signing players of 3* caliber on the regular and really getting a lot of local commitments which I feel is very important. Charlotte is a very strong area for High School football in the state and if we can dictate keeping local talent I see us being very strong. We have added over 20 transfers from Div 1A schools and some Priority Juco players. I really think we can come into Conference USA and contend year in and out. I hope 5-10 yrs down the road we can join the American Conference and create a true rivalry with ECU. 

 

 



#10 Cary Kollins

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 02:01 PM

ECU's new AD, Jeff Compher, was named "Athletics Director of the Year" by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) for his work at Northern Illinois.

 

http://www.ecupirate.../061013aab.html

 


Under his direction, Huskie student-athletes excelled academically as all 17 intercollegiate athletic teams surpassed the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR) each year during his tenure. His department produced seven Academic All-America selections, two National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes, an NCAA Woman-of-the-Year finalist and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner in the last three years.

 

In addition to ranking in the Top 12 nationally in APR in each of the last four years, the NIU football program captured its second-straight Mid-American Conference title last December and became the first MAC team to play in the Bowl Championship Series with its Discover Orange Bowl matchup against Florida State on Jan. 1, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd say ECU is heading in the right direction with this guy at the helm.

 



#11 ECUPantherFan

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:14 PM

No I agree, ECU is in a better place then they were (at least for football)  At first I thought it was a bit dangerous for the school with the uncertainty that was in the Big East at the time. Now that Uconn, Cinci, USF, UCF and Houston are all staying/joined the conference should be solid throughout most sports. 

 

How do you feel the school will do? I feel that ECU will be ok in football, they need to catch up to Cinci and Houston who will be the top 2 IMO. ECU has been around the same level as most of the other programs in recent years. I haven't followed ECU in a couple yrs since Lance Lewis Graduated (friend of mine) I believe Hardy is still there and I really think he is a solid player.

 

Problem is can ECU be competitive in other sports? I feel that is where the move will hurt the most.

 

I am a Charlotte alumni so I am very excited for the program we are starting. We are already signing players of 3* caliber on the regular and really getting a lot of local commitments which I feel is very important. Charlotte is a very strong area for High School football in the state and if we can dictate keeping local talent I see us being very strong. We have added over 20 transfers from Div 1A schools and some Priority Juco players. I really think we can come into Conference USA and contend year in and out. I hope 5-10 yrs down the road we can join the American Conference and create a true rivalry with ECU. 

 

As far as football, I disagree about Houston being in the top 2 in the American.  ECU consistantly beats Houston in every sport, including football.  (Beat them 48-28 last year.)

 

We'll contend for the American football title right away, especially considering Shane Carden (QB) will be a senior in our first season in the AAC.  He's breaking every ECU passing record like it's nothing.  Coach Ruff has seriously increased ECU's football recruiting.  We're getting kids we've never had a shot at before.  With his recruiting ability, and adding teams like UCONN, USF, Cincy, etc to the schedule, we'll have no issue sustaining that level of recruiting.

 

Baseball... we should own the AAC in baseball.  We missed the NCAA Tournament this season (which is extremely rare) but are consistantly hanging around the top 25 every season. 

 

Basketball... we just had the best basketball season in ECU history.  Jeff Lebo is a superb coach.  We received a bye for the first round of the C-USA Tournament for the first time ever.  We won the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament (CIT) for our first EVER postseason tournament championship.  Recruiting in basketball is light-years ahead of where we were 5 years ago.  We're almost finished building a $15 Million basketball practice facility, which has recruits excited.  ECU basketball is heading in the right direction.  Having teams like UCONN and Cincy coming to Minges Coliseum will give ECU a HUGE shot of life into the basketball program.

 

ECU will do well across the board in this new conference, I am confident.  I just hope the league stays together... I'm afraid when the Big 5 conferences decide to expand again, UCONN, USF, & Cincy are the first 3 gone.



#12 kman72

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

In football Houston has been more consistent then ECU for last decade: 

 

Houston   75 wins 53 losses 7 bowl appearances

 

ECU         60 wins 65 losses 5 bowl appearances  

 

NFL: Neither team has really had much impact on NFL roster... highlights are

Chris Johnson (ECU) Garrard (ECU) Lival Joseph (ECU)

Kevin Kolb (Houston) Donnie Avery (Houston) DJ Hayden (Houston)

 

Houston lost Sumlin to Texas A&M which hurt the program, ECU was better last year with 8-4 compared to 5-7 for Houston

 

Overall records for last decade hurt ECU with dismal yrs in 2003 and 2004 where they combined for 3 wins in 2 yrs.The rest was fairly comparable except Houston's 13-1 record in 2011 

 

Couldn't find a head to head for teams. 

 

To be honest it was a lot closer then I had expected. Houston gets more publicity recently with a run on good QB's with Kolb, Keenum and now Piland. Everything else came out very close in the last 5 yrs as far as football is concerned. 



#13 PiratePanther189

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:28 AM



In football Houston has been more consistent then ECU for last decade: 

 

Houston   75 wins 53 losses 7 bowl appearances

 

ECU         60 wins 65 losses 5 bowl appearances  

 

NFL: Neither team has really had much impact on NFL roster... highlights are

Chris Johnson (ECU) Garrard (ECU) Lival Joseph (ECU)

Kevin Kolb (Houston) Donnie Avery (Houston) DJ Hayden (Houston)

 

Houston lost Sumlin to Texas A&M which hurt the program, ECU was better last year with 8-4 compared to 5-7 for Houston

 

Overall records for last decade hurt ECU with dismal yrs in 2003 and 2004 where they combined for 3 wins in 2 yrs.The rest was fairly comparable except Houston's 13-1 record in 2011 

 

Couldn't find a head to head for teams. 

 

To be honest it was a lot closer then I had expected. Houston gets more publicity recently with a run on good QB's with Kolb, Keenum and now Piland. Everything else came out very close in the last 5 yrs as far as football is concerned. 

 

http://www.mcubed.ne...es/hou/ec.shtml

ECU is 7-5 in football against Houston.

 

As far as ECU vs. Houston players in the NFL, they were tied 14-14 until David Garrard's recent retirement gave the edge to Houston 14-13, though I'd give the slight edge to ECU in terms of quality with 3 recent pro bowlers in Garrard and CJ2K as well as 3x Pro Bowl FB Vonta Leach to Houston's none.

 

While I will tell you that, like you mentioned, the 2 John Thompson seasons set ECU football back 2-3 years and it took a while to bounce back. Those were some painful seasons, but were necessary as they caused a shakeup in the entire staff of the Athletic Dpt. that led to Terry Holland (who us Pirates believe is the second coming of Jesus) being hired as AD. Holland made gold out of sh*t and turned ECU into a respectable athletic program with his coaching hires and donor programs in a very short time. In fact, here's a bad ass video featuring Terry Holland:

 

 

He's responsible for putting together the Dowdy Fick expansions, the expansion to Minges Coliseum (http://i517.photobuc...wofAddition.png), and the new olympic sports complex (http://i53.tinypic.com/msynmr.jpg) that brought all of ECU's facilities up to par with most schools in the country.

 

People don't tend to understand a lot about ECU and it's odd growth. It started as a women's school for teaching in the early 1900's (East Carolina Teaching College). It didn't get an accredited business school until the 1970's, and the medical school wasn't fully functional until the late 60's. These schools take a lot of time to fully develop meaning we're talking most of the big grads didn't come until the late 70's early 80's, meaning that most of the potential big donors for the athletic program haven't even retired yet. The fact that not only athletics, but also the school as a whole is already as succesful as it is is quite impressive, actually. ECU doesn't have the consistent donations of a Chapel Hill, NC State, South Carolina, Clemson, or an SEC school because the big income degree progams (BSB,MBA,Medical,etc.) aren't old enough yet. It has nothing to do with the lack of pride by the fans, because anyone who's been to a football game knows otherwise.

 

As far as the Ficklen expansion, I'm proud to see this growth. ECU will forever be the underdog of North Carolina, and I love every second of it. As the program grows, the sky truly is the limit. In all of the college football games I've been to, I have to say that Rowdy Dowdy is one of the funnest sports atmospheres there is. Very underrated, but that's how the Pirates like it, it's how we always have.

 

We will, as ECUPantherfan said, contend in the American. Coach McNeill has picked up where Skip Holtz left off in building this program in a big way. Shane Carden is a Junior that could possibly become the best passer in ECU history (and he's got good company), Justin Hardy is a stud hard working WR that worked his way up from a walk on to a very respected WR all across the nation, the defense is improving, the running game has depth, this program is chock full of talent and I think that this team right now has as much talent as the back-to-back CUSA championship teams.

 

Watch out for us, that's all I've always said. Some people listen, others don't. Very proud day to be a Pirate.

 

Sorry, ya'll got me onto a little ECU rant which I definitely tend to do sometimes, but I'll just leave with this video for people who don't know much about ECU football. I think it's a pretty good way to describe the environment of Dowdy Ficklen Stadium on a typical night game. Skip around as you please, but don't miss the player intros..they're awesome.

 



#14 Niner National

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

I'm not really sure I agree that the AAC is a step up for ECU football. It is a step up from what CUSA has become absolutely, but it isn't really much of a step up from where they used to be.

 

The AAC has some really pathetic football programs. Tulane, Temple, and Memphis are all terrible. UCONN doesn't have a very good history either. They've had basically one good season and they are a big part of the reason that the 5 power conferences planned to exclude the Big East from the BCS. The year UCONN got the auto-bid to a BCS game with a mediocre team pissed off the other power programs that felt they had programs far more deserving. USF has never had much success either. They had a big money backer that helped them get into the Big East with a new football program. They didn't earn it. They bought their way in. They've had one good really good season and a lot of mediocrity.

 

Cincy is a nice program, but far from stellar. They are also probably the most likely program to leave in the near future. Tulsa is a nice program too, but hard to say if it is sustainable long term.

 

I think Houston and ECU definitely have the most football potential long term in the AAC, but they're going to have to do it on their own and not rely on the conference to help them along. If the Big XII ever decides to go to 14 like the other conferences, I think Houston and Cincy are both very possible and likely candidates to go. Two from the MWC are also likely to get called up.

 

The networks have spoken and they deemed that the AAC's entire yearly television contract was worth less than what even the worst power conference teams are worth on their own in a couple of years.

 

Basketball in the AAC should be pretty good. I'll take a wait and see approach to see how ECU's program performs. I keep seeing ECU fans saying the teams in the conference will help them generate interest, but the AAC is still not nearly as good as the original CUSA that ECU played in and the conference did nothing to help them then. I'm not sold on Lebo. Sure he's a better coach that what ECU has had in the past, but he has questionable rotations. Two years ago he didn't play Kemp enough and ECU suffered. Last year he didn't play Akeem Richmond enough and ECU suffered before injuries finally forced him to start Richmond and he excelled and helped carry ECU to the CIT championship.

 

ECU has lost Kemp, Paul, and Sampson from last years team. That is A LOT to make up for. I think this year will be very telling of Jeff Lebo's capabilities. When you have a basketball history as pathetic as ECU's, one down year erases all the strides you've made in the last couple seasons.

 

I like ECU and wish them well. Their football will continue to do its thing or even improve (although I'm not a huge Ruffin McNeill fan), baseball will continue to be a consistent top 30 program, but I'm not sold on basketball making a leap.



#15 PiratePanther189

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:30 PM

I'm not really sure I agree that the AAC is a step up for ECU football. It is a step up from what CUSA has become absolutely, but it isn't really much of a step up from where they used to be.

 

The AAC has some really pathetic football programs. Tulane, Temple, and Memphis are all terrible. UCONN doesn't have a very good history either. They've had basically one good season and they are a big part of the reason that the 5 power conferences planned to exclude the Big East from the BCS. The year UCONN got the auto-bid to a BCS game with a mediocre team pissed off the other power programs that felt they had programs far more deserving. USF has never had much success either. They had a big money backer that helped them get into the Big East with a new football program. They didn't earn it. They bought their way in. They've had one good really good season and a lot of mediocrity.

 

Cincy is a nice program, but far from stellar. They are also probably the most likely program to leave in the near future. Tulsa is a nice program too, but hard to say if it is sustainable long term.

 

I think Houston and ECU definitely have the most football potential long term in the AAC, but they're going to have to do it on their own and not rely on the conference to help them along. If the Big XII ever decides to go to 14 like the other conferences, I think Houston and Cincy are both very possible and likely candidates to go. Two from the MWC are also likely to get called up.

 

The networks have spoken and they deemed that the AAC's entire yearly television contract was worth less than what even the worst power conference teams are worth on their own in a couple of years.

 

Basketball in the AAC should be pretty good. I'll take a wait and see approach to see how ECU's program performs. I keep seeing ECU fans saying the teams in the conference will help them generate interest, but the AAC is still not nearly as good as the original CUSA that ECU played in and the conference did nothing to help them then. I'm not sold on Lebo. Sure he's a better coach that what ECU has had in the past, but he has questionable rotations. Two years ago he didn't play Kemp enough and ECU suffered. Last year he didn't play Akeem Richmond enough and ECU suffered before injuries finally forced him to start Richmond and he excelled and helped carry ECU to the CIT championship.

 

ECU has lost Kemp, Paul, and Sampson from last years team. That is A LOT to make up for. I think this year will be very telling of Jeff Lebo's capabilities. When you have a basketball history as pathetic as ECU's, one down year erases all the strides you've made in the last couple seasons.

 

I like ECU and wish them well. Their football will continue to do its thing or even improve (although I'm not a huge Ruffin McNeill fan), baseball will continue to be a consistent top 30 program, but I'm not sold on basketball making a leap.

 

1. Cincy, Tulsa, Central Florida, South Florida, ECU, SMU, UConn, and Houston all are very talented and growing football programs. Though I agree that The American isn't exactly the bees knees, it will absolutely be better than CUSA of the past few years. I'm sorry but I don't know where you're coming from with that one. Why are you saying that the CUSA of the past is better than the American which will essentially be CUSA's best programs plus UConn and Cincinatti. That makes no sense.

 

2. As far as basketball, Richmond is a defensive liability and a streaky shooter and I don't blame Lebo at all for playing PRC who is a great defender. I think next season Lebo will probably extend Richmond's minutes as he has surely matured as a player but when the season started he didn't deserve more than 20 minutes a game. Maurice Kemp was a skinny slasher with no shooting stroke and a poor FT shooter when he came to the program, Lebo developed him the right way over time. He had to put on weight and improve his shooting before playing big minutes (which he did). In his Freshman-Sophomore form he was a role player. You're point of the loss of Kemp/Paul/Sampson are good, but Lebo has recruited big bodies that should help, and the transfer of Terry Whisnant, a 6'3" PG former starter from Florida State who was a 4 star recruit coming out of high school ought to help just a bit. Kemp is a big loss, but I think Ty Armstrong will suprise and impress a lot of people as a #1 scoring option. Make no mistake, saying your not sold on Lebo means you really may not understand how bad this program truly historically has been. He's a damn good coach and he's all in on ECU. And he's recruited well too.

 

3. You mentioned something about The American's TV Contract. I don't care how much it's worth compared to any of the Big 5 it just isn't worth talking about. C-USA's TV contract is worth half of The American's. That's the reason that this move is important. Money. Double. The. Money. More money for athletic programs.

 

4. Not liking Ruffin McNeill is straight up weird, but I'm going to put it on you just not following the program closely. ECU Alum that lives and dies by this program. The guy is in love with Greenville and ECU, and he's a terrific recruiter with tremendous respect and notoriety across the country. If you don't like him, you don't like ECU.




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