No excuse for ECU athletics void
Saturday, October 20, 2018
I read with great disgust the recent Reflector interview with Dave Hart. There is no excuse for the current shape of the East Carolina University athletic department.
Here we are six months after Jeff Compher's firing, and not only does the university not have a permanent athletic director, Hart admitted that the school administration has not even formed a search committee to look for one. This is totally unacceptable.
After blowout losses to Temple and Houston and — barring some miracle — a thumping today by No. 10 UCF, Scottie Montgomery’s long walk down the plank at ECU appears at an end. Yet, if the university fires Montgomery as expected, who wants a job where "who will be my boss" remains an open ended question? Without a permanent AD, no top-flight head coaching candidates will consider Greenville.
This is not Dave Hart's problem. The fault lies primarily with the administration, particularly Chancellor Cecil Staton. Since his arrival, whether it's the disfunction at athletics, the housing debacle, or the band controversy, Staton appears listless and out of his depth. He was clearly not ready to run a university of ECU’s size. It now appears abundantly clear that the UNC Board picked him due to his political affiliation, not his qualifications.
That said, Staton does not shoulder the blame alone. East Carolina's current Board of Trustees saddled the man with several dubious decisions, such as the $60 million stadium expansion, and refused to accept full responsibility for their actions.
The administration talks a great deal about making ECU the "next great national university." Reaching that goal seems a distant possibility as long as the current board and chancellor remain in office. They need to join Scottie Montgomery on the unemployment lines.
The writer is a member of the ECU Class of 2005