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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hoo boy! Here we go, State and ECU fans

Apparently there is a communication breakdown between the athletic departments at N.C. State University and East Carolina University.

Wolfpack athletic director Lee Fowler said on 99.9 FM The Fan on Wednesday the in-state rivals were only going to meet three times over the next eight seasons. Fowler also opined the reasons behind it were that ECU athletic director Terry Holland and head football coach Skip Holtz wanted to be sure ECU could "win and do some things properly."

Holland responded via an ECU press release on Wednesday afternoon.

While I have no first hand knowledge of the circumstance of the comments made on a radio talk show, these are the absolute facts as I know them regarding future football games with NC State:

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.

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