FIU's Conference USA Opponents Series continues with the East Carolina Pirates. Although ECU will bolt for the American Athletic Conference (AAC, formerly the Big East Conference) in 2014, the Pirates will play in Conference USA this coming season.
A couple of buildings on the campus of ECU have the name of a former FIU linebacker . . . . At one point in ECU’s history there was a ratio of female-to-male students that many a male would like . . . . The founder of one of the most profitable and popular sports/entertainment companies is an ECU alum as is an Oscar-winning "football mom" actress.
In the previous FIU’s Conference USA Opponents Series you got to know:
Now it’s time to learn about the East Carolina Pirates . . . .
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
GREAT CO-ED RATIO FOR MEN
Initially, tuition at East Carolina University was free for all students who pledged to teach for two years. Tuition cost $45.00 for students who did not want to teach for two years. In total, 104 women and 19 men along with 11 faculty members were on hand for the first day of classes in 1907. That’s a ratio of five females students to one male student. Four years later on June 11, 1911, 16 students -- all females -- became the first graduating class at East Carolina. There were no male ECU graduates until 1932.
TEACHERS PLAY FOOTBALL AND NOT WELL
Before football began at ECU, the three sports played were basketball, tennis and cross country walking. Yes, you read that correctly, cross country walking.
East Carolina started football in the fall of 1932. The team played under the nickname “Teachers” because the school was a teacher training school. The team played five games in 1932 and did not score a point the whole season, while opponents scored a combined 187 points. In the 1933 season, the Teachers lost the first four games and did not score a point. The first victory in school history came against Campbell on November 11 of that season. The final score was 6-0. (Photo above of 1933 ECU football team made up of teachers)
LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL MVP AND DORMS HONOR?
Former FIU linebacker Jarvis Wilson (above) won the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Defensive MVP award after the Panthers defeated Toledo. Coincidentally, the first two dorms built on the ECU campus in 1909 were named the Jarvis and Wilson buildings.
VACATION AT THE REC CENTER
East Carolina’s recreational complex is located on 129-acres of land north of the main campus. If you want to skip class and hang out in the rec area there is a lake on a 51,000-square foot beach, a 2,000-square-foot boat house with canoes and kayaks for rent. Other amenities include sand volleyball courts, horseshoes, grills, fitness equipment, six walking/running trails, a disc golf course, and an Odyssey Course which includes a 300-foot zip line.
PIRATES OF THE CAROLINA COAST
Pirates have long been associated with the North Carolina coast. One of the most famous pirates, Blackbeard, resided in the North Carolina coastal communities of Bath, Beaufort and Ocracoke. ECU’s mascot is based on Blackbeard. ECU officially became the Pirates in 1934.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS PRODUCE A FRUIT SALAD
In 1975 former ECU football coach Sonny Randle left the Pirates to coach at Virginia. Upon his exit Randle said that the difference between the Virginia program and the ECU program "was like comparing apples and oranges."
ECU destroyed Virginia 61-10 that season after the game ECU fans, including then Chancellor Leo Warren Jenkins, threw tons of apples and oranges onto the field late in the fourth quarter and chanted "We Can Handle, Sonny Randle.”
The ECU men’s basketball team was CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournaments (CIT) champions in 2013. In 1957, the men's swimming and diving team became the first team at ECU to win a national championship. In 1961, the Pirates won the NAIA Baseball World Series championship to claim East Carolina's first national championship in baseball. East Carolina defeated the Sacramento State Hornets 13-7.
Famous ECU alums include: World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon, Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”), actress Emily Procter (CSI: Miami), James Maynard, who founded Golden Corral restaurant chain, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson.
BLACKBEARD’S GHOST ROAMS CAMPUS
According to former ECU football player Jerry Tolley, who played in 1965: “Around East Carolina University this story is told: Two weeks before the battle at Ocracoke Inlet, Blackbeard with treasure in hand and accompanied by a small crew, sailed up the Pamlico River and then rowed a small boat up the Tar River. Blackbeard buried his valuable plunder on what today is the campus of East Carolina University.
“Still today, true East Carolina Pirate believers who walk the campus late at night after a great Pirate victory tell the same story of seeing the ghostly image of Blackbeard, dressed in his long Royal Purple coat, broad black hat, Old Gold knee-trousers, and high black boots, along with his devilish band of loyal pirates, wildly-roaming the East Carolina campus, pistols drawn and sabers waving in celebration of another Pirate victory.”
Or the East Carolina Pirate believers see Blackbeard after a few too many adult beverages at an ECU football game.
Before ECU officially became the Pirates, the university used a live wildcat mascot from 1930–1931. No evidence that the wildcat escaped like live the panther held by former FIU coach Don Strock during a Miami Herald photo shoot in 2004. Fortunately, there was a trainer on hand that day at FIU Stadium and the panther was caught.
ECU athletics has an autograph policy for its fans. Click the following link to read it: http://www.ecupirates.com/compliance/ecu-compliance-autograph.html