ARTICLE OF THE DAY
 
The Wright Stuff

by Eric Gilmore
11/3/05


Home to many of the finest coeds in the Southeast, the Wright Building walkway serves as the epicenter of ECU’s central campus. As a student who sits on those bricks everyday, Eric Gilmore posts his rankings and opinions, “wright” or wrong, on hot button sports topics.

 

High School Football


           Top 11 (4A Only)

 

  1. Independence-Still ranked No. 5 in USA Today National Poll, will have huge test against No. 10 Butler for 87th straight win
  2. J.H. Rose- Rose has to win against New Bern for Coastal title, win will gain home field advantage
  3. Richmond Co.- Raiders have biggest test against Jack Britt on the road, will earn No. 2 seed with win
  4. Wakefield- Wolverines finished regular season undefeated, but haven’t been tested, closest game was an 11-point win
  5. Providence- Panthers are a field goal away from being undefeated, scary team to face in the playoffs, should handle Weddington at home
  6. Garner- Trojans drop one spot after bye week, should handle Knightdale to stay undefeated in regular season
  7. Southern Durham- Spartans continue to win ugly to stay undefeated, beat decent Riverside team 34-12, defense will have to step up in the playoffs
  8. Mount Tabor- Spartans should cruise into playoffs with only West Forsyth loss, will easily take care of South Rowan
  9. Jack Britt- Dropped to No. 9 after shocking 5-point loss to Scotland Co., can redeem themselves with home win against Richmond Co.
  10. Grimsley- Whirlies should beat East Forsyth, could meet J.H. Rose in 4A state championship
  11. Butler- Bulldogs drop to No. 11 with narrow 21-19 win over East Meck, will need to get it together on the road against No. 1 Indy
    
      Are fans judging collegiate athletes too harshly?


When Brandon Fractious emerged for the postgame press conference against UCF, a blind man could tell he had been crying. He had swollen eyes and walked with his head down. His voice cracked and he barely managed to find enough strength to speak.


Fractious, a junior and relatively new to ECU’s system took the brunt of criticism focused on a crucial fourth quarter fumble. On a potential go-ahead drive, Fractious tucked the ball tight fighting for extra yards at the UCF 17. Guard Matt Butler’s helmet inadvertently deflected the pigskin away from Fractious.


The JUCO transfer has unfairly developed a fumbling stigma. Fractious fumbled against USM. Skip Holtz decided to keep him on the bench when he dropped a ball in pre-game warm-ups against Rice. As a backup with limited playing time, fumbling has been the main impression from fans.        


As I celebrate my birthday, (thanks for the well-wishing), I come to realize how young these collegiate athletes really are. Not that I’m on some holier-than-thou soapbox, but honestly think about what a cross-section of 100 student-athletes from different backgrounds are going through.


I have trouble maintaining decent grades with my work schedule. Heck, I have trouble just going to class. As is par with most college students, I struggle to pay my utility bill. And believe me, I’m fortunate. Just this week I had to register for classes, turn in a job application and take two mid-terms. Not that I need sympathy (which I welcome), but it is a mere example of what these student-athletes are going through.


Football players go to class early in the morning. While most of the student body is busy nursing hangovers, the football players are ready for class at 8 am. Yes, even on a Friday. If they don’t go under Holland’s policy, their scholarship could be revoked.


Players have film sessions during the mid-afternoon. Often, the players are required to lift weights as well. Then, the guys are required to attend three-hour practices which commence at 3:30 pm. After an hour break to eat dinner, the players have to go to a mandated study hall.


When do these guys have time to go grocery shopping, turn in job applications or even keep a girlfriend happy? What about spare time to keep up on the daily news or send off an e-mail to a professor? Simply put, they don’t.


So the next time you want to lash out at a Brandon Fractious (who turned 21 less than two weeks ago), think about what is important. Don’t think about Fractious as a football player who’s in college; think about Fractious as a college student who happens to play football.

 


College Football

 

           Top 11

 

  1. USC- Halloween prank proves team is not concerned with Stanford, even more publicity for a team with Snoop Dogg on the sidelines
  2. Texas- Officially jumping off the Texas bandwagon after lackluster performance against Okla. St., talented, but will not make BCS championship game
  3. Alabama- Road tune-up against struggling Miss. St. team, then host LSU and travel to Auburn
  4. Virginia Tech- Decent win against Boston College, but undefeated hopes will end at home against Miami
  5. UCLA- Bruins winning ugly, but still winning, team has magical flair to it, might actually have to play in first-half against Arizona
  6. Penn St.- Nittany Lions are the scariest team in the nation, could seal up Big 10 with win over Wisconsin
  7. Florida St.- Seminoles struggled against Terrapins early, face dangerous N.C. State team at home
  8. Miami- Hurricanes have No. 1 total defense, will bottle up Marcus Vick on the road
  9. Georgia- Bulldogs should rest after Jacksonville loss, national title hopes vanished with Shockley’s injury
  10. LSU- Tough schedule lightens up in hosting Appalachian State, continues to rack up wins
  11. Notre Dame- Golden Domers will embarrass confused Tennessee team at home, Charlie Weis would be governor of Indiana if the elections were tomorrow

 

Heisman Watch

 

  1. Reggie Bush- Didn’t give the ball to Snoop or fake a death this week, but still pretty good
  2. Matt Leinart- Dismantled Wash. St. with 364 yard performance, wide receivers disguise Leinart’s lack of mobility
  3. Vince Young- Lock for New York and Heisman ceremony, will have to go undefeated to have a shot
  4. Brady Quinn- No. 3 in total offense accounting for 348.7 yards per game, will win Heisman next season
  5. Laurence Maroney- Ranks No. 3 in rushing, former teammate Marion Barber ran wild in Dallas, Maroney will have his NFL turn
  6. Brian Calhoun- Junior needs big day against good Penn St. defense, good game might vault him into New York
  7. DeAngelo Williams- Williams played hurt against UAB with ankle injury, getting run down on 76-yard play will hurt long shot chances
          Random Thought of the Week:

       

UAB quarterback Darrell Hackney will be an NFL starter in two years. Losing 30 pounds was the best thing that could have happened to him. Yes, he’s going to be better than David Garrard and Daunte Culpepper. Oh yeah, and Byron Leftwich.


Eric Gilmore
ejg1102@mail.ecu.edu