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Montgomery reacts to UNC suspensions

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East Carolina football coach Scottie Montgomery during practice Tuesday morning at the Cliff Moore Practice Facility.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

East Carolina was on the football practice field Tuesday morning after having an off day Monday, the same day North Carolina suspended 13 players for selling team-issued Nike Jordan shoes.

UNC will be without 10 of those players, including quarterback Chazz Surratt, when it plays at ECU on Sept. 8 during Week 2 of the college football season.

“A lot of them are in situations where each decision that they make now is front-page news,” ECU coach Scottie Montgomery said after Tuesday’s practice. “We are not making excuses for anybody or for them for that matter, but it’s just that these are mistakes that if you are not representing a university or a school or your family, then it may not seem like that big of a deal. The truth is I know how coach (Larry Fedora) coaches them and I know how their support system is, so it is just unfortunate.

“I know a lot of those young men and where they come from and their parents, from recruiting, so it is a very hurtful time for a lot of people. Of course we have a lot of life lessons that we teach with our kids here, and not that we are adding one, but we are going to continue to reiterate that it’s just as simple as right and wrong.”

The Tar Heels open their season at California, and this will be their first time starting with consecutive road games since 2001. They lost in their last two trips to Greenville.

ECU opens with a home game against North Carolina A&T.

Montgomery continued to laud the Pirates’ quarterback play, led by Reid Herring, on Tuesday, but he also said the run game missed on some chances for big plays.

“(Defensive coordinator) David Blackwell did a good job mixing up some fronts a little bit and he brought some pressure that we haven’t seen and Reid was able to get adjusted and protect it really well, but that is not what is going to make us a good football team this year,” Montgomery said. “We’ve known that we are going to be pretty good at quarterback and receiver. ... We have the people in the backfield now to get it done and it’s the mental aspect of running the football and we have to be better than we were today.”

The team continued its schedule of all-morning practices. Workouts will be even earlier in the morning when classes begin in two weeks.

“It’s a great start to the day and you are not thinking about practice the whole day when you are in class,” sophomore starting center John Spellacy said. “This way we can focus in the meeting rooms and everything and then go to class and we can focus on school. I’m not going to lie that last year a little bit you are kind of focusing on football practice when you are in class.”

The players wore shoulder pads and helmets for practice. They will be in full pads Wednesday for the first time in preseason camp, and the first scrimmage is set for Saturday.

“Once the shoulder pads come on we are engaging and using our hands and so forth, but tomorrow it comes on completely and it needs to be a (physical) mindset all the time,” offensive line coach Don Mahoney said. “We are not anywhere where we need to be and as physical as we need to be, but we are going to keep demanding and pushing and they are going to respond to it.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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Humans of Greenville

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Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

November 21, 2018

It is a question to which only people deeply rooted in the East Carolina football program can provide the best answers: Who is Tyler Snead?

“Obviously he is not the biggest kid, but he is going to work hard,” ECU starting quarterback Holton Ahlers said.

Snead is a Pirate freshman…

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November 21, 2018

East Carolina’s basketball team is seeking another win tonight, but with limited turnovers.

ECU (3-2) began a busy week Monday night with a 69-64 victory over Texas-Rio Grande Valley despite ECU giving away 26 turnovers. It came a few days after the Pirates had 21 turnovers in a loss at…

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November 19, 2018

Regional opponents for East Carolina basketball gave way to a visit Monday night from a school located at the southern tip of Texas just above the U.S.-Mexico border.

ECU withstood the unfamiliar test, taking control of the game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley during the first 12 minutes in Minges…

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November 19, 2018

The Cincinnati Bearcats do not have much time to sulk after losing their marquee game of the college football season, and head coach Luke Fickell was mindful of that on Monday morning, just four days in advance of his team’s home kickoff against East Carolina on Black Friday.

The Bearcats (9-…

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November 19, 2018

East Carolina football was back to practice Monday morning, one day earlier than usual because the Pirates play on Friday this week instead of Saturday.

ECU (3-7, 1-6 American Athletic Conference) also is back to playing the role of underdog. Cincinnati (9-2, 5-2) is listed as an 18-point favorite…

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November 19, 2018

A couple entertaining runs by star-in-the-making freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers quickly guided East Carolina to 100 and then 150 rushing yards Saturday night versus Connecticut in ECU’s final home football game of the season.

Then 150 became 200 and 200 to 300 and 300 to 400.

By the end…

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November 18, 2018

There was little that was easy or routine about the East Carolina women’s basketball team’s win over energetic Kennesaw State on Sunday night in Minges Coliseum for a 4-0 start to the season, even though the final score appeared lopsided as a 68-56 victory for the Pirates.

The second…

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November 18, 2018

A rather uneventful weekend of college football played out in North Carolina, but stay tuned because key Atlantic Coast Conference matchups await with North Carolina hosting N.C. State and Wake Forest traveling to Duke.

The Blue Devils will enter as the best team in the state. Here are The…

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November 18, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing the Connecticut at East Carolina football game for ECU’s senior day. The favored Pirates cruised to a 55-21 win.

Here and the answers and more insight:

1. Which East Carolina running back gets the…

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November 18, 2018

East Carolina’s women’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start under interim head coach Chad Killinger, but Killinger is not ready to take all of the credit.

It has been a group effort, Killinger said, with three players already averaging in double-figure scoring and assistant coaches…

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