ECU Director of Athletics speaks about conference realignment, ECU planning to stay in AAC

Speaks about Home Opener attendance and NIL Student-Athletes as well
ECU Athletics statement on conference
ECU Athletics statement on conference
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:38 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU Board of Trustees Athletics Committee met Thursday.

With the departure of Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida in ECU’s American Athletic Conference appear to be leaving to join the Big 12.

ECU Athletics gave us a statement they don’t plan to be one of the teams jumping ship.

" We always maintain an awareness of the evolving landscape concerning collegiate athletics and putting ECU in the most favorable position to enhance our profile, thus there have been no formal discussions at this time concerning a change in our current status as proud members of the American Athletic Conference.”

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert spoke about the upcoming expected changes to the AAC at the committee meeting.

“We have the best tv deal as it relates to the other group of 5 leagues. Everyone wants to know what schools we are looking at,” says ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert, “If we were living in the same neighborhood and we had vacant lots inviting people to come in. You can invite that neighbor to come in frustrated and wants to argue with the planning committee that they don’t want to build the square footage house required to live in the neighborhood. They also complain that the HOA fees every month are too high. You also have that neighbor to bring in that they build a pool in the back yard and in the driveway they have an RV and a Grady White boat in the drive. Those are the kind of neighbors we want to identify to bring in our league to help stabilize the other three leaving.”

Mr. gilbert mentioned they have had 60 student-athletes submit forms to be able to receive payment for use of their name, image, and likeness. He says most of them are for social media platforms.

Gilbert also said they expect about 40 thousand fans for Saturday’s home opener against South Carolina.

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