ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert gives update on conference realignment
“I am on the phone daily making sure that I have a full grasp of what is going on nationally.”
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert says they are getting closer with fundraising to build a new football indoor practice facility, a baseball building, a larger weight room, and a teams building expansion to help house Olympic sports teams.
The big topic Gilbert addressed Monday morning though was conference realignment.
“If you look over the last 48 months in intercollegiate athletics there has been what I would call turmoil and chaos,” says Gilbert.
ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert spoke on the NCAA conference realignment landscape. Gilbert seems happy with where the Pirates sit in the American Athletic Conference.
“We sell a lot of tickets, we have a lot of people come to our games if you look at our ESPN and ESPN+ broadcasts we are at the higher end of our peers,” said Gilbert, “The more things we can be the best version of ourself the better we look from an attractiveness standpoint and the more revenue we create for ourselves in the American Athletic.”
The Pirates conference has dealt with realignment already this year losing three schools to the Big 12 and adding six others. Gilbert feels the shifting of conferences is nowhere near complete.
“I am on the phone daily making sure that I have a full grasp of what is going on nationally,” Gilbert says, “And then also certainly am keeping the chancellor abreast you know what is real, what the discussions are, and financially where everything is.”
Gilbert was asked might ECU switch conferences to get in a better financial situation?
“Finances are real. Your broadcasting partner, they have to be willing to fund those things,” says Gilbert, “It really is complex when you look at realignment and you also have exit fees.”
Gilbert shared an interesting view of how he would like to see ECU’s competition schedule look. It might be a hint at realignment in the future.
“I am a big believer in regional scheduling and it just makes too much sense,” says Gilbert.
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