Practice set to begin

Fall football practice at ECU is only a week away, and as is always the case this time of year everyone is upbeat, and optimistic about the Pirates' chances for a successful season.

Head coach Skip Holtz still must wait to find out for sure that last year's quarterback James Pinkney will make the summer school grades needed to return to the team. His experience under center would make a huge difference, especially in the early games. As for now, Pinkney is participating in the voluntary workouts with the other QBs. Early games against ACC foes Duke and Wake Forest will serve as barometers for how the year might go for the Pirates. The fragile psyche created by two years of futility under former coach John Thompson might resurface should ECU suffer losses in both games. The Pirates enter there first year in the newly revamped Conference USA. Newcomers to the schedule include Rice, Southern Methodist, Marshall, Tulsa, and Central Florida. The renewed series with Marshall will bring back memories of the old Southern Conference to some longtime ECU fans. Overall, this year's schedule is a good one for a team seeking to rebound.

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