ECU baseball has been worth following in recent years, and the football record is improving under the new coach. Despite chronic losses, however, fans still wear purple and gold, drive around with Jolly Roger flags waving from their vehicle windows, go tailgating, and attend games. ECU's Pirate has also changed faces over the years, from a retro, stern expression to cute, cartoonish PeeDee to the current, more sinister pirate. Fortunately, the mascot costume still presents the huggable version of PeeDee instead of a scary, ship-robbing terrorist.
A lot of money contributed to ECU is earmarked for athletic programs, but the wins are not proportional to the funding the sports receive. Our facilities are impressive, partly because of donations from wealthy local supporters. Thanks in part to local citizen Bill Clark, the new baseball stadium is named for a former coach, Keith LeClair. The Greenville and eastern North Carolina communities are very supportive of ECU's athletic programs, especially football and baseball, even if the teams are not having winning seasons. Rather than a celebration of skill, however, games are more an excuse to party. Some students are avid club and IM players, but others graduate without ever even attending a single game or working out at the Rec Center. New students should not arrive at ECU expecting a winning season or a losing season, but they should be optimistic and have fun anyway.