We’ve seen some odd decisions by athletic departments this fall (EcoKat, anyone?) but this might be the most puzzling of all.
ECU did not qualify for a bowl game this year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to sit quietly during bowl season. The Pirates are trying to sell tickets to a non-existent bowl game they are dubbing the “2011 Virtual Bowl.”
It gives Pirates fans the chance to buy tickets in an attempt to outsell other schools – like Virginia Tech, perhaps? – who are actually playing in a postseason game.
Check the e-mail from the ECU Pirate Club, which read in part: “Tickets for the Virtual Bowl are $50 a piece and can be purchase by calling the Pirate Club Offices at 252-737-4540 or by going online at ecupirateclub.com. Virtual Bowl tickets purchased will be tax deductable and donors will receive one priority point for every ticket purchased. All proceeds from the Virtual Bowl will go towards the ‘Step-Up To The Highest Level Campaign.’ Go Pirates!”
All proceeds are going to a new basketball facility but not only is the Virtual Bowl not a bowl game, it’s not even an event. It’s all just a marketing ploy to receive more athletic department donations.
Our take? It would be more dignified for someone in the department to stand in downtown Greenville with a beggar’s cup.