In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, collegiate athletic departments all across the country have been left reeling. East Carolina University, who’s department already projected to lose around $7 million in this fiscal year before the virus struck, all of a sudden found itself in the hole anywhere from $10-12 million after the American Athletic Conference canceled its basketball tournaments and the remaining spring sports schedule.

With the fiscal year closing on June 30, however, there has been light at the end of the tunnel for a school that has struggled to find profitability with its athletic programs over the last handful of years.

First, Pirate Nation exceeded some expectations and eclipsed the department’s football season ticket goal of 10,000 by the priority deadline of June 10. A frenzy of sales in the week leading up to that deadline allowed the department to accomplish that goal, even though the guarantee of fans in the stands this fall does not yet exist.

The other piece of good news for ECU’s financial sustainability came in the form of a $3.338 million revenue payout from the AAC that was reported by the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday. The payout, which could not have come at a better time for the Pirates, was the eighth largest in the conference, behind UCF, Cincinnati, USF, Memphis, Temple, Houston and Tulane.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the AAC reported $73.2 million in revenue for the most recent fiscal year that such information is available, a 6% decrease from the year prior. Nevertheless, the American earned around $3 million in revenue and will see its 12-year/$1 billion TV deal with ESPN go into effect at the beginning of July.

Pirates add Cade Miller to 2022 class

ECU baseball’s 2022 recruiting class reportedly received a boost on Monday with the addition of Alexander Central High School right-hander Cade Miller. The news, which was first reported by Stephen Igoe of 247Sports.com, means the Pirates now have 10 commits in their 2022 class.

Miller is a 5’10”, 180-pound right-handed pitcher and chose ECU over an offer from Notre Dame and potential interest from NC State and Campbell, according to Igoe.

While Miller is not most physically imposing pitcher on the mound, he can still run his fastball up to 90 MPH with movement, but sits in the mid- to upper-80s with the offering. Additionally, the righty throws a slider and could have some more growing to do before he gets to Greenville, North Carolina.

Other commits in ECU’s 2022 class include: shortstop Parker Byrd, first baseman Colby Thorndyke, catcher Nick Delisi, catcher Lamar King, pitcher Michael Forret, shortstop Connor Rasmussen, shortstop Dixon Williams, third baseman Cameron Burgess and pitcher Lane Essary.

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