Wood Selig and Terry
Selig is now
Holland championed the Monarchs as an 11th-hour inclusion to the league's six-school expansion. "A key resource" and "strong advocate," Selig called him at Thursday's announcement.
The primary reason was ODU’s proximity to ECU – the campuses are separated by about 140 miles. Presently, the
But Holland also views Selig as a top-shelf AD and
"Actually, that was not really an eye-opener for me as I had seen ODU's excellent athletic and other facilities and knew about their passionate fan base," Holland said via email Thursday. "The visit did give me the opportunity to meet President (John) Broderick, but I was already on a recruiting trip, as I have felt for some time that the synergy between ECU and ODU will create a competitive environment that will demand that each of us achieve at the highest levels possible.
"Those kinds of close proximity rivalries drive institutions to be the best that they can be in every possible way. Rivalries that begin on the field soon spread to the academic environment and other important areas for today's university students."
Selig hopes to impose on Holland for another favor: an ODU-at-ECU football game in 2013, when the Monarchs will be transitioning from the Championship Subdivision to Bowl Subdivision. Such a contest would preview what figures to be ODU's premier Conference USA rivalry and likely would sell out 50,000-seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
"We are full (in 2013)," Holland emailed, "but will certainly see if there is any way to get some wiggle room or find someone who can play them."
"I told (Wood), I'll drive the bus," he said.
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP