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New Law Allows State-ECU Rivalry to Go On

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RALEIGH — What the legislature wants, the legislature usually gets. This weekend,ECU will visit NC State for the first time in ten years, all because of anew law that forces in-state schools to play each other. Scars still remain from the last backyard brawl.

You'd be surprised to know how many NC State students don't know what happened the last time East Carolina came to play football in Raleigh. The Pirates upset the Pack and a mob of happy fans swarmed the field andtore down the goalposts.

The crowd was so out of control, a campus police officer was hurt in thefracas. Officers say neither teams' fans were fully responsible, butfollowing the 1987 game, the bitter rivals couldn't agree to play eachother until the general assembly stepped in.

They've met twice since then on neutral fields, but this is the first reunionon home turf.

The students may not fully appreciate the rivalry between the two teams,but local police do. State's public safety office will have backup fromWake County deputies and from ECU police. This weekend's game will havethe tightest security of any game this season.

While State fans are hoping for a pack victory and a bowl bid, the peoplelooking out for the crowd just hope the players see all the action whilethe fans stay in the stands.

The East Carolina, NC State rivalry has produced eight of the top ten highest attended college football games in North Carolina.