GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) East Carolina’s season opener against Marshall, previously set for Sept. 5, has been rescheduled for Aug. 29 in a collaborative effort by both institutions to recognize the 50th anniversary of a tragedy that has tied the two communities together ever since.
The commemorative Week Zero contest will pay tribute to the 70 passengers and five crew members who lost their lives on Nov. 14, 1970, while returning to Huntington on a charter flight following the Thundering Herd’s game in Greenville.
The greatest air tragedy in the history of collegiate athletics, along with the school’s grieving and rebuilding process, was chronicled in the 2006 movie We Are Marshall.
ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said, ” There is a special bond and indomitable spirit that exists between our communities, universities and football programs. This opportunity will allow us to properly pay our respect to those we tragically lost 50 years ago and share our enduring support for Marshall University with the rest of the country.”
This year’s contest represents the first of four home-and-home meetings as part of the two program’s latest scheduling agreement that includes dates in 2021 (Huntington), 2023 (Greenville) and 2025 (Huntington).
“I appreciate Mike Hamrick and Marshall University for being great partners in this process as the move allows both schools to have a marquee national broadcast spot on the football calendar to open the 2020 season.”