football Edit

Herrin Granted Medical Hardship Waiver, Harris & Powell Return

ECU offensive lineman Cortez Herrin has been granted a medical hardship waiver that will restore an additional year of eligibility.
ECU offensive lineman Cortez Herrin has been granted a medical hardship waiver that will restore an additional year of eligibility. (ECU Photo)

ECU head coach Mike Houston announced the reinstatement of sophomore linebacker Delvontae Harris and freshman defensive back Juan Powell who were suspended earlier in the year for stealing from cars parked near campus.

Their charges were recently dismissed after the completion of community service.

"We're going to reinstate them to the program. They did participate in practice this morning. This situation has been one that has been very unfortunate and disappointing back when we had the incident occur back in preseason camp," Houston stated, "Obviously this isn't something that we want associated with our program."

Houston outlined the process by which the two players worked their way back into the fold.

"We've worked closely with both young men to number one insure that there was accountability appropriately not only from the local authorities but from the institution and the program," said Houston, "Both young men have done everything that we have asked of them as well as the institution and local authorities asked of them. They are extremely remorseful. They are disappointed in the way they represented the program and the university and they are determined to not let this incident define them. If I did not feel that way they would not be with us."

The first year ECU coach talked about his approach in situations like the one Harris and Powell presented.

"I do feel like both of them did make a mistake. I do believe in second chances as long as the individual will take advantage of the second chance and has become a better person because of it. So I look forward to both young men working their way back in with our program. At the end of the day I have not let them do anything for the past six-seven weeks, so where our team and roster is and where they are two drastically different levels but they are going to be with us starting today moving forward."

He said both players have a chance to eventually work their way into the lineup for the Pirates as the season progresses.

"They've got to earn a spot like anybody else but at the end of the day both of them will have an opportunity to define their role in the second half of the season."

With the Pirates in the middle of a bye week, it was also announced on Tuesday that offensive lineman Cortez Herrin was granted a hardship waiver which will allow him to play in 2020.

Herring played in one game in 2016 against Western Carolina, which under the old rules would have used up a full year of eligibility.

"Cortez is really one of the leaders of our program," said ECU head coach Mike Houston, "I always say, if you're having a bad day go spend five minutes with Cortez and I promise you that your day is going to brighten."

"He is one of the most genuinely good individuals that I may have ever met and someone I just enjoy being around so for obvious reasons it's going to be great to have him back for another year with all the experience he has at left guard. Obviously a high end player but even moreso from a character and leadership standpoint. You can't have enough Cortez Herrins in your program."

Below is the press release made available by ECU.

East Carolina offensive lineman Cortez Herrin has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the American Athletic Conference and will be eligible to compete during the 2020 season.

The league's approval of his waiver request means his participation in one contest as a true freshman during the 2016 campaign will not count as an exhausted year of eligibility. Herrin experienced limited action in the Pirates' season-opening victory against Western Carolina on Sept. 3 but did not play in the remaining 11 games because of an injury.

A two-year full-time starter at left guard, Herrin has played in 24 overall career contests at ECU. After opening five of eight games in 2017, which included the season finale at Memphis, he extended his consecutive starts streak to 17 before being sidelined during the Pirates' road win against Old Dominion earlier this season on Sept. 28.

East Carolina will continue practice during the bye week before moving into full preparations for the UCF game next week. Game time has been set for October 19 in Orlando at 7 o'clock.