Shea to serve up 12th Pigskin Preview

Jul. 06, 2014 @ 02:08 PM

First-year N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack might as well get ready for the jokes about his age.

He's 33, and the jokes are sure to come during the 12th Annual Bill Dooley Chapter Pigskin Preview at Embassy Suites in Cary on July 24.

Mack will be the youngest of the featured coaches: Duke's David Cutcliffe; North Carolina's Larry Fedora; N.C. State's Dave Doeren; and East Carolina's Ruffin McNeill.

Veteran broadcaster Don Shea is emceeing the event for the 12th time and will be standing by making sure those old guys aren't too rough on the new fellow.

“We're glad to have Jerry Mack come for the first time,” Shea said. “Of course, Coach Cutcliffe, he's the bomb in there.”

The coaches will talk football, but Xs and Os won't be the main course of discussion during the luncheon, Shea said. There'll be plenty of time for that as the football season gets closer, he said.

The Pigskin Preview, sponsored by the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, is a time for the lighter side sports, Shea said.

“The little, fun things. The coaches seem to enjoy that,” Shea said.

But Shea is an experienced journalist and understands that the fans in the audience will want the coaches to at least touch on topics including the academic troubles at UNC, whether or not college players should get paid and NCAA rules that allow coaches to bounce from school to school without penalty while players, generally speaking, are forced to surrender a year of eligibility.

“Those are questions I think the audience might be interested in hearing,” Shea said.

Fans also probably will want to hear Mack and McNeill talk a little junk about their teams opening the season against each other at the Pirates' place in Greenville (8 p.m., ESPNews).

The general public can register for the noon-to-2 p.m. event at www.thesportscouncil.org and by calling either Erich Horner at 919-664-7070 or Shea at 919-612-0444. Tickets are $60 per person or $600 for eight people.

Shea said 420 people attended last year's Pigskin Preview. That means there's good football around here, and people know it, he said.