College football recruiting is ridiculous in a million different bad ways, but sometimes all that craziness produces something truly delightful. It’s August 1, which means colleges can now officially offer scholarships to high school seniors. It’s also the day that East Carolina revealed its new recruiting power move: sending scholarship offer letters on pirate-themed scrolls.

Notre Dame did pretty well by sending recruits mock sports cards that made fun of Michigan, but this is on a whole other level.

It looks like they missed out on some scholar-ship puns, but, hey, you can’t get more badass than a pirate scroll. Although I doubt any real pirates went to college, William & Mary was founded on money from pirate treasures, and that’s a close enough link for me.

Even cooler, Eastern Carolina produced the letters on their own to avoid spending money unnecessarily. Recruiting quality control coordinator Kevin Slattery led the effort, getting the paper from the university print shop, staining each sheet with coffee grounds, and burning the paper’s edges all by himself. Director of player personnel Ethan Johnson then added a custom seal to top it all off.

Here’s what Slattery and Johnson  told 247Sports about the process:

“The biggest thing that stuck out to us is we’re very unique as the Pirates,” Johnson said. “With Pirates, there’s a lot that encompasses that. Treasure maps, cannons, Pirate ships, all sorts of things. When you look around the rest of the country, other programs don’t have all the options we have. A Blue Devil is a Blue Devil. There are only so many things you can do there. The Tigers are the Tigers. You’re limited there. As Pirates, we’re unique and we want to use that.”


“If the recruit can hold a tangible piece of something and he can tell a lot of time went into it, and he enjoys it, then the time is well worth it,” Slattery said. “It was nice to get away from Photoshop for a while and work on something with my hands, and give recruits something tangible to hold. It was a fun experience.”


About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.