Chris Edwards. Chris Edwards. (WNCT.)

A week after landing what he’d described as his ‘dream job,’ Chris Edwards has lost that job. Edwards was named East Carolina University’s Director of Broadcasting and “Voice of the Pirates” on July 21, taking over for Jeff Charles, who suddenly passed away in February after holding that role for 35 years.

Edwards had been an ECU broadcaster since November 2020 and had also worked as their baseball public address announcer. He had also worked for the old Carolina regional Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, had called various sports on Duke’s Blue Devil Sports Network for 10 years, and had served as the director of broadcasting for the collegiate Coastal Plain League. But on Friday, Edwards put out a Twitter statement apologizing for “academic inconsistencies” on his resume, and saying that would lead to him parting ways with PlayFly (which handles ECU broadcasts). Namely, that resume listed him as a 2010 graduate of ECU, but he hasn’t yet completed his degree there. Here’s the text of that statement:

“I want to clarify some misleading information regarding my academic accomplishments. I apologize for any academic inconsistencies on my resume. Attending East Carolina University was a dream of mine, and I still have remaining hours to complete my degree.”

“I want to apologize to PlayFly and general manager Clay Walker, ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert and his staff and the search committee for any damage I have caused to a university I love dearly,” Edwards said. “PlayFly and I have decided the best decision is for us to part ways effective immediately. I hope Pirate Nation and all parties involved will accept my sincere apologies as we move forward.”

ECU’s initial announcement of the move came with a lot of comments playing up Edwards’ passion for his “alma mater”:

“Chris’ passion and enthusiasm for his alma mater were clear during the interview process,” ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “He’s a Pirate and will be a great collaborator with our coaches and staff as we continue to push our powerful brand across the surrounding area, state and country.”

This is a tough situation. On the one hand, Edwards’ extensive professional work experience over the last decade-plus would have seemed to be the more important factor in his selection for this job than what he did or did not achieve in college. But on the other hand, erroneous resume information is often not taken lightly. And it’s led to higher-profile figures losing jobs, even in the sports world.

Maybe the most famous resume falsification case in sports comes from 2001, when George O’Leary famously lost the Notre Dame football job after five days after an investigation revealed he’d made up a playing career at New Hampshire and falsely claimed to have received a master’s degree from NYU. And those errors were about things that happened (or didn’t happen) almost three decades earlier. (O’Leary would get back into coaching with the Minnesota Vikings the next year and then take a head coaching job at UCF in 2004, which he’d hold through 2015.)

At any rate, this is certainly a significant and unusual thing to see in the sports media world. Whether this is the right move or not depends on one’s perspective. There’s certainly a case ECU and PlayFly could have let Edwards apologize, keep the job, and work to finish off his degree. But there’s also a case that the “misleading information” here should be seen as disqualifying and the job should go to someone who submitted a fully-accurate resume. In any case, the Pirates now need to find a new replacement for Charles.

[Chris Edwards on Twitter; photo from WNCT via Barrett Sports Media]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.