I’ve had a change of plans. I’ll be driving up to Pittsburgh’s Southside on Tuesday vice Monday because that is the day Pitt will hold “Media Day” this fall camp.
Tuesday, August 9 (MEDIA DAY)
Photography Window: 10-10:30 a.m.
Coach Narduzzi Press Conference: 1:30 p.m. (second floor team room)
Media Day Activities: 2:45-4:45 p.m.
Pitt Football Media Day:
August 9 media day activities will run from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m., utilizing the following format:
2:45 to 3:45 p.m.—Select returning offensive lettermen and coordinator (plus requests) available for interviews inside facility.
3:45 to 4:45 p.m.—Select returning defensive lettermen and coordinator (plus requests) available for interviews inside facility.
The practices will follow the 2015 camp’s format and will be closed to the media with the exception of a “Practice Media Viewing Window” which is the first 30 minutes of the day’s practice and consists of loosening up exercises and some position drills.
I was hoping, as was everyone who covers Pitt football I’m sure, that HC Narduzzi would allow us media types to watch more of the practices this year but that won’t happen this season and I suspect never will. Instead we’ll have to resort to other means even if we have to go into the Monongahela to get the shot.
That said, he does make himself available for post-practice briefings, long press conferences and full interview sessions so it isn’t like he himself is in a lock down mode. Given the success of his first season as head coach this might make sense to some Pitt fans but it works at cross purposes for the program as a whole.
Pitt’s football team and program isn’t large enough of has as many fans and supporters as some other programs do. Because of that we need to get as much info out to the people we want to attract to Pitt as their go-to choice for sports entertainment. It is still a fantastic value for live viewing and is in an upswing phase as far as on-field play.
But prospective fans, and indeed existing fans, want to know as much as possible about the team and the players (and facilities and the off the field issues of a student/athlete’s life) so that when it comes to laying out money they feel like they are 1) supporting a good cause and 2) feel invested in the university and the football program.
I can say that the highest readership counts of the articles I have been writing for over five years are not about the games or even about the direct personnel in the football program but have been pieces I did on the peripheral issues such as the history of the program, the sport’s facilities, the academic side of the football program and recruiting.
Pitt’s donor base is smaller than it should be and we lag far behind in donation totals. That will beginning to change for a few reasons first of which is Pat Narduzzi and the energy he has brought to Pitt with him. Second is the naming of Pat Bostick Jr the Director of Development for the Panther Club, the official fundraising arm of Pitt Athletics. Pat is very personable and well liked by all, at least everyone I have met has a good opinion of him, so that was a good move.
But I believe he’d be the first to tell you that the more prospective donors know and care about the 360 degrees of the football program the more they are willingly to donate to support it.
Contrary to the media’s over-the-top portrayal of a college football booster the ones I know who drop money to the university’s athletic department are as much concerned about that 360 degrees as they are about winning football games.
That all adds up to getting as much good and true info as possible out to the boosters, supporters and fans as Pitt can. The way to do that is to allow access, with certain restrictions of course, to people you know will reflect the programs qualities – both good and not-so-good if that’s the case, in their coverage.
Here is the official Pitt Two-Deep going into the start of fall camp. It is the same thing made public two weeks ago. Still – some things I take with a grain of salt such as Ollison at 3rd string tailback. Bah! Weah at 1st string WR opposite Dontez Ford is still a wonderment to me also.
Talk about taking a shot in the dark but I do know Weah has skills – the job for him now is to take those accomplishments he made in practices and the spring games from fun time to game time.
Pitt Football Media Guide:
A PDF of the Panthers’ 2016 football media guide can be accessed at this link: Pitt Football Media Guide. Tons of info folks and I suggest you make it readily available as you read and discuss Pitt football over the next 30 days.
Later in the week I’ll be asking readers for questions they would like answers for at the briefings and press conference.