Here is the Sunday POV Podcast – hope you enjoy it…
The school has sold over 53,775 season tickets for the Panthers’ upcoming football season, surpassing the previous record set in 2003 –– and achieving the goal Barnes set out for the program in February.
The P-G has an article about Pitt’s in-depth medial exams given to our athletes:
The EKGs, which check the electrical activity of the heart, and echocardiograms, which are sonograms of the heart, are done in addition to a newly arrived athlete’s standard physical that must be completed before beginning competition. If the cardiologists spot an irregularity on a reading, they’ll administer follow-up tests, which often include cardiac MRIs and a stress test in which the athlete walks briskly on a treadmill while attached to monitoring equipment.
If a risk is identified, doctors will try to see if it is modifiable through medication or other interventions. If not, as it was with Hill, they recommend a life-long restriction from competitive sports. Gilbert will miss this season, and his opportunity for future participation will be reevaluated after the season.
Pitt has had all of its athletes undergo these tests for the past 12 years. Before this year, only four or five, according to Blanc, had required some kind of additional testing, all of whom were cleared. To have two players on one team in a single class both be diagnosed with such conditions is, as he put it, “very rare.”
Dr. Timothy Wong, a cardiologist from the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, said fewer than 2 percent of college athletes have any potentially career-ending heart problems. Estimates of sudden cardiac death rates among college athletes range from one in 43,000 to one in 83,000.
“I talk to my colleagues and they go, ‘Do you do those on everybody?’ I say, ‘Yeah’,” Blanc said. “They say it doesn’t sound very cost effective. Well, it isn’t until something like this comes up. The fact those guys played high school football … and maybe they would have gone to the NFL and played 15 years and never had a problem. But maybe not.”
Pitt enters the 2016 season with little or no doubt about which quarterback will line up under center for its season opener against Villanova on Sept. 3.
Beyond starter Nate Peterman, though, the Panthers’ situation at the game’s most important position is decidedly murky. Before Friday’s practice, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi provided some clarity on the issue, noting that Ben DiNucci and Manny Stocker are “neck and neck” in the race to be the backup quarterback, though he added Stocker’s stock is slightly higher, with “a head over” DiNucci right now.
“There’s competition at that spot,” Narduzzi said. “The heat will be on tomorrow and today with the live reps and who makes decisions.”
Trib’s Poll for the 2nd string QB; 60% DiNucci – 19% Stocker – 21% No Opinion
Freshman wide receivers Maurice Ffrench, Ruben Flowers and Clairton graduate Aaron Mathews are grabbing coaches’ attention. Mathews was worthy of special praise from Narduzzi.
“He’s a big, tall guy who can run,” he said. “He goes up and gets the ball. Maurice Ffrench has been impressive. Ruben Flowers has done some good things.
“I’d probably said Mathews (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) has shown the most as far as a deep-ball threat. Just go look at what he looks like. He’s a specimen.”
After practice, wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman said Mathews, Ffrench and Flowers are “stepping up when we need to make plays.” Sherman said Flowers made “a big-time catch” Friday.
Craig Meyer has the P-Gs Red shirt diaries are back in full form.
“My first year here was with (former coach Paul) Chryst (in 2014),” said junior linebacker Quintin Wirginis, who went to Fox Chapel with Bisnowaty. “And I felt like he was a little bit scared to mention the word championship. (Coach Pat) Narduzzi gets here and he says, ‘We’re going to win a championship.’ Everyone in the locker room truly believes we are going to win a championship.”
“The things they went through made it hard for them to come together as a group on the field,” he said. “We struggled in some areas that we don’t struggle in today. I think leadership is one of them.”
Leadership doesn’t appear to be a problem this season, with 20 seniors on the team, including Bisnowaty and 11 others who are fifth-year players.
Pittsburgh safety Jordan Whitehead is expected to reprise his two-way role this season, but he was coy about how many reps he wants on offense during games. Defense remains the priority, and in his second season he said, “I’m hoping for no mistakes on the field.”