Random Thoughts on Pitt’s Past

In a sort-of coincidence I have been drafting up an article that discusses the peripheral aspects of Pitt’s football program as opposed to what happens between the sidelines on game day.

I say coincidence because of the strange baiting by some media outlets and Pat Narduzzi himself about Jordan Whitehead and/or possibly some other Pitt player(s) personnel issues.

Right off the bat I will say I have heard nothing concrete about anything so what I am about to discuss below isn’t about young Mr. Whitehead or any other player.  I’m sure that if and when Pitt decides to let slip whatever is roiling the media waters we’ll find out about it then.  But there is a ton of speculation…

But if there is personnel problems making them public may not happen at all.  Just yesterday morning I posted this bit  in our Monday Morning QB article in response to a question from a reader…

Ike – not really. Just saying that there is some form to personnel issues in college ball.

“Suspended for the season” usually means failed a NCAA required drug test; “suspended for one or a few games” usually means that the player missed meetings, classes or just misbehaved in some way.

All those will not have the disciplinary  reasons made public.

If a player is injured that is one thing. But if he’s on the sideline without an injury and not in uniform it is probably something either academic (failed class, missed classes) or internal discipline – hence no uniform.

If a player doesn’t play but is in uniform on the sideline that usually means 1) some sort of injury or illness (Whitehead’s flu?) or 2) a minor disciplinary issue where the HC wants to keep him out but could play him in an emergency or 3) the player just sucks at his position or pissed off the coaching staff (lazy at practice, etc…) and someone is playing ahead of him.

If a suspension is announced internally only – that is only to the others on the team – then that player will most likely not be in uniform… but if it is something just between the coaches and the player – like an attitude adjustment – then he could be in uniform and available to play like I just mentioned.

As to drug tests there are two kinds – the NCAA required random test (once or twice a year) where a positive result is an automatic suspension and loss of one year eligibility by the NCAA. Or the other is a University’s football program’s drug test where any discipline can be awarded by the HC – in the past few years that usually meant a suspension for a year at Pitt…. but it doesn’t have to.

Past Pitt HCs didn’t stick to that at all and let kids play pretty soon after a failed test.

Who knows what this “disturbing news” is, if any, – but there is a good chance Narduzzi will either not address it or will call it an injury that he still won’t talk about.

But on further research the NCAA has changed their drug policy a bit.  It now reads:

The penalty for a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) is strict and automatic: student-athletes lose one full year of eligibility for the first offense (25 percent of their total eligibility) and are withheld from competition for 365 days from the date of the test. A second positive test for a PED results in the loss of all remaining eligibility.

The penalty for a positive test for a substance in the street drug class (Heroin; marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073) is withholding from competition for 50% of the season in all sports in which the student-athlete participates.  A second positive test for a street drug results in the loss of a year of eligibility and withholding from participation for 365 days from the test.

Again – this is non-situational info but put out for readers to understand the testing process better.

I’ve started reading a great book called “Playing Through the Whistle” by S.L. Price.  In this book the author examines how sports and life working in the steel mills was intertwined in Aliquippa, PA., especially after the mills closed.

Here is a Sports Illustrated article about the book – it is an excellent read on its own and has some very good info in it.  This part pertains to what we wrote about above.  It discusses ex-Pitt football player Tommie Campbell and whet he expected to happen in college and what our college football program expected of him:

Of all of the great athletes on that ’03 state championship team, Tommie might have been the most gifted. But he flunked out of Pitt, lost a full scholarship after two years of missed classes, practices and football meetings. His last-chance meeting with coach Dave Wannstedt?

Campbell didn’t show; didn’t even call. He had narcolepsy, tended to skip his medication and never saw why the world couldn’t soften up its pesky rules, schedules, commitments. “Like a lost little boy,” he said. “I never had a plan. I just thought things were going to be handed to me.”

Such entitlement was rarely discussed on the Next One side of the divide. If football presented Aliquippa’s flashiest alternative to drug dealing and led to scholarships, too often its players went off ill-prepared and returned without a diploma—never mind a pro contract.

What really jumped out at me was this sentence: But he flunked out of Pitt, lost a full scholarship after two years of missed classes, practices and football meetings.   How in the world did Pitt allow that situation to drag on so long?

There are two ways of looking at that.  I know Pitt fans want the best for recruits who come here so the train of though among them is that a player is entitled to multiple chances to correct his behavior.  Obviously Dave Wannstedt felt that way about Campbell and many other players on his rosters. He gave his players 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc… chances all the time.

But I look at it from a different point of view.  How many times does a leader allow a player to thumb his nose at authority before he cuts him loose so that the scholarship can be used by a kid who will not only take things on and off the field more seriously but also will use that open scholarship to earn a degree?

And there is the rub between types of head coaches.  We have seen both Paul Chryst and now Pat Narduzzi use discipline – both formal and informal – much more frequently than in the past here at Pitt.   We see the positive results in way less arrests, less turmoil in the clubhouse, less stain on Pitt’s national reputation and perhaps most importantly more players getting degrees in their time as a Pitt student.

Dave Wannstedt did some thing very well; fans loved his 9, 10 and 8 win seasons, but applying discipline quickly and having a consistent approach to it wasn’t one of them.  What he did do, and this is something a lot of college HCs won’t do or even care about, was work with other, smaller, college football programs to allow the players who flushed out of Pitt on his watch have another chance at a different institution.  And that is truly commendable.

On another note the speculation is flying around Jordan Whitehead not playing but in uniform last Saturday.  Here is the latest teaser from PSN:

The questions surrounding Pitt All-American safety Jordan Whitehead and why he didn’t play versus Marshall have surrounded the Pitt football program this week.

Multiple sources tell PSN that injury wasn’t the reason Whitehead didn’t play on Saturday. But Like Coach Narduzzi yesterday, I’ll be a bit vague about the exact reason, since, as of now, it’s just speculation.

The question now is whether this is a one week “absence” or if it’s multiple weeks.

 With the problems the defense is having and considering his importance to the team, a long-term absence would be a huge blow to Pitt’s team.

Whether Whitehead is on the field this morning will be a big indicator.

So – now that is three different media outlets that are inferring that Whitehead is under a disciplinary suspension.  That is what this sentence;  The question now is whether this is a one week “absence” or if it’s multiple weeks infers.

Again – even if that is the case Narduzzi won’t talk about it unless it has been made public in some other form.  Case in point:  Both Blair and Boyd’s arrests were a matter of public record – via the news media and more formally the Allegheny County Courts system. 

So Narduzzi didn’t have privacy issues to adhere to – in a way that forced his hand to 1) levy formal suspensions and 2) make them know publicly.

We’ll have up a “Bits & Pieces” article tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

105 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on Pitt’s Past

  1. This is at least the 3rd time I referred to him as Jerome …. Jerome Whitehead was the center for Marquette’s 77 NCAA title team (Al MCGuire’s last game as HC) and played in the NBA for a handful of years.

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  2. BTW, Tommie Campbell eventually went t to Cal PA and played in the NFL … but Reed is right, DW probably put up with his antics too long. Elijah Fields was eerily similar a few years later, even to the transferring to Cal but don’t believe he made it to the NFL …. but I believe to the Arena League.

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  3. Ii work for a 3.6 billion $$ company. When I have an employee issue, I also like to keep it between myself and that employee. However, if I’m asked by higher ups ( who pay my salary) it is my responsibility to tell the whole story.. truthfully and without pulling any punches.

    Coach Narduzzi, you are getting killed in the recruiting wars and your mistake prone team is at best mediocre on the field.

    We help pay your salary.! What is the story (unabashed) with Whitehead….. and Hamlin.
    I assure you we can deal with whatever the problem is but Whitehead is Superman! Our best player! We deserve to know.

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  4. We had a mystery Pat signal, and now the Whitehead flu. This is college football, not the CIA, the secrecy seems a bit much.

    While we don’t need to know everything it seems Narduzzi is being particularly obtuse to the point of making things worse rather than

    giving reasonable explanations, and putting the issues to rest.

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  5. Wanny as poster-child. Ugh. You realize he learned everything from Jimmy Johnson, right? You think JJ cared about “classes” or “schedules” or anything not directly related to winning on Saturday??

    Like I said earlier… just another reason to limit the recruiting of the 412 gang. They become too much of the show.. or side-show.

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  6. Good article Reed. As fans there is a tendency to look at whether someone is playing or not as strictly one of athleticism not real life problems on or off the field. I also would not disclose more than is necessary as while it is our university and to an extent our money that goes to scholarships it is also someone’s personal life. Even in discussing past mistakes little is gained by talking of them. My sources indicate that one Pitt player who partied too much that he was asked to leave one university, matured on and off the field at Pitt. Elijah Fields at Pitt could not disassociate from his past initially and then went on to play at Cal and i hope he grew up. How many of us would want our youthful mistakes to be paraded to the public. While i am not a fan of Narduzzi as to his uber practice secrecy we should trust him to know best in dealing with the young men whose parents entrusted him with that task.

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  7. Erie, where did you hear he didn’t practice today? I read 3 different places that he is dressed today and is participating in drills.

    JohnR, Wanny certainly had his issues with the team in 2010, but he was adamant about players attending classes .. to the point that he would actually go the classrooms occasionally to see if players attended. This is well documented. I also remember a stat where something like 35 of 36 4-year players got their degrees under his watch

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  8. This vail of secrecy will be HCPN downfall. Can’t the AD instruct PN to be more open to the media? This is insane and it’s not fair to the kids when we assume!

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  9. @ROC2 That’s exactly the problem that I have with it all. We shouldn’t assume anything. Trust the coach (as the parents have) and wait and see what happens. Coach is much more interested in protecting the individual player than appeasing the media. Isn’t that how you would want it?

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  10. @Roc2 That’s exactly the problem I have with it all. We shouldn’t assume anything. It does no good at all. Let’s wait it out and see what happens and trust the coach (as the parents have). Coach clearly is more interested in protecting the individual player than he is at appeasing the media. Isn’t that the way you would want it?

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  11. It’s always nice to know what is going on with your favorite team and it’s players. However, at the end of the day, it’s really not a big deal that 1 player was in uniform but didn’t start as usual.
    Hey, if that’s the biggest thing on our “plate of life”, we’re living on some really good meals!

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  12. It’s always nice to be in the know of ‘all the going ons’ of your favorite college team and its players. However, at the end of the day, if our greatest problem on the “plate” of our lives is the fact that one of our starting players was dressed but did not play, we are dining daily on a very good meal. At some point we’ll know what happened. In the meantime I’m going to continue enjoying my food!!! :>)

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  13. Don’t know for sure if it was Hamlin but I really do think I saw him running back to the locker room at halftime with no pads but a very noticeable ginger limp. #3

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  14. In a way it could be a good thing that Barnes and the university are not stepping in and telling Narduzzi how to run his football team. I do wish he would be more forthcoming but it should be his call and not the AD’s

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  15. wwb – I said Jerome did not practice / being sarcastic.

    Jordan apparently did make it to practice per the press reports you referenced.

    I’m looking forward to homecoming and beating GTech.

    HTP!

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  16. OK Erie, got it. Way over my head, LOL!

    Narduzzi just released statement saying that no more information will be released about Whitehead not playing vs Marshall except that it is private …. but he expects Jordan to be on the field vs GT. So I guess we’ll never know

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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  17. Lest we forget “the father of modern transplantation” Thomas Starzl?

    Surely the forward pass will be a problem solved by The University of Pittsburgh in the near future??

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  18. Georgia Tech is coming off playing Clemson and Miami in back to back weeks.

    Their senior QB, Justin Thomas, coughed up 2 fumbles last week that were returned for TD’s by the Miami Thugs. Which turned out to be the difference in a 35-21 game. GT trailed after those fumble returns by 28-7, did cut it to 28-21 in the 3rd Q, before Miami closed out the scoring.

    My biggest concern is : after playing against Clemson and Miami, Pitt will seem like a breather to them.
    Especially when it comes to team speed and Pitt’s lack thereof on defense.

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  19. @Reed, on Wannstedt’a tenure: “…fans loved his 9, 10 and 8 win seasons…” 🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀 whaaaaat???

    Lol beg to differ there yikes 🤔🤔 , and let’s Limit the focus to the Pitiful 2010 Pitt season, Wannstedt’a final season: that SEVEN WIN 2010 regular season where Pitt gave away the Big Least to 8-4 crappy Uconn (and Year One of the Tino Sunseri Darkness) is what got Wanny fired, PERIOD — a la how Walt Harris was fired after that incredible Let Down Fiesta Bowl year when the Big East fell apart, where 8-4 Pitt got humiliated 7-35 by Urban Myer’s, Alex Smith led-Utah team.

    That is Skewed, Smoke-Screen, borderline obtuse 🙈🙈 when anyone thinks Dave Wannastedt was fired for any other reason that going a Putrid 7-5 in a weak, horrible Big Least in 2010 …… haha, and getting a “3 way tie” with a “lost tiebreaker” for Big Least champs lol.

    Pitt got absolutely Crushed and Nationally-Humiliated at home by Miami and WVU on National TV. And Pitt absolutely-embarrassingly lost the “De Facto Big East Championship Game” on ESPN on a Thursday night to a crappy 8-4 Uconn (who got to go play in the BCS Fiesta Bowl vs Oklahoma) — while Pitt appropriately earned their first trip (of 3 – straight!! 😩😩😩) to the lovely Birmingham Bowl!!!

    **** Pitt went 7-5 with Wanny in 2010 where her was (sorry!) Well Deservedly Sacked. That B$ Birmingham Bowl win vs 7-5 Kentucky (where the defense was stout and Dion Lewis played like a Lion —“EFF” Tiny Sunseri lol he contributed nothing like usual) absolutely never, ever did or ever will be attirubuted\credited to Dave Wannated. A lame duck interem Coach led that team, while Wannatedt had been trying his best to demolish every Pitt bridge. He had already trashed Pitt, tried to get all his recruits to decommit , and ran away from the team well-before, #FactsStraight 😠

    Wanny had to GO — NOT solely because his players were out of control, no —- Because all of his “Lil Rascals” were outta control, AND playing like Whack-Cucpakes on games at lol.

    #HailToPitt —– 😎 Let’s pull a Germany and Japan history-book situation with Pitt Football (with WW2 lol) —- The Current Era of Pitt football began with the entrance to the ACC, and the wonderful, Unceremonious-Sacking of Steven Pederson —– Onwards and Upwards!!!

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  20. Appears Duzz was protecting a player and the media and fans went off the rails.
    The trashing of Wanny is ridiculous, Pederson and Nordenberg did everything possible to diminish football and Pitt was fortunate that Wanny put up with those two for as long as he did. The player issues just finally gave Pederson an excuse to fire a coach that refused to put up with his BS.
    Wanny had his faults, but Pitt football was in a much better place with him then it was after he left. Narduzzi appears to be getting football back where Wanny had it.

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  21. Bottom line DK. Pitt has only won 10 games,,,, once….. since the 1981 season. Let’s see how many years is that. 35. Three and a half DECADES. And Dave Wannstedt was the Head Coach.

    Pitt has only won 9 games …..twice since 1982. Let’s see this is an easy one….34 years.
    And one of those only two 9 win teams, again Dave Wannstedt was the Head Coach.

    I’ll take the results over the rhetoric.

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  22. Additionally Pitt has only finished the season being ranked in the Top 15…..Once…since 1982.
    You guessed it, Dave Wannstedt was HC.

    And this program has been suffering the worst humiliations any program could have suffered since he was forced out by the Bosom buddies.

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  23. John – a correction. Pederson didn’t have firing authority in Wannstedt’s case and I have that verbatim from the highest source. But you are correct – DW was fired because of the off-field problems and it was by the Chancellor and was the Chancellor’s decision.

    But I find it funny that some fans think Nordenberg and Pederson ‘did all they could’ to diminish football when they lobbied for and built the world-class Southside practice facilities, moved the team’s games to Heinz (there was never going to be a new OCS and won’t for decades) and then Nordenberg hired Alumni and ex-player DW… then paid him more than any Pitt coach was ever paid before him. With an extension and a pay raise after he had three straight losing seasons.

    They gave him a very long leash to produce a championship team and he couldn’t do it. They bent over backwards for Wannstedt until the university itself was suffering because of the off-field issues and then they fired him. Wannstedt never “put up with” anyone – he was free to leave at any time and truth be told his resume after Pitt was basically nothing but going downhill. Believe me – he wanted to stay at Pitt as long as he could.

    Then after all that Nordenberg and Pederson lobbied for and we were accepted into the ACC – which is the best thing that ever happened to Pitt football. And it wasn’t ‘just answering the phone’ either – that stance shows real ignorance of the process.

    And you are mistaken about Pitt football being in a better place back in 2010 – it was a freakin’ shambles and it was only a couple of years ago it actually got straightened out. Had the ACC wanted to expand three years earlier back in 2010rather than 2013 we wouldn’t have been invited to join.

    It is in a great place now and all around probably the best it has been in in the modern area when considering the 360 degrees of the program. That was done under the last watch of Nordenberg and Pederson.

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  24. Yes, Wannstedt is benefiting from the rose colored glasses of history. There were bright moments for sure. The game at Notre Dame in 2008 that went into quadruple overtime, his 2006 team streaking out to a 6-1 record, big wins over West Virginia. All in all, when it counted, Wannstedt didn’t produce. It was hard to get fired up over the 2009 win over North Carolina in the Belk Bowl coming after the loss to Brian Kelley and UC.. We haven’t beaten NC since.

    At 3-2 with a daunting schedule left, it’s a safe bet Narduzzi won’t reach 10 wins…maybe not eight.

    Wannstedt was 6-6 in season two; Harris was 2-9; Hackett was 6-6; Chryst was 7-6. Maybe Narduzzi should strive to beat that record.

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  25. Reed , we will just agree to disagree right there. steve was poison for the PITT football program and there is nothing you or anyone else can tell me to change my mind. As far as Nordy? He gave steve an extension as he was walking out the door. A good topic to stay away from with me. Pederson was a lame brain egotistical idiot.

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  26. Our getting into the ACC probably had more to do with Boston College putting the kibosh on Uconn, than Nordenberg and Cornhole.

    That is pretty well documented.

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  27. The best thing Pederson and Nordenberg did for Pitt football was clean out their desks and leave town. Sorry Reed-I have tons of respect and usually agree with you BUT I will never drink the kool aid that you are trying to serve on this subject.

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  28. I find it hard to believe one would prefer the absolute PR nightmare of the hiring of Mike Heywood and the subsequent firing of him, less than 2 weeks later, than keeping Wanny.

    Not to mention then the coaching carousel that followed that disaster. lol

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  29. The worst thing any program can have is non-stability. And this program has been an absolute unstable mess since 2010.

    Which is why the roster is littered with MAC type players and no depth at many positions.

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  30. and please no one bring up the dogshit olympic sports parks. They are at best a decent D2 school worthy. Pitt went cheap. zero identity to any of the fields.

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  31. No shit I played at better D3 complexes than Peterson Complex.

    Wasn’t even worth tearing down the projects if you ask me. I’d park near there for practice since no cops went in there to give tickets.

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  32. I was once told if your aunt had a dick she would be your uncle. Not sure exactly what that means but in honor of NC and Texas saying piss where you are supposed to I say cheers! I’d rather spend my money in these two great states.

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  33. Yea I use to park up there as well. Or on the mountainous Darragh Street. Hopefully the parking brake was working. That was real fun parking there with a stick shift. (not)

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  34. Reading into HCPN’s tone and expression re. JW, no way is he hurt, didn’t have the flu, super slim chance academics, 99.9% chance it is discipline. Anything else would be a shock.

    Caught drinking or otherwise, maybe a hard curfew broken.

    Anyone taking bets?

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  35. Brandon Katz , CONTRIBUTOR
    I cover the business of television and entertainment

    Opinion Forbes Magazine

    At this point, NFL fans have to wonder if the league is ever going to publicly address its declining TV viewership. As the ratings continue to shrink, so too does the advertising money, hitting the league where it really hurts. Last night was no different.

    NBC’s Sunday Night Football was down yet again in viewership, drawing in 16.68 million viewers and scoring a 6.19/19 rating in the advertiser friendly 18-49 demo. The numbers mark a season low for SNF and the show’s 11.0 overnight rating is the lowest total since 2007 (ouch). While the NFL still won the night in total viewers, those numbers mark a steep drop from last week’s 18.62 million/6.8 ratings and the week before’s 20.6 million/7.4 rating.

    ESPN’s Monday Night Football ratings are also way down.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonkatz/2016/10/03/nfls-sunday-night-football-ratings-in-freefall-league-nervous/#4df97cb258a4

    End of an Era

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  36. Hate to say it but with Narduzzi it just could be effort and play breakdowns although I highly doubt that. Jordan is just a young man in a semi-grown-up world of Oakland. Lots of stuff happens on a college campus. Most of us have lived and learned.

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  37. I think college attendance down, not sure about college TV ratings. At least ACC has a very large population base, maybe the largest.

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  38. Pitt’s attendance went back up in 2015, as upon further review that was the 2014 season above.

    2015 DIVISION I FBS LARGEST AVERAGE ATTENDANCE INCREASE
    FROM PREVIOUS YEAR

    2015 2014 Change
    Rank School G Avg. Avg. in Avg.
    1. Temple 6 44,159 23,370 20,789
    2. Memphis 6 43,802 33,851 9,951
    3. Akron 6 18,098 9,170 8,928
    4. Cincinnati 6 37,096 28,840 8,257
    5. Pittsburgh 6 48,150 41,315 6,835
    6. Houston 8 33,980 28,311 5,669

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  39. Bottom line: Wannstedt’s firing would have been justified if they found an upgrade to replace him. This did not happen … the only upgrade was doubling the salary (from what Wanny was making) to a coach who walked after one season.

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  40. @wwb Haywood was hired on the super cheap. Really cheap. There is one and only one reason Fraud got 2M and that was because Nordy was nationally embarrassed over the Haywood situation.

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  41. @Reed, will have to disagree with you on the Wanny firing. You might be correct in stating that Pederson did not have authority to can Wanny. That makes sense because Nordy was the glad hander with donors and when that is the case, the Nordy would have that authority because he wants to be able to talk to the large donors who supported Wanny first. That said, let’s not turn our heads and think Pederson was not pushing his agenda to have him fired. This is akin to an offensive coordinator bringing in a transfer qb that he previously recruited for another college football team and then told the coach that the transfer in qb should get the starting job instead of the incumbent. Do you see the comparison?

    The head football coach supports what his direct report says and goes with it. Pederson was a direct report to Nordy and Nordy went with that developed trust and canned Wanny. It is simple. Let’s stop saying it wasn’t Pederson, when it was, albeit, through a non-direct process. To finish the point, it is like saying Narduzzi would pick Voytik over Peterman which didn’t happen. Narduzzi went with his direct reports recommendation. That is how academic institutions are run. Pederson was Nordy’s Lieutenant.

    Pitt to the ACC was Pedersons doing? Good grief man. You gest! You may have to sit the next article out and carry your computer on the sideline as if you are ready to go, like JW. Just kidding, don’t get mad! Pitt made sense academically and geographically for the ACC. In reality folks, the choices were slim when comparing Pitt with other schools for the ACC. Once BC knocked out UConn, the fix was in. Had BC not done that, Pitt would not be in the ACC and would have joined WV High School in the Big12. This was nothing other than a merger and acquisition. Funny that in the M&A world, the higher ups tout themselves as working so hard to make the deal, when in fact, there isn’t much work being done by the higher ups at all. Most of the time, the merger is a no brainer (as was pitt joining the ACC). Higher ups rant and rave in an effort to get credit for something that is huge to the organization, but in reality would have taken place whether they were involved or not. Once the forces are set in motion, it gets done. Pederson was in the right place at the right time and was a huge beneficiary of telling Nordy how hard it was. It just isn’t, sorry. In my previous life, I worked for Goldman Sachs for 8 years and was closely involved in over 20 M&A deals in one of the portfolio’s. At the Nordy level, it is conceptual. At the Pederson level, he does some of the work, but ultimately, it is the dealmakers from the ACC (acquiring company) that do 90% of the diligence. The acquirer does the work because they are taking the risk. Simple business. The acquired organization supplies information to the acquirer that most of the time is delegated most likely to a much lower position.

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  42. Time to focus on GT. The Yellow Jackets will get their yards on the ground. Pitt’s D will need to do a better job of keeping them out of the end zone (see poor red-zone stats for last year and 2016).

    The LBers will be the key – ikr…

    Wirginis, Brightwell and Bradley as the back-ups may see more playing time this week than the starters. One or two of our LBers need to make some tackles – like double digits for once in the PN era.

    Good thing JW will be back as well.

    HTP!

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  43. rkb, Harris was a marked man ever since his (1st) wife made a big scene right in front of many Pitt employees and some media for Walt taking up with a younger woman (who he eventually married) back in 2002. That was the beginning of the end .. so to speak. The final straw was some disparaging remarks his agent made in October (I believe) of 04 .. where it became apparent to all that Walt was on his way out.

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  44. Will need four quarters of offensive production in every game, starting this week.

    Defense needs to make GT work hard for every point they get.

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  45. I’m thinking GT may be a different team this year. They haven’t been scoring as much but their defense is giving up less points. It looks like PITT’s strength (offense) against GT’s strength and weakness against weakness (defense). Thomas, the QB, can run the offense really good at times. As EE mentions above Wirginis, Brightwell and Bradley could play big parts but all 3 have been banged up lately.

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  46. Ugh GT. Sorry blatherites, but the only thing Nards seems to not be able to defend more than a good spread offense is a good triple option. Reed I suggest that is an article in and of itself…Nard’s history with the Triple O.

    Until I see that he has figured it out, well, I pencilled this game as a loss a while ago. Hope I am wrong! We might be able to outscore them at least.

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  47. after 2014’s debacle vs GT, I PENNED (no engraved) last year’s game at GT as a loss. And GT did pile up some yardage but Pitt prevailed. So far, this year’s GT team is not as good offensively, so you never know.

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  48. Huff – you and I said basically the same thing. I didn’t say getting the ACC invite was Pederson’s doing and never have – but there was a lot of ground work done by him and the Chancellor to be in the position to get that done.

    I have had some long conversations with as inside Pitt as you can get about the ACC subject and it was no given at all that we’d get that invite – we had to do a lot of work there.

    Of course Pederson had ‘input’ but believe me – that firing was decided by the Chancellor before that season ended. Fans tend to think Nordenberg was completely hands off the football program and that wasn’t necessarily true – especially after DW’s firing.

    It’s been six years now so it is getting to be old news but I’ll assure you that I am 100% in belief of what I state because I heard it from the top – and I don’t mean the old AD. I had one actual conversation with Pederson and felt like washing my hands afterward. There was no love lost between him and his Athletic department staff – but they do give him credit where it is due.

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  49. If the ACC ever gets a 15th member it will probably take UCON if only for BB. The ND FB entry is probably not going to be pushed by the ACC but maybe after the ACC gets its APP and TV channel for all ACC events and starts to make more money per team than ND now gets, ND may join for what else but more $$$.

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  50. People here think I am Wanny’s relative by my continual supporting arguments of him, but that was just a reaction to what I thought had been over-the-top criticism. If you go back to Blather Archives, you will find that I thought the firing may haunt Pitt, if Pitt is able to find a quality replacement who will maintain or improve the program then it is justifiable. I even stated that I assumed Pedersen had some viable candidates.

    Then, about 8 days after firing Wanny, Mike Heywood was hired!

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  51. As far as the ACC goes, I have always had the feeling that they were looking to expand out of necessity to be in the P-5 and hold a football playoff? PITT was an obvious choice and even then PITT was thinking more Big 10…..and yes, I have a seriously hard time giving the old AD and credit. imo he didn’t have a clue about PITT and tradition. So I move on.

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  52. As the Pitt World Turns.

    In today’s edition we look at one of our favorite subjects. The ineptitude of Cornhole.

    One of the few AD’s in the history of college football, that after nearly destroying one of college football’s most fabled programs, that being the Nebraska Cornhuskers, somehow is still able to get another Million dollar a year AD job from his bosom buddy, Nerdenberg.

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  53. I try to forget the loss of Pitt Stadium. If I was a Pitt student now I would probably watch Pitt at an Oakland bar that had cheap beer and rum. Unfortunately when Heinz is gone we will probably be playing in a stadium in some far out suburb where only jeeps can go.

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  54. the student attendance makes up about 20 to 25% (at the most) of the total attendance. I would have the think the remaining 78 to 80% prefer traveling to the North Shore than to Oakland. I know it was certainly more conbvenient for me when I lived in the area … and even moreso now after a 2 hr plus drive.

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  55. Emel, add to the only one to blow up his stadium – and not having a new OCS ready to roll. I know older Pitt fans that I attended games with at Pitt Stadium who refuse to go to Ketchup Stadium. How do you get fired for ruining Nebraska and then get rehired at Pitt? Only Nerdy the other half of the Undynamic Duo.

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  56. The Vegas line on this game has Pitt favored by 6.5

    Our O will need to help our D by keeping the triple option on the sidelines for most of the game.

    I look for an entertaining afternoon under a calm, sunny sky on Saturday afternoon – it’s homecoming to boot.

    Wreak GTech!

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  57. I think it is a stretch to say had the ACC been looking to expand in 2010 “we wouldn’t have been invited”. This is the same conference that subsequently invited Lville. A university that is geographically and academically a bad fit for the ACC and is an off the field/court problem machine…I understand why Pitt fired DW, but one does have to wonder where our program would be if DW was still HC with the money and stability of the ACC to recruit with.

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  58. If we weren’t invited to the ACC, we may well be a member of the B12 as a partner to WVU. We were actually invited before WVU, and the B12 would have loved it if for all sports but FB, they could schedule a 2-school road trip back east.

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  59. Agree wwb those two were incompetent and should have done it much in advance. I heard that SP hired Haywood based on one booster saying he was the up and comer.
    Have spoken to several WVU people and they are not happy Luck put them in B!2 and fled town and oddly even though they are undefeated Holgerson is not a popular coach with the fan base. Apparently he has an abrasive personality. Ah hoopies……
    Beat Tech

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  60. As bad as the last decade has been for Pitt Football, it is absolutely amazing that we find ourselves in such an overall good situation. We are in a great conference (ACC), we are getting great exposure, and we have a very competitive team and a HC that fits the Burg very well.
    #H2P

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