Scott, You Can Show Yourself Out Now

CARPETBAGGER

1. any opportunistic or exploitive outsider:

Color me completely unimpressed with Scott Barnes hire as the Pitt Athletic Director in the first place and then his subsequent leaving yesterday. It was readily apparent from the start that he had no real vested interest in the University of Pittsburgh but so also little in the Athletic Department that he was hired to grow.

He showed this from the beginning of his time at Pitt and the it was evident that he was biding his time until he could leave.  We’ll talk about why he left in a bit but spare me the “needed to get home” angle.  That may well be true with Barnes but executive employees all over the United States want to “go home: again but almost all wait until the end of their careers, when they have reached the pinnacle of success elsewhere,  to tip the balance scale that way.

Here is a piece from the Post-Gazette that shows  the timeline for Barnes’ time at Pitt.  It is published as a sidebar to an apologist article written by Barnes’ apparent #1 fan :

Scott Barnes’ Tenure as Pitt AD

April 23, 2015Hired at Pitt

June 15, 2015 – Officially takes office as AD
June 24, 2015 Fan experience committee announced
This is a wonderment issue because aside from the trumpets and fanfare of the announcement I can’t find one thing that they actually did that hadn’t been done in some form or another before at Pitt athletic matches.  They didn’t have an impact on getting beer sold so what exactly did they do?  We had some paint splashed on the mid-field area to personalize the field a bit.
July 31, 2015Contract extension for women’s basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio
Routine, no other bidders for her services
Aug. 13, 2015 – New contract for softball coach Holly Aprile
Routine, no other bidders for her services
Aug. 30, 2015Pitt script adopted for all sports
BTW – started by Steve Pederson and finished by Barnes. It happened on Barnes’ watch so he gets credit but it was in the works for some time.  Credit him for the public relations campaign  associated with it – that went well but it wasn’t his efforts that started it.
Sept. 10, 2015– Backyard Brawl renewed for 2022-25
Whoopee – didn’t seem like people gave our old AD any credit for getting PSU back on the schedule for a series…  This is what an AD is supposed to do; scheduling games seven years in the future is how things work and this was a no-brainier on both schools’ part.  The tough thing about getting PSU back on the schedule was that it wasn’t really all that an important issue for Penn State thus that made it harder to accomplish.
Dec. 4, 2015Pitt hires Jay Vidovich as men’s soccer coach
Routine
Dec. 10, 2015– Contract extension for football coach Pat Narduzzi 
Routine at any school after an initial outside job offer to a new head coach.  The key is to see what sort of buyout clause Pitt has with Narduzzi if the bigger programs come calling, which I believe they will and soon. That will be the key when push comes to shove over his services.  This decision could also be seen in a negative light as it set a precedent for a knee jerk reaction to what apparently wasn’t a formal contract offer with no interviews taken. 
It wasn’t a bad thing to do by any means but I’d certainly would consider this anything to put a feather in his cap about.  Again – an extension with an accompanying raise it pretty standard in this situation – but the real issue is whether Narduzzi agreed to a heavier buyout clause when he signed that extension.
Jan. 19, 2016“Town Hall” event for Pitt fans outlining strategic plan
Guys – read this report on the “Town Hall” meeting and the specifics of what Barnes wants.  Now, tell me what we actually got.  Lots of noise and promises…

“Barnes laid out goals for focusing on fan engagement, expanding the revenue base, improving athletes’ graduation rates and re-allocating resources. So far, Barnes said the athletic department has failed to solicit sufficient donations from Pitt’s alumni.

“[Moving to the ACC is] a significant lift,” Barnes said. “How are we going to bring the resources to compete at that level?”  Pitt is second in the ACC in total alumni, but second to last in total alumni donations.  “I’m licking my chops,” Barnes said. “That is an opportunity.”

Through fundraising, the Athletics Department plans to fund $8 to 10 million for facility improvements. A $4 million renovation is already underway at the swimming and diving facilities at Trees Hall, set for completion this fall.”

But from what I gather those fundraising efforts have fallen well short and that money expended on the current renovations was already in the Pitt budget.

March 21, 2016 Jamie Dixon steps down as Pitt men’s basketball coach
This is one issue where I think Barnes fell flat on his face. Apparently we had a $10M buyout clause in effect for any school wishing to hire Dixon prior to his contract running out here.  However, Barnes somehow negotiated a reduction in that $10M so that 1) TCU could easily finalize the deal and 2) Pitt took less money.
Honestly, I think Barnes’ purposefully made it easier for Dixon to leave contrary to what has been written about Barnes ‘loving Jamie Dixon’.  He wanted to piss on something at Pitt as soon as possible to leave his mark on things and the basketball program was there for the wetting.  We saw an indication of his somewhat immature need to establish dominance in the department and the media right away when he showed his arrogance and stupidity at Stallings initial press conference.
March 27, 2016 – Kevin Stallings hired as men’s basketball coach
This is a ‘to be seen’ issue and I have no real comment on it as I don’t follow Pitt hoops that closely.  I will address his complete foolishness in his after-actions below.
May 18, 2016 – Pitt unveils new script uniforms
Again, negotiations with the contractual apparel companies for this took place before Barnes arrival.  Fans like the new uniforms and that is a good thing.  But this is something that isn’t new in Pitt athletics and will be done again and again.
I think fans believe that Pitt itself makes the call on when to do up a new rendition of uniforms when that really isn’t the case.  Unless a school is one of the big, easily recognizable programs (PSU, Alabama, Ohio State, etc…) this happens on a regular basis.  The apparel companies need constant turn-over in the uniforms for school ‘gear’ sales to fans.  Give us 4-5 years, will see new ones again with a different AD.
The Dixon situation wasn’t the only cake target in the urinal at Pitt for Barnes.  New executives almost always feel the need to change things and sometimes just for the sake of change. I don’t know exactly how well all these new staff positions and new Internal and External Affairs units have worked out but I have seen this exact same thing happen numerous times.  That is what a new boss does.
But regardless of what he did or didn’t do right away what we have seen is a raft of departures from the athletic teams coaching staffs.  While we can try to excuse things by saying that it  happens all the time at other schools the truth is within his first 18 months Pitt lost a successful BB head coach, and two offensive coordinators from the football team at a time when continuity within Pitt sports was paramount after all the crap the university had been though over the last six years.  That is on him specifically as his main job was to enhance the athletic programs and not just change them. 
June 27, 2016 – Barnes announces beer sales at Heinz Field for 2016 football season
Yeah us!! Good thing but none in press box… 😦
Aug. 18, 2016Barnes announces a record 55,630 season tickets sold for football
Hmmm, that is something but it is all about Pat Narduzzi.  How many of those new purchases are block sales to organizations and corporate entities?  It is nice to have more tickets sold but I wonder how many were discounted?
It sure didn’t impact the all-important number of fans actually in attendance which, to me, seemed low given the year we just came off of.  With the exception of the PSU game I was surprised at the number of empty seats for the other home games – especially the later Duke game, listed at 35,425 and the Syracuse game listed at 34,049.  Sorry but there were not that many people in those seats.
Sept. 22, 2016Oregon State AD Todd Stansbury leaves for Georgia Tech
Dec. 14, 2016 – Barnes meets with Oregon State officials
Dec. 21, 2016 – Oregon State offers AD job to Barnes
Dec. 22, 2016 – Barnes named Oregon State AD
So it all came down to punching a ticket and filling in a school’s name of the blank spot on Barnes’ resume’. I truly believe that. He is but a blip and soon to be footnote in the history of Pitt athletics and I for one don’t care a bit that he’s left.
I believe he showed his true colors with his supreme arrogance toward fans and the local media at Stallings’ press conference – it was especially untoward and distasteful after he took the easiest and most financially profitable course for his headhunting buddies in executing the Stallings hiring.
Time to move on Pitt.  Let’s hope Dr. Juhl can do a better job than he did the first time around, He kind of swung and missed on Barnes.

98 thoughts on “Scott, You Can Show Yourself Out Now

  1. Football attendance was pathetic. I usually don’t care that much because it is what it is, but the fact that Pitt ran out of the tunnel to 10,000 people after the huge Clemson upset was freaking ridiculous. I have no idea if a new AD can do much to fix it. A football game at most colleges is a weekend long event. At Pitt it’s your Saturday afternoon. People tailgate, come in late, & leave early to get a head start on their Saturday night plans. There are 10-15,000 there to watch the band & see the team run out pregame & even less to sing the Victory Song at the end.

    Like

  2. I’m not sure Pitt football will ever be supported on game day. Moving to Heinz was a mistake that cannot be undone. The administration was unwilling to invest $55 million in Pitt stadium for renovations i just can’t see them shelling out $200 million plus for a new on campus stadium.

    Merry Christmas to all and the best of luck to whoever they find as the next AD.

    Like

  3. Attendance INCREASED with the move to Heinz Field. So did the winning. This notion that Pitt needs an OCS to become better isn’t even remotely accurate.

    Like

  4. I was at Pitt Stadium when many came 1963…when few came .. (other than PSU or Notre Dame) 1965 -1974
    …when many came 1975-1983…
    and back to when few came …1984-the end.

    Even at its worst, Pitt Stadium seemed friendly and created a terrific game day experience.

    Heinz gives us nothing. It was the single worst decision ever made by the powers that ran Pitt Football.

    I have no solution. I was there Nick…10,000 post Clemson. 26,000
    at VA Tech. Barnes was a disiaster. He gave Pitt 0. No passion, no reason to come, the disaster of how Stallings got here (and I like Stallings) , poor negotiations for a bowl for a football team that deserved much better…

    I have No answers… I just believe an on campus stadium is the only possible hope for a resurgence in Pitt Football attendance!

    Like

  5. TCU is interested in the most successful Pitt men’s basketball coach ever, and Herman lowers the buyout. How’s that for using your leverage?
    The Stallings intro presser rivaled the Wanny goodbye presser in terms of how-not-to-conduct-a-televised conference.
    The denial by Herman a week or so ago evinced not only a lack of honesty, but a lack of any integrity whatsoever.
    And while smug Steve at least made an effort to interact with fans – despite knowing he was loathed – Barnes acted as though he was in his own elite stratosphere, above the folks he was asked to serve….because, really, the fans drive athletics through their contributions.
    Good bye, Herman. Can’t wait until he uses the front door quote in Corvallis.

    Like

  6. Happy holidays to all.—Keep in mind folks that virtually every Pitt game can be watched either online or on TV. That wasn’t the case back when Pitt won the National Championship and many years there after. We are not a state school and we will never draw like a OSU, PSU or Michigan with the current options available for viewing today. You don’t have to be an alumni of those state schools to want to attend those games. Just being a resident of those states gives you ample reason to root for and attend those state school games. If Pitt goes undefeated and is close to winning a national championship then maybe we can come close to selling out most of our games. Please note I said MOST not All even under that scenario.

    Like

  7. Good point jrn.

    I too wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas or blessing however you celebrate your holiday time.

    I’m going to make some changes to the Pitt POV after the new year, ones that will be beneficial to you readers and on my end also.

    We’ll always be a free site so that won’t change and we’ll always be a fun thing to have in your life.

    This idea to split off and create my own site has been a resounding success but we’ll branch out to some other formats and try some new things.

    Details after the new year. ..

    Like

  8. A very heart felt “Happy Holiday”to my Christian brothers and Jewish friends the special time of year!
    God bless.
    Pittman4ever

    Like

  9. Nick have you been to any of the games recently and noticed other than the PSU game Heinz was pretty empty this season. Actually the attendance was bad, I’m not sure how Pitt counts attendance for game day but it seems very inflated and i do believe Reed has indicated this previously.

    In addition a lot of PSU fans purchased season tickets for that one game due to Pitt’s season ticket policy.

    I have been to a lot of college football games in my 58 years, nothing beats an on campus stadium atmosphere.

    Oakland was fun, walk the campus before the game, tailgate then hit the bars after, you don’t get this on the north shore.

    Pitt stadium could have been redone with luxury boxes and a dome and they could have played basketball in the facility but Pitt took the cheap way out by relocating to Heinz.

    Baylor built a beautiful facility with a capacity of 45k expandable to 55k. There are some positives to Heinz but at the end of the day college football was made to play on campus for the experience.

    Like

  10. Wow, Reed. Bringing the heated rhetoric . Love it and I don’t disagree . Here hoping that the Gallagher administration , withan a little more experience now, gets it right this time. Happy Holidays and H2P !

    Like

  11. Gasman – beat NW and Pitt will be 2-0 vs the B1G Joke conference, which some pundits say is the best this year.

    We as Pitt fans can remind the Pittsburgh news media of this fact, over and over and over…

    HTP and Merry Christmas!

    Like

  12. Certainly Pitt Stadium was a real plus for students and alumni.
    But for the normal fan Oakland was ironically a zoo! Horrific stopped traffic coming and going, parking nightmares, and walking Cardiac Hill. That’s 3 strikes against it and a strike out.
    The Panthers can’t fill a stadium with only students and alumni. Pittsburghers have to show up and Oakland was a nightmare.
    So, what’s the solution??? That’s the answer we don’t have!

    Like

  13. Don’t think it’s the long term solution but tarping off sections of the stadium to make it more intimate would seem to be a no brainer start.

    Like

  14. Oakland can not handle the traffic for an on campus stadium. With only one major access road that is either closed or backed up the in and out for non campus fans would be awful. Had our wonderful civic leaders not spent the transit funds on extending the “T” to Rooneys kingdom, and put something in from down town to Oakland the idea may have had a chance.
    I too have attended games where the on campus experience was fabulous (Several SEC venues), but recreating that on an urban campus is pretty tough.
    Put a competitive product on the field and people will come.

    Like

  15. Since an OCS will never happen unless there is a significant increase in demand for Pitt tickets, the new AD has to be a promoter and in this town Pitt has to be Champion caliber.

    Since Heinz will be our home for many years some radical changes are needed. Here are some suggestions for the new AD:

    Flip the home field, so that it is the one you see on TV. Create an Oakland Zoo putting the students in premier seating behind the team bench. This also puts the home field on the side with the great hall.
    Give priority for that side to Pitt grads. Don’t be so greedy with the donation requirements and give a deep discount to recent grads, so that they can get good seats and form habits with their buddies.

    Put canvas over the upper endzone and only sell those as single day tickets for the big games. Somehow figure out how to fill the lower bowl with people that attend every game or give their tickets to someone who will. This will take some work and creativity.

    Make a deal with one of the hotels to create Pitt weekend discounted packages for out of towners. A Pitt banquet the night before, with Pitt celebrities, a Pitt breakfast, game transportation, Campus excursions on Friday and Sunday for those that want to spend the weekend. Trips to the Friday pep rally, make it a weekend event. The City is fun and a great place for tourists. Make it good enough that locals will want to join in and stay over once or twice a year.

    Like

  16. I read some years ago in a Pitt sports history that Pitt Stadium was built with footers strong enough to support a second deck if one were ever needed. Second deck never happened, of course. By the way, Heinz Field was ranked as third best of all 31 NFL stadiums. The tailgating at Heinz Field is pretty spectacular. Just not enough fans in the seats. Walk-up crowds do not occur with any regularity. The zeal for Pitt on this site and others does not exist, IMO, beyond the sites. I am talking about zeal, not mere interest. Pitt was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Pitt shaped my life for the better. That is why on Christmas Day I am taking time out to respond to your great site on Pitt football, which to me seems also to show, deep down, a real respect for all things Pitt. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (sic), and Happy New Year to you and all who follow you here. My personal feeling also wants to say, God bless us every one.

    Like

  17. Pretty much agree with Reed’s article. Barnes was a carpetbagger since day one. I am concerned that the same committee is searching for a new AD, they shit the bed on the first. IMO it is essential to have someone with pre-existing ties to Pitt or be aware of our history. It would be nice to find someone from east of the Mississippi. That is one reason I am not sold on Tressel – yeah he raised money at tosu but that was his school where they have crazy amounts of money. What are his connections here? Experience as an AD.? None.
    There were problems, mostly with traffic at Pitt Stadium but overall attendance came down to winning, Pitt is still treated as the red-headed child of the Eyewitness News Team by the Steelers. The mid-field logo is still half the size of all other D! logos, have a drab PITTSBURGH in one end zone and the other looks like tihis ///////////. It doesnt feel like a friendly stadium on Saturday, just Sundays, i have some ideas on one possible plan for an OCS, maybe I will bore Reed and y’all with a longer pontification in the offseason – will require Pitt AD and leaders to think outside the box.
    i cant wait for the changes to POV – a televised Podcast from the Bat Cave with Upitt and Darkie?.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever may apply – Happy Festivus to Dr Tom.
    HAIL TO PITT.
    ps Reed with all the drunks as sportwriters over the years, think flasks,

    Like

  18. Right Jimbo, Pitt is a city school and that gives it advantages and disadvantages. Pitt needs to take advantage of those things that make it different and special. Take advantage of being in a great city and use the amenities that are not available to other schools

    I think the way Pitt ties in seating availability to donations and a point system, has also become detrimental to attendance and fan enthusiasm. Selling all those corporate tickets leaves a lot of empty seats and premier seats filled with the other teams fans sitting right next to you does not enhance the experience.

    We need a new model and a different way to raise funds without macing the few fans we have.

    Barnes bragging about 55,000 season tickets sold was a joke, I called him out on it at the time. Real fans that invest in season tickets show up, or give their tickets to someone who will.

    On Barnes, hurray that he is gone. I think Tressel could be our Barry Alvarez, but don’t think Pitt has the guts to pull the trigger. Will go with the safe pick. Still waiting to see if Gallagher really wants to Make Pitt Great Again. Sorry for that.

    Tressel has won a National Championship and knows what it takes to compete at the highest level. Has the respect of his peers, and wants to overcome his mistakes. Did not fight his punishment, or threaten to sue, and it was a blip in tOSU’s success.

    Athletic success is more than a coaching staff, it is the organization structure and administrative personnel behind it. If not Tressel we need someone that knows how to get things done, take advantage of our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Make the Pitt Game Day experience something that is unique to Pitt, take advantage of the City environment and quit lamenting that we are not the SEC. Take advantage of our relationship with the Steelers and quit crying about how cheap the Rooney’s are and how bad Heinz Field is. It is not the venue that is holding us back. It is the thirty years of futility that we have to overcome.

    Pittsburgh loves Champions, that is what it takes in this town to be rewarded with attendance.

    Like

  19. PittPT, Savage looked pretty good. His line did not give him a whole lot of time, but he managed the game well and made some throws. Cinci did not have Burfict, and have lost a ton of receivers. Boyd looks pretty good. Announcer commented on his third down catches. Texans were without their star pass rusher.

    Savage got a little beat up and was limping, but lead a game winning drive, two wins in a row for him.

    Like

  20. I’m curious as to what measurements Time magazine used to rank the academic programs of the universities. WVU is ranked #13, ahead of us at #20. Don’t believe it…..
    Happy holidays to all of you, and thanks for the blog Reed.

    Like

  21. Was Northwestern even on the list? Yeah, West Virginia is academically a much better university academically than Northwestern (let’s leave Pitt out of the discussion because hey we’re biased). Where on Htrae it’s better?

    Like

  22. Annie – Time magazine used the NCAA academic graduate rate for the teams in the top 25. I used the arrow to the right of picture & got to first/last page where explanation for ranking was given.

    Like

  23. First order of business of new AD should be working with the news media, radio and TV, to stop having them treating Pitt as the red headed step-child.
    To increase attendance we can’t just depend on students and alums, we need to stir interest in the local fan base. This will never happen as long as media( and I mean The Fan) is allowed to use us as a whipping boy. This is our flagship station and they constantly put us down. Get tuff with those bozos. Threaten to pull UPMC ad dollars. There are way too many guys on there who have an overblown sense of importance. Not asking for preferential treatment, just a fair shake. Quit playing nice, hardball them. Casual fans will never come out if all they hear is Pitt is a joke!
    I too long for OCS but infrastructure will not allow it. SS area mentioned is a joke idea. Talk to any engineer, they will look at you like your nuts. The hills,valleys, and rivers which made us great also limit in the modern age.

    Like

  24. Lol @ this article and all of you letting your fandom get in the way of your objectivity. Reed, this was a hit piece. It is not an accurate reflection of how much Scott Barnes actually did. I know a couple people who work in the Athletic Department and they said the difference between Barnes and Steve Pederson was night and Day. His off-field work for athletics, student athletes, and fundraising was excellent, and he basically had to undue all the shit Stevie P did.

    This article is all because he let your beloved basketball coach go and used a buddy’s search firm to find a coach. Sure it looks bad, but when it comes down to it, Dixon’s predictable play hard within the system style wasn’t good for Pitt anymore because we moved to the ACC, a scoring conference. His recruiting sucked for the last 5 years and Stallings inherited that product and still is 10-2 right now, exactly where Dixon would have probably been too (maybe switch the Duquesne loss with Maryland’s). The offense is already more exciting and Stallings’ recruiting class is the best we’ve had in 6 years.

    So get real, calling the man a carpetbagger? I really hope you met him in person to be able to say that with full confidence. Sounds like this guy has family matters that forced his hand, so let’s not jump to conclusions. People complain about The Fan not doing Pitt any favors with the public perception, but these types of pieces are just as damaging.

    I appreciate the work you do Reed and I’m a frequent reader, but you have been ho hum on football for the last two years even though these are the best seasons they’ve had this decade (and it looks like the program is about to turn the corner). You make Barnes sound like he was worse than he is and give him no credit for doing things that many fans have been begging for since Steve Pederson ruined the Athletic Department.

    Side Note: The olympic sports have made huge strides in what has been the toughest overall olympic sport conference in the ACC.

    Like

  25. JoeKnew, totally agree. But Pitt has to do its part, no more Epic Fails, no more Houstons or Navys etc.

    One reason I keep lamenting the WPIAL recruiting results is not just losing the quality players, it is because it is a litmus test for how Pitt is perceived locally. Local kids are not growing up wanting to play for their home town team. We lose all their family and friends that could become life long Pitt Fans.

    Pitt has to stop being its own worst enemy. Selling corporate tickets and giving the best seats to the well healed is not how to build a fan base.

    Like

  26. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years to all………

    By Canada coaching the bowl game, did this bog down the OC search at all? I would surely think not but I’ve heard that mentioned elsewhere.

    About the amount of season tickets sold compared to the actual attendance this past season. I thought the same thing. (under-rated) SB bragged about the small amount bought by non-PITT fans,? He was full of it. A ton of tickets for the other than the psu game were thrown away or given as gag gifts.

    Concerning corporations gobbling up tickets? I’ve seen this first hand for years. My club seats are on the visiting side and we have the first four seats in 3 different rows. Only a rare occasion were their people sitting in the seats the rest of our rows. When there were people they were always for the visitors. Nice people but surely not PITT fans. This is a bad idea. I’ll take visitors over no one sitting there though.

    rkb has some ideas? Would love to hear them. I just don’t know about the room needed and certainly the infrastructural deficiencies in Oakland…..but if PITT can’t get a new stadium somewhere besides Heinz, I believe the cry should be for the T to extend out to the campus, close down the block of Bigalow Blvd and the widening of Bates Street. Thus making it easier to get to the campus to hang out then jumping on rapid transit to the schitt hole known as The Giant Ketchup Bottle.

    Speaking of which, The Great Hall is a great joke, imo. The freaking over-rated cave isn’t even heated in the winter. One of the biggest reason I still get club seats. It’s not the beer fellows and young lady, it’s the amenities.

    Understand that Burfict sat out yesterday? In the concussion protocol? First time DeCastro pulled and Burfict took out his legs down low. The next time the idiot tried the same thing. DeCastro knocked him out with a vicious head butt down low. imo he was on queer street and should have never been allowed back into the game.

    A podcast on Sunday mornings taking phone calls would be really neat, I hope that is a possible change for next year..

    Again, Have a very Happy Holiday and an even better New Year…….ike

    H2P

    Like

  27. I will stir the pot:
    Hire Tressel. A man with a chip on his shoulder will outwork all others.
    Besides, A little redemption is good for everybody.
    And while I loathed Smug Steve, can anyone prove to me that Herman was any better?

    Like

  28. gc, Thanks for the review on Savage and Boyd’s performance ! So which position gets filled first, OC or AD? History says OC but, I dont understand why the last AD search took so long. Since its apparently been common knowledge that Barnes was looking, Pitt should have been accumulating a list of potential candidates already.

    Like

  29. Timmeh – Exactly which Oympic sports are good under Barnes? Baseball had a losing record. Other than Wrestling they all stink.

    Barnes was atrocious.

    Like

  30. Dixon contract was up in 2023. Quick calculations at 3 million per at 7 years totals 21 million. In addition the buyout of 10 million was a issue that TCU wouldn’t eat. So Pitt rumored to get 5 million and get put from under that albatross of a bad contract. So 26 million is free to be repositioned and the savings can pay for assistant coaches and upgrades. Dixon wanted out., never think that wasn’t the case. He was no longer in total control of the program under Smiley and balked at tougher schedule and ACC conference. Good F”n riddance. Left the program in poor shape and Stallings may or may not be successful, but Dixon was done and knew it. As to Barnes, he was a quality AD and did in fact upgrade many areas of neglect under Smiley. Hopefully Pitt hires a AD with the understanding of what he set in motion.

    Like

  31. I have explained my feelings on Pitt Stadium and an OCS many times before. I think there is a glimmer of hope with the new infrastructure bill that I hope Congress implements using private developers who are in it to get a tax break and make money passes. H2P

    Merry Christmas and happiness to all.

    Like

  32. While waiting for ham to heat up:

    Comparing Barnes or any AD in the whole wide wide world is a waste of time. “the steve” would win that debate every time as the absolute worst! So telling anyone that Barnes was a better AD then “the steve” and liked better by the administration employees is a well know assumption.

    But…Barnes was just plain fairly good. He did some things but didn’t have his heart here at PITT, Just like Jamie no longer wanted to be here.

    Not a Blather guy and really haven’t read Reed’s comments the past half dozen years, I have noticed more of a critical poster then years gone by. Thinking you’re a lot closer to the football program Reed and may have some inside info, maybe swung you towards more of a objective investigator then subjective? Which ain’t a bad thing…….ike

    Like

  33. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Maybe if we keep improving a little in each hire we’ll wind up with someone good. But it seems that Pitt never makes the splash hire (except for maybe Narduzzi) so I suspect Tressel won’t be coming here.

    I agree with jrn about the availability of TV’s etc, hurting attendance, that and the fact that the Pens are great now too doesn’t help.

    Thanks for the site Reed and looking forward to Wednesday and the new POV.

    Like

  34. What was set in motion began with the ACC acceptance which Cornhole just had to pick up the phone and say yes after BC put the kibosh on UConn. Now if Pitt wants to be relevant in the ACC and not become another BC, it will take commitment to all sports programs and not just football. That means paying for excellent coaches, having state of the art facilities, and developing a national brand…or at least one recognized East of the Mississippi. It takes money which means the new AD has to be a prolific fundraiser. The AD needs to have a vision and give fans a reason to believe. Fans want a winner and a great experience. Its entertainment and bragging rights. Pitt needs to find its identity and understand what it wants to be. Gallagher knows. He’s the first Chancellor in years that mentioned the value of the front porch. After that its all execution.

    Like

  35. @Reed You nailed it with regard to Barnes. Thank you for that timeline with honest commentary. With Gallagher around even Pederson could have finished the script rollout (which started under his watch) , done the facilities upgrades (which were presumably budgeted under his watch), extended the contracts (which were hired under his watch) and restarted the brawl (since he did it before with PSU). He probably also could have retained Dixon. Not that all fans would have been on board with that at the time.

    At the time that Dixon left I took it on face that he was leaving entirely on his own. However in hindsight I suspect Dixon did not react favorably to Barnes openly pushing him to change his scheduling. I suspect Barnes also suggested to Dixon that a style change might entice fans. In any event Dixon left and I now believe he was assisted. Barnes hiring of Stallings and the process around it completely turned me off. I am sure I was not alone but Barnes never appeared the least bit contrite. When the athletic department started bothering me about my basketball ticket renewal I wrote them an email and told them my reasons for not renewing. The response was that they understood but that Scott Barnes was doing a lot of good in the department.

    I was amazed to find real support for Barnes from posters on Pitt POV and Pittblather the other day. Then I was blown away that Zeise wrote yet another favorable opinion piece on Barnes in the PG. No real evidence of facts. DiPaola didn’t provide a ton of context in his Trib piece but at least he didn’t spew a lot of groundless puffery.

    Zeise pumped the Vidovich hire but the men’s soccer team only won 2 matches last season. Meanwhile his old school, Wake Forest (where he hadn’t coached for 2 full seasons) lost in the NCAA finals. He may have “built” that program but it seems fine without him.

    Like

  36. Upittbaseball- You have always been a critic of Pitt athletics no matter what so I will say upfront I take everything you say with a grain of salt. I do understand that you have been frustrated with our previous administration’s lack of support to the sport programs (so was I), but we finally saw what a competent administration (even if you do consider the impact to be minimal) could do and you still are unhappy. I think Paul Zeise was right in saying Pitt Athletics has never been in better shape and now finally has the building blocks in place to become successful in the future. Obviously, Barnes has to get some credit for that, but you and Reed will continue to bash the guy because of one dumb basketball PR move.

    Sure, baseball was below .500, but my comment was relative. Didn’t the volleyball team (Barnes hire) just make the NCAA tournament? Didn’t softball make the NCAA tournament two years in a row? Didn’t he hire a previous National Champion coach for men’s soccer? Are these not the things you have been babbling for for years on POV and the Blather. Let’s not act like these other programs didn’t receive more attention under Barnes’ watch. He made pretty good hires other than Stallings (and I concede the jury is still out on Stallings).

    My point is, everybody was so quick to turn on Barnes after the basketball hire that they really don’t give him credit for anything. It’s annoying to hear, especially when I have been told of many things he has done behind the scenes to put Pitt in a more competitive position in the ACC. But sure, continue to bash him for the hiring of Stallings….because that makes sense.

    Like

  37. Watching Stillers at Heinz – endzones and yard marking look fantastic, NFL logos in endzone. Compare to how the stadium looks on Saturdays – a disgrace. Barnes and Pitt never complain – you will reflect how you are treated – lack of respect – Grow Ballls. Fork you Barnes.

    Like

  38. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all Pov’rs near and far.

    Steelers with the late Christmas present. Crazy playing on Christmas Day, use to be only the NBA did that.

    Hope everyone had a peaceful and joyous holiday !

    Like

  39. Concerning the Herman the heel. Like I said last week, Pitt should have saved face and given him the boot last week. Pitt is so use to getting no respect from the local media, the Rooney’s, the ACC, that they’ve learned to live with being disrespected.

    Very sad, it really needs some dynamic leadership that would in turn demand respect on so many levels.

    Like

Leave a Comment Please (and don't hold back...)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s