I was wool gathering yesterday afternoon right after I put the Sunday podcast up. I started thinking about why fans like what they like, what they dislike and /or are ambivalent to issues surrounding the Pitt football program.
It seems we are all different in our approach to what we want and expect out of the program. I know what I expect and I haven’t been shy of stating it. I’ve been called old-fashioned or references made to my military background as having influence over my opinions – and that has to be true in a sense especially when discussing disciplinary issues.
But what have we seen transpire over the last decade or so that has had us discussing this topic? After all Pitt went from pretty horrid in that department to almost pristine. Is it the recruiting ? Yes in some ways. Is it the leadership we have had in place over the last five years? Most certainly.
Paul Chryst and Pat Narduzzi have done a remarkable job in setting tough but reasonable standards and then holding the young men responsible if they don’t meet them.
But this is the time of the school year where I start getting nervous about what we might hear regarding outside the program incidents. Now isn’t so bad because the kids are still in school going to classes, working out and getting ready for spring practices. In other words they are pretty busy and busy keeps things in order.
It’s after the Spring game and through until the first week of August when fall camp begins where I start to worry. That’s when they have a lot of time on their hands and get strange ideas. Well, probably not any unique or ‘never-done-before’ ideas others haven’t had, but still…
Well, yesterday and many time before I have praised Pat Narduzzi for his ability to keep what appears to be a disciplined and straight forward program intact and on track. In any sense that is both needed and appreciated. One arrest since he was hired – one other inherited court case back in the summer months of 2105. That is pretty sparse and damned amazing in my opinion.
“There are really two different disciplinarian issues involved in this. The civil laws and the local judicial system’s application of those this is one. The civil authorities will execute their responsibilities hopefully with no regard one way or another in Boyd’s status as a star player. Again hopefully, there will be no formal charges.
Regardless that is completely separate from what the University of Pittsburgh’s responsibilities are here. What is awarded (or not) by the civil system should not have any effect on what the University does in applying its own internal discipline. PITT has its own policies and has to work inside those.
In my mind it is early enough in the year to levy a suspension for either a week or two of fall camp, or not starting or playing in the first quarter of the YSU game. Something along those lines, but I’d lean to
ward the lesser and softer punishment if I was in his shoes given what we know right now. Had this incident happened in the fall after the season began Narduzzi’s hands would be tied a bit as his options would narrow down to something to do with Boyd’s participation in a game.”
I was happy with the opener suspensions and thought that was perfect for the situation. Many Pitt fans disagreed thinking that was too harsh and would negatively affect their careers… mostly Boyd’s truth be told. But that didn’t happen much at all with the exception of being dropped then re-instated onto the Bilnetikof Award list.
It is certainly cause and effect that with his disciplining his star player and not being concerned about the depth chart and BTW he would have suspended the players even if we weren’t playing Youngstown. What was the result from that?
No arrests or instances of disciplinary problems have been reported since June of 2015. Huh, funny how that happens, isn’t it?
Now I feel this way about this issue. I believe almost ever player deserves a 2nd chance after misbehaving as long as there wasn’t violence or sexual assault type incidents involved. I do not believe in 3rd chances under any circumstance – I just don’t. Not with a now four-year scholarship as collateral. If you stop being able to play football for Pitt then Pitt calls in
the loan – sometimes it is as simple as that.
Really, after two redemption opportunities (2nd chance) all those wayward players are doing is keeping some other worthy kid from a scholarship that would be better used and more well-respected.
I also believe that the entity in the authoritative position, in this case the university and its athletic department, needs to act unilaterally in its decision-making. Pitt disciplines is players according to Pitt’s requirements – not any outside judicial system.
There may be times when a charge is dropped or a player gets off any punishment and even if found innocent there was still a violation of Pitt’s rules. Now, that doesn’t mean a Pitt coach has to discipline the player – only that he should determine his course of action without regard to anything but Pitt’s standards.
It isn’t double jeopardy or anything untoward to receive punishment for some violations from two different institutions. The kids, and their parents in some cases, sign on the dotted line knowing full well what Pitt’s rules and regulations are both in the university and then again in the athletic department. believe me there is zero ambiguity there.
Lets hope we don’t have to worry about this for a long time. But if something does happen I trust Pat Narduzzi to do the right thing for the team, the school and the player himself – because in the long run discipline awarded almost always results in a strong corrective action. We saw that happen with both Rori Blair and with Tyler Boyd – and in concert we saw the rest of the team take those young men’s discipline to heart as something they can expect also if the step over the line.
Kudos again to Pat Narduzzi and keep up the good work.
On a real-time note ESPN just ranked the ACC QBs going into 2017 and Pitt was named “Sleeper #3”. Here is what they had
Potential sleeper 3: Pitt. The Panthers have relied on their fair share of graduate transfers, and this season could be no exception with USC transfer Max Browne set to compete in spring practice. New offensive coordinator Shawn Watson has made his name developing quarterbacks, and Browne showed tons of potential as a former ESPN 300 recruit. With depth at running back and what should be a better defense, Pitt could make a Coastal run if it can get the most out of its next quarterback.
The red is mine…fingers crossed.
Other Notes: I believe I have all the Thank You gifts out to donors now. If anyone who chipped in doesn’t get something by Friday please let me know via email.
Also I have sent WordPress the screen shot regard this site’s security issues. I changed the site’s public logo last week and that’s when the stuff started happening. If it persists after today please let me know and I’ll brace up WordPress again – they haven’t gotten back to me yet.