Should Narduzzi Play Three Card Monte Again?

One of the things we have learned about Pat Narduzzi in his two years as the head coach of the Panthers is that he holds no strong loyalties to players who were recruited before he got here.  There is nothing wrong with that because any new boss brings in different ideas and attitudes to the program he’s been hired into.  Narduzzi is no different and truth be told those personnel moves have benefited the team in real positive ways.

We see he loves to get upperclassmen to fill gaps in what he perceives to be problems in his two-deep lineups. It is not just upperclassmen he wants and so he’s persuaded DE Dewayne Hendrix and TE Chris Clark to come onboard after only a year or two at their original schools.

In addition to those two he grabbed QB Nate Peterman in a move that was one of the best decisions I have seen a Pitt HC ever make,  then went out and convinced QB Max Browne to finish his playing days as the presumptive starter for this upcoming season.  Manny Stocker was brought in as a back-up QB last season also.

So he’s not hesitant to shuffle the player deck, splay the cards out and move them around.

Now we are hearing drumbeats along the Monongahela that his old school’s Middle Linebacker Jon Reschke has left the MSU Spartans and might have cast an eye toward reuniting with his old Defensive Coordinator.  Huh, right at a position of need also given the experience, or lack of it, we have at the LB position on the roster now (see yesterday’s article).

But here’s the rub.  Jon Reschke isn’t traipsing merrily along his way out of East Lansing – he’s been thrown out of the program due to being an idiot and a racist to boot.  Sorry if that offends anyone but I’m not sure how else to describe someone who repeatedly calls a teammate the most offensive word the English language to describe a Black person.26_4041268

“Arguably the top defensive player set to return for his senior year, Reschke released a statement that indicated he made an insensitive comment to a former teammate and the damage done was too much to allow him to remain on the team.

“Over a month ago, in an argument and a brief moment of anger, I lost control of my emotions and made an insensitive and totally regrettable comment involving a former teammate,” Reschke said. “In so doing, I have hurt and offended countless number of people, and for that, I am deeply sorry. If I could take my comment back, I would do so in a second.”

Gee – so would Howard Cosell with his “Little Monkey” comment and Jimmy the Greek with his explanation of his own selective breeding theory. But the reality is “once said 1000 times heard”.  (I think I just made that up.)

Love triangles always hurt unless your girlfriend is a great sport and the other participant is also a co-ed, at least in my  undergrad experience at Pitt. They were celebrated by all concerned actually.

But apparently this wasn’t the case with Reschke and his ex-girlfriend.  Rumors abound but the gist of the issue is that his old girlfriend (a White Woman) slept with a Tight End (a Black Man)  and pissed off the Linebacker (a Whiny White Man).

So to this guy,  who’s honor was besmirched or something, the only reasonable thing to do was use the Internet and then email childish and rude in the extreme insults and innuendoes to the old girlfriend.  Hell Fire folks! What else could a guy do?  Pussy foot around and 1) never talk to her again and let it fade into memory then grab another MSU co-ed right away… or 2) have a face to face talk with the old girlfriend, call her a name or two if he must,  then let it fade  into memory?

Neither happened.  Did this young man, and he’s not a teenager, never even stop to consider that what he wrote would go public in this day and age and especially with all the other crap happening in the MSU world?

Apparently not and he’s reaping what he sowed.

Well, the upshot is that it looks like his teammates didn’t really want him around all that much anyway and voted him off the team (which in itself is a weird way for the MSU staff to handle things if that part is true).  Truly letting the inmates run the MSU asylum there, eh?

So now he may come to Pitt, dragging this baggage behind him and looking for a another chance to get into the NFL.  Narduzzi may just take him – on pure football logic alone that would be a good move.  But personally I hope Narduzzi says thanks but no thanks and tells this guy to look elsewhere.

I have sung Narduzzi’s praises for his handling of his players and how he has admirably addressed all the off the field issues so far in his tenure at Pitt. Top notch so far in my book. But taking this player into the fold wouldn’t be in line with that. 

It is a minor thing for TE Chris Clarke not being able to make a solid choice of where to play his ball is one thing – to me that was a singular and personal problem of his.  But this Reschke action was mean and vindictive and most certainly involved and targeted someone else – and to top it off that someone else was a teammate of his.

Second chances for kids who chose Pitt from the start is one thing – that is taking care of your own.  Giving a problem child who had nothing to do with Pitt in the first place is a whole different matter.

It won’t be the end of the world if Narduzzi invites Jon Reschke to be a Panther and play out his college ball in Heinz Field as it is the HC’s prerogative to do that. It may work out well on the field of play but I would just prefer he didn’t in this case.

96 thoughts on “Should Narduzzi Play Three Card Monte Again?

  1. I’m thinking this may not be a decision that falls only on Narduuzi’s shoulders. While it sounds risky a bit and what he said and did is very irresponsible, should he be blackballed for a mistake that did not hurt anyone physically. I think it’s time that forgiveness should be applauded as well as stupidity should be condemned but not to a point of an eye for an eye punishment. The young man said he’s sorry, if that’s not good enough, then are we any better? I have a bad feeling about this article.


  2. I’d hate to see any player added if it would upset the balance in the locker room. However, if Narduzzi feels that adding this player makes Pitt a better football team, who am I to question it? Likely, the best course of action would be to gather the “leadership” of the team together and ask them their thoughts on the player. If they’re “ok” with his explanation and are willing to give him a chance, who are you or I to judge? If not, move on.

    In the end, the man said a word- a hateful, reprehensible word yes, but a word. He did not assault anyone. In fact, he broke no laws. Have we come so far that we now consider someone “irredeemable” for losing his temper and saying words?


  3. Everybody thinks their dog is great and won’t bite them. They forget they are the one that feeds the dog. If you ask a dog owner what his dog is like, he will describe himself. What Narduzzi does here says a lot about himself.


  4. To all…do you remember what you were like at age 19-22? What asshats most of us were??
    Give me a frickn break on this kid and get him into a Pitt uni ASAP! As we are in Lent I quote ..
    “Let thou without sin cast the first stone!”


  5. “Sorry if that offends anyone but I’m not sure how else to describe someone who repeatedly calls a teammate the most offensive word the English language to describe a Black person.”

    Reed, please explain “repeatedly.” This happened more than once?

    “Well, the upshot is that it looks like his teammates didn’t really want him around all that much anyway and voted him off the team.”

    The Lansing article I read said he met with Dantonio and the two agreed that it was best if he moved on. I must have missed the team voting him gone. Never knew MSU had so many perfect people on their team. No wonder the team stunk last year.

    Some transgressions aren’t forgivable, this one should be.


  6. Tough situation, all for giving any one a second chance, but that is a pretty egregious thing to do (say). Only way I could see this even remotely working if invited was to have talked to the team leaders and get their feedback/buy-in. Obviously Narduzzi knows this kids character better than most, but obviously he needs to mature a LOT more.


  7. No wonder MSU sucked. TE steals the LB’s girlfriend?? Yeah… nice move. At the very least this would instigate a brawl among teammates.

    Regardless of race… what would be the outcome if said LB broke the jaw of said TE? Would that be OK? Or does that invoke “team meeting” to vote the LB off the island?


  8. Still waiting for any of the transfers to have an impact. Will Hendrix and Clark show up this year?

    Sounds like the kid deserves a second chance, unlike Jimmy the Greek or Cosell who were old enough to know better.

    Again coaches descretion makes the most sense. Certainly don’t need a cancer in the locker room.


  9. TheNard Dog knows this kid well. Hence, he’ll know if the kid is a problem and shouldn’t come to Pitt or if the girlfriend situation put this kid over the top and he acted improperly.
    In conclusion, if everything we have said in life became known publicly we would all be in deep doo doo. I trust Nard Dog will do the right thing.


    1. Good question but the answer is apparently No. The following is an excerpt from a Detroit Free Press article:

      The senior outside linebacker, who sat out most of last year with an ankle injury, said Friday in a news release that he will be seeking an immediate graduate transfer after he completes his degree at MSU.


  10. SpecialK, I don’t think so, I believe he may have graduated and if he did? Does that say anything to all of us?


  11. Would have pissed me off too!! We are all different and all sin..Bring him on and while we are talking sinful behavior hire Tressel as AD..then we can have a “coming to Jesus” moment and be cleansed..


  12. Maybe Pitt should make room for the girlfriend and the TE also. Let’s stir the pot some more and give all Pitt sports blog/writers some additional fodder for the coming season


    1. Gee – what would you prefer to talk about? We could always rehash how crappy our defense was.

      But this is a part of college and Pitt football like it or not. And again I remind you that this is a blog that stirs the pot as do many others.

      Should you prefer to have shiny and cleansed Pitt discussions then the Post-Gazette and the Tribune -Review put out articles with a comments column under them. But when you go there please notice no one talks about what they have to say.


      1. My post was meant to be humorous in nature. Your comment Reed on the concerns surrounding this potential transfer were appropriate IMO. That said I say let Narduzzi make the call and live with the consequence.


  13. I am with Jay91’s comment from 12:45pm. Duzz should consult the leadership of the team.

    Sounds like the “kid” acted like a jilted lover and went over the top. Been there and done that. So, we throw in a word spoken/typed in anger. I am not black. So, I am not the one to make a judgment about how unacceptable this is. Leadership of the team will include black players, I am certain. Let them decide.

    I am quite comfortable making decisions about a guy who beats/abuses/rapes his girlfriend or steals. This one is not in my ballpark to decide.



  14. If Narduzzi thinks that he’s a good kid who made a bad mistake, then let him come. The kid likely heard that type of language at home. Doesn’t make it right. But, it can take a while to unlearn what your hear/learn at home the first 18 years of life. The kid will learn from this.

    The LB and TE should have taken it out back and settled the matter without words, imo.


  15. Coach N will make a strong decision on this. If he has options I’m sure he will explore all avenues. Good people make mistakes and the process may help the young man. On the other hand let’s suppose Nard may be asked to take over Deantonios job down the line how would it look to the hiring committee if he took a boy who got in trouble there. Would this hurt his job chances? H2 P


    1. Now that you put it that way FoP, I guess we should hope he takes on this troubled young man and burns bridges in E Lansing. Although I doubt that would matter much.


  16. The kid came to MSU from Birmingham, Alabama. So what’s the chance of him returning back to his roots to finish out his collegiate career? There are some pretty big named schools back in Alabama he might be looking to transfer to.


  17. Hey Reed – we agree. No room for it. I hope Pitt passes. If his teammates truly did vote him off the island that’s very telling to his character. Send him back to the Deep South.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with Pitt looking into him, however. If there is interest, I would hope Narduzzi would leave it up to the team, like MSU did in kicking him out, as to whether or not he can become a Panther.

    If Pitt players accept him, then it’s a different story. At face value, nope. Find another school.


  18. OK let’s talk about a few points here. Lots of strong opinions and good ones. but first –

    The young man is 22 years old, not 17 or 18 – 22. Let’s not kid ourselves that he isn’t an adult and should have shown much more maturity at that age. It wasn’t a prank gone bad or a stupid teenage thing.

    What sort of message does it send to the kids already on Pitt’s roster, especially at the LB position, if you bring this discarded player in to start above them, which he most probably would. That kind of shits on your own younger players’ good work and their best behavior, doesn’t it?

    Does that sound like the head coach taking care of his own players, ones who chose Pitt out of high school and have stuck in there and did everything that was required of them by Pitt to do? I think not, and by a large margin.

    It ain’t easy being a student/athlete and keeping your nose clean but from all accounts our kids have done just that. They should be taken care of first and foremost and not punished by loss of opportunity – instead of rewarding a player who failed at what he was required to do and then giving him a scholarship.

    And speaking of which he would be taking a scholarship spot from someone who deserves it. Unless he’ll pay for grad school himself which I highly doubt.

    While we are at it let’s ask all the Black players on Pitt’s roster how they would feel about what this player did at MSU and how they would react if a Pitt player did it in our locker room. I’m sure we’d get a completely different answer from them. Think they want a guy like that in their clubhouse?

    With that, just what in hell do we think Narduzzi should do if one of our own players did all of this? Can you honestly say you think the Pitt administration and Narduzzi would overlook it and keep that player on Pitt’s roster? Of course they wouldn’t. He’d be gone in a heartbeat.

    Nobody said this guy can’t have a second or third chance. He most certainly can and there are probably many schools he could ask that of – but it doesn’t have to be Pitt.

    And as to the question of what were we doing as 22 year olds? Well, I made big mistakes in my early life and when they came back to bite me on the ass I took the heat and understood the ramifications of my actions.

    I’ll bet most of you did also. I carried around some bad rep for a while and worked damn hard to shake it – but I understood when some doors were closed to me. Not a lot of employers want to hire a teenager who is on on five years probation. I took it and learned from it.

    Again – Pat Narduzzi will do what he wants. I think it would be best for the team, the program and Pitt for Narduzzi to pass on this transfer – if there even is one in the works. As I said it isn’t the end of the world if Pitt takes him.

    But I do strongly think it would be a mistake and will send a poor message to our current team members.


    1. Well Reed IMO it tells the current Pitt players on the roster to focus on getting better at what you do. If you can’t beat out the transfer coming in then get better do. By the way what’s it saying to our QB’s on the roster when Pitt brought in Savage and Peterman and now our new USC transfer these past couple of years? It simply says you may not be ready yet.


  19. I confess to using racist talk back when I was even older then 22. I’ve used the bad word in front of friends who are black. Not proud of that and the remarks really weren’t meant to be racist but never the less I made a few. Hell, I’ve said some silly dumb ass schitt to my own wife I’m not proud of and I’m happy she has forgiven me and conversely she has done the same during heated times. Obviously I don’t live a perfect life but the mistakes I’ve made has helped me to be a better man. I chose not to cast the first stone.. Let the kid play ball! BTW, my friends forgave me instantly.


  20. Another note. Rescke graduated on time while playing major college football. Certainly not unheard of but that does take some discipline. In a domestic dispute when only words are fired in this day and age is also a sign of discipline imo. No fists, no gunshots. This is more of a social media problem than anything. These words were not even face to face. … imo


  21. Character counts and this guy doesnt have it. Ped State is Linebacker U and he would fit in fine there. Tweet him “thanks but no thanks”


  22. I agree with Reed. If he were to come in and start ahead of Wirginis I’m sure there would be some hard feelings. Wirginis is quite capable of manning that MLB slot, and if an outsider were brought in at this point I don’t think it would bode well in the locker room. Although if Narduzzi thinks this kid would make Pitt a better football team, all bets are off. It’s a slippery slope. My gut tells me no…let’s pass on this one.


  23. This term is used in rap music continuously and nobody seems to have a problem with it. In fact these college pukes dance around to it…and try to act cool.

    What ever happened to Sticks and Stones may break my bones….but names will never hurt me.

    This college PC stuff and safe zones and attack on any speech that doesn’t agree with yours is bs and
    causing one person at least….to view much less of college sports period.


  24. Missouri let the inmates run their asylum as well. It was great to see them finish last in the SEC East this past football season.


  25. Btw if this other kid had any respect for his teammate and his team he wouldn’t have been dating/whatever with this guys girlfriend.


  26. Right, listen to a Chris Rock stand-up show or a Spike Lee movie and a million other examples and that’s all you hear. I know, not with this sort of animosity but…it’s a word. The kid graduated on time, he’s not a criminal and just wait, he may come back and haunt PITT to hell for being unreasonable.

    rkb, I don’t disagree but Wirginis is not the point here…. and say Wirginis gets hurt first play. ??


  27. I don’t care if this kid comes to Pitt or not. But this insanity infecting these college campuses needs ended immediately.


  28. I agree that people can be really screwed-up or brain-washed by those who raise them. So he’s 22 – the programming of the brain is a powerful thing.

    Since he knows the kid, Coach Duzz could read this situation better than most. If the kid wants to make amends, could be a good situation for Pitt. As for the LBs on the team now, one word, compete!

    Go Pitt


  29. I’m 41 (and a half). The word this 20 something year old adult used has never been okay to use in my lifetime. This isn’t some new thing where you can’t go around calling black people the N word. It’s been this way for a really really long time. And if you use it, and it becomes public, you’re going to be admonished.

    Regardless of whether you think it’s okay (it isn’t), or if he should be forgiven (maybe), life doesn’t work that way. People hold grudges and deep down we know if he used the word once, he most likely has used it before. This is not a politically correct argument. This is a kid fucked up and looks racist and is suffering the consequences argument.

    You can say it was a mistake and blah blah blah … and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. It really may have been an lapse in judgement but the damage has been done. He’d be poison to a locker room. Let’s ease up on the TE too. It was an ex-girflriend not his current girlfriend. It doesn’t sound like these two are friends so I’m guess the bro-code was off the table.


  30. Well wait a minute here TT……it is ok to use it if you’re of a certain color. Chris Rock uses it constantly today and Richard Pryor used it constantly in our day.

    I don’t use it myself, I don’t condone using it….but if we’re going to be fair…if it’s such an offensive word….than ALL people regardless of color should stop using it.


  31. Emel – it’s been this way for a really long time. It’s not some new politically correct thing. That’s a fact. There’s been books, college courses, documentaries, essays and so forth on the difference between a white person using the word and a black person using the word. There is not the space nor time in a Pitt football blog to explain the difference.

    I don’t like the word. Period. But there is a big difference. If you, or others, don’t see the difference there’s not really much I’d be able to say to convince you otherwise. If you’re white and you use the N word, especially in a derogatory manor (which this kid did), you’re going to get shit from people (of all races) because it sounds really racist. That’s just he way it is.

    The N word, btw, gets used all the time in locker rooms by white people to black people in a non-derogatory way … and you never hear about it because A) the athletes feel comfortable enough around each other to get away with it or B) it’s handled internally because there was no malicious intent.

    It blows up when it’s used in a discriminatory way … like it was used in this particular instance.


    1. LOL, Gasman. Good point. Inquiring minds want to know. I’m guessing Upitt or the Dark Knight could get us a visual !


  32. Loving the passionate discussion and like in many things I find myself sharing the middle ground position that Narduzzi would already have some insight into this player-‘s character and if his initial thoughts were to consider bringing him on AND the leadership council was in agreement, then by all means proceed..


  33. PittPT – if the team gives the green light it’s a different story. Locker room chemistry is so important though. To blindly accept him would be foolish. I trust in Narduzzi.


  34. Actually with the way the media is, both local and national. And the way that both of them dislike Pitt. It would probably be a good idea to not give any of these chicken so-called sports journalists, any more ammunition.

    So no he should not come to Pitt, even though Pitt was the first university to take a black football player to the Deep South in the 1956 Sugar Bowl Game. Something we NEVER get credit for, from again…these so-called sports journalists/reporters.


  35. You see that might give Pitt a little bit of a recruiting edge. So what do these pricks do….never mention it.


  36. well, if just the possibility of this guy coming here is causing all of this furor, maybe it’s better he doesn’t come.

    On another issue … Kapenick will soon be a free agent and the Stillers need a good back-up QB ….. oh, never mind!


  37. Kap claims he will stand for the National Anthem next season. Is it his mom or the free agent market that is influencing this decision.


  38. I’m all for second chances – a persons character is usually pretty obvious when you spend time with them. Not one or two hours, but days, weeks and/or months. The length of time spent depends on the “crime” committed.

    In this LB’s case, I’m sure HCPN will have met his parents, talked with prior coaches and teachers, etc.

    As far as taking Wirginis’ spot at MLB – this guy played both inside and outside LB positions at MSU. Besides Wirginis, Brightwell and former walk-on Sean Idowu, which Pitt LB’s have seen the field and do we have any confidence they can get the job done?

    LB is definitely a position we need to see some competition at…



  39. Maybe the MSU End should have laid off(pun intended) the LBs girlfriend for a while for team cohesiveness.


  40. My Mama always told me, “never discuss, sex, religion, politics or race in polite company cause you might ruffle lots of feathers in the flock that you’re immersed in.

    Oops, this kid already has two strikes against him with the race, STRIKE ONE & the sex, STRIKE TWO!

    This is the stuff that make for a juicy TV mini series. Oh the drama!!! Let’s really turn up the heat with this following scenario written into the script.

    Get Narduzzi to give this kid his 2nd chance and then have him show up in the Pitt locker room, for the 1st time, wearing a “It’s an Immigration Ban, NOT. a Muslim Ban T-Shirt & a red “Make America Great” ball cap! That should pretty much be STRIKE THREE with his brand new predominately black brotherhood.

    Not a political statement just developing a creative screen play.

    Life imitating art, or art imitating life? Getting more difficult to distinguish between the two these days.


  41. In the 1950’s as we were watching the Rose Bowl game, Clarence Peaks of Michigan State was running wild against the West Coast opponent. I was 9 or 10 and commented something like”Look at that N-word run!” My dad, a steel worker hushed me up as I was laughing. He gave me and my younger brother a lecture on never using words like that since they were degrading. Never use words like the N word for “Colored” People ( a more polite term for the times), the K word for Jews, H word for Slavs, D word for Italians (like us). We didn’t see or know any other races or nationalities than those so that is what he lectured us on. My dad was quite profane on other things and he was not perfect by any means. But for us, he tried that one time to try to make us grow up to be better men. 60 years later I and my brother still remember that conversation. We both tried to live by Dad’s words and had way more success than not.


    1. Like you, I’m an Italian American … and never heard the N word in my house growing up in the 60s although I certainly heard it just about everywhere else. My parents mostly used Coloreds or Negroes. Nor have I ever heard the other hateful terms listed in your posting in my house.

      IMO teaching your kids hate is not doing them any favors since hatred always gets in the way of enjoyment. Naive .. perhaps, but I still stand by this.


  42. I have read articles on all Pitt Pro prospects except for Shakir Soto. I thought he had a very productive year moving to tackle. I think someone is going to get lucky signing him as a free agent, if he doesn’t get drafted.


  43. In his statement, Reschke wrote:

    “Over a month ago, in an argument and a brief moment of anger, I lost control of my emotions and made an insensitive and totally regrettable comment involving a former teammate. In so doing, I have hurt and offended countless number of people, and for that, I am deeply sorry. If I could take my comment back, I would do so in a second. I have addressed my teammates and coaches and while many understand my actions were totally uncharacteristic of who I am, the hurt still lingers. Therefore, after discussions with coach Dantonio and other members of the staff, we have mutually decided that I will complete my degree and seek the opportunity of a graduate transfer for my final year of football.

    “To the entire Spartan Nation, to all of my teammates past and present, to coach Dantonio and the entire coaching staff, to all the trainers, managers and administrators — I offer my sincere apology and I thank you for the greatest four years of my life. I will always cherish the friendships, the memories and the journey. There is no doubt in my mind that the Spartan Dawgs will rise up and again return to being one of the strongest programs in college football. Forever Go Green, God Bless.”

    Sounds like a heartfelt apology. Hard to know what the guy is really like unless you know him personally.

    I too grew up in the era when racism and misogyny were much more public, Unfortunately it looks like they are making a comeback. Really thought that bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers and knocking over gravestones was a thing of the past. Just don’t get it.


  44. The guy was forced off the team for typing the N word (hard evidence). If everyone who spoke the term was kicked off every team in sports there would be no teams.


  45. In the 1920’s. my Dad’s older brother John, related a story to us about how his Boy Scout troop from Donora, PA, where I was born in 1941, was asked to raise the flag and do the pledge of allegiance for a patriotic outdoor meeting one summer evening. It took place across the Monongahela River on top of a hill that overlooked Donora and the bridge that spanned the river to a town that was called Webster Hollow or the outskirts of Belle Vernon or something. It turned out to be a Ku Klux Klan rally of adults who lit a cross and railed against N word people, Catholics, Jews, D words, H words, just about every nationality and race in Donora, a steel working town of blue collar immigrants and their children. There were no black kids in the troop so at least they were spared that fearsome ranting. All the kids in the troop were scared since nearly all of them were the kinds of people being railed against. Words way too often turn into actions. That should not be forgotten. By the way Donora High had some great football teams in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Arnold Galiffa, my Dad’s godson, went to West Point and was an All American QB and played for the New York Giants. Louis Bimbo Cecconi went to Pitt and was on the team that beat Ohio State. Uncle George, a Slovak kid, played on the Donora High baseball team with Stan Musial, a Polish kid, along with a K. Griffey, the lone Black kid on the team. There was a picture in an old Pittsburgh Press that showed the team picture. And Dan Towler was a great football player in the 1940’s who went to Washington and Jefferson and was so great there that he wound up on the Los Angeles Rams pro team and was allegedly the second black player in the postwar NFL. He became known as Deacon Dan Towler because of his religious aspirations. If the Klan and their like had prevailed, none of this would have occurred, nor the prevalence of black players on the teams of the deep South where when I was a college kid at Pitt, hate spewed whenever a Black student tried just to enroll there. I wish I could forget this stuff, but I can’t. Sorry to get historical, here, but hate has no place anywhere, and Sport is one place where talent can prevail over hate and other bull—-. Words do hurt. They can translate into evil actions. Too many times.


    1. I’m a Mon Valley guy too Justin . My dad was from Monessen and I grew up in Belle Vernon. It is a crying shame how Donora has deteriorated!


      1. Yes, when the mills closed in the 1950’s, the downfall began. Terrible shame what it is now. I heard a story that might be a fairy tale that Donora is the only place in the United States where after the mills closed a McDonald’s failed!


  46. I do think there is a difference between bringing in a transfer who left his program voluntarily and comes in to compete. I think bringing in a kid who did something that, if it happened in the Pitt locker room, would have been dismissed from the Panthers.

    This isn’t life or death here but I posted the article to get a solid discussion going.

    I look at this much of a Leadership issue for Narduzzi then I do an admonishment to the young man doing wjhat he did – although it was supremely stupid and I called him out in the article for it. Again – big difference if this guy was a 17-18 year old but at 22 he meant every word he wrote.

    BTW – it wasn’t just the “N” word that screwed him – but also how it was used in context. To understand the full impact of that word can’t be done by White person – I truly believe that. Kerry Collins and many others learned that when they used that word with Black people.. What is good for the Goose is not always good for the Gander.

    This is a good article on the background of the word and it’s negative connotations.

    I grew up on the Squirrel Hill / Shadyside border and went to Wightman School and Allderdice which were heavily Jewish. I learned early on to describe someone as “Jewish” when discussing a person’s religion instead of saying “He’s a Jew”.

    Not a one-to-one comparison to the “N” word (I hate that also actually but these days you can’t even write the actually word when describing the word itself) but I learned early on that words hurt worse than fists sometimes. Back in 3rd grade I said “Jew” to someone in anger once and a girl overheard me … when I went on Facebook she contacted me and said she had hated me all this time because she thought I hated Jewish people.

    So words matter. She remembered that impact 30+ years later.

    I never heard my father – a man from down-the-line German stock and white bread as can be – never used either word in front of us and I’ll bet never in his adult life. He was tolerant and accepting of all people and that made him a great professor at Pitt.

    My mother, on the other hand, was a Scottish racist drunk and would say things that I cringe at even today in remembering them. So at an early age I saw what the difference between respect and hatred was… my mother hated anyone who wasn’t a lily-white Daughters of the American Revolution type person.

    I’m 100% my father’s son.

    New article up soon and thanks for all the comments – good discussion.


  47. Hey, for what it’s worth, when I was 22 I was drinking up to a case of Stroh’s a night and creatively using every word under the sun. At 28 I walked away from a highly successful family business (est. 1913), left the Burg with the wife and 2 kids and went to Dallas Seminary. I was a pastor for 25 years.
    Does this 22 yr. old deserve another chance? I don’t know but I’m fully confident Duzz does.


  48. Agree with those who feel locker room chemistry is important and team leaders should be consulted and feelings be used as decision maker. Do not create problems you do not have! On the use of derogatory terms for ethnic groups I add my experience that the acceptable use of these terms by the group is always to denote an unsatisfactory person of that group by another member of that group only. When uttered by an outsider it is taken as a slur on the group. ie A truck driver waiting to unload in Chicago on a steaming July night was asleep with his feet out the window when he was awakened by a soft spoken black man who warned him he should not sleep like that or some no good N word was going to steal his boots in this neighborhood, or the Jewish businessman who after bailing out an unscrupulous Jewish junk man apprehended dumping his trash along the road in our community for the umpteenth time was told by the Jewish gentleman who had bailed him not to expect any more help from the Jewish businessmen because he was a no good K—.I could cite many other examples of this I have seen in my life involving all the other groups mentioned here plus the b—-head word that was used for Germans in this country. The point is these are derogatory terms and stir people. Incidently the truck driver was my uncle and in the second instance my father was the Asst Police Chief in the in the case.The Jewish businessman who chewed out the offender was a lifetime friend and business associate of my fathers and apparently did not feel compelled to hold back in front of him. Again as to our team, I will feel better when we do not need to be considering situations like this because we need to consider pure talent over other controversial issues. H2P


  49. Great discussion! At 22 years old all young men deserve 2 and 3rd chances… my 22 yr old son was responsible for totaling 2 vehicles , one that he won’t own up to as he was too drunk to drive but let somebody more intoxicated who crashed my truck …I have gone into Closed custody prisons with the “Kairos” Christian Ministry where several times I was given the talk titled “Choices” to present
    to the residents ( not inmates- that’s not political correct) It’s a powerful talk as all included in the prison gymnasium including our Kairos team are live out our lives by our choices..
    The choice the young man made at a time when adrenaline was flowing was wrong… couldn’t begin to imagine the angst going through him if doors are shut in his face and the difficulty for me reading this excellent discussion is some are willing to close that door .. but it’s all about free- will and the choices we make… Remember the once was a person, fully man and fully God who was nailed to a wooden cross who muttered the words ” Forgive them Father they know not what the do.” Maybe coming to PITT is part of Gods plan … think about it…

    Have a great Friday and weekend.. cold in Carolina and heard yinz in Pa had some snow last night


  50. Again – no one is saying this player doesn’t deserve a second chance – it just doesn’t have to be Pitt that gives it to him.

    Funny but I don’t remember this much emotion when Ruschel Shell wanted back on the team and Chryst said “no” because 1) he had his Pitt chance already and 2) it would upset the locker room who had enough of Shell anyway.

    People must be held accountable for their actions – the level of accountability levied by others varies.

    I might be way more tolerant of one sort of transgression than each of you are. You might not think mine is a big deal but hold someone’s feet to the fire for something else.

    I think this is an excellent subject on Types of Leadership expected and it will be interesting to see what happens – if indeed anything will.


  51. Shell got a second chance at WVU. This kid may never get another chance because it is a total double standard. Let’s be honest, this wouldn’t be news if he were black and called a white kid a cracker.

    No way Pitt goes after this kid. It is a media shit storm waiting to happen.


    1. This kid may never get another chance because it is a total double standard. Let’s be honest, this wouldn’t be news if he were black and called a white kid a cracker.


      Reed, I don’t think it’s possible for any of us to truly know what the kid meant by his words.


  52. I appreciate the article very much. It’s one thing to be forgiven, another to forgive oneself. The discussion brings back one of the most painful memories of my life from my freshman year at Pitt. There was an acting out middle school kid at an overnight YMCA camp. First time I ever used the word. No one else heard, and I did my best to repair the situation with the young man. For the next 40 odd years, all of my professional career has been dedicated to working with underserved and underrepresented children and teens, not as an atonement, but because those were the impulses that led me to working in that camp to begin with. I’ve won national awards for research on effective literacy instruction. I’ve called out my own union boss for failing to renounce racist tactics carried out by rogue union supporters. And that one word spoken that at that one moment when I was a kid still sits in my gut like a bad meal. Soul repair. Not easy. The Battle/Norman Balm in Gilead helps heal this sin sick soul a bit.

    It is Lent, you know….


  53. ..again with the white guilt. Neither I, nor most people care if a white person is offended by that word. If the leadership of this team (which does include multiple black players) is consulted and believes the guy should get a chance- give him a chance. If they don’t, let him go elsewhere. It’s horrible. But, it’s a word.

    As for upsetting the players who are here by bringing in transfers.. Clark, Peterman, Savage, Hendrix… Should I continue? Do you think the QB’s passed over by transfers WEREN’T working hard? You don’t think they were deserving? They were recruited and offered scholarships by the Head Coach of the University of Pittsburgh. However, this staff and many others around the country often discard these players for the SOLE reason of improving the team’s performance. That ship has sailed. Please don’t say we shouldn’t bring this guy in because it might hurt a current player’s feelings.

    Reed– aren’t you the one who constantly says it’s the University’s primary role to teach and build young people of character? I’d propose showing kids how to compete, deal with adversity and respond to failure are part of that mission. If a kid makes it on the field, he makes it. If not, as Chuck Noll said, “it’s time to find your life’s work.”

    As you’ve pointed out many times.. it’s only a game.


  54. We live in a forgiving society, I do not know all of the details of the situation but is it really out of the question to give him a second chance? It seems like we forgive for a lot more transgressions, just saying.


  55. Shell is a lousy comparison. He left PITT, that’s like saying Mich State should take Rescke back. Like someone else mentioned. PITT could set a good example for the other kids on the team by showing forgiveness. Being a port in a storm is not PITT succumbing to temptation in this case. It won’t make PITT Louisville or Miami and other such likes.


  56. Really interesting to see who on here accepts this kid’s apology, and who doesnt!

    I’ll trust Nard’s decision – can’t believe he’d rule by committee…’s his team.


  57. Someone mentioned the old saying, but I have taught my kids a little differently.

    “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will always hurt you”. To say the words we choose do not hurt, is incorrect. I don’t use twitter, but have been called a twit. Look, words matter. As hurtful and offensive as they can be, they can also be exceptionally well communicated and thought out. We say things we regret. We type things we regret immediately upon hitting send. We also have an opportunity to apologize. Apologies with actions work.

    An apology without follow-up action are just words. Locker rooms are critical to success and I agree with that. Had Nate Peterson said/typed these things about James Conner last year, how would have Coach Narduzzi handled it? My sense is that Narduzzi would have issued a 2 game suspension and then he would have had to earn his starting position back. Personally, I think you let the kid come here if he will be an impact player. If he is not an impact player, he is a distraction and not worth the noise that goes with this. Look, the Eagles just had this issue not too long ago. Also, Incognito said and did some horrific things too. If the kid is truly sorry, Pitt’s players will know. Brian Piccolo said some things to Gayle Sayers back in the day and it bonded them forever. Players want to win and they want to be respected. Not one Pitt player has been disrespected by this potential transfer…..yet!

    Does Pitt Football have a Leadership Counsel? Let the kids determine the outcome. I would put the transfer candidate in front of the entire team and let them decide. Let the kid tell them the entire story. Explanations and excuses are two very separate definitions. I don’t think you make excuses for the action, but I sure think that you can explain what happened and let the jury decide your fate.


  58. Yes PITT does have a leadership council. They pick the uniforms worn on each Saturday.

    This Rescke kid did show positive action with the letter to the entire MSU student body and faculty.


  59. I understand where you’re coming from Huff, and it’s nice that you teach your kids that way.

    However you can’t control what other kids(or adults) are going to say and that is the purpose of that Sticks & Stones little phrase. So that when facing the real world, that we can’t control, you realize there are many things you can’t control, and to learn words are indeed only words and you let them effect you to the degree you want them to.

    Otherwise you’re going to end up with all kinds of ‘offended’ people and all this strange anti-free speech lunacy going on at college campuses across the country and safe spaces and safe zones. With everyone or it seems like everyone offended by something.

    Let’s teach kids to be tough and resilient, not a bunch of offended snowflakes seeking safe spaces.


  60. Oh before someone tries to twist this into something it isn’t, I don’t condone the usage of racial or nationality slurs or stereotyping. All of which was basically construed and reinforced by those in Hollywood over the decades where blacks were portrayed very wrongly by Hollywood and helped greatly in reinforcing racism in this country.


  61. And in fact what nationality hasn’t been slurred and stereotyped by Hollywood. You could be offended 24/7/365 if you what that garbage on a daily basis.


  62. Agree Schell was lousy comparison for many reasons. Feel this may be much ado over nothing as University and team need to be on board and ? if both will be. H2P


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