Keep That Wallet Closed!! New AD.

The University of Pittsburgh has a new Athletic Director – Heather Lyke.

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Won’t do this with our new live Panther mascot “Stevie”

I’m not too surprised the new AD’s a woman and have zero heartburn with it.  She seems qualified in short – and I say ‘in short’ because we really don’t know her yet.  Her list of achievements at Eastern Michigan is OK I suppose.

But it is blatantly obvious we went the most inexpensive route we could with this hire…

In 2015, she received a contract extension through July 21, 2020, that included her original annual salary of $245,000, The Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported. She also was eligible for $103,000 in possible bonuses.

Before Barnes came to Pitt he was making $572K

Gallagher refused to reveal Barnes’ contract in terms of salary and length but said, “We tried to be fair and competitive. We want this to be a career move for him.”

At Utah State, Barnes made $572,169 in fiscal year 2014, according to the Utah Department of Finance.

Pederson was making $596K before he was fired so you can be sure Barnes had a contract that paid similar of even more… let’s say between $600-$700K. 

In 2016 the Top 15 ADs’ salaries (base salaries) ranged from LSU’s $725K to Vanderbilt’s $3.23 million.  Vanderbilt my Pitt friends – 3.23 million!

To put Pitt’s place in the pecking order in perspective here are some of the schools that pay their ADs equal to or more than 725K.

Texas A&M – $800K

Tennessee – $817K

Iowa State – $900K

Arkansas – $903K

Duke – $906K

and the real kicker…

Louisville – $141M

Isn’t the University of Louisville the school that Pitt used to look down our nose at not all that long ago?  Arkansas?  Iowa State?  Holy Hell – is it any wonder why we fans keep feeling like the athletic department is either stagnant or slipping depending on how much Pitt gear you wear?

Pitt is not going to give Lykes a $500K pay raise from her previous salary.  I’d guess they lured her to Pitt for around $350-$475 at the very most. If they do pay her more than that then the BoT should be asked to resign, in total, immediately.

Here is Lyke’s EMU Bio and coverage what’s she’s done there.  Apparently she put a heavy emphasis on facilities and student/athlete issues – both important and positive things for sure, but no mention that I can see of her fund-raising abilities.  For Pitt’s AD that has to be a priority and an immediate one.

Here’s a bit about the hire  from the Trib-Review...

Pitt will hire Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke to replace Scott Barnes, who left last month for Oregon State.

A news conference to introduce Lyke has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Petersen Events Center.

Lyke, who grew up in Canton, Ohio, has been athletic director at Eastern Michigan since 2013 after spending 15 years at Ohio State in several administrative positions, including senior associate athletic director.

A University of Michigan graduate where she lettered in softball, Lyke also was assistant athletic director for compliance at the University of Cincinnati and an enforcement intern with the NCAA.

At Eastern Michigan, Lyke oversees 21 fully funded varsity sports. She is the first woman to hold the full-time athletic director position at EMU and will be the first at Pitt.

A study by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators revealed women comprised 10.6 percent of Division I athletic directors in 2014. Now, Pennsylvania has two, including Penn State’s Sandy Barbour.

Let’s hope this next New-AD press conference goes better than the Basketball Head Coach’s one did with Barnes and Stallings. Even though that was a blast to watch. It will be this afternoon so I’ll write a longer article tomorrow when we know a bit more about her.

From:        E.J. Borghetti

                    Executive Associate Athletic Director/Media Relations     

 Re:             Pitt Athletics Press Conference at 1 p.m. Today

 The University of Pittsburgh will introduce its new athletic director at a 1 p.m. press conference today at the Petersen Events Center. The press conference will be held on the arena floor.

Here is the website of EMU’s football team.  They play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).  ESPN has a more detailed site for them…  What is interesting is that under her command the Eagles had a defense almost as bad as ours.

Of course she didn’t have a direct impact on the football team like their head FB coach did but this is a football blog and I thought I’d bring it around to that subject.

At the very least she’ll be selling a different type of shoe than our BB coach does.  It’s too bad the Sheetz candidate pulled out at the last-minute our we’d have seen a vast improvement of the hot dog concessions at Heinz.

All kidding aside I’m OK, maybe even more than OK, with this hire because it is pretty damn obvious, and has been for some time, that the powers-in-place at Pitt do not want actually to compete with the Big Boy programs.  I have never believed differently.

This move cements us in the middle-third of D1 schools in every way and that is Pitt’s Administration’s goal.  Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.  

We hired Coordinators for our last two FB head coaches so that we could get them on the cheap. We hired a guy on the verge of being fired and who was desperate for a job as the BB head coach so that we could get him on the cheap.  Now we have hired a MAC AD so we can get her on the cheap.

Actions speak volumes my friends…

123 thoughts on “Keep That Wallet Closed!! New AD.

  1. March 20, 2017 at 10:39 am
    I have no problem with the hire. Never been afraid of intelligent, hard working females, doing traditionally male jobs. She has a solid resume, She is taking on an extremely difficult job with many problems.

    Little fan support, poor fund raising, a history of losing in all sports besides Football, Basketball and Wrestling, small natural recruiting area, competition for fan attendance from other local colleges and great Pro Teams. Being a City School with no autonomous campus. Basketball hitting the bottom after a good to great run. At least football is on the rise for the near future, but no guarantee long term considering our history. No cake job.

    I hope she is one tough ass-kicking lady.

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    Reply
    gc
    March 20, 2017 at 10:48 am
    She will also be coming to Pitt at a time where there will be considerable down-sizing going on.

    Pitt is one of the biggest recipients of research grants from the US Government. Those look to be reduced or eliminated. Not trying to be political, just stating a fact. Also college enrollment is trending downward overall for obvious reasons.

    How this will affect the athletic department is unclear, but those of you that have worked in an industry that is downsizing know that it can be devastating, especially to non-essential aspects of the business.

    This also may be a reason for not hiring a more expensive candidate.

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  2. Why the negativity? She is a native of Canton… good. She mentored at Ohio State for 15 years… good. EMU tried to shut her down and she spent MORE… good. She had a hand in turning around a moribund football program… good.

    All you can come up with is EMU had a bad defense?? Holy crap… do you know how bad for how long EMU’s football program has been??

    EMU is among the worst Division I FBS schools both in all-time win percentage (45.4%, for 107 out of 120) and in all-time scoring margin (-1898, for 108 out of 120).

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    1. John – I’ve stopped trying to make sense. Lol. People want a big name. I just want someone who can change the culture. She has some experience with that.

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  3. For those of you who can’t understand the incessant negativity from some on this board, Reed has summed it up perfectly:

    “it is pretty damn obvious, and has been for some time, that the powers-in-place at Pitt do not want actually to compete with the Big Boy programs…that is Pitt’s Administration’s goal. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.”

    How’s that “front porch” looking these days?

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    1. For goodness sakes … it is not a case of not wanting to compete with the big boys; it is a case of cannot competing with the big boys. Football revenue drives almost all schools; the big boys average anywhere from 80k to 107k per …. we don’t even do half of that. Then when you consider all of the other auxiliary revenues, it widens the gap even more.

      Just be thankful that we can often compete with them on the field (but not always)

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      1. Big Boys?…

        Duke $906,536
        Clemson $725,000
        Texas Christian $695,769
        Wake Forest $688,000
        Navy $637,897
        Georgia Tech $625,000
        Auburn $612,000
        Syracuse $570,057

        None of these schools has an enrollment larger than Pitt. Also, attendance for these schools are all below Pitt, aside from Clemson.

        I don’t expect to outspend Texas, Ohio State, etc. but.. to be below these schools shows a lack of focus on sports. That said, I believe Duke, TCU, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech are pretty good academically, no?

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    2. I guess Pitt should strive for the Louisville model? Spend more per student on athletics than any university?? And last I checked… there were 8 MAC schools w/ better academics than Louisville.

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  4. Couple things;

    I would like to think that being thrifty wasn’t the main priority for PITT but it is a compelling argument. The one thing here is, PITT better be careful not to underpay this woman in this day and age. By hiring Lyke and then paying her less than other AD’s of similar experience is opening up some possible repercussions.

    I’ve heard it mentioned that this hire makes Narduzzi more powerful which may be true. If this hire in any way solidifies HCPN intentions to remain at PITT and continue forward with his whole heart in Oakland, then all the better.

    Her experience at Ohio State may have given her the idea that spending on the football program is like making a solid investment. The money may come back two fold. I know PITT is not OSU. I think the concept is tried and proven though.

    Consider me on the Lyke train… ike

    H2P

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  5. I have no problem with the hire because usually those folks from the smaller schools have a chip on their shoulder and bust their hump to climb the ladder. I will take a hard worker from a smaller school than an average person from a larger school athletic dept.

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  6. I have no problem with the hire.

    I think the problem a lot of people have seems to be the search firm so don’t condemn her based on that.

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  7. I will admit I would take Heather over Smug and Herman.

    If she fired Rockports at the ceremony today I’d send in 5k today.

    I hope the media asks her legit questions and as long as she doesnt say the frontporch Im happy. I do hear she is big on catch phrases and jingles. She had a few created at Eastern Michigan. Probably need them there.

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  8. Another reason to tighten the wallet is that the Pete will be more than half empty on many nights.

    That is a big chunk of the budget that is gone for the foreseeable future.

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  9. What appears bothersome is that this is the same group of inner Pitt people who seem to strike out much more often then get a hit (not to mention a home run) with their hires. Their body of work has earned them the right to be questioned about their hiring practices and who they actually hire. On a positive note this lady is apparently a “family woman” with a husband, David Catalano, and 3 daughters. (I mention this because most fans like coaches, etc. to be a family man who shows the ability to be a good husband and father – remember Haywood?).
    Did our search Pitt people hit a homer in this hire? No objective mind can honestly say “yes” to the question. Heather Lykes simply is not batting 4th in any line up at this point. Should us worthless, negative, racist, misogynist, non pc Pitt fans give her a chance? I’ll offer 2 answers: 1. Yes, what other choice do we have?. 2. Yes. We all need to at least see how this lady conducts business and makes decisions. Remember, Heather does have 2 things going for her: Scott and Steve!!! Hence, she has a very low bar to get over. Time will tell if she gets over the bar.

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  10. UPitt.. you taking qualudes??? Soooo mellowwwwww.
    If what Reed says is true… and I have no reason to question the reference that the administration is content with a middling athletic program- it just gives me a WTF moment..
    She on board so let’s give her a chance… time will tell… time something I and many others are running out of

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  11. She understands football = money. Hope she identifies the Taj-Mahal as a white elephant and tears it down with all the other wasted space on that hill and builds the stadium that should have remained there in the first place. Oh…. this isn’t an On Campus Stadium article?

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  12. At some point the alums at Pitt are going to rise up and organize. .. see Michigan and ND! Reeds point speaks truth to Pitt’s intentions. It’s a good thing they hired her on the cheap as they will not be getting another cent of my hard earned $$.

    Now, if as her first act she fires Stallings, I will double UPitt’s 500k!

    Please don’t say she can’t be worse than smug Steve….that’s how we got Barnes,

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  13. I have no problem with the hire. She did a lot with what she had at Eastern Michigan. With a much larger ACC level budget, she should do even better. She has a good background at Ohio State. She has a record of being a good fund raiser. EMU student-athletics academic ratings made an impressive jump under her leadership. Hopefully she will stay awhile.

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  14. How do you guys think we paid for Charlie Partridge? Also a heck of a ton of good football coaches have come out of the MAC. What can’t a good AD? Let her earn her stripes here for 4 years and then step up to a real payday in the Big 10.

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  15. John Ramella – that reference to football was tongue-in-cheek as I thought I made clear when I said:

    “Of course she didn’t have a direct impact on the football team like their head FB coach did but this is a football blog and I thought I’d bring it around to that subject.”

    Ike – unlike Barnes who came from an FBS school to Pitt, Lyke is coming from an FCS school – thus if she is paid less that will be the reason. Her experience is at a lower level.

    But if all things were equal then I think Pitt would have to look at that.

    I won’t be able to watch the presser as I’ll be at my volunteer work until 6pm – but i’mm sure some of you will be on top of things…

    Here is a treat video –

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  16. YO @REED Eastern Michigan is MAC — Mid American Conference = Division ONE — and they went 7-5 this regular season and went to a Bowl Game for their first winning season in……ever??? maybe??..

    Lol if you want to share the writing burden on here and you’re getting Stressed-Out, can we write some articles and will you post them up so you don’t have to be the sole-writer??

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  17. I’ve done my research, and I like her, a lot. 🙂

    Lotta Straight-Up, No-Chaser HATERZ on here, to articulate it perfectly lol, with zero whatsoever reasoning skills of real people and their ability to perform duties yikes.

    …..literally saw another goofy, der-der-derrrr knee-jerk post from a constant poster about tearing down the Peterson Events Center and building a Football Stadium (…..do you know how…..surface area works??? 😦 haha) — just silly.

    She’ll do a great job, and if you don’t think one Pat Narduzzi gave his blessing and input to this hire, to the Woman who brought Eastern Michigan it’s first EVER winning football season, then…..you just don’t get it and probably never will, sorry.

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    1. What decisions don’t you like? If Narduzzi announced he was moving Browne to Money linebacker and Zeise to quarterback, you’d say, “I love this move. It’s so innovative. Let’s give them a chance!”

      Look, I hope she’s great. But no one can say she’s the kind of hire that says, “We’re here to win.”

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  18. Hey Reed, I was going to say but darkie beat me to it. She is from D-1 just not P-5 exactly like Barnes. I also add, it’s not so much where she is from but where she’s at today and that is a P-5 school. Paying a woman less than her counterparts is not kosher these days.

    Darkie, Reed has asked and would love for you to write an article for the POV. The POV has already had a few guest authors previously and they did a great job. Save your voice for tomorrow night. Reed will post the details.

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  19. Could be the best job in college athletics, that Louisville Athletic Director. Wouldn’t you like to make north of $386,000 a day at your job.

    Something tells me that Reed might have his salary numbers off a bit.

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  20. ^^^ Lol @Upitt she’s all-about Football, and is gonna be the AD to kick-open every door, and make every single phone-call to make sure Pat Narduzzi gets paid more than his ‘In-State Counterpart’ does after this 2017-18 season.

    Narduzzi just wants to get Paid $$$ and make sure he gets the Cash-Allowance he needs for his assistants and he’s gonna get it from our new Athletic Director.

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    1. I especially was not impressed by the fact that she read from a prepared speech. I thought she was a bit better during the Q&A, but she didn’t always answer the question that was asked.

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  21. Upitt, what did you want her to say today. That she will make PITT great again? Or PITT will win again? Or she will renegotiate a better deal with the ACC? .. :).

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  22. I wanted to hear her plan or even pieces. I wanted to see energy not BS cute one liners.

    I wanted her to be honest and transparent.

    She doesn’t know. When you hire in high levels I hire a plan and insight. She wants to learn on the job and Pitt is happy because she is a compliance person and won’t leave and is content. You guys are aware there are sales reps that make more than Pitt is paying her? You buy a plan and direction. You pay 375k to let them learn on the job.

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  23. Be real Heather. Say I plan to really see our options in Hoops. Say 4 wins in ACC is unacceptable. Light fires. Set tone and pace. Excite people you aren’t just another puppet.

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  24. I’m going to do something I rarely do sand agree totally w UPitt.

    Light fires, set tone and pace, LEAD
    don’t follow and mos of all ….. hold people accountable!

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  25. Me too Jrnpitt. My put was this was a perfect forum to show you have Chutzpah and aren’t a yes man or in her case woman.

    To me that is the difference another 5-10 years in a real competitive conference would of given her.

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  26. OT: By the way did anyone read on Jerry DiPaolo’s Pitt Locker Room blog the other day that in practice Pitt started a walk on RS freshman(Jimmy Morrissey) on the offensive line at guard. Maybe Pitt has found another Aston from the walk on group. That would be a pleasant surprise on a group that needs some depth.

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    1. Yes jrn, I made a mention of him two separate times on the POV. This is big news considering depth on the O-Line is at a premium. So while I am at it I will mention a walk on QB from Indiana Pa has also been added to the PITT football roster.

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      1. Sorry Ike I must have missed those posts on the POV. It was some time ago but the Post Gazette did a writeup on him early last year. He had quite a few Ivy League offers and was selected for the Pa big 33 team.

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        1. OMGosh jrn, no apologies needed. I had heard Jimmy M was being used at center as well and he has been a coaches favorite dating back to last year.

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  27. I am voting for give her a chance too. I was pushing for Chun on Saturday but she is from the same tree at OSU. She managed to hire a good coach for Eastern that no one had ever heard of. Don’t know if she used a search committee but apparently made her choice based on credentials and was not influenced by outside pressures to pick a bigger name but uliimately less successful candidate as had been done in the past there with guys like Ron English who she fired.

    Here is an interesting article about the Athletic Department at OSU where she was developed. In fact one of OSU AD Gene Smith’s goals is to develop leaders who are capable of running their own Athletic Departments and Lyke was mentioned.This was in Forbes Magazine back in 2015 . If you have the patience to read it you will get a feel for the approach Gene Smith uses. If this is her MO she has a good chance to be successful here. Who knows how much of this is currently in place at Pitt now. I have to believe some key parts are missing. She looks like a person who has big ideas but can she raise the funds to make them become a reality? Time will tell.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2015/03/23/why-the-ohio-state-buckeyes-prove-that-great-leadership-starts-with-emotion/#4c3f23b2d319

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  28. For those who are disappointed that the new AD is not from a P5 conference — a possible reason is that no one from a P5 conference wanted to clean up the Barnes/Stallings debacle. Especially if things are nice and calm where your are now, why go somewhere knowing you are going to deal with a headache?

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  29. I like the hire. Good that Pitt is going with an up and coming AD and not a reread like the BBall coach.
    Heather Lykes hire is a breath of fresh air for Pitt.

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  30. Helluvan article Reed. Wannstadt-esque almost. Maybe you can tell our recruits to go elsewhere b/c you don’t like the administration too.

    Lol it was just two years ago when everyone was poutin about Stevie p’s close to 700k salary and how he was overpaid. Everyone also was upset about not hiring Tressel after being with OSU a BIG TIME program.

    Now we’re judging our new AD b/c her salary was even 300k. Oh man…spend your money elsewhere guys. Don’t donate.

    Another hit piece article Reed, really gotta question your angle here…

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  31. Sry quick typing this, but my point is everyone was pining for EJ to get the gig. Lyke shared a comparable role with EJ while at OSU. This article wouldn’t even be in existence if the hire were EJ. But the opposite happened and now we are stuck with this foolish article.

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    1. Take it easy Tim, it’s one mans opinion. I don’t think Reed was referring to PITT fans should stop donating at all. If I read the article correctly it’s more about PITT going cheap with the hire and he does say he’s fine with that.

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      1. I’m sorry, but what evidence do we have to prove this isn’t a completely fabricated storyline. Somebody above suggested reduced government spending as reason, which I would I have accepted, but what reason did reed really give besides what he thinks her perceived salary may be. So therefore Pitt is going cheap? Our outgoing AD made a half a mil here. We offered nearly a mil to our outgoing OC, but Pitt is going cheap? I’m sorry but I need more than that from somebody to claim the school is going cheap

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  32. On the 6 o’clock local news she says she is going to do a full review of the basketball program and feels it is warranted after last year. Says she will do this for other sports as well..

    Doesn’t sound like she was brought in to maintain the Status Quo.

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  33. Timmeh – you don’t get my article at all, you really don’t – it wasn’t about her being qualified or a good hire personally. it was about Pitt. I do like her and will wait to see if she does a good job or not. her press conference was upbeat and fine.

    But the substance of my article – from the title on through was that Pitt cannot or will not compete with the big programs who consistently are in the Top 20 in football and basketball (both or one or the other) with this spending cap the administration has self-imposed.- it will just not happen.

    She may turn out to be the Jewel in the Crown for all I know – but I give her three years onboard before she takes a better and more higher paying job.

    Each time you come one here you accuse me of ‘hit’ pieces. i suggest you read the article with an open mind instead of assuming i am negative about the coach or AD. Read the actual words.

    The bald truth in college athletics is you get what you pay for.

    Anon – all those numbers come from mainstream media sources and were already published.and the Top 15 AD’s salaries from here:

    http://www.thebrofessional.net/highest-paid-college-athletic-directors/

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    1. Reed I believe I addressed that with my next post in response to Ike. I read the article and I think one could make a pretty fair case that you are pushing this narrative that pitt isn’t spending or doing enough. Didn’t they just renovate the football facility, add baseball softball, and soccer fields, renovate the administrative offices at the Pete, one mil offer reportedly to the outgoing oc, Barnes making almost 600k, and I guarantee you narduzzi is about to be a very happy man. Our two best hires in recent memory have been a coordinator and assistant. You say pitt has capped their athletic spending but everything I just listed suggests the exact opposite. Now please tell me how an open mind wouldn’t consider all of that? The department has done more in the last 5 years than it had done the 20 years before that and is leagues ahead of where we were. We all want speedy results but it takes time and the trajectory is absolutely there for all to see, but your article fails to consider any of that. Instead you list her previous salary as the end all be all figure that pitt went cheap. Btw I reread your article to make sure I wasn’t somehow missing something and…..nope.

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  34. Had to jump in after a hiatus due to the news. You guys have flipped your lids. Do just a little research and you tube her EMU introductory speech. It is the same one she gave today! Nearly verbatim. Good grief. How does anybody fall for that again.

    @John Ram – You talk about her fighting for an increased budget and then spending it at EMU. Yes she did. She had no choice. It was her only way to survive as an AD there. No budget equals no job. They almost folded under her leadership.

    To all thinking 16 years at OSU is great experience. Would you believe that you get an Associate AD title for being the scheduler of a basketball schedule. No joke. Being an AAD at OSU is like being a VP at a bank. She was also there when Tresselgate happened. I am sure he recommended her as well. If you sit at a university for 15 years and don’t run the place, you were never a fast tracker or shining star. You did your job and maybe even did it well. Can guarantee she was not involved in being a real AD at OSU. Gene Smith also gave us Barnes.

    For our BOT, it is obvious that they looked at diversity and inclusion first. Big mistake. They wanted to mirror the Dairy College hire. Unfortunately, the reason that the Dairy hired a female was because it was the polar opposite of the old white establishment. The Dairy C wanted to go completely opposite for their specific reason. Our Board, in an effort to try to be like Dairy, missed it again.

    That said, I wish her well. Maybe she cleans house in the athletic department and I mean completely. Pitt remains the pawn in the big game of sports. In typical fashion, I agree with Upitt on this although my language is a bit more in line with the rest of you cupcakes. Even though I don’t swear, It’s funny that I have to respect the pov public request for clean language, but they don’t have to respect my option to cuss like a sailor. It’s a one way ticket anymore and everyone that falls into that trap …..is….well…..

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  35. So much for a splash hire. To play with the big boys, you need to pay like them. Tells me that Pitt is fine being middle of the pack. I’ll give her the benefit of doubt. But this hire doesn’t surprise me.

    She needs to engage and generate funds. She needs to give all a reason to believe. She need to make good hiring decisions. She needs to change the internal culture. She needs to show a vision for excellence and lead us down that path clearly articulating the plan and most importantly executing it.

    I’ll be impressed when she proves why she deserves this job.

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  36. On board with my dear pal, UPitt on this one.
    Her intro speech was banal and uninspiring.
    SOP -thinking they can pull a diamond from a lump of coal.
    Not a businessman by any stretch, but if you want to go big, think big. That’s what Louisville does, and they reap the rewards for it.
    I have no idea how she will do, but If Pitt folks are excited about EMU’s mediocre football team finally going to a bowl, then you have placed our bar about as low as it will go.

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  37. I find it to be a pretty uninspiring hire – but then I try to be more realistic in managing my expectations. Pitt is not a Plum to folks in the P5 and folks with options. Unrealistic fan expectations, financial constraints, facilities, and competition from the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and all the other shows in town present challenges that many of Pittsburgh’s P5 brethren don’t have.

    I mean were you expecting them to go get Tom Jurich or Whit Babcock?

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  38. And for better or worse – recency matters – at least to folks in demand. And the Wannstedt fiasco matters. The coaching turnover matters. How Dixon was underappreciated matters. How few of Pitts’s teams actually compete for championships matters.

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  39. I saw an earlier post asking how many would love a Ass’t AD from a Power 5 factory (OSU, Fla., T A&M, etc..), well she was there and cut her teeth and moved on to gain experience as an AD before moving here. No Ad from a P-5 would come here – why would you? UPitt – I asked you earlier – who do you think Pitt should bring in?

    UPitt – all of us here like you – but they name cars after you (Bitch, Moan & Whine)…offer a realistic solution not one of the one liners that you spew…she had experience, she has passion, she has shown leadership skills, and Charlie Batch likes her!

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  40. Uninspiring is an absolutely great word for this hire. It doesn’t jump off the page at us and it’s certainly not a spirit lifter… or anyone other catch phrase you want to use. It is a fact that she is PITT’s new AD. I understand the negative views, it’s just I can’t complain too much until I know what the heck I’m complaining about. So my blood pressure remains under control and some of you may have to go and see the good Dr Tom and have your angst extracted. … ike..

    H2P

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  41. Give me and others a reason to donate. I’ll donate money to a program committed to excellence and becoming elite. Or else why even bother?

    Show me your plan to become more than a middle of the pack program content with mediocrity.

    It starts with raising money. So again, give me a reason and back it up.

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  42. Passion and Leadership are good traits, but it will take more than that. This is Pitt. And Pitt wont support her. When has Pitt truly supported any of its AD’s? Paying roughly 1/3 the salary of most ACC AD’s shows me what Pitt really thinks of her. Pitt went cheap again. SOP.

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  43. Narduzzi likes her because she will be his lap dog. She needs to support him and the program but also challenge him and be his real boss demanding results. Does she have the backbone?

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  44. Tx, when we consider this hire don’t we have to also consider who else PITT may have hired instead? All things considered (to use that word again) if HCPN is happy with the hire, then why not everyone else. After-all, do we have a choice anyways. As far as I can tell, this new AD likes college football way more than a one smiling SOB who pretending to be PITT’s AD for way too long..

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  45. Lets see what she does in her first 100 days
    1. Call a coming to Jesus meeting with Stallings
    2. Give the Nard Dog all the bones he needs
    3. Commission a feasibility study for an OCS (whoops Populous will be releasing one shortly)
    4. Gather support from alumni, fans and boosters and convince them to DONATE
    5. Recommend going back to the old colors
    6. Removing anything associated with Cornhole and whatever nickname you want to call Barnes
    7. Changing the SOP culture
    8. Scheduling old Big East schools in basketball and football (UConn, Nova, G-Town, WVU)
    9. Bringing back the Penn States Sucks cheer
    10. Free IC’s and Primantis every time an O lineman scores a TD or a Pitt center nails a 3

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  46. If her salary is low for p-5 ads I have no problem with that as long as it goes up big time as she earns it. Seems better than overpaying in the beginning as with the last two unsuccessful ad hires. I like he fact that she is from Ohio and likely to understand the W PA culture. Resume looks real good. A p-5 ad hire would have looked bright and shiny-oops we tried that in basketball. She will most likely stay out of Narduzzi’s hair as long as he wins, runs a clean program and his kids graduate. I doubt that she will be a lap dog. She will try to make sure he gets what he needs for the program including coaches’ salaries (but I bet she’ll be willing to say no to him when necessary and especially to those who think Pitt should go crazy and pay at Alabama levels.) I am anxious to see what she will do to try to get more butts in the seats. Overall on this first day of her tenure what’s not to like? It’s time for optimism!

    9

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  47. Everyone is typing around the issue. First, I would disagree with the posters who say the majority on here wanted EJ for the job. Not true. If EJ wants to be an AD, he needs to leave and cut his teeth elsewhere and then come back. EMU has an opening and it can lead to a Power 5 AD job.

    Second, I will give you a name that would have come here for $600 to $700k per year and that is Jim Tressel. It’s funny that our new AD was in the AD department of the school whose athletic department didn’t oversee their head coach properly. Pay the money and you can get just about anyone to come. Didn’t we just see this with our OC? It’s all about the cash. Follow the money, always.

    Why wouldn’t Narduzzi support the hire? He was on the committee that hired his boss. I have never been asked to opine on whether my boss should be hired or not. Seems counterproductive and also produces an environment where the boss is beholden to his employee. It’s the good ole boy network.

    I think she ends up doing well so long as she is transparent. OCS must be a consideration or continue with a fractured fanbase forever. OCS will create experiences for the current student body which leads to future giving. She should have learned that from OSU. Resources, resources and resources!

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  48. There is so much negativity here. Guys, just give her a chance before you write her off. Geez, it’s not like Pitt is the most attractive job around! We all love our school and want the best for it, but nothing great happens overnight. I would be wary of anyone who came in and on Day 1 had all the answers to our problems. Let her get immersed and see where the problems lie before expecting her to have all these great ideas to solve them! We all heard the lines from Fraud Graham on Day 1 how he was going to turn everything around. Stop judging already!

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    1. Annie, are you serious? This is a Pitt athletics blog. Of course there is negativity! If Heather Lyke somehow figures out how to excise that cancerous tumor of negativity from the Body of the Panther Faithful. THEN I’d give her a million dollars a year salary and a lifelong tenure here at Pitt!

      “There is so much negativity here”!!!! That’s a good one, funny lady!

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  49. Just got a chance to watch the press conference. I like Heather Lyke. Lots of passion for the endeavor ahead of her. And her hair goes well with the Pitt gold… 🙂

    But best of all ——— she’s left-handed!!! Creativity galore!

    Look at it this way, the recent guys we’ve had as ADs have done a crappy job. I like her chances of doing way better.

    For me, her number one job is to find a way to keep Coach Duzz for a long time. I really don’t give a crap what else she does.

    Go Pitt.

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  50. “Duzz” still needs to prove himself this year and next. He is not a savior yet.

    I will give Heather the benefit of the doubt and support her as long as she is competent…something Pitt Athletic Department has lacked in a leader for many years.

    That said it is not a splash hire – it is an extremely safe and quite honestly miserly hire. Pitt once again dissed the alum and fan base hoping for better. And once more spent too much money on a search firm to cover their collective butts. She could have easily been found without one.

    If Pitt wanted to be big time they would have gone in another direction for not much more $… Tressel was available.

    Once again did not live up to P-5 hopes and standards imo.

    Instead they have chosen to go the route of mediocrity.

    My big hope is she puts a big fat chocking leash on BB coach Stallings…and he is held accountable and gone sooner rather than later.

    But I will support her for the time being.

    H2P

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  51. For the life of me I can’t understand why in the he** any of our coaches were on the selection committee. I can see her meeting with Narduzzi and he tells her “you know I voted for you for this job while others wanted to go in a different direction.” As was previously posted and I agree, no employee should have a vote in who his/her next boss should be.

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    1. I would have to think that a coach or coaches being part of the search committee for an AD is a very common practice. As far as who works for who .. this differs among schools. For example, I will guarantee you that in many situations, the coach carries more weight. If the Duke AD differs with Coach K, for example, who wins out in the long run? You may remember that back in 04, the PSU Prez and AD visited JoePa at his house with the purpose of discussing retirement, and JoePa threw them off his porch. (I’m not making this up.)

      It differs from school to school. Obviously, Barry rules the roost at Wisconsin, but any long time successful coach has more power as long as he keeps winning and draws in the revenue.

      I remember when Tressel first got into his trouble at OSU, when OSU Pres Reddenbacher made the famous quote that Tressel would fire him, not the other way around. And until more dirt came out about the extent of the indiscretions and how long they had been occurring, Tressel was thought to be the champion. Many in Ohio still consider the Vest as the victim .. that is until Urban came in and won a NC.

      Like

  52. Tressel’s experience as an AD? Youngstown State! Pitt’s new AD is way more experienced. Breaking NCAA rules as a coach doesn’t make you a good AD.

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    1. actually, Tressel is YSU’s president. Not sure he has any actual AD experience, but he is an accomplished fundraiser which is how he became a college pres.

      Like

  53. I’m still curious over the lack of discussion about the basketball program. Stallings doesn’t show up for the introduction, and very few questions were asked about what is wrong with the bb program. There are still people following this blog who believe that JD was maligned and was run out of town. Clearly, he had exhausted his welcome and had lost the recruiting touch (if he ever had one). Pretty boy JD couldn’t recruit, plain and simple, and the Howland approach of grinding it out with less skilled players doesn’t work in the ACC. Paul Evans once said that if you gave him a good point guard and a center, he could fill in the rest from the gym. Well, all JD could recruit were the fill ins..

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  54. Reed and Co. are basically advocating a hire similar to which Pitt made in ’92 hiring Oval Jaynes. Assoc. AD at Auburn w/ football admin experience. What possibly could go wrong? EVERYTHING. He botched the firing of Paul Evans… hired semi-functional alcoholic JM as football coach… and by the time he left both football and basketball had hit rock bottom.

    Pitt has one sport which is functioning at an above average level. One. That is football. If Narduzzi signed off on this hire – we have no choice whatsoever. He is literally the only person in athletics who is even remotely competent at this point in time.

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  55. Pitt has a rabid base of about 35,000 fans. No more. Doesn’t matter if Narduzzi runs the table…still there will be only 35,000 fans. If Heather can fix that problem she should be POTUS not AD!

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  56. Chas Rich‏ @ChasRich27 17h

    The hard questions RT @Souf_Oaklin: Is Heather Lyke qualified to bring same level of dysfunction to Pitt athletics as her male predecessors?

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  57. — Well Chancellor Gallagher was clearly very, very pleased to bring Mrs. Lyke into the Pitt Family so I liek that 🙂 .

    @ Reed, how and when do we actually call into your “Radio Show” Podcast??

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    1. Wow — she GET’S IT —- on her Athletic career as an athlete and now as an Ahtletic Direcotr (@14:50) —- “….It’s an INDUSTRY, that has given so much to me, and I want to give back.” —- It IS an Industry —- not some B$ “Front Porch” la-da-da Bull-Waste and she KNOWS IT lol.

      Like

  58. SP#1 was 39 years old and zero experience when he became AD in 1996. Jeff Long had very similar experience as Heather (without actually being an AD). He came from a decade in the Michigan athletic department before being groomed under SP#1. SP#2 was a complete and utter disaster. Barnes, who had the most experience by far, was complete and utter disaster.

    Those jumping on Heather’s experience are neglecting she had more experience than both SP#1 and Jeff Long. It’s not as big a jump as many of you are making it. The fact her experience more closely aligns with Jeff Long’s, who came from UM’s established Athletic Dept. and was good enough at Pitt to be promoted to the SEC, speaks volumes for me.

    It appears it was a good hire and I’m hopeful.

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  59. “….Heather, facilities are really important…but if don’t trust the guy on the right of you, and you don’t trust the guy on the left of you…then you’re never gonna win Championships.

    @Upitt, you said she wasn’t being Real??? All Scott Barnes said was, lol, “Front Porch this, Front Porch-that.” lol

    Like

  60. Darkie and anyone else, Reed appears to be a little busy right now so I hope you don’t mind if I can help you with the round-table show. Later on Reed will post a link to bluejeans or you can look it up anytime. I have mine on shortcut. Go into Bluejeans and look for “join as guest” hit that and type in 5713314009 and bingo that’s it. No download at all. It will then say join Reeds meeting, hit that and you’re in live. You can go on that anytime today as a trial run, it’s just there won’t be anyone else in the meeting. Give it a try when you have a minute. It’s simple… Reed will post link in a little while and the meeting opens around 7:30 or so.

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  61. Again, I can’t be there tonite and Reed will need you guys to help out. The more the merrier. Let’s get a bunch of you guys this week!!

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  62. Right Doc, let’s hope Upitt’s flight gets delayed for 4 hours so he can tell us all how much he loves the hire. Just kidding there Upitt. It would be fun if you could make it though.

    Doc hope you make as well. It’s easy, right Doc

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  63. PITT football has a new player as of yesterday, Jacob Scarton. A kicker from nearby Hickory high. Not sure when he will join the team.

    John Morgan, 6’2″ 240 lbs DE from Dematha High in Maryland is visiting PITT today. His major is physical therapy and and he likes PITT with decent offers. a 3 star.

    Like

  64. —- **Talk of “On Campus Stadium” —- UCLA plays at the Rose Bowl (100,000+ pure bleacher stadium Pure “Bowl” style) 20 miles away from their campus in North-West Los Angeles and they sell out every game if they are even Remotely Successful.

    They have been far even less successful in their football program than us —— Heinz is 4 miles from the Cathedral while the Rose Bowl is 20 miles from UCLA — so just plan now to make Heinz Pitt’s own stadium now — and Especially once the Steelers may decide to move.

    Like

    1. That is the Pitt Football Plan —- Making “Heinz” Field (Just the current-Marketing — could be, “Google Field” with incredible technology once Pitt takes over 🙂 ) Pitt’s own stadium through-and-through.

      ……To the select-few Guys who do not understand how Big-Time Sports Universities in BIG CITIES WITH PRO-SPORTS WORK —- (Count ’em —- USC……Miami…)….very, very few!!!** —- Heinz Field if the Steelers leave would be an ultimate home stadium only a few miles from campus to make Pitt’s own!

      Focus on making (what is ‘now called’) Heinz the New Pitt Football Stadium!!

      Like

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