POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions

Have to apologize for lack of articles lately – between going to Virginia for two days on Tuesday then having to drive up to PGH for two days for a funeral on Thursday I couldn’t find computer time to write anything.

BB News: Cam Johnson is indeed leaving the Pitt BB program as one of the many who have seen the handwriting on the wall with the Stallings hire.  I think that Pitt BB fans are much like the Pitt FB fans in that they find it hard to point fingers at the coaching staffs when there are players to blame.

To me this mass exodus from the BB program is all on (dearly departed) ex-Pitt AD Barnes’ and BB Head Coach Stallings’ shoulders. From that initial press conference announcing the hire until now the Stallings era has been on a downward slope.  Multiple players from a small roster don’t leave within months of each other unless there is great institutional instability.

This is NOT what you want a new AD to have to deal with in the first part of her time at your university.  We saw a Pitt FB head coach leave Pitt when there was the same type of institutional instability back with Todd Graham. 

Say what you will about him and there are many negative things to say – but the one thing I believed in 100% was his stating that he left Pitt “because there are problems there I can’t talk about“. Of course he was talking about Steve Pederson and the fall-out from the last year of the Wannstedt regime.

But that also parallels what we are seeing now – maybe not exactly or of the same magnitude as with Graham – but things are roiling behind the scenes in the Athletic Department and it centers around the atmosphere Stallings created for Pitt’s BB players. Rockports 

The Stallings hire was suspect; the AD directing that hire was suspect (and then that AD carpetbagged his way to a higher paying gig) and Stallings’ attitude in blaming his players for his lack of empathy and leadership is suspect writ large.  Plus the BB pass defense sucked also.

It was plain to see that Stallings’ was unprepared for what he was coming into with the departure of a beloved coach in Jamie Dixon.  Instead of addressing it head on and trying to work within that reality he tried to impose his mark on “his” program by peeing on center court and daring his players with a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.

Hell, he may as well just handed out PA Turnpike Toll gift cards when he first got here.

It just never ends for the Pitt athletic department and their media arm does it? I’ll bet a warm beer that E.J. Borghetti would sell his antique Danny Marino-signed condom dispenser that was on the bathroom wall in Chief’s Cafe for just one month of not having to report negative news.

On To Football:

The Tribune-Review’s Jerry DiPaola had an interesting bit in his blog “Pitt locker Room” regarding some players and whether or not they are actually injured.  We all know that Pat Narduzzi is as tight-lipped as can be with his player’s physical statuses.  He just doesn’t like to talk about it and we’re not sure why.

I don’t think it is his safeguarding any privacy issues.  If an injury or illness was serious enough, Conner’s cancer for example, then that would be up to the player and his family to make public.  But the training camp minor injuries (or even more serious such as Hamlin’s) are something that I feel should be discussed in a bit more detail.

This is for no other reason than to stop speculation in the media and among fans as to if a player is doing well or not in these camps.  We have seen in the past that when one kid’s name gets mentioned often for a week and another at the same position’s isn’t then being mentioned at all wonderment about the pecking order at that position starts.  Sometimes the second kid isn’t mentioned much because he’s nursing an injury but the public doesn’t know that.

So, when he was asked to clear up the situations of tight end Chris Clark and cornerback Damar Hamlin, both of whom did not attend the early portion of Thursday’s practice, Narduzzi provided some clarity. 

Trying to be as diplomatic as I could, I said, “A lot of people, fans, writers, are talking about Hamlin and Clark. Can you shed any light on those two guys.”
Narduzzi: “In what regards, being banged up?
Me: The I word, yeah.”
Narduzzi: “That’s good. You didn’t say injuries. Good. I like that. (Smiling, fist bump.) They’re both going to be fine. It’s spring ball. We’ve got no game to play tomorrow. Both are things they will be back from easily, easily.”
Follow up question from Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com: “But not (able to practice) the rest of spring, though?”
Narduzzi: “Maybe, maybe.”

Here is that video:


You know when the coaching staff starts talking up true freshmen and walk-ons in spring drills there are problems.  we are seeing that right now with the effusive praise given to the toddlers on the offensive line. 

“Say hello to Jerry Drake, Jimmy Morrissey, Tony Pilato, Brandon Ford and Justin Morgan. “

Uhh… say ‘hello” to an inexperienced and not all that talented OL two-deep, at least in my opinion.  I’ve felt for some time the OL is going to be a problem in ’17 and this just reinforces my concerns.  We have been extremely spoiled by Paul Chryst’s recruitment of offensive lineman and looking at what we have gotten from Pat Narduzzi on this count isn’t replicating that (so far).

From Jerry D at the Trib:

Even more intriguing is walk-on Morrissey, a redshirt freshman who is getting first and second-team opportunities at center and guard.

A year ago, he was recruited by Lehigh, Bucknell, Colgate, Dartmouth and Penn, who were attracted as much by his 3.8 grade-point average as his athletic ability. He could have received more playing time and scholarship help at those schools, but he chose to pay his way into Pitt for the chance to test himself.

“I personally believe I can play at this level,” Morrissey said. “I wanted to prove it to myself.”  He’s proven it to people more important: the coaches.

Here are the Narduzzi OL recruits from Rivals.com:

Name Pos Location Ht Wt Stars Rating Committed
Brandon Ford OL Pittsburgh, PA 6’5″ 304 *** 5.5 3/22/15
Zack Williams OL Citra, FL 6’5″ 265 *** 5.5 12/13/15
Justin Morgan OL Brooklyn, NY 6’7″ 335 *** 5.5 12/15/15
Carson Van Lynn OL Worth’on, OH 6’6″ 235 *** 5.5 6/22/16
Gabe Houy OL Pittsburgh, PA 6’6″ 270 *** 5.5 8/1/16
Carter Warren OL Wayne, NJ 6’6″ 320 *** 5.7 10/8/16
Jerry Drake OL Palm Beach Gardens, FL 6’7″ 300 *** 5.5 12/15/16
Owen Drexel OL Montclair, NJ 6’4″ 280 ** 5.4 6/15/16

Folks that is a far cry from one five * and three four * OL we recruited in 2013 and 2014.  To put it another way our past HC’s OL recruits averaged 3.33 stars; Narduzzi’s averages 2.87.  A difference of half a star across the board is pretty big.

Of course one never knows about recruits and how well they will turn out, especially with offensive lineman who really do have to spend a year or two in a college level strength and conditioning program before they can get out there and match up with opponent’s DL who are already fit to compete.

I think we have some good ones in that group – Ford I like and Drake looks like he could really develop but this is a unit we all should keep a weather eye on in the fall camp.  If we are still hearing those names above… Jerry Drake, Jimmy Morrissey, Tony Pilato, Brandon Ford and Justin Morgan… when the two-deep is being finalized then it’s time to really worry.

Speaking of blocking on offense here are two articles about our TE situation.  First is the report that Pitt landed a TE from NJ, Rutgers to be exact, to spend his grad transfer year with our Panthers. That would be Matt Flanagan.

During his SR year in HS he was looking at both RU and Northwestern (the bastards!) to attend as a preferred walk-on.  he chose RU obviously and in his four years there he did this:


Don’t let anyone tell you he was only brought in as a back-up TE behind Chris Clark.  He’ll be right in the thick of competition for the starting role when fall camp rolls around.  Why?  Because he was a blocking TE for the last three years (from the Trib):

On the football field, Flanagan will provide depth behind assumed starting tight end Chris Clark, a transfer from UCLA. Pitt also has used defensive end Devon Edwards at tight end this spring.

Flanagan played in 33 games at Rutgers, recording 18 receptions for 145 yards. He scored all three of his touchdowns in 2015. He was used primarily as a blocking tight end, entrusted with calling out assignments for the offensive linemen.

As for our Romani Traveler Chris Clark he’s going to be in the mix obviously and he’ll get a lot of playing time in the two-deep, and maybe as a starter. Apparently he’s finally found his ‘fit’ at Pitt.  Narduzzi does feel blocking is a problem…

Narduzzi, however, is getting tired — if not annoyed — with answering questions about Clark’s blocking ability.

“I didn’t have any question about him blocking, period,” Narduzzi said Tuesday. “It seems like there’s a lot of questions about his blocking. He’s a big, strong, physical tight end who can block and run.”

Since I was the only person that I could find who even mentioned Clark’s blocking I find that interesting.  But I didn’t say he wasn’t a good blocker.  I said that he seems to me to be a bit on the thin side for a blocking TE.  Big difference there.

Why am I so adamant that Flanagan will be a major player this season? Because Pat Narduzzi doesn’t give scholarships to experienced transfer students unless he’s going to play them.  We have seen it hold true with QB Peterman, QB Browne, DE Hendrix (would have started last season), and DE Allen Edwards (11 games, four starts).

The same will hold true for Flanagan.


We now have a PayPal donation button on the homepage to make giving a bit easier.

Stand by for Sunday’s regular Podcast then we’ll do the Roundtable Call-in either Wednesday or Thursday because I have to go into Washington, DC for that Library of Prior to his installation at Pitt in 2014, Gallagher spent more than two decades in public service. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While in this role, Gallagher also served as acting deputy secretary of commerce until leaving for Pitt in the summer of 2014. interview on Tuesday night… I’ll let you all know how that goes when finished.

I am having a bunch more Pitt POV magnets made up – if anyone wants one do like we did for the car decals – send me an email with your info – address and phone # if you would.  Please put “Magnets” or “Decals” or “Magnets and Decals” or “Everything you have in your wallet you miserable SOB!” in the subject line in the subject line so that I know what to mail out.

Remember – we’ll tailgate in the Gold lots a few hours before the Spring Game. Look for the flagpole with the POV and Pitt script flags flying.

Spring game

Here is what the guys did in last season’s spring game.  You can use it to check your hopes based on a Spring Game vs reality of their season.  Actually this one pretty much mirrors the 2016 season.

spring game '16

67 thoughts on “POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions

  1. Regarding Stallings and the latest departure: “This is NOT what you want a new AD to have to deal with in the first part of her time at your university.” In a previous post just after the new AD was hired I made a comment directed at those who were disappointed that a P5 AD was not the hire — to the effect: Why would you want to take a job when you will be walking into a mess with one of the two revenue generating sports at the university? Especially when things are nice an calm where you are now. Pretty much explains why we ended up with the current AD. Best wishes to her going forward.

    Regarding the freshmen OL players. Two comments. 1. Didn’t Dorian Johnson start as a frosh? 2. I made a prediction a while ago that Jerry Drake would be the breakout player of spring ball and would be challenging for a starting spot. Some frosh are just that good to begin with.


  2. Pitt Spring Football Drills: Day 8, Videos & Quotes


    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Offensive Line Coach John Peterson
    Offensive Lineman Jaryd Jones-Smith

    Linebacker Quintin Wirginis
    Offensive Lineman Jimmy Morrissey


    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    On today’s practice:

    “Practice number eight is in the books and it was great to get outside in the sunny Pittsburgh weather today. We need to get outside more. We don’t play the game indoors and I don’t think there are any domes in the ACC, so it was good to get outside. The kids came out with good enthusiasm again today. We’ve got a lot of things that we have to continue to work on, but it’s a work in progress.”

    On offensive lineman Jerry Drake:

    “He has not hit a wall. He is such a mature kid, and we kind of knew that in the recruiting process that he was mature and very serious. I think that is why he came here and came mid-year. He’s got an agenda and he has continued to work hard. He’s still making freshman mistakes; he’s a high school player still, but he has done really well. He’s been running with the twos and he continues to get better every day.”

    On offensive lineman Jimmy Morrissey:

    “He is a good football player, a great walk-on that’s going to earn a scholarship here someday on the offensive line. We are very encouraged by him. I saw it last year on our scout team that he is probably one of the best scout team offensive linemen that we have had. He led that group and he has done a tremendous job. We are happy to have him.”

    On tight end/long snapper Nathan Bossory:

    “Nate still works at tight end as well as long snapper. Obviously, a walk-on’s goal is to earn a scholarship. I think Nate is one of those guys that has goals and he shoots for them and knows what he wants. He is a guy that is going to try to do anything. He’ll go play holder; he’ll try to be a punter if he could. He’s doing anything he can do to try to help the football team. He is unselfish in that respect. He moved from quarterback to tight end. Last bowl season, we had a quarterback go down and he jumped right into the quarterback position, but hadn’t played quarterback in a year. He is a super kid and a team guy.”

    On developing depth on the offensive line:

    “In general, our job is to develop every position, certainly with that second offensive line group. But we want to do the same thing with the defensive line, the linebackers, the backup safeties. We need 22 guys on each side of the ball that have got to be ready to go and offensive line is no exception.”

    On who will fill spots on the offensive line:

    “It’s still too early to see. We’ve gone through one scrimmage and one little live period today, otherwise you really don’t get to see as much. It’s like, ‘Did he make the play or not? Did he make the block?’ We are trying to stay off the ground and our kids are mature enough to do that pretty well today. [Tony] Pilato has shown some spurts in there, [Jimmy] Morrissey has done some good things, Justin Morgan has done some good things and he is a load in there. When he puts his hands on you, you are going down. It’s the inconsistency; there is a good play and then you are going, ‘Ah, we have to fix that.’ It’s never a form of beauty out there; it’s a work in progress, and there are good things but also fundamentals we have to work on.”

    On wide receiver Quadree Henderson’s ability in the passing game:

    “He has great hands, so it’s not a matter of hands. It’s a matter of his route running and not thinking so much as he is running down, thinking about the progression of the different coverages and route combinations that you run. It’s just him being more comfortable; obviously he loves those jet sweeps and he had a big one today, like you saw last season. It’s a work in progress with him in the pass game, but he will be fine. You get him on the short stuff and he can take it to the house at any time.”

    On cornerback Damar Hamlin and tight end Chris Clark:

    “They are both going to be fine. It’s spring ball and we have no game to play tomorrow. Both things are something that they will be back from easily.”

    On quarterback Ben DiNucci:

    “Ben’s playing with a lot more confidence. He demands the huddle and commands it as well. He has done a nice job and he’s grown up. He was a redshirt freshman and now he is a redshirt sophomore, and has taken well to coach [Shawn] Watson’s coaching and is developing, which is what we expect. We don’t expect these guys to come in as freshman and be ready to go, that’s why they call us coach.”

    On which players he would pick for his basketball team:

    “I’m going to take Brian O’Neill underneath the hoop at the five. I’m going to take Dane Jackson and I have to take Jordan Whitehead. I don’t know if Jester [Weah] can shoot or not but as an athlete I’d take him too. Jaryd Jones-Smith, you know, another big guy. We will get some power game going inside.”

    Offensive Line Coach John Peterson

    On Jimmy Morrissey:

    “Jimmy Morrissey is a football player. He’s a student of the game. He takes his craft very seriously on and off the field. He prepares and he has taken advantage of every opportunity he has.”

    On how Morrissey is doing in spring ball:

    “Jimmy is a competitor. He’s done a great job of taking opportunities at center or guard. He’s getting better every day.”

    On Jaryd Jones-Smith coming back from injury:

    “Jaryd has come a long way. He’s an older veteran guy that you expect a lot of out.”

    On having a lot of younger guys:

    “That’s the fun part of coaching. That’s why every day is different. Every young player is an opportunity. To see the young guys with energy and excitement practicing every day and competing. That’s how you get better, every day coming out to practice.”

    On who has stood out:

    “They all have moments. Every play is a different world for them. The young guys are competing, and every day they practice, they learn something new.”

    On if the line will have positional flexibility:

    “I’ll let you know probably in September. That’s what spring ball and summer workouts are for, to create and find out those things.”

    Offensive Lineman Jaryd Jones-Smith

    On the differences between this year and last year:

    “There is not really much difference. We have enough guys that have been through the system and have played enough to plug in and keep it going like nothing is missing. But there are big expectations for me, being that fifth-year senior, having playing experience, coming back from an injury and having guys that have done great in the past two years. There are definitely some big shoes to fill.”

    On coming back from injury:

    “I’m excited to just come out and compete and get better every day. I definitely feel as though my game has gotten back to where it was before the injury, and now I just have to work on getting better every day and find new things to learn to develop.”

    On offensive lineman Connor Dintino:

    “He’s doing great. He’s doing an amazing job, especially for someone who is still learning the position. He is killing it out there.”

    Linebacker Quintin Wirginis

    On what the linebackers learned from last year’s seniors:

    “Whenever you lose such a big group of seniors, you are coming back with all that knowledge they left you with. With Mike [Caprara] leaving, Bam [Bradley] leaving, all those guys; that was a tough loss. The stuff we learned last year we are taking into this year and using. We learned to not take for granted what they show you in the film rooms. You can prepare until the cows come home, but you have to take away the stuff you learn with coach and really spend time in the film room and study. It all goes back to the film room. You are taking those mental reps on the field, but it is just as important to take those mental reps in the film room and off the field to make sure that once you do get on the field, you are not missing a beat. If you get that opportunity to get in, you can’t take it for granted and you have to step up when your name is called.”

    On linebacker Saleem Brightwell learning a new position:

    “I think he did a good job. It’s a tough step coming from the outside to the inside, but he does a great job. He is a young guy and, going out with a bunch of other young guys, he did a good job of getting everyone going and keeping everyone on the same page.”

    On embracing his new role as a senior leader:

    “It’s definitely weird. I’ve always been the young guy, since freshman year. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s a responsibility I am willing to take on and carry into the season. Everything I learned from the guys before, it all goes back to that leadership role.”

    Offensive Lineman Jimmy Morrissey

    On coming here without a scholarship:

    “I knew I was going to have to work hard coming here or wherever I was going to go. One of the reasons I came here was when I met with Coach Narduzzi my senior year. He told me I was going to have to a fair shot of competing. That’s all I really wanted when I came here.”

    On why he chose Pitt:

    “The level of play. I personally thought I could play at this level and I wanted to prove it to myself. I think I’ve made the right decision. I love it here.”

    On if he feels like he is able to keep up with everything:

    “Definitely. That locker room doesn’t treat me differently because I don’t have a scholarship. They don’t treat me like a walk-on. They will treat me just like everybody else as long as I keep grinding and trying my hardest.”


  3. Very nice article Reed and much appreciated and Good Luck Tuesday with your interview, break a leg.

    Glad you brought up Todd Graham, everyone hates the guy and he deserves a lot of it. steve kept-ed up his meddling ways with TG and there was no way he was going to take that crap considering he knew how DW was treated.

    About Stallings, the only player who won’t be back, seniors aside, is can Johnson. the other guys are not D-1 ACC material.

    On the other hand, Duquense has made killer hire across town. The one stud who asked for his release Lewis has most likely made a decision to stay. Lebron himself will be involved in recruiting for them. A whole other dynamic situation taking place on the bluff.

    Making it very clear I think the PITT O-Line dept is more than a little shallow. That said, why all the concern about the younger players making the two deep? Didn’t DJ and Biz start and play very early? Concerning Jimmy Morrissey, remember another very recent walk-on on the PITT roster right now, George Aston. So don’t judge too harshly.

    About the list of recruits shown? Take off Van Lynn and Williams and make Drexel the 3 star recruit he turned out to be after a super senior high school season. That will change that stat a little bit.

    BTW Drake being an early enroll as well as a highly regarded recruit is no shame on PITT for being in the mix at O-Line. Don’t forget C Warren who is even more highly regarded coming in the fall.

    Speaking of Drexel, he really put himself on the map during last years season and just might turn out to be the star of the show.

    Now on to the TE’s. It has to be mentioned again that it’s reported that TE’s aren’t exactly Watson’s bag. So that kind of makes it look like Flanagan could come into play. Although I don’t understand all the trepidation over Clark. Not that some caution isn’t warranted but by all accounts, including Reed, the young man has settled down and ready to make his mark. PITT will be just fine at TE this coming year. Book it!

    I mentioned another player (tight end) in the last article, a preferred walk-on from Penn Hills named DeAndre Schifino. 6’2″ 235lbs. Pretty sure Penn Hills had a good player named Schifino this past year in basketball. Anyone remember Drew Schifino years ago who went on to play well for WVU? Anyways I saw where DeAndre caught a pass in last years spring game which I know means very little. another BTW, DeAndre is an academic scholar.


  4. The culture in the athletic department must be toxic. Might need a full house cleaning. Might be tough to find good lieutenants when the major is being paid like a private.


    1. Well if the athletic department needs a “full house cleaning,” they got the man to do it right in the building — our very own Kevin “Angry Man” Stallings…

      Go Pitt.


  5. Ryan Luther can play tight end. He can stay at Pitt, retain his scholarship, and never see KS again. HCPN, go say hi to your new TE.
    While hindsight is 20-20, how difficult would it have been for Herman to approach Jamie and say: Your recruiting blows…just saying. So how about if we throw another million into the recruiting kitty? Now go get the hungry tigers you need to land some 4-stars.
    Instead, he makes every conceivable mistake, which inevitably will cost the university millions and millions in lost revenue. I’d say he torched our front porch.


  6. Pete, sorry if I repeated some of your thoughts. I didn’t see them before I began my comment. Distracted by my wife, she had me trying on new shirts she bought for me. Something I truly hate and I just tell her, you can’t make a race horse out of a jackass!!


  7. More telling than all the kids leaving the BB program was JBallard going back to VCU. This is a very,very,solid guy, and he was getting out of Dodge and going back to VCU.
    You can defend this hire all you want, but I just get so angry about Barnes and whoever was pulling the strings at the BOT. How is the Pete going to look with 3500??? Do they have no shame?


  8. How can it be said that Stallings made it my way or the highway when in fact he let the seniors play the run and gun style that they wanted due to the fact that he wanted them to be comfortable. It worked for a little while early in the season and then they started taking advantage of him. Players are not blameless in my humble opinion. When they don’t take care of academic needs and sleep in late to miss a breakfast while being away from home, reflects on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. –Reed – good article – did you note that comment from Coach Duzz in discussing Bossory? He said “Last bowl season, we had a quarterback go down and he jumped right into the quarterback position…” May explain why DiNucci played instead of Stocker – presuming Stocker was the “guy who went down…”

    –Is anybody else worried that they had Brightwell working at MLB while Wirginis was out? Brightwell is still listed as only 210 pounds – not the body you’d like to see at MLB. Might mean we are going to be in big trouble if Wirginis has to miss any time…

    –Funny how “narratives” get going about the player and have a life of their own. A case in point is Mr. Clark. Yes, he’s had a crazy career path up til now, but he obviously has skills. And I don’t think a TE has to be massive to be a decent blocker in college. Clark is listed as 6-6 and 255 pounds. Hell, look at Jessie James who somehow plays TE for the Steelers at 6-7 and 260 pounds. Pass catching TEs can be an awesome weapon in college ball.

    Go Pitt.


    1. I like it because it gives us more speed if we switch to a 4-2-5 along with giving someone the experience (albeit practice) calling plays and getting guys situated.


  10. Why is the Pitt athletic department always a cluster F?

    I thought Gallagher was bringing stability everywhere with his great smile and charm?

    Hopefully Lyke learned a lot during her time at Ohio State because these constantly poor decisions can’t continue. Just in this decade alone Pitt has fired Wanny, hired Haywood, hired Graham, hired Moose, kept Smiley, hired Barnes, pushed out Dixon, hired Stallings. Geezus is that pathetic or what?


  11. I heard a comment by Narduzzi the other day and haven’t read any mention of it. When asked who he would put out onto the hardwood floor as his starting five basketball team from his current roster? First name rolled off his tongue without thinking?? Dane Jackson. I found this really interesting.


      1. from his Pitt bio: Jackson also starred in basketball at Cornell, averaging 28 points per game in earning Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Class A honors as a senior…scored a Cornell single-game record 51 points in a 92-63 win against Rochester.


        1. FWIW, a first round draft pick this year will be OSU DB Malik Hooker. Hooker was known more for his basketball in high school, leading New Castle to state title in top level a few years back.


  12. I still don’t know why everyone thought Gallagher was going to ride in on a white horse and save Athletics at Pitt. I never felt that way.

    He’s been nothing but a public servant egghead for his whole career before coming to Pitt so what made anyone think that he had any idea of what college athletics was about anyway.

    Prior to his installation at Pitt in 2014, Gallagher spent more than two decades in public service. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While in this role, Gallagher also served as acting deputy secretary of commerce until leaving for Pitt in the summer of 2014.

    Just because he talked a big game and said he was going to spend more money for some reason everyone fell all over him and I still to this day can’t figure it out. If I had a nickel or every time a Pitt fan says “Gallagher gets it!!” then I’d be a rich man by now. Yet I cannot understand or find one reason at all that would make me think he has the skills or the knowledge to be a successful Chancellor as far as active athletic programs go.

    By the way Nordenberg was much more interested and involved in athletics then the fans think. I’d say he was more interested in Gallagher has been so far

    The only thing Gallagher has done really, and it’s a good thing, is that he fired Steve P. But Narduzzi’s hire, just as Barnes and Stallings was done, was by search committee and by the BoT approval… the Chancellor had very little to do with either of those.

    Gallagher is treetops and is still acting like the Senior Executive Service person he was for so long.


    1. Gallagher got brownie points for pushing the Athletic Department to bring back the script. Common sense move, yes, but it took 15 years to find someone who possessed this level of common sense.


    2. possible correction …. don’t believe Stallings’ hire was by committee. Barnes used the same consultants that recommended him to Pitt, and then only interviewed KS


    1. Frank – I believe a team has to have a winning record to get an invite to the NIT and the ACC does not allow it’s teams to play in the CBI.

      If Lyke could find a way to hire a top notch wrestling coach, we can look forward to that sport when FB season ends. So far, she has swung and missed twice with very good candidates turning down the job.


  13. Reed, I think your read on the BB situation is mostly incorrect.
    It seems to me (as Ike states) the only D1 quality guy left was Cam. He is a big loss. But most likely KS didn’t want all the bench riders back because, well they clearly did not have D1 ability (Luther does and it appears he’s staying). Hence, KS had to make room for his recruits, which appear to be an upgrade from the lesser guys who are gone. Time will tell for sure.


  14. I think it’s more than a little unfair to blame the sad state of affairs in the BB program on Stallings. He inherited a mess from his predecessor who seemed to completely lose his ability to recruit the last 3-4 years and left the team with a roster full of stiffs and rockthrowers.


    1. They were an NCAA tournament team last year that lost to a higher seeded Sweet 16 team by 4 and returned 6 or their top 7 scorers. That’s hardly a mess.

      Dixon recruited Cam Johnson 3 years ago. Last year’s class is on Stallings. Those guys all asked for their release after Dixon left and Stallings “saved” the class. He could have let them all walk and recruited other players.

      The class two years ago was 3 grad transfers, which kind of made sense with only JR returning, and Damon Wilson (a consensus four star with many offers from SEC and ACC schools). Rowan bailed.

      Stallings recruited Jeter and Kithcart while at Vanderbilt. He can’t walk away from that.


      1. Okay but only two of those six scorers were really any good, and just framing it in terms of offensive production obscures the fact that there were gaping holes in the lineup at center and both guard positions. I can’t see how that isn’t on Dixon. As for Wilson, not sure how much credit you can give JD for landing a 4 star kid who turns out not to be any good and rides the bench under two different coaching staffs (both desperate for better guard play) and then transfers.

        Sorry, but I stick by the mess comment.


        1. It was not a mess. A team that lost by a point to a very good Wisconsin team in the NCAA Dance is not a mess.

          Kevin Stallings has created a mess…no not a mess but a Dumpster Fire.

          Jamie Dixon was and is a class act. Kevin Stallings is a passive/aggressive disaster.



  15. Reed, I don’t think anyone else mentioned it but I loved the Rockports shoe ad strategically placed by the portion of your article discussing Pitt basketball…well played , lol!


  16. Why is our Athletics Department in such a mess? Will Lyke be a heavyweight or Lykeweight? Pitt needs to clean house in that department much like what KS is doing with the B-ball team. I just dont have faith in KS that ‘his’ players will generate anything more than mediocre records in the ACC. I also dont see how the community or students can rally behind him given his personality and lack of charm.


  17. I saw that too but I related it to how much Rockports gets dropped by everyone (Upitt are you getting a kickback?) and the site is able to pick up on words, phrases, etc. for targeted advertising.


    1. If that is what happened, Ted, that is hilarious. We talk about the AD department needing to raise money. Welcome to the ROCKPORT EVENT CENTER!


  18. The sky isn’t falling, Narduzzi did something Fraud and cheese head couldn’t do win 8 games. Narduzzi is a good coach, so he doesn’t kiss the media’s rear ends.

    Stallings will get 2 more seasons if he can’t win he is out. The kids who left were marginal players at best, regarding Johnson he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild that’s his reason for transferring I wonder where he winds up? An established power in the ACC or PSwho? Buttgers?


  19. Again, little word on second scrimmage.
    Hard to generate enthusiasm around the city when mum is the word.
    Time for Lykes to pull out all the stops and invite me and some POVers to a practice or two.


  20. It always is and always has been about management!!! Look at the history of the Steelers, Pens and Patriots…. when it comes to mananagimd at PITT .. we phucking SUCK the hind tit… GROW a SET of BALLZZZ.. fire DickSock shoe salesman Stallingz and hoe the coach of that
    small Catherlic school called Gonzaga… Jamie D will be in the sweet 16 next year and playing for NC in 4 years because of ” good msnagement!!!” Even my best buddy on the planet ,UPitt, will refer to him as Ur Heiness and not “Skunkhead!” What say you FRANKCAN?


  21. A few typos and spellchecks… go figure .. Watching the 👠 Heels and its Manahatten ” Happy Hour!!!”


  22. I agree Bernie – He got no support from that watermelon headed 8 wife having turd Herman.


  23. Yeah… who can forget the GT game where DJ the 5* getting the start as a freshman and getting humiliated. Recruiting 3* when you have the opportunity to develop them over a period of 2-3 years is no problem. And let’s get real… Carter Warren and Jerry Drake are not your typical 3* recruits. They both had major offers.

    TE is an issue. Clark injured… not good.

    Pitt admin killed Pitt basketball. Second time in my lifetime they did it – and like in football – when they put an effort into killing a program they are pretty darn good at it.


    1. Clark might be one of these five-star guys who busts out. Good move getting the Rutgers’ transfer and hopefully one of the true freshmen is ready to play this season. I hope a tight end’s redshirt isn’t burned for blocking only like Nate Byham’s was in 2006.


  24. Herman: Allow me to grab a bag of ^%#^%$&^%, lite it ablaze, and torch your precious front porch, all for $650K per.
    I don’t understand why people hate Smugs more than Herman.
    Both similarly revolting.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. PITT is firmly a football school now without question. Some schools drift between football and basketball. Take South Carolina for instance. They were a football school when they had the Old Ball Coach; now it appears they are a basketball school. Go figure.


    1. Enjoy Pitt football having high level support for 4 or 5 more years at most …when Narduzzi packs his bags for larger pastures then it will be same old mediocrity for a decade or two once again. The history is there.


  26. The thing that kills me about the Stallings situation is that once again Pitt has kicked it’s most loyal fans and supporters in the teeth.

    The average basketball fan could give a crap – they will have their Steelers and Pens and Pirates to think about. They will wait 3 or 4 or 6 years until Pitt BB is good again and jump back on the band wagon without a second thought.

    What Barnes and Stallings have done to the BB program in one short year is nothing less than agony to the die hard Pitt fan, and a slap in the face to alums and donors because we care…

    And because the BoT and powers that be know we will cry complain swear and then bend over and take it because we have the heart and the tenacity and we are the steel that is Western PA.



  27. Pulled this paragraph from a Trib article from last night by DiPaoli and Gorman –

    “Stallings, who was unavailable for comment Saturday, wanted to build his team around Johnson. Instead, Johnson is graduating this month with a degree in communications and can play immediately for his new school, with two years of eligibility remaining. Because he has fulfilled his obligation to Pitt, there are no restrictions on where the Moon native can transfer.”

    I will root for Cam and hope he develops his game to play at the next level. I just hope it’s not with another ACC team, psu or wvcc.

    There are a lot of winning programs out there, Pitt used to be one…


  28. Tommymac, I only would add that we were not kicked in the teeth but the gonads…really hard. I never understood the shortsighted approach of not giving the thousands of “little guys” that give $1000 or less any voice at all. Changing seats every year based on total points (heavily weighted toward cash as opposed to qualitative measures like bringing other fans and their friends and children into the Pitt community by giving them access to the product. My hope is that the new AD can instill a cultural change that will impact at least on how we are treated as loyal Pitt fans.


  29. Dad says nothing to do with Stallings, but Cam had the opportunity to be Big Man on Campus and would rather start over somewhere else. Obviously wants a coach that can improve his Pro Prospects.With two more years in the weight room and an improving skill set he has a good shot. Smart to leave a team that is going to finish in the cellar. No need to stay on a team where he would be double and triple teamed.

    His Dad and a shoe company will help him find the best opportunity.

    Luther is the last of the local players at Pitt.


  30. If anyone thinks Stallings “got rid” of four players in any way shape or form they are lying to themselves. Those kids walked down the gangway off a sinking ship.


  31. Reed, nice reference to Chief’s Cafe. I think Chief’s is the only watering hole left in Oakland that I frequented in the early 70s. Spent many a night there sucking down 25 cent drafts and eating hard boiled eggs with Norm and Red. Every fall Norm would ask: “haven’t you graduated yet?” A true Oakland landmark.


        1. He was from North Braddock. He still hangs out with a guy named Norm. He was actually an original member of the Iron City HouseRockers.


  32. What do you think cam’s Dad is gonna say. This coach is a moron?? He is a jerk? Some people believe everything they read. If his Dad says anything bad he and Cam are labled by the fraternity that take care of each other. Remember all the coach speak aboit Stallings adter games? LOL. A JV Coach is better than Stallings at Monesson.


    1. +1 No college athlete ever says anything bad about a coach until many years later when that stage of their life is fulfilled. They know the game, play the good old boy fraternity’s game so they don’t get labeled as whiners or oddballs when they go pro, and keep quiet.

      We may hear about the real reasons in 10 years…but don’t hold your breath, their are not too many Jim Bouton’s out there.


  33. In my humble opinion the wrestling HC hire is the canary in the coal mine for all Pitt athletics. Pitt can easily be a top ten wrestling school if it commits to achieving that. With BB in the pathetic situation it’s in making headway in wrestling would show Pitt’s commitment to athletics. Of course, it’s not the solution but it would demonstrate a willingness to spend money on sports.


  34. What I dont understand is how many say Pitt cant fire KS now. Nobody would come here. But theres a new sheriff in town. She didnt hire this bozo. Theres a new culture in the department. It looks far worse if KS stays and does irreparable damage to the brand and sets Pitt back a decade. Fire him now. Find a young coach with a high ceiling. A coach for the next 20 years. If KS stays, we will have half empty Petes and our brand will suffer. He wont be able to recruit and we will become worse than BC. He’s dead man walking. Speed up his exit from Pitt. He had his chance and failed. ‘His’ players wont produce different results. Its only a terrible excuse.


  35. I have a pair of Rockports in my closet. I plan on taking a Crap in those shoes and then setting them on fire. Because Pitt is a Rockport Fire right now. Its a smelling hot mess and will only get worse the longer this turd stays around. I apologize for the language but I plan on going through with it.


  36. Erie — it would an incredible kick in the gonads if Cam J transfers to . . . . Duquesne!

    Larry V — you really don’t want to go into Chief’s Cafe these days. Down and out and scary. During my years at Pitt and before and after, I hung my hat at Taylor’s — Billy, Saul and Lois. Two cheeseburgers and a Rolling Rock for a buck, and keep the change.

    TX Panther — Pitt is in a real bind with regard to firing Stallings. Yes, they should. No, they can’t. It is now State budget time. And a publicly supported university buying out the five years left on the Stallings contract would go over like the proverbial lead balloon in Harrisburg


    1. Creepy Valley can milk the taxpayers to protect themselves from rape victims but Pitt can’t fire a basketball coach…something is wrong here.


  37. A few points:
    1) Depth issue on OL is also attributed to some injuries, Mike Grimm, Alex Paulina as well as Zack Williams not making it to campus. Anyone know why Zack never made it, let us know.
    2) Concern about OL depth premature at this point, Brandon Ford, Tony Pilato, Jerry Drake, Justin Morgan, Carter Warren, Gabe Houey, Owen Drexel, have a bright future.
    3) Herman Munster was a bad hire, who then made another bad hire in Stallings (Hell, Duquesne’s new coach is better than this self righteous moron). Remember he called us noise and took off the first chance he could. Gallagher must be held accountable for this fiasco!
    4) Basketball can always be rebuilt much quicker, just look at GT, voted to not win a game in ACC this year and made to NIT final. Vandy got rid of their coach, we get stuck with the douche, and they hired the coach I and many others wanted for PITT. New AD Heather must understand these issues and has her work cut out for her.
    5) The Duzz is the real deal!


  38. Basketball can be turned around quickly with the right coach. All it takes is a good coach and 1-2 elites. Football takes multiple good coaches and at least 2-3 elites on each side of the ball.


  39. I’m going to drop off those burning Rockports full of dung at the A&M fan next door. He’ll blame it on the Longhorn fan next to him.


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