Here is that bit from Facebook I talked about – Craig is a witty guy so I can deal with that – the reference to the movie Airplane is pretty funny. The other crack about the donations bothered me a bit though…
Last year we ran 868 rushing (542) and passing plays (324) from scrimmage. Our run:pass ratio was 62% run and 38% pass.
Funny that Narduzzi thinks we’ll pass more. Either he thinks Browne is better than I do of he worries a bit about our RBs/OLs.
I think its more that there are concerns about our running game.
Here is that article on 2017’s “Breakout Players” where Chawntez Moss is mentioned. I’m hoping Browne or Hendrix or Ziese or Clark or Watts, etc… fills that role. We have other RBs.
Also the Sporting News has a composite preseason Top 25 listing – Pitt isn’t on it as we pretty much figured (it is the post-season rankings that count) but we do make it at #24 on Sporting News’ Top 25. We play three teams on the composite list – PSU, OKSU and Miami.
Here is an ESPN piece comparing the ACC teams to stocks: Pitt is a “hold”;
Pitt. Hold. The Panthers have yet to name a starting quarterback, though most believe it will be USC transfer Max Browne. But beyond quarterback, there are reasons for hope: depth at running back, Jester Weah at receiver and a rebuilding offensive line that should hold its own. The bigger questions remain on a defense that struggled through large parts of last season. Who picks up the sack slack with Ejuan Price gone? Can Jordan Whitehead return to form? Is Damar Hamlin the superstar people thought in high school?
Speaking of donations: From The Pitt News in April 2016:
With the second-largest alumni base in the ACC, Pitt has potential for high donor engagement. But given Pitt’s 300,000 living alumni, athletic donations are meager — the University’s athletic donor engagement rate is the second lowest in the ACC, according to Pitt Athletics spokesperson E.J. Borghetti.
In 2015, 25,062 alumni donated a total of $29,260,124 to the University overall. Out of those 25,062 people, 8,000 donated to the athletic department.
The engagement rate was about 2.6 percent last year, close to half the average percentage for ACC donor engagement, Athletic Director Scott Barnes said at a town hall meeting in January. The number of alumni donors at Pitt has decreased every year since 2012, when 25,728 people donated to the University.
And from the Trib’s Jerry DiPaola:
It was one of Barnes’ first days on the job, but he prioritized a June breakfast with two Pitt donors, Dr. Mark Duca and Patrick A. Gallagher, CEO of Monaca-based PGT Trucking (no relation to Pitt chancellor Patrick D. Gallagher).
Duca, Gallagher and boosters like them are important cogs in the athletic department, providing significant financial support for multi-million dollar facilities and projects. They have the ear of chancellor Gallagher and the friendship of prominent coaches such as Pat Narduzzi and Jamie Dixon. Booster Sammie D’Agostino, for instance, spoke frequently with Dixon between the end of the season and Monday, the day Dixon resigned.
They can be found at home and away games. Some have standard courtside tickets for basketball games. One booster who wished to remain nameless offers his private jet for athletic department VIPs and coaches for recruiting purposes.
These high-rollers carry clout. But don’t think they had a say in Narduzzi’s hiring a little more than a year ago or who the next men’s basketball coach will be.
D’Agostino said boosters have no role in hiring coaches.