O’Neill is Gone Also


December 15, 2017

 Statement from Pitt Offensive Tackle Brian O’Neill:
After careful consideration over the last few weeks, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft. I do not take this decision lightly; therefore, I took an extensive amount of time discussing the situation with my family and coaches. Ultimately, I believe this is the best course of action to achieve my ultimate goal.

“Looking back on the past four years, I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the world. As an incoming freshman, I was welcomed with open arms into this team, school and community. I am extremely proud to have earned my degree and will always call the University of Pittsburgh home.

“I am forever grateful to a number of individuals instrumental in my development as a player and person. Coach Narduzzi and Coach Peterson’s support and guidance has been incredible. I am truly appreciative for them and all my teammates and coaches. Additionally, I maintain a special appreciation for Coach Dave Andrews, Coach Dave Bucar and Mark Diethorn. I will never be able to thank all the people who have helped me throughout the past several years, but their support does not go unnoticed.

“Moving forward, there is nothing more important to me than representing my family, teammates, coaches, and this great University in a first-class manner. The entire Pittsburgh community has been great to me – thank you!

A Long Look Back at Pitt’s history and its Athletics.

This article is written by a friend of mine who prefers to remain anonymous. Rest assured that his history with, and knowledge of, the inner workings of the University are such that his word is solid and match much of what I know about the earlier years of the University also.

The article by Notrocketscience on the apathy of Pitt Alumni was timely for those who wonder about the commitment to building loyalty. Perhaps not so good in timing with LOI Day approaching as rival coaches and family members who would prefer not to have the athlete sign with Pitt relishing any negativity.

I’d like to offer some commentary regarding the Pitt Alumni. I’ve been a Pitt fan for 63 years. I go back to when my cousins played for Pitt, and I got to know members of the 1955 and 1956 Pitt bowl teams. I later shared a hospital room with a Pitt football captain, so players and coaches were constantly there. I’ve also had cousins and a brother-in-law who were professors at Pitt. So, there is a little family and personal affiliation with the University other than just my undergraduate degree.

If you don’t mind me going back before most of you readers were born, let me recount some of Pitt’s history.

People forget or are unaware of Pitt’s history as a private university until the financial repercussions of Chancellor Litchfield’s massive effort to turn Pitt into an Ivy League member. He spent lavishly to build new facilities while hiring away top professors from other institutions. That was an exciting and challenging time for Pitt.

Daresay we even looked down on Penn State as just a state party school for applicants who couldn’t muster the SAT’s required at Pitt. No one thought of West Virginia other than on the football field. Ohio State and Michigan were not nearby, so they seldom were a factor in the area. Pitt had many New York City area students and sadly too few African-American students. It was such a different time as we went through the fifties and sixties with the cultural and civil right changes.

Continue reading “A Long Look Back at Pitt’s history and its Athletics.”