As all college fans do after LOI Day has come and gone we are parsing each bit of info we can to either praise a recruiting class or, on the other hand, wonder why it isn’t better. Obviously you can count me, and many other Pitt fans in that latter camp.  While I do not think this is a bad class… I have to say that I’m disappointed in it.

One of the reasons listed by Pitt fans over and over again for the drop in recruiting is that the lower quantity of high school talent in the local area has hindered getting quality recruits out of Pitt’s historical recruiting footprint of WPA.  That may well be true. What the fans don’t talk much about is that Penn State and other schools have been kicking our ass so heavily in getting WPA recruits it’s like we are looking at the caboose of a departing recruitment train.

As follows that we read comments all the time that say head coach Pat Narduzzi needs to expand his recruiting efforts southward, into SEC territory mostly, to maximize the talent pools available there.  I’ll agree with that also.

What most Pitt fans don’t realize though is that he’s been doing just that already and at a large pace – the problem is that he’s just not doing as well as we need him to at getting those southern recruits onto campus for their official visits and hence their verbal commitments.  Here is some very interesting info in regards to this subject that I crunched from the Pitt Offers Sheet we have been looking at over the last week.

In looking at offers to Southern states I included NC, SC, TN, MS, AL, GA, and FL in that listing and created a chart (below) to show how many 4* and 5* offers we had out in total and then to those southern states’ recruits… along with the total and southern 3* offer numbers also.

What came out is very interesting to me – Narduzzi has been recruiting the hell out of the South – it has been a large percentage (a total of 32%) of our scholarship offers over the last three years considering it is a relatively small area as opposed to the rest of our recruiting areas east of the Mississippi.

Southern Offers

Again what we see here is pretty much what I had shown in an article last week about Narduzzi’s success with Blue Chip recruits across the board – we have tons of offers out to the southern recruits but can’t get as many of them on campus for official visits as we’d like.  A .02% official visits effected isn’t going to cut it if we truly do need to heavily expand our recruiting base southward to be successful as fans are saying.

Now and that said, Pat Narduzzi has been very good at getting those who do visit to sign on with Pitt – a 19 of 26 for 73% signing rate aint bad at all… very well done actually.  As a matter of fact that beats the overall success rate he has for all recruits taking official visits.  Unfortunately only one of those southern kids has been a 4* recruit – RB Anthony Davis out of Lakeland Fl.

One note on the chart above – Narduzzi’s total number of blue chip offers per year is interesting.  He went from a total of 155 in ’16 to 193 in ’17 then rolled back to only 105 for this recruiting class… but notice that the percentage of offers going to southern players jumped to a high of 38% when doing so.  Also, with that percentage jump he was a bit better at getting them on-campus.

I agree that Pitt needs to really get entrenched into the south for recruiting.  That is easier said than done though.  The reason Wannstedt was so successful at it was that he had previously been the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and on Jimmy Johnson’s staff at Miami U. when they won their championships and as such his name recognition was high in Florida.  Especially helpful was that as a staff coach for Miami he recruited Florida’s hotbed areas and thus knew the HS coaches down there still.

That isn’t the case with Narduzzi so he and his staff need more money to go longer distances  for longer periods of time to really get established there.  I wonder if that is possible on the budget that he has to work with at present.

Recruiting isn’t an easy thing to do at Pitt in any time or for any HC really. We have tons of competition for the tri-state area players already and have historically been handcuffed in terms of money for recruiting.

But it has to get better and quickly for us to be a successful winning program and compete for ACC championship games. That won’t happen if the recruiting stays at this level – it just won’t. We need southern kids that’s true – but we need blue chip kids from anywhere we can get them and that hasn’t been happening enough over the past two classes.

Let’s get back to 7-8 wins and pry more money out of the Pitt AD for recruiting… and we’ll keep our fingers crossed the best of the best recruits, from wherever they reside, get interested in playing at Pitt again.


150 thoughts on “Pitt’s Recruiting & Geographical Targeting

  1. Great post, Reed. As I mentioned on the previous thread, it Pitt could just grab a few of the top West. PA recruits each year and focus on other areas like Ohio, NY, Florida, Texas, NJ, Del and Maryland, they would be better off. There will always be a few good players that want to stay close to home, and Pitt should go after them only if they meet the recruiting standard (unless they want to come as a walk on). Pitt should do better in the ACC footprint since players can get home or have family see them play maybe once a season. We don’t really see Pitt competing much in ACC areas except Florida. Pitt should be taking players from BC. One other benefit of recruiting local kids is that PN can see them play very early when they are Freshmen or Sophomores in HS. This is a low cost way to identify top talent early and make early offers.


  2. As usual, a lot of good data and it is hard to argue any points.

    Here is the list of 4-stars Wanny got from FL: Conredge Collins

    That was his very first 4-star and it likely came about because father Tony played for him when he was an assistant for the Dolphins. Otherwise, the most southern 4-star was DC (Tucker). Most of Wanny’s 4-stars were from PA, followed by NJ and NY (with much help from Hafley I’m sure) Mustakas and Romeus were 2-stars. Sheard and a host of others were 3-stars. (and btw, the 08 class also had six 4-stars — all from WPa except Holley who was from eastern PA)

    Having said that, there is no doubt getting 4-stars benefits a program …. and the more, the better, and especially from FL, GA or TX. Absolutely no argument here


  3. I saw on some recruiting lists that PSU was ranked #4 in the country for this recruiting class. I sure hope that isn’t true!!!! Can anyone validate or hopefully disprove that #4 ranking because I can’t stand those Cult followers in nowhere PA!


    1. I saw #5 but you could well be right. The fact is that Franklin can recruit with the best of them. Rivals rankings:

      2017: 12
      2016: 21
      2015: 15
      2014: 24

      and you have to remember that there were sanctions in 2014, and PSU didn’t come back into prominence until 2016


  4. really a tough job to recruit to pitt right now. Narduzzi has done fairly well in my opinion. The frustration for me was some of the wpial misses over the last few years. There are fewer good players in the wpial and we need to lock what’s left down.


      1. This is what he admitted when he said he was ‘disappointed” regarding the 2017 class. Not that he was disappointed in the whole class but that he has missed on the best of the WPA kids (for the most part.

        (Guess Who?)


  5. Franklinstein has an advantage of not only Creepy Valley State’s huge football budget and an administration that is TOTALLY COMMITTED to football. But also he was HC at a Southern U, that being Vanderbilt.

    So he not only gets that benefit of having already made recruiting ties thruout the southeast, he also gets the benefit as Pedo State known as a winning program that goes to big bowl game.

    Pitt is known as a middling program that goes to bowls like the Kumquat Bowl, the Pizza Bowl and other 3rd rate bowls, that we all know and love (jk).


  6. PSU will always(I hate using that word) kick our ass on recruiting. How in the he** do you expect us to complete against a “state named school” that sells out each game with over 100K plus fans and has an unbelievable game day atmosphere at their on campus stadium? You really don’t have to be an alumnus of PSU to root for the team. Just by being born and raised in Pennsylvania gives them a home town advantage to each and every citizen of the state. So folks lets get over trying to compete against PSU and OSU and ND(almost any baptized Roman Catholics 1st or 2nd choice) in Pa. when it comes to their favorite team.—-Pitt’s best selling point should be a chance to play early which Narduzzi I’m sorry to say is taking away because of his desire to play experience over talant. And to a small degree Pitt’s association and connection to with the Steelers practice facility gives us a slight advantage in some recruits eyes. Absent those two points the only other advantage might be some major a recruit desires to advance his studies in that the other big names don’t offer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jrn good comment and you are correct. In the same vein, PSU arguably has less competition in its ‘close to home’ recruiting turf. Draw a big circle with State College PA at the center… Bring the circle up around Buffalo and Boston, down around NYC Philly and Balt, back over to Pitts up to Erie then back to Buffalo. Not a ton of competition from the schools located within that circle.. Pitt, Buffalo, Uconn BC, Rutgers Temple and Maryland are not nearly as committed to football as PSU. Yes other schools come in – ND Michigan – and take kids. But there is a ton of population centers to recruit from for PSU that are close to home. And they are the big dog within this circle.

      Do the same exercise in Florida and Texas and there is more home grown competition per capita (Also more talent in Fla and TX).

      Point is that PSU has one of the least competitive home recruiting areas from the other schools within the area in the nation.

      We (Pitt) need to make inroads and change that a little.


  7. Pitt blew it 7 years ago, and we’re never going to get that opportunity again.

    They have nobody to blame but themselves. But they really don’t care. And maybe we shouldn’t either.


  8. I can agree that if Pitt had a recruiting class like this year’s class every year it is hard to see them winning a national championship. But that does not mean they could not win 9 or 10 games, win the ACC Coastal Division and get lucky and win an ACC Championship. 4 stars matter but a class full of 5.7 stars that meets the needs of the team that has a quality QB is adequate for a well coached team to win 9 or 10 games provided we don’t play a top 10 difficult schedule.

    Do I think this is likely to happen? No. Why? Because I am not impressed with our HC and our OC’s game performance capabilities. And our schedule is baked in the cake already.

    I have a few minor disagreements with our POV leader but I easily admit the dude was spot on criticizing our HC and DC for the atrocious defense we put on the field for 2.5 years. Yes, PN got stuck with PC’s poor defensive players but he compounded that problem using a defensive scheme unfit for those players. And he was also spot on about MB and KP’s capabilities.

    And another thing, some fellow POVers recently commented how this coaching staff has a poor record of coaching up players. They may really be on to something with that. No coaching up, we aren’t going to win 10 games. And let’s face it, coahing up is a big part of coaching. It’s called “knowing what you are doing.”

    Still, I am not prepared to quit on our HC. One reason is I think he is a very good recruiter given the cards he has been dealt with. The other is that I see a coaching staff that has gotten stronger (I am encouraged to think our new DC may be a hidden gem). And we all know the defense got better last year as the season progressed (except for the UNC game). Even our OC has my certainty in his inadequacy being questioned with his fine game calling against Miami (not that fine that I am able to put his VT game goal line calling behind me).


    1. You’re first part about Pitt winning 9 or 10 games should be correct. I Should be.

      Heck Duke won 10 games in 2013 and 9 games in 2014, with less than sterling recruiting classes going back years.

      But then again Pitt has won 10 games once in 35 years, so maybe not 🙂


  9. Whatever Cornhole and Nerdball did in 15 years, they blew it all up….at the end of their tenures.

    There is a lesson in there to be learned…from these types of creeps.


  10. Reed, wouldn’t it be more accurate to compare % of Southern offers signed to southern offers? Bumps it up slightly, still stinks but apples to apples.


  11. Pitt can find 6-8 4 stars each year. It doesnt need 16 like the Pedos. But Pitt’s margin for error is less. Pitt needs to out coach those Nitters.

    But again, if you have good lines, a good QB and a playmaker or two on both sides of the ball, you can get to the ACC championship. Maybe once every 4-5 years for Pitt. I think thats realistic.

    Target NJ, OH, VA, MD and NC. And of course FL. One 4 star from each state is your quota. The days of relying on WPA are over.

    Takes time and money to make inroads at any school. I’m not sure the AD is giving out the money. But its her job to find it.


  12. Reality looks like this :

    Since 1964 (what is that, 54 years), Pitt has only finished the season ranked in the Top 20/25,
    **12 (Twelve) times.

    Our last appearance was almost a decade ago (2009).

    That is beyond worse than middling I suppose.


  13. The Hoopies finished higher ranked than us as well.

    And West Virginia (the state of) produces very little talent at all. I think i saw maybe 1 in the Rivals Top 250
    for 2017 & 2018.


    1. The hoopies class was ranked 33rd with 25 recruits (two 4* recruits from WPA – TE Banks and DB Raines).

      Pitt’s class was ranked 36th with 20 recruits.


  14. Some people here are saying Narduzzi has shown to be a good or very good recruiter, based on his “situation” at Pitt.


    He has been on par with the coach immediately before him and FAR behind the coach that was here just 7 years ago- in the same situation.
    In terms of recruiting ONLY, he’s far more like Chryst and Harris than he is Wannstedt, Gottfried, Fazio or Sherrill.


    These 11 power states, most of which lie in ACC and SEC territories, produced 76.4 percent of all top recruits in the last 10 years.

    We’re in the right conference for recruiting, now we just gotta hire some ppl who can do it.


    1. We’ll probably see the two vacant coaching positions filled with in house personnel who have zero connections to the areas you mentioned.

      That’s just stupid!


  16. PSU pretty much owns us in recruiting. Over the past 13 years we have had better ranked classes only three times:

    2007 – Pitt #21 PSU # 26

    2008 – Pitt # 28 PSU # 43 and

    2012 – Pitt # 47 PSU # 52 (scandal limits)

    Over those 13 years PSU averaged 26th and Pitt averaged 42nd.

    EMel – I think we are one of three teams that have never had less than 3 losses since 1985 (or thereabouts) also. Look, everyone with half a brain knows what constraints we are under at Pitt – they are well documented and constant. However, some coaches do rise above that mediocrity and win more games – and do it by recruiting well.

    In the last two decades Harris overcame some real problems and did OK with 8 & 9 win seasons. DW was a good example also with 9, 10 & 8 wins in a row… PC has done it also… but if we are honest it really appears he did it with talent left behind by Paul Chryst, especially on offense.

    That is why i and others worry about these last two classes… because he’s not getting the heavy hitters Pitt needs to grab the bigger winning seasons.

    Time will tell of course but I truly believe the fan’s surrounding Narduzzi, the program and the immediate future teams is well founded at this point.


    1. Yep for sure Reed, which is why I harp sometimes on all matters relating to Pitt’s administrators.

      We(or They) are our own worst enemy.

      And any time we get things going good, they blow it all up.


    2. What is the record on the field in that time frame?

      Pitt 1 psux 1

      The game prior to your time frame was in 2000 when Pitt won 12-0

      Does that mean Pitt owns psux in play on the field?


  17. Recruiting 4’s would be whole heck of lot easier, if we signed a couple EARLY in the process.

    Other 4’s like to play with other top ranked kids. You sign 1 or 2 early, and more would come.

    Or at least you would have a better shot at adding more.


  18. Moose at Wisky has four 4* recruits committed already for the 2019 class. Going 13-1 regardless of the competition surely helps. Moose also received a bump in pay – now earning $3.3 million per year with $100,000 annual bumps in his current contract.

    Winning matters, of course.


  19. Winning does NOT matter. I think it’s far more impactful to say to recruits, “Sure we lost SEVEN times. But, did you see our strength of schedule?! Impressive, huh?!”


    1. Gallagher to the recruits: “Sure we lost seven times, but we’re into health care and winning on the football field will jeopardize our hospitals.”


  20. Funny thing … you know what was one of the teams that the 10-win Duke team in 2013 lost to? Pitt

    and the following year when it won 9 games, Pitt should have won … but Bluett blew it

    But Pitt did beat them the last 3 years


  21. Obvious that some comments get lost in translation, we all do it. Case in point, that it is said on the POV that losses do not matter. This includes the now infamous two bowl game losses. I’ve probably have read somewhere around 95% of the comments the past couple years and I have never read anything that sounds like a loss is no big deal or OK.

    Easy to see we all watch PITT football games in our own way. Not to rehash the realist theme one more time so I’ll make this quick. One will look at a loss and point out that it is a loss. << Something we all know. One will look at a loss and say they stunk and it ruined the off season and the third may look at a loss and say but there were circumstances out of PITT’s control that contributed to the loss. Point is, nothing above suggests that losing is OK. We all come at it from different perspectives. << It’s called being a fan . . .ike


  22. I wanted to include above: That the same goes when trying to break down a recruiting class. We all see it in a different light. I’ll guarantee you this though. We all will be right on certain players and we will all be wrong on some. Why? Because we are guessing and that is the reason why we are not asked for out opinions by the REAL coaches. Even the experts are wrong all the time.. ike


  23. EJ Borghetti@PittBorghetti

    Ways Pitt people have changed the world:
    Curing Polio
    Discovery of Vitamin C
    Built world’s first academic skyscraper
    Desegregated the Sugar Bowl
    First female official in the NBA

    Hey EJ, how about inventing the Nerf ball? (Fred Cox)


        1. I’m looking at Rivals. Only the top 4 in the state in 2019 are 4’s. There are more 4’s from many single HS’s in Texas. Pitt cannot rely on PA. And thank goodness Pitt didnt this year. But we did lose 2 4’s to the Hoopies this year though. Under Wanny that would never happen.

          But I do see some good 3’s in this class that could get a bump to a 4 and Pitt would have a solid chance. Of course you need to wait for these recruits to get a Penn State offer. At that point, they automatically become a 4 star.


  24. The Dukes are getting worse as the season goes on as well.

    Duquesne got lost in a stunning reversal of fortune Saturday at Palumbo Center.

    The 80-57 loss to Fordham, the last-place team in the Atlantic 10, was surprising enough. But here’s the backstory: Duquesne won at Fordham, 64-41, on Jan. 6.


    1. I didn’t see the Dayton game. I only saw the second half of the Fordham game. Duquesne didn’t do anything well today.

      Dayton shot 65%. Fordham shot 60%. In the St. Bonaventure game a kid went off for 40 points including 8-13 from the arc. Duquesne’s big guys played the high screen consistently badly against the Bonnies.

      There had been a fair amount of positive local media coverage prior to the losing streak. Perhaps it’s just coincidence. RMU has also fallen on some hard times.


  25. No word about attendance from Jerry DiPaulo….so it must have been minimal. Doesn’t good ole Jerry always note Pitt’s attendance.


  26. Here we go ESPN had it.

    A.J. Palumbo Center
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Line: DUQ -9.0Over/Under: 131

    Attendance: 2,871


  27. Michigan State, in a media release Monday, said a nationwide search will begin shortly for a permanent athletic director and that no internal candidates from MSU will be considered in the search process. -Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

    Rumors are getting stronger that Heather Lyke will be a serious candidate. Does that bode well for KS and bode bad for Pitt fans?


    1. I would personally open the door for Heather to leave.

      Then I’d go after Tressel. Pitt’s culture needs to change. He’s be the guy to do it. But then again the BoT would never allow it. The Nitters and career bureaucrats on the board want Pitt sports to wallow in mediocrity.


      1. TX – I’d jump at Tressel too. But, we got Heather Lyke instead.

        We’ll get a similar AD replacement again.


      2. They don’t want to be associated with any moral or ethical problems.

        That should come as no surprise to any Pitt fan.

        Jock Sutherland, Walt Harris, Wannstedt, Haywood, not hiring Bradley or Tressel, etc…

        This is the way Pitt does things and it isn’t going to change any time soon.


        1. they had the chance to hire Calipari in 03 but didn’t even consider him. It was the right decision IMO

          OK, queue the dissenters in 3 .. 2.. 1


          1. Pitt should have hired Calipari in 1999. He was fired I think before Willard so there was more time to talk about the job. Pitt was down in the dumps and so was John after the Nets fired him. He was an assistant with the 76ers in 1999-00 or 2000-01. No one was banging down his door amazingly considering what he did at UMass still should have been fresh in everyone’s mind.

            Calipari didn’t have his breakthrough season with Memphis until 2005-06, so if he was hired at Pitt I think he would have been there for 10 years. His UMass and Memphis teams for the most part were made up of Pitt type guys that Ben and Jaime built the program around.

            Calipari lucked into Camby at UMass and recruited Rose aggressively to Memphis. His coaching is top notch and look no further than his 1992 team that lost a close one to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. The Minutemen’s center was 6’7″ the power forward 6’3″ and the shooting guard made one three pointer the entire season and the team still went 30-5.

            It would have been special having Calipari coach Pitt from 1999 to the 2008-09 season. Now, if I had my druthers maybe I would have preferred Howland from 1999 to present or at least until 2015 or ’16.


        2. It’s unethical to cash conference checks and leave your fans hanging out to dry. Pitt should be demoted to the AAC and let another institution that takes sports more seriously in the ACC. I’m sure there are some out there just as good as Pitt is academically, which might be insulting to some Pitt grads but oh well.


  28. Narduzzi needs to make a photo copy of Tyler Boyds W2 tax form the past two versus the W2 tax form Robert Foster has received these past two tax seasons to help better recruit those that want to play early and enter the NFL draft after 3 years. You have got to use what you can versus the “Power 5 Powers” whenever you can. We all should know by now that taking any recruit to a 30,000 filed Heinz field and a 3/4 empty basketball arena we do little to sway any recruit to attend Pitt. Tyler Boyds W2 forms are a much better sales pitch for Pitt at this point in time IMO.


  29. It will be interesting if she goes but no big setback. Each AD at Pitt does the same things…talks a big game and nothing really changes.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she left though Pitt is certainly not a destination job for any athletic director.


  30. I agree Reed but still would like to see her to go just so I can read how much the next AD is just a puppet and plain terrible. Nobody wants to hear ” The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher


  31. Can someone knowledgeable please explain what a Preferred Walk-On (PWO) is? I have read about such kids in local media who are so excited to be granted such status. Is this really a big deal for a kid? Is there any benefit to such a kid? Training table? Health care? Chance to dress for or play in real games and not just practices? Any limits on how many a team is allowed? Liability to a university to have such players? Is this the only kind of walk-on allowed at Pitt or any NCAA school? Ashton was great for Pitt. Just an aberration? What’s in it for Pitt to have such players?


    1. I believe I read that a PWO is guaranteed a spot on the roster …. whereas a walk-on (off the street so-to-speak) can be sent packing.


  32. Reed, were there “moral or ethical” problems involving Coaches Sutherland, Harris? How about Gottfried? They had some success on the football field. The Darkest Hour was terrific. Oldham was as well. I liked Dunkirk too,


    1. Harris – stole the girlfriend of a big donor. Not Walt’s fault he pressed the right buttons. Winner: Walt.
      Loser: Walt because his ex-wife was a nice-looking lady.

      Gottfried: supposedly was banging the cheerleading coach. They weren’t doing it during games, so what is the issue? Gary Williams banged cheerleaders at a high rate at Maryland and the school won a title with him. Winner: Gottfried and Gary.

      Wannstedt: the famed SI article. Well, not really famed since SI even then was a joke of a magazine. The fact that most Pitt fans think the article covered all D-1 teams and not just the preseason top 25 teams just shows how pathetic the article was and how idiotic Pitt fans, Nordy and Smiley are since the article didn’t even register outside of Oakland. Winner: Wannstedt for being a Pitt guy. Loser: always the Pitt administrators.


    2. I think its morally wrong that Pitt puts out an awful product and expects fans to pay for it.
      Thats far more unethical than a coach banging a cheerleader coach.


  33. A few things:

    We all know the University has real image concerns. Like it or not that won’t change anytime soon.

    No one twists Pitt fans’ hands to buy tickets or be a fan of the team. Again, like it or not, that is the stance Pitt takes with athletics.

    I have been writing for seven years now that the only real reason Pitt is still in D1 football is that a major university is considered “less than” if they aren’t . I’ve been talking seriously about Pitt football with the principals of the University since my parents were alive back in the 60s & 70s and with Posvar and others before I left PGH and again when I moved back to the East Coast in ’98 and things have never changed.

    Knowing that makes my own fandom and the ensuing disappointments I have much easier to understand and deal with. Fans who believe that any Chancellor, or BoT, or AD or HC is going to change Pitt’s institutional attitude in this regard…or that things like an on-campus stadium will be built, etc…are deep into wishful thinking.

    How much drivel did we read about Gallagher being oh, so much more willing, able, dedicated (insert your own words here) to re-building the football program and ensuring “things will be different” with more tangible support? Yet he faded away from view soon after his hire and has given us two ridiculous ADs (maybe, jury is out on Lyke but don’t be surprise if she also bolts at the first opportunity)..and oversaw a borderline unethical hiring of the BB coach.

    Under Gallagher we just had the worse football season in 10 years and a bottom of the national barrel BB team and program.

    So, I’ll keep things in perspective and understand that the phrase “It is what it is” could have been created specifically for Pitt athletics.

    If we grab a 10 win season, or an ACC championship, it will be because of the hard work and smarts the HC, staff and the players put forth (whoever he and they might be) not because there were any great changes in the University’s attitude toward, and the handling of, the athletic department or football program.


  34. No one twisted my arm to buy season tickets for the last 17 years, but that didn’t stop Pitt from kicking me out of my seats to expand the student section. The jagoffs can’t give away tickets for free & they have the balls to evict a couple thousand paying customers.


  35. Pitt fans, it appears, have no relevance in the world of Pitt athletics.
    Why, then, do we contribute funds?
    A girl only had to turn me down about 30 times before i moved on…unless the po-po was involved and because of various stalking ordinances i was forced to move on more quickly.


  36. How in the world do chancellors, administrators, trustees come and go yet every one of them replaced refuse to let athletics thrive? These people retire and are replaced yet the mentality stays the same.

    So some chancellor in 1936 cut everything that made football successful and Sutherland leaves. Why then did those who were making decisions in 1982 decide to let Sherrill leave? Why does the attitude stay the same? It makes no sense yet it is real. Only at Pitt can things be discombobulated. Some alums sadly and stupidly think it is fine to be terrible in athletics. Poor reflection of a university regardless of what it is doing for the world.


    1. Sherrill got the first million dollar contract I believe. No way they were going to keep him.

      Don’t ever expect Pitt to change their fiscal behavior regarding sports, like an OCS it is never going to happen.

      They will never spend what it takes to be great again.

      Just have to hope we get lucky for a while until our coach leaves for greener pastures.

      The problem is most alumni and Pittsburghers don’t care enough to make a difference.


  37. I keep saying this but keep getting criticized …. and I have been saying it since Dec 2010. What the FB program needs is a HC who wants to be here and stay for along time …. like Beamer at VT or Nehlen at WVU. I know how impatient everyone here seems to be but stability and Pitt FB seems to be mutually exclusive.

    Yes, an OCS, a bigger budget, yada yada yada …. but stability is a reachable goal


    1. This is a good point Wbb, but HC stability also entails the other support mechanisms that we talk about..

      Salaries competitive for both the HC and core FB staff to stay and refuse higher money from other schools, enough recruiting $$ to travel enough to make up for less WPA HS talent, keeping the Southside facilities up to par with Top 25 school’s facilities, etc.

      I have said many times and I mean it, the season we see HCPN win 9 or 10 games will be his last at Pitt because he’ll get big money thrown at him and we’ll not match it.

      I don’t doubt for one second that Narduzzi’s just like almost every other HC who says tbh ‘love’s a school then makes a financial decision to leave.

      So yeah, long term stability in a HC would be great but it will still take the type of support from the admin that we fans have been complaining about for years doesn’t exist.


      1. Reed. I just wonder why you are so critical of Narduzzi’s recruiting given you are aware of what hes up against? The pitt stepping job narrative is another barrier he faces on the recruiting trail.


  38. I can buy whatever seats went unsold in 2017.

    Essentially I’m screwed. I have sent emails to the athletic dept in an attempt to change their minds & have encouraged others to do the same. I have zero desire to sit anywhere else & will likely never attend another game again if they follow through with moving me out of my seats.

    What they don’t realize is that people like where they sit. We build relationships with those who sit around us.

    They dropped this bomb on me via email on a Friday afternoon & the ticket office was closed by the time I read it. I also got an email from Lyke talking about the students being a big part of the atmosphere & how they helped in upsetting Miami.

    The students were onThanksgiving break & the student section was empty. That was fans such as myself cheering Pitt on that day. They thanked us by kicking us out so a bunch of young kids who don’t care can take selfies, sing sweet caroline, & leave in the 3rd quarter.


    1. I’d recommend moving over to section 131 where the band used to sit…basically switch sides with them. Nobody bought season tickets there last year, so you should have your pick of seats, and have a similar view to where you were last year. I sit in section 133, and it is nice to have the shade and not bake in the sun during the 2nd half of those warm games in September and October.


    2. BTW, you’re right on about the Miami game. It wasn’t the students as there were a total of about 50 students at that game…it was the 20-30k “core” of dedicated fans that are there almost every game, rain or shine. It was fun, it was loud, and it was not the student section. It was a small glimpse of what things could be (from many perspectives).


    1. My reference above was more about Wanny than Narduzzi, but even then, Wanny was under 500 his 1st 3 years before going 27-12. Beamer won 5 games total his 1st 2 years at VT.

      I really don’t know why people are so out-of-sorts because of a 5-win season especially since the team improved as the year went on (UNC notwithstanding). Once again, this season may have a rough start but if it does not show improvement this year, then I would agree there is a problem


      1. Good point – all three, Wanny, Beamer and Nehlen started slow. Nehlen was 6-6 in his 1st year.

        Nehlen also had (3) four win seasons; (2) with five wins; (3) with six wins and (4) with seven wins.

        His (Nehlen) bowl record was less than stellar at 4-9 over his 21 years at wvcc.

        Pitt should have hired a proven HC when Chryst left for Wisconsin. They didn’t – instead we got a DC with no HC-ing experience. We as fans are forced to watch as he learns to be a HC.

        Now, I Lyke the guy’s fire and how he motivates his players. And as Reed points out, he runs a fairly clean program. I’m willing to stick by HCPN as I believe he can be the stabilizer Pitt needs and I also believe he is loyal and could stick around.

        Given the records of Wanny, Beamer and Nehlen, winning is possible with Duzz.



        1. Since 1990 …. Walt was 52-44 (25-13 last years) and Wanny was 42-31 (27-12 last 3 years), and both were pushed out the door.. Everyone else finished 500 … and all were under 500 in their 3rd year.

          I have no idea what the current HC will do but, again, I just don’t get the impatience here given the program’s history


          1. Agree. Even if a coach has some success, the first down year that comes it is “fire him!”

            That mentality is so stupid and stupid is what defines Pitt when it comes to athletics.


          2. I get it because I was in school when Marino was QB. Pitt was really good back then and had a national identity as a winning FB program.

            Pitt has been irrelevant for far too long. If Wanny made better in game decisions, he could have been the savior. But, the administration would have broken that up due to the SI article anyways, I believe.

            Winning does not seem to matter to the Pitt administration, with a long history of evidence. But to most Pitt fans, winning does matter. Thus, when a Coordinator with no HC-ing experience is hired (twice in a row), patience wears thin.


  39. Probably should have reposted my demographic comment from the last thread on this one because recruiting is all about demographics.

    Similarly, we are getting to prime recruits too late. These kids are getting offers in 9th grade. By the time we get to them, most have been offered by the big programs and Pitt is playing catch up, which we haven’t been able to do. Pitt needs to rent space on the sunshine network to replay games on sunday morning in south florida to get our name out there! Billboards work! Sending our graduate football players into football programs in the south is also a benefit. That requires long term planning and of course….execution.

    Our current AD is under so much pressure to turn around an entire program and is struggling. She now finally understands the lack of “true” support from the Chancellor and the BoT to Pitt athletics, despite what they told her during the interview process.. That said, going to MSU from Pitt means job stability, why? Job security due to lowered expectations. At MSU, they are in crisis. When most people run from it, the truly opportunistic professionals run towards it. Our AD has nothing to lose going there. She would be the buffer AD for a longtime or until the MSU crisis blows over. In my opinion 4-6 years. She has everything to lose by staying here.

    I think preferred walk ons do not get a full 4 year schollie offer either. For instance, the schollie limit at any time is 85. For 2018, we are at 88 or 89. We need to have more attrition off the current roster due to the new recruits just signed. If after spring attrition we go down to 82, than three walk ons can be offered for the year. I might be wrong, but that seems to make sense. Since it makes sense however, it is probably wrong.


    1. Forget about the attrition needed for the walk ons as of right now we need attrition for the scholarships accepted by the recruits for this past week. As for the walk ons, my count is that now Pitt has 11 preferred walk-ons at this point in time. There will be a lot of needed movement from the current roster before any of these and past season walk ons get that scholarship offer.


  40. although some of these PWOs may contribute, they certainly shouldn’t be integral to the team make-up, let alone being the team’s leading tackler for 2 successive years. Don’t get me wrong … Idowu should be praised for his deeds but you would hope that the current young talent on defense will continue to improve


  41. A PWO means the player is guaranteed a roster spot on the 105 final roster. A regular walk-on means the players has to try out for a roster spot. I also think the PWO travels with the team although I’m sure of that. A walk-on may not travel to away games.

    So it seems that a regular walk-on may have a more difficult time making the final roster moving forward. Although a PWO may not and shouldn’t be an integral part of the team, ultimately most teams do end up with a player or two that becomes an important part of the final puzzle.

    I don’t know if these players are on any scouting service reports so this becomes the lost art of recruiting for the coaches out there digging around findings players to fill their rosters. ike


    1. I’m sure you are correct about the guaranteed roster spot but not so sure about the traveling aspect. I think that there are even some schollie players that do not travel to all games.


  42. The days of Walt and Wanny are long gone. Cash is king these days. Even then Wanny gave Pitt a huge home town discount. The difference between the haves and the have nots is huge. While I agree that stability is very important to winning especially at Pitt. Have we not seen that when we have a winning coach they leave for greener pastures, or they are pushed out by administrators for one reason or another. Johnny, Jackie, Ben and Jamie left to go home or for money. Canada, money. With Narduzzi, some think he isn’t good enough and some think when he is he will leave for the money.

    Stability is one thing, but you don’t get Saban, or Harbaugh on the cheap. Look at the salaries and the budgets for the top twenty teams, then look at ours. You don’t get Bloomingdales for Macy’s prices, or for you car guys you don’t get a Ferrari on a Toyota budget.


  43. Wouldn’t it be great if Fitz wore a Pitt Hat today. Walt’s best recruit. Wanny got Shady for his best. Chyrst had the dynamic duo of Boyd and Conner. We are still waiting for Narduzzi’s marquis player, wouldn’t it be great if it is Pickett?


  44. Fran, your Toyota pickup is invaluable.

    OK, so now I’m reading if Narduzzi wins 9 or 10 games he’s gonzo. Out the other end I understand if he has another losing season his job should be in danger. Could the ice really be this thin? I don’t think in either case he leaves next year.


    1. Duzz is paid 1/9th of the top salary. Paul Chryst received a bump in pay to $3.3 million – up from $2.7 on this report.

      Would have to say Duzz does more with less than a lot on this list.


  45. People forget that just before DW accepted the Pitt job he had run the Dolphins to a 1-8 record and did his first pseudo-resignation (was fired) and was basically not going to see a NFL HC job anytime soon, if at all.

    That made him more than willing to take that low salary Pitt was offering him and come here. No othere established HC would have taken the less than $500K base salary he started off with at Pitt in 2005.

    DW made $546K base in 2009 after two contract extensions before that season…The average HC salary back then was around $1.2M

    “Former football coach Dave Wannstedt’s total compensation for 2009 was $1,434,331. That included $546,587 in base pay, $825,000 in bonus and incentive compensation and other non-cash income”

    That’s how we got him so cheap.

    We paid Todd Graham almost $1M in base the year after DW left. But less bonus and incentive (but still a jump from DW’s total compensation.


      1. That and the GM, Rick Spielman, made some horrendous trades that cost Miami some high picks.

        Figures Reed looks at the 1-8 record and ignores I think a 41-26 before that season, and with Jay Fiedler at quarterback no less. I guess those wins were because of Jimmy Johnson’s drafting and 1-8 all fell on Wanny.


  46. Into and others. Once and for all gottfried knocked up a cheerleader and the cheerleader coach helped with taking care the situation.


    1. Hysterical!
      Sat next to him on a plane once (while he was the HC), and he proceeded to give me girlfriend advice.
      No lie!


    2. Shame on Pitt. He knocked her up. OK, you fire him and destroy football for a decade? If Gottfried was the coach in 1990, right before kickoff versus Oklahoma on CBS were you going to turn off the TV because of a female being knocked up?


  47. Great point on Wanny gc. Great example of only looking at the end results and not how the results were arrived at. Not always black and white.


  48. so these 25 elite schools make roughly $60M in revenue each year on their football program alone and pull in about $30M in profit
    I think Pitt breaks even on their program but Pitt does receive a $30M check from the ACC
    That check is the only thing keeping Pitt sports afloat
    I’d like to see Pitt’s fundraising and booster levels relative to other schools. Probably near the bottom


  49. Can’t coaches get extra cash from sponsors or from outside appearances such as radio, TV, cable and industry? Get a house at a bargain or car or …? Can a school provide a house?


    1. Yes and that is listed under bonuses and “total compensation”.

      But Pitt is very stingy with those perks also.

      Endorsements , speaking fees etc are separate issues and not associated with Pitt itself.


  50. Pitt’s ACC payout was around $27M In 2017 I believe.

    Note to Chris Dokish:

    Before you make comparisons of Pitt getting all 3* recruits and having a consistently winning football program like other 3* recruiting schools like Wisconsin, MSU and TCU I suggest you Look at the purse…those schools have so much money to work than Pitt does with it is is hilarious… All three in the Top 25 $$$ schools.


    1. Reed, forgive my ignorance but if the recruiting ranking is equivalent between a Pitt vs Wisconsin/TCU/Iowa, what is the implication of the extra money that the other schools have lending to greater success? Better coaches, better training facilities, ??? I do know that at least in the case of Wisky, they plan their OOC schedule more intelligently.


    2. it’s no secret that the ACC is below the B12 and especially the B10 in NCAA payouts .. in fact, the B10 gets more than the SEC


  51. PittPT, I take it as Narduzzi does as good with a lot less, which again makes me wonder aloud. Why the negative critiquing of his recruiting classes when there are answers we all realize.


  52. Larry Fitz in the finals for the Peeble Beach #7 hole in one contest – took second to Clay Walker out of 30 celeb’s


  53. with extra money you can hire elite coaches. you’d think elite coaches can bring in elite recruits but if not you have a very good coaching staff to develop players, best training facilities, etc


  54. So after a 25 to 8 cards run, KS calls his 1st time out with 5 minutes left in the half. Must pain him to show to get a paycheck.

    Hey Lastrow, is Sir Patrick G at the game?


  55. Some of the Pitt turnovers look Lyke hand offs to the cards.

    And then there is not a defender within 15 feet of the cards 3 point shooter, who makes it easily.

    32 to 8 run by the cards.

    Poor, poor effort by all related to Pitt BB.


  56. Chryst wants his staff to see each recruit in an actual HS game in addition to the recruit camps and 7 on 7s. I remember him saying that he couldn’t do that the way he wanted to at Pitt. That costs money. Pitt, and other schools, rely on HS scouting services (not the recruiting sites) scouting stringers and alumni to do so.

    So right there means at least two visits by staff to whoever the recruit lives…once during the FB season and an in-home with the parents. That take $$$

    Here is Whisky’s 2018 recruiting class, it isn’t as local as you would think…11 of 18 kids are from out of state including FL, AZ, TX, NC, etc.

    Recruiting takes a ton of money. So when Whisky signs recruits they know exactly what that recruit can do and what he’ll bring to the team.

    Other schools want to see kids play in games also. For Pitt to do that, especially while expanding the recruiting base farther existences southward, etc. takes more $ also.

    Longevity helps also, Dantonio since ’03, Chryst since ’15 and yes not going anywhere, Sumlin will probably be paid to stay where he is also.

    When we see some schools do better with 3* recruits than others do…that is where the extra budgets come in.

    Pitt doesn’t have that. Pitt pays rent for Heinz also.

    Whisky’s facilities are some of the best, but the commenter above is correct,those other schools pay their HCs and staff way better than Pitt does..

    IN 2017:

    TEXAS A&M pays HC – $5M

    MSU pays HC $4.4M

    WHISKY – $3.3M

    You can be sure their staffs gets paid a bunch more than ours do also. Those HCs and staff coaches are more successful and IMO are better than Narduzzi.


  57. No sighting of Sir Patrick anon…either at the Pete or Peters Pub. Haha. Of course, we travel in different circles. And I’m ok with that.


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