A reader sent me an email today and in it was a link to a very interesting article titled “How to Win in Recruiting” and the fascinating information found in it.

The simple upshot of the article is that many factors go into making a college’s ‘brand’ and the better the brand the better chance that school has of landing the better recruits.  That makes perfect sense.  Here is that phrased in a bit more detail:

College athletics provide a unique, albeit contentious, dynamic in which players base their college decisions on a radically different criteria than professional players, who often opt to play for whichever franchise will pay the most.  Stadium size, uniforms (read our article Fashion Wars on the influences of uniforms and apparel companies in recruiting), program prestige, coach prestige, coach persona, location, media exposure, fan sentiment, playing style, and academics are only a handful of the endless factors that play a role in an athlete’s decision.  The net sum of all these influences becomes the program’s brand, which is then evaluated by millions of high school athletes.

The chart below shows what and which schools’ were the winners in this issue and which were the schools dragging ass.  It is built to show:

We wanted to find out exactly how high school football players perceive the Power 5 schools, so we asked 224 recruits to grade their interest and desire in each program as if they were the number one recruit in the country (i.e. they had offers from every school).  This process gave us a peek into the minds of the most important demographic: teenage football players. 

Guess where Pitt falls in line? That’s right, 54th out of the 65 Power Five schools.  My lord look at the company we keep… Minnesota, Missouri, Baylor, Colorado and Wake Forest to name a few.


Thirty years ago I think we’d be right up in at least the Top 20 or so – but that is what winning seasons do for you. The way we have played in the last decade – 10 wins being our best but averaging only 7.3 wins per season?  Averaging only less than seven over the last five years?  No wonder we are where we are on that list.

Now – we have seen this chart below before in different iterations but the article includes it to show, basically, how the rich get richer.  This is from schools’ 2015-2016 financial disclosures. (Private schools don’t have to do so).

Where is Pitt on this chart you may ask? Nowhere would be the answer as we didn’t have a revenue of at least $50M during that time period (or any other time period but it would sure be nice!) which was the lowest starting amount shown on there.

The article also addresses another interesting question…

How about the schools with financial resources and solid brand recognition, yet relatively poor recruiting results?  Wisconsin can barely land a single 4 star recruit yet appears in the top 16 of both our brand rankings and revenue rankings.  Darlow described an issue he frequently sees, stating: “Too many schools are leading with the same three or four recruiting pitches; things like playing time, head coach prowess, facilities…and every program is a “family” these days. As is the case in any industry, when you go blow for blow with your competition, you’ll eventually lose to the bigger, stronger opponent.”  

Which is basically what we seen happen with Pitt’s recruiting efforts in the past and recently. All the above is nothing new to Pitt fans.  We are well versed in the limitations Pitt has in its football program; no on-campus stadium, situated in a professional sports town, surrounded by bigger and more successful football schools, etc…

All is not lost though – in a lesson that Pitt and especially Heather Lyke need to take to heart the authors say this about branding…

Brand perception is not only one of the most important assets to an athletic department, but it is one of the easiest assets to change as well.  Darlow describes in his book that perception, recruiting, winning, and money make up the four phases of an Athletic Program Life Cycle, in that order.  

All four phases are interrelated, yet the ability to affect the different phases is not equal.  It is difficult for an athletic director to wake up and say, “I want to make 20% more money this year.”  It is more realistic for an athletic director to say, “I want to improve my brand perception.”  Perception in turn affects recruiting, which affects winning, which affects revenue.  Each phase is most greatly influenced by the preceding phase.

Look, I understand that all the above – the four phases of the cycle – and they are more easier talked about than done, but Pitt has to start somewhere.  And I’ll say this – even though the article linked above is about college football programs – our Administration and our AD better take a long and hard look at what Pitt’s train-wreck of a basketball program is doing to the overall athletic image of the University in its current state.  If they don’t believe that the extremely negative play on the court and the ensuing  negative local and national press we are getting on that front bleeds over and impacts the football program also… then I think they are fooling themselves.

They are part and parcel of one athletic department.


315 thoughts on “Ready for Another Dose of Realism?

  1. Great read.
    IMO, scheduling to get wins rather than please the few here that want high level competition in the OOC is one critical first step…amongst many other things that need to follow.
    Seems like a no-brainer to me, and I think maybe Gallagher, Lyke and the BOT are at least capable of no-brainers…I said MAYBE.


  2. Great article, truly illustrative of how and why perceptions are formed and their importance.

    That said, I can make it even more simple.. the schools that care about winning football games win football games. In the first 30 years of last century, Pitt cared about winning football games- and won ALOT of them. In the mid 70’s to the late 80’s, Pitt cared about winning football games- and won quite a few. Now? Well, we know about now, don’t we?


  3. Hey, our hockey team beat #11 Ohio and punched their ticket into the playoffs…

    Will read the article later and comment. Time to get to work


    1. No doubt, but that only gets better If the longer a FB HC stays the better the W-L record gets.

      If we GT back up to 8 wins then outsiders will think our 2017 season was an abberation. If not and we win 5, 6 games our recruiting will get steadily worse. But as you state that will also because recruits and their parents will think a HC change is due (which it should be if that happens).


  4. And of course the impact of brutal OOC in addition to the L’s and especially early is the injury factor in a brutal sport, the lack of distributing playing time to assess talent in the non-starters, the effect of hurting confidence in individuals and team play, etc.

    Established successful programs don’t commit OOC suicide like Pitt has recently and then to dismiss the impact of it is ridiculous.


    1. Just so I’m clear, you would be happy about the non-conference schedule if Pitt schedules a single home and home series with the likes of Penn State or WVU only in those seasons where they don’t have Notre Dame on the schedule?

      The question could also be framed as follows: Would you be satisfied if Pitt scheduled 1 FCS opponent at home, 2 non-P5 FBS opponents including 1 home and home (e.g. Cincinnati), and 1 P5 home and home in the non-conference (this game is not optional)?

      Related questions:

      Do you feel that swapping that one objectionable P5 game home and home for a non-P5 home and home is worth the seemingly certain win? Are you willing to purchase 4 season tickets if you don’t currently do so?

      Also, has Pitt had significant injuries that are primarily the result of their brutal non-conference schedule? The last significant injury I remember happening to a proven, significant player in the non-conference was Conner injuring his knee against Youngstown State in 2015 and being done for the season. I also remember starters Hendrix and Zeise both being injured against Villanova in 2016 and being done for the season.

      How did Pitt utilize the Youngstown State game last season and the Villanova game in 2016 to assess the talent of the non-starters? I honestly don’t recall that happening.


      1. Yes, but maybe 2 season tickets, not 4, unless one of my kids goes to Pitt, then I might consider 3 or 4.
        Drive would be from Reed’s neighborhood, so THAT is the bigger limiting factor. Last several years we have made it to one or 2 football and basketball games, but kids are involved in sports in fall and winter so not feasible for a few more years.

        And unfortunately looks like my 10th grader may have shoulder fracture which ends his season as of last week. He is distraught, I am distraught squared(math term).


  5. Don’t have much time either but it looks clear to me that Narduzzi has done much more with much less. PITT ranked 54 with this years recruiting rating of 34 by rivals. The football program has enough trouble competing with the top programs without former AD’s ruining the image of PITT football. Looks like PITT has a long road to hoe.

    This graphic as presented should show all of us why we complain about the current asst coaches and also complain about their replacements. It also causes me to contemplate why we complain as we already know the answer as to why PITT can’t compete.

    Would love to know where the 224 sample participants come from. As expected the top teams in both categories are well known teams that recruit nationally, were PITT doesn’t necessarily do that. PITT is more highly recognized in WPA, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida and if the survey was reduced to those area’s the results would have been much different. Point being, PITT football is not a national commodity. ike


  6. Brand is very important to recruits and to students. If Pitt had a stronger brand, it would win more recruits, applications would go up, the quality or applicants would increase, and Pitt makes more money.

    But Pitt destroyed much of the brand equity by switching over to the name Pittsburgh, getting rid of the script and old colors and going to the dino cat. Its since reversed itself thank goodness but it will take time.

    The basketball mess is impacting the brand equity and its financial bleed will impact Pitt’s budget.

    When I think of Pitt’s brand right now, I think of instability, mediocrity, an administration that is NOT committed to winning and excellence, an administration that is committed to running a clean program and graduating its players. “Mediocre Clean Program’


  7. I know, I know, I know that we will not be getting a fresh new on-campus stadium, but think how that would turn the tide in our favor from a brand perspective. The Pete did so for BB, at least for awhile. Once the tide is turned, then the focus has to be on sustaining it. Stability in the major sports coaching ranks should be a priority.


  8. Tx, your last paragraph is exactly what you printed there and it’s on purpose by PITT. Their objective is accomplished. There is your answer right there.


  9. For my one comment, I want to emphasize the methodology used above:

    “We wanted to find out exactly how high school football players perceive the Power 5 schools, so we asked 224 recruits to grade their interest and desire in each program as if they were the number one recruit in the country (i.e. they had offers from every school)”

    Thus, depending on who they asked, the results above can be very subjective … depending on quality of recruit, geography, etc. My guess is that they sent out hundred of questionnaires and received 224 back, which is a very subjective way of polling since responders usually have something to say. Also note that the responder is to assume he is the #1 recruit.

    Nonetheless, I am not totally surprised by Pitt’s ranking. I am actually more surprised that Notre Dame is 14th and especially Alabama being 16th .. this is a football brand ranking based on perception.

    Since it is based on perception, I would have to think that the empty yellow seats had a big impact here on many who have limited knowledge of Pitt except maybe watching them a couple times on TV. And if you don’t think rival recruiters pound this in their heads, you are only fooling yourself


  10. There is nothing at all wrong with a clean program. Many schools win football games without breaking NCAA regulations.

    I think what Pitt fans mean when they complain about a ‘clean’ program is us not recruiting obvious problem childs. Maybe that has a negative impact on recruiting and success on the field but so be it. That is a standard I’ll never bitch about with Pitt.

    Lest we forget about the true purpose of athletics at the college level let’s remember that it isn’t supposed to be a win at all cost approach but having student athletes represent the university.

    Why do we celebrate when we see Pitt football players do well academically or when we see our graduation rate at the highest its ever been…as it is now? Because it is what Pitt is supposed to be about.

    There are many things we can criticize the Pitt Admin for when it comes to the floundering football program, but running a clean program shouldn’t be on that list at all.


  11. not criticizing at all. I’m upset with the mediocre part. No reason why Pitt cant be like Stanford. Smart players, clean program, excel at all sports, stable, and solid brand.


      1. Stanford has a truly unique approach to recruiting. Here’s the beginning of an article after the 2017 recruiting class was signed. The link to the full article follows.

        “Finding young, talented football players nowadays has evolved in more ways than one. The recruiting trail, for all intents and purposes, has become more a slicked highway with a barrage of prospects waiting at each exit ramp, holding out their hands for promises and guarantees.

        David Shaw doesn’t recruit that way. Stanford doesn’t operate that way.”



  12. Good article Reed.

    I think the football brand is fine as long as PN gets back to 8 wins this year. We won’t talk basketball.

    Amazing that UCLA is up there, what have they done in football that has been so great? A few 10 win season spread over 27 years.

    So how exactly does Pitt increase the revenue? I think an OCS may actually decrease it but we will never know because the administration will not even do a study on it.


  13. How does Rutgers get on the list? and Kentucky so high, probably spending way more on hoops? and Auburn so low?

    We need to try some pedophilia enabling apparently.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. One thing that I think the polling left out is nfl connections are a big factor. If your team is putting guys in the nfl they’ll look past half empty stadiums and no on campus stadium to chase that money bag. Wannstedt got great players because he sold them on his ability to get them to the nfl. Most of the teams high on this list place guys in nfl. Great article.


  15. It’s not an accident that from 07 to 10 we put a ton of guys in nfl and had 27 wins. We have a lot of guys going to combine but how many are going to make it this year I say whitehead and o neil.


  16. I don’t think it’s even so much the avg’g 7.3 wins per season in the last 10 years, that has impacted our brand as much as the constant changing of the name (Pittsburgh to Pitt, block to script) the constant changing of the uniforms and even the changing of the colors (various shades of), the logo on the helmet, the no logo or sh*t logo at midfield at Ketchup Bottle, the lack of endzones being painted nice or at all.

    And you only need to look at who’s at #27, the UNC Tarheels.
    Over the last 10 years, they’ve won 74 games, which is avg’g 7.4 wins per season. Basically the same as Pitt.

    But the Tarheels haven’t changed their name, their uniforms, their logo, the have a small but nice looking
    stadium, with a field with all the right logos and endzone paint, etc. etc. So they appear to at least look
    like a 1st rate football program.

    Pitt does not.

    Some people scoff at all this, I say nonsense, all this ancillary stuff plays into your branding and your
    perception BIGTIME.


  17. Pitt’s field, which is how people(recruits) across the nation view Pitt on Saturday afternoons for 3 months every year, is the worst looking field in all of Division 1 college field.

    It’s an absolute embarrassment even moreso than the empty seats. Because the TV camera’s on constantly on the a field view. save for some brief minutes.

    That crap field is how a lot of people and recruits view us.


    1. Did you happen to notice on the new seating chart that was released as part of the student and band section change announcement that the athletic department placed “Pittsburgh” in the north end zone and “Panthers” in the south end zone? There is also a Pitt script at midfield stretching between the 35 yard lines.

      It’s probably just for illustration purposes but dare to dream!


  18. Speaking of branding. How many people equate Pitt to Heinz? How many equate Pitt to the Pete? How many to the Cathedral of Learning? I think Heinz belongs to the Steelers.


    1. But everyone loves Heather and her certificates she hands out! Oh and that she does skits with a panther while basketball hasn’t won a game since 2014.


      1. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about Heather when I wrote that. She’s a late arrival, this clown stuff has been going on at Pitt for a long time.


  19. “And I’ll say this – even though the article linked above is about college football programs – our Administration and our AD better take a long and hard look at what Pitt’s train-wreck of a basketball program is doing to the overall athletic image of the University in its current state. If they don’t believe that the extremely negative play on the court and the ensuing negative local and national press we are getting on that front bleeds over and impacts the football program also… then I think they are fooling themselves.”

    Couldn’t agree more Reed. I don’t see how some can’t see this and whine about, non-football comments on a football article. I mean talk about babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. All surveys can be skewed buy who participates, but I think Pitt pretty much maintains its position unless it is a WPIAL poll and even then, we probably only move up 10% or so.

    We all hope that Narduzzi recruits higher ranked players, but this really shows the headwinds he is fighting.

    It also shows what a tough job Heather has even without the basketball disaster. To me, he biggest adversity is the budget and how to raise more money. But even before that she must change the overall culture at Pitt to more highly value our sports programs. It is that Rah Rah school spirit that is instilled in you that carries forward when you graduate. Most of the Pitt grads that I know, left town never to return or think much about Pitt at all. Pitt admin has always been its own worst enemy.

    Brand recognition and kids wanting to come here is much more a function of winning, but even with Jamie’s excellent win/loss record he was not able to recruit the future pros, that the big dogs get.

    But as has been pointed out Narduzzi’s recruiting results should be looked at with a lot more respect given the perception of the kids when he knocks on their door.



  21. https://thebestschools.org/features/richest-universities-endowments-generosity-research/

    Pitt is ranked 29th in endowments. This list includes Ivy league and international schools. Pitt is obviously not run by idiots. It is and has always been a matter of priorities. Pitt has never valued athletics as much as academics and never will. It is reflected in its alumni, faculty, administration and the community at large.
    There is no desire to compete nationally with the big boys, on the athletic fields. Any school that cared would never let what befell our once proud basketball program happen. Or hire Mike Haywood as a head football coach. When success has happened on the field of play it is more dumb luck than some master plan.


    1. This is true and why even though I point out that the Admin has little interest in building a strong athletic Dept, I also point out that in the grand scheme of things I don’t have a big problem with it.

      The University is first and foremost an education based entity and as such does a very good job.

      The city of Pittsburgh doesn’t need another championship team, but it needs Pitt as a high draw for the city and community it is.

      So the admin is fullfilling it’s mandates toward that end.


  22. IMO Narduzzi ain’t going anywhere and Pitt will rise quite a bit in the rankings over the next several years. Anyone realize how dismal the Clemson program was just a decade or so back? Pitt can climb back very nicely if we can produce NFL caliber or close to NFL caliber QB play going forward.


  23. Miami and UCLA both ranked high without OCS..

    I too found it very interesting that Clemson was ranked #1.

    Survey probably taken after their championship.


    1. Miami and UCLA are well known brands. UCLA’s AD never wanted to change the name to Cal-Los Angeles and out a Bruin on their helmet.


  24. Look at some of these dreg programs, that apparently have better branding than us.
    Pitt is No. 54 Pitt avg’d 7.3 wins in last decade

    These are all schools that avg’d less wins than Pitt, but have a better brand

    **Maryland is No. 41, avg’d 5.2 wins in last decade
    **Kentucky is No. 34, avg’d 5.3 wins
    UCLA is No. 12, avg’d 6.8 wins
    Tennessee is No 25. avg’d 6.2 wins
    **NC State is No. 35 avg’d 6.9 wins
    **Cal is No. 37, avg’d 5.6 wins
    **Wash St. is No. 40, avg’d 4.7 wins
    **Oregon St. is No 43, avg’d 5.3 wins
    **Purdue is No.44. avg’d a meager 4.2 wins
    **Virginia is No. 50 avg’d a meager 4.2 wins

    ** None of these scrub programs have any football tradition to speak of, especially in the last 40 years.
    Some of them, like Wash State and Oregon State have none at all. Yet that have a better brand than

    The idiots in charge of this ship need to hire a professional image/marketing company, for they
    clearly have no clue.


    1. You might be right NRS, looks like they could have polled more Recruits from the West coast, since some of those schools seem to be either rated too high (UCLA) or they really don’t belong at all (Cal, Oregon State & Washington St)


    1. New Coke didn’t hurt original Coke. It is the product that stunk not marketing.

      You can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end it is still a pig.

      Do you think better marketing or branding could help the Cleveland Browns?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure the Browns are spending plenty on ways to try to market them. If you have a bad team, you just have to come up with something innovative.

        Say like… ‘A Major Change in Pitt Football’

        Liked by 1 person

    1. All part of trying to make boys less aggressive. They will make football almost like flag football and then, they will have want they want. Girls being able to play football.


        1. Studies can be bias, depending on who are funding them and what they’re agendas are. Surely
          someone as old as you, must realize that fact.


  25. That is a great article and puts numbers and substance to what should be common sense. should be required reading for the AD, BoT and Chancellor. Money (the lack of)is the only thing that can catch the collective attention of our administration.
    Looking back at the out-cry to let Dixon move on and using 20-20 hind-sight, the issue was- he needed excellent recruiters who could get players in the new foot-print. He was not supported by the ones in management who are in the know or conversely in the darkness.
    Basketball is dealing a severe blow to our over-all image and the branding of our university. Management continues to not impress and make poor decisions with athletics and “it” has come back to kick them in the ass.


  26. Heather ought to take a survey of all Pitt alumni to judge their level of interest and support for Football and Basketball. How many games do they watch, how many do they attend etc. How much do they care on a scale of one to ten. Use as a baseline to see what works in changing attitudes, and culture. Do an email survey and a sample by mail and phone. Try to quantify the problem.


  27. Delaying tackling until high school will increase injuries.

    You can’t throw a bunch of big kids (bigger and faster now than ever) on a field in 9th grade and tell them to go hit each other with no prior knowledge of how to so. My God, tackling in football is already atrocious.

    We played backyard tackle football all fall with no equipment long before I played organized. Only concussion among probably 40 kids was a street touch football wipe out.


    1. Yep played tackle football for years before getting into organized, and nobody ever sustained a concussion, yea you broke bones, but you can do that in basketball or baseball too !

      Again this is an organized effort to make boys less aggressive, the few that even play these days,
      since most of these kids are overweight, diabetic or entranced with video games.


  28. From the article… “Large numbers of children have shifted to other sports like flag football, soccer, baseball and lacrosse.”

    I have been to many youth lacrosse tournament. Every single one, I saw a kid get hurt and many head injuries. Frying pan to fire, LOL. Soccer has many concussions also.

    Golf participation is going to take off!


    1. Yep it’s ridiculous, I went to watch my nephew in soccer practice. They had a wide range of age groups on the field at the same time. Some kids 5-6 years older than some others, that were far bigger, crashing into the smaller kids, Soccer has no safeguards at all for heads.

      Seems to be an assault on football.


  29. Right and cigarettes don’t cause cancer, and lead in gasoline and paint isn’t deadly to brain health.

    And who needs air bags in cars?

    Bring back the Gladiators.

    It is always about risk vs reward, who takes the risk and who gets the reward.

    I loved playing sports as a kid, and wouldn’t change a thing. I saw stars numerous times, and came close to Paralysis when I missed a trick on the parallel bars. As a kid you know the risks and accept them because you think you are bullet proof. However we know much more about CTE now. As a parent and grandparent, I look at things differently. Hell, even Mike Ditka says he wouldn’t let his kids play knowing what we know now.

    It is hard enough to make it in this world, let alone with brain damage.

    And yes there are risks in all sports to varying degrees. You can get hit by a bus crossing the street.

    Most intelligent people try to minimize their risks.

    Even Pro Football is trying to reduce the risk by changing their rules, and improving the effectiveness of equipment.

    But like Jack Lambert said, they should put dresses on the QB’s


  30. All surveys are snapshots in time. Here’s hoping that our brand is starting to improve and we’ll be moving up from the 50s to the 40s when the next survey is taken. Here’s my thinking. Looking at us through outsider’s eyes, I see that we beat the no. 2 team in the country two years in a row. This was national news each year. (Pitt happens.) Looking at us from insider’s eyes I see that the quality of recruits is going up. We have ten rivals 5.7’s, which is .1 from a four star. No two stars. And we did get what looks to be a really good 4-star. (When you wish for a four star.) Anyway, my tortured soul needs to see improvement, so moving from the 50s to the 40s is what I hope to see the next time a survey is taken. – Hobie – PS Hope outside folks are ignoring the shambles in BB.


    1. Here’s hoping psux is ranked #2 when we play them in September and we knock them off at Heinz Field in front of another packed house.

      Even if they aren’t ranked that high – pound the pedo enablers!


  31. I didn’t wear a seat belt till I had my own children. Thought it was an assault on my driving experience, just kidding. I was just stupid.

    I’m still alive, so were the studies biased? It’s called progress, there will always be those that try to resist, but it happens whether we like it or not if it is justified.


  32. Can we please tackle the subject of academics versus athletics honestly?

    Reed states, “..the Admin has little interest in building a strong athletic Dept, I also point out that in the grand scheme of things I don’t have a big problem with it. The University is first and foremost an education based entity.”

    Well, that’s true but is there no space between those schools heartless, soulless deviates who sell out women and children for athletic success and those placing standards and limitations that make it impossible to be successful?

    Would Tony Dorsett have qualified for admission as a non-athlete? Were any of you “embarrassed” that Pitt sold out it’s academic mission when it enrolled some of the guys who brought us our only National Championship of the last 80 years? There were some guys on the teams of the 70’s and 80’s of “marginal” character and even less aptitude academically.

    We didn’t recruit Ditka because we thought he’d be a fine addition to the Dental program. Dorsett took quite a few credits in the intramural sports department. I don’t believe everyone in the stands was cheering for Marino’s success in the classroom.

    If you want collegiate sports to be de-emphasized like Oval Jaynes, then let’s do it like high school. Only admit kids based on regular admissions standards and then have a tryout among enrolled students each summer and let each college field a team of actual students. Even the Ivy League doesn’t do that- they have lower admission standards for their athletes versus non-athletes- just like everyone else.

    The reality is that we’ve chosen to be classified as a P5 program and are viewed against our peers. And in that vein, we are sorely lacking- in baseball, basketball, softball, tennis, football… If the mission of the college would be subverted by fielding a competitive athletic department, than do away with it. Pitt could save significant monies by eliminating the department and simply provide recreational and intramural sports for it’s actual students. I would actually be ok with that- and have far more respect for the Administration and BOT. To continue to claim that excellence is their goal while making no effort to reach for it is disingenuous.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. We tried to get into the Ivy league in the 60s and were denied. Should we try again and if successful, have to give up the ACC money.


  34. PITT is not on the Brand Ranking vs. A.D, Revenue chart because PITT didn’t have >$50M in revenue. PITT didn’t make that chart because no PRIVATE college/university is on that chart. Where is Wake, Miami, B.C., Stanford, Baylor & 6 0r 7 others?

    Article took the easy way out on data gathering by using the USA Today Revenue ranking (which doesn’t include private schools.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. all 3 schools mentioned receive money from the State. Pedo State just has State in their name. They are not a State school. The amount of monies received today pales to what was received 30 years ago. Pitt for all practical purposes is private yet 1/3 of its BoT are state bureaucrats or elected by them.


        2. Our state appropriation now covers about 18 percent of our instructional budget, compared with 62 percent in 1971 — however, it is still a critical component in our ability to offer a substantially lower in-state tuition rate for Pennsylvania residents.

          From Penn State back in 2011. Its probably closer to 10-12% now. And Pitt has always been less based on what I’ve seen previously. I dont think the State provides Pitt with any more than 8% today. The facts are out there. This was just an easy google search for me.

          So to answer your question – Penn State is NOT a State school. How can you be when 90% of institutional funding is supported by the private sector.

          And I know there are discussions about Pitt going 100% private since they receive practically nothing from the state today and wont have all the strings attached. Insider knowledge….

          College is an unaffordable luxury for kids today

          Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right PITT is a “State Related” school.

        Penn State is on this list just like on this USA Today link. http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

        The 52 data points on the chart line up exactly with the USA report. There are 65 FBS P5 teams. There are 12 private schools – B.C., Duke, Miami, Syracuse, Wake, Baylor, TCU, Northwestern, Stanford, USC, Vandy, & N.D. There are 2 “State Related” Pitt & Penn State. 65 teams less 12 private less 2 state related plus Penn State gives you 52 data points.

        Stanford is not on the chart. If I am not mistaken Stanford log is a red “S” with a sequoia tree (or maybe a Virginia Pine or a “bull” southern yellow pine) in the middle. The only red S is N.C. State logo. That red S matches up with the USA $ amount,

        As for Penn State, I believe they provide whatever data they want to provide to a FOI request. In the link above they provide revenue & expense data but no “Allocation” amount. (Read the methodology behind USA report & it should include Student fees & school transfers.) On the USA Today head coaching salaries, Penn State provides data. On USA today assistant coaches salary report, Penn State like Pitt provides no data.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. another issue is why Pitt doesnt come close to generating $50M in football revenues
      45k fans at $50 per ticket = $2.3M
      Over 7 home games = $16M
      Add another 50% for parking, concessions and merchandise and Pitt lands at $24M
      Add $27M from ACC and Pitt = $51M
      If Pitt wasnt in the ACC, Pitt would probably only field about 6 sports programs.
      Most schools who care about sports field 15+ (See Stanford)
      And Stanford believes that academics and athletics are symbiotic


  35. I, too, played football as a kid and like you it was in somebody’s back yard or a vacant field. No adults were present to ruin the moment but as a 6-7 year old we typically played with kids 2-3 years older. Same with baseball or whiffle ball. My Dad would teach me fundamental stuff on throwing a baseball or tackling but he worked in the mill all week and like most of those WW2 and Korean war vets, had better things to do with his free time. Parent’s didn’t lord over their kids at play. Heck, we would be gone from home from morning until supper time on week-ends playing some game or hanging out in the woods where play was only limited by ones imagination.

    I learned a lot from participating in contact football. It was football, more than any of the other 3 sports I participated in during school, that taught me lessons that apply to life. Those of you who played know what I am talking about.

    Concussions and CTE are a game changers for the future of the sport although I think the seriousness of concussion on the youth level is debatable. I need to do more research on the number. some of my thoughts on this concussion issue:

    CTE based on several professional athletes autopsies have far reaching implication including affecting participation in youth leagues. Participation is falling quickly in youth leagues.
    CTE (now) has everyone and I mean everyone fearing a lawsuit from schools, equipment makers. Hech, kids can’t play in a vacant lot. God help the owner if someone breaks a collar bone and sees the lawyer who goes after the lot owner. I cannot begin to fathom the amount dollars now going to protect the players health and simultaneously avoid potential lawsuits.

    I covered the side-lines as a first responder for a local high school for many years. We had our protocol for concussions and rarely did someone miss more than a few plays or. rarely, a game or 2. Today, if there is a head to head blow the player is out for several games, gets a $4000 MRI (BTW much less costly if you use a Private Practice facility vs “The System.” Hospital have trainers in all high school over-seeing athletes and funneling these kids into the “system” where health-care is considerably more expensive. UPMC and Highmark love it as they use sports as part of their feeder system to prosper while we can’t afford our health insurance.

    On one hand this all appears to be the right thing to do for the participantbut is there a costly over-reaction. No one I grew up with on the gridiron has lost their mental faculties and we are all 66-68 years old.

    Let’s talk about concussions. That is when a is struck with a large enough force that the brain bounces off the skull. The operative word is FORCE. Physics Mr Newton gave a rules of motion/formulas which directly apply to concussion and CTE. FORCE= MASS x’s ACCELERATION.

    So simple to see that if you increase either variable of both variables on the the Right side of the equation the FORCE of the blow increases along with the probability of concussion of injury in general. This is the reason we rarely had concussion of any serious consequences in our youth whether wrecking our bicycles and bumping our noggins or when we played high school football- just a bunch of unrated high school kids who loved the game. (and I might add,,we were pretty solid fundamentally compared to what I witness in modern college ball)

    So where does this lead with the elite athlete- no brainer. Can’t coach speed but we make’em bigger and so much stronger to the point of becoming lethal. The blows delivered are huge and for the player, especially PROS, their lifespan is far lower than the general population. We see HS lineman who play focus on one sport become 300 pounds by graduation. A human being is not supposed to live 2 standard deviations beyond their norm ! (Any of you seen a recent pic of Allen Faneca. If you haven’t -check it out.)
    There-in lies the CRUX of the PROBLEM- ole Sir Isaac Newton literally “Hit it on the Head” in the 1600’s.

    Who’s to blame? Jokingly, I will blame the mid-70’s Steelers. Seems they became bigger and stronger, naturally I’m sure, than every other team in the NFL. Every one of the teams had to play catch-up and soon the weight-training thing crossed all football and sports. BIGGER and STRONGER and focus on training or specializing in single sport has led to lot more injuries across the sports spectrum. If you do a check, many of the Super Steeler’s from that era lived shorter than normal life expectancy.


  36. Is Pitt Private?

    The underlying issue is can you change the culture? I see only two ways, 1 from the top down, which isn’t very probable. 2 from the bottom up or grassroots, which also isn’t very probable considering the level of apathy by most Pitt constituents.

    There is a third even more improbable and that is a Big Daddy Warbucks.

    Otherwise same as it ever was.


  37. Thanks for posting this, Reed. I read the full article and a couple other of theirs posts. Really good site.

    BTW, I noted the Ms. Lyke and Mr. Bostick were in Naples, FL yesterday calling on Wannstache and someone else. Maybe she call pull him back into a more active ceremonial role with Pitt.


  38. We call played some sandlot tackle football when kids. The difference is that we didn’t really launch our bodies at other kids like they do in the organized leagues.

    Honestly, to not believe that multiple concussions and CTE are real and present dangers is just strange. There is a bar near me that used to have lot of ex-Baltimore Colts watching NFL games there on Sundays, I’d go in sometimes and couldn’t understand what half of them were saying

    Take boxing…”Punch drunk” is a phrase that has been around forever…but you rarely see that affliction any longer from amateur and Olympic boxers who are required to wear headgear.

    Sorry, no conspiracy…dangers are real and avoidable.


  39. Very interesting article. If you think of the Pitt football program as a product rather then a Football team, you really begin to understand the value of brand (and why we have royally screwed up virtually every aspect of brand management over the past 15 years). This is also why when we were looking for a new AD, my #1 criteria was that I wanted an AD who deeply understood brand management and particularly social media. It’s a radical concept, but if I were hiring an AD, I would completely ignore the traditional recruiting sources. I would be looking at hiring someone who was a VP or EVP of marketing at one of the big sports oriented consumer goods company. The other aspects of the AD job are either mechanical, transferrable, or can be learned relatively quickly. It’s not so easy to become a branding and social media guru over night. That’s just my 2 cents.


    Liked by 1 person

  40. I think this article contradicts any effort to recruit nationwide. For instance, I read last week where PITT offered a 4* TE from Cal with offers from all the big schools on the west coast.

    What’s going to happen here? << 3 negatives

    One. The kid most likely will not come.

    Two. PITT will have wasted money spent on this young man??

    Three. Narduzzi will be criticized for losing and not signing another 4* player.

    The ?? in scenario #2 are for the possibility of making inroads out west and it could turn out as money well spent?? ike


    1. Hopefully this is not another case of bad press being better than no press at all? .. but lets not kid ourselves here, it’s all about the money and the lack of any temperance in order to win a football game.


    2. My guess for Ped St is the many 107K prime time whiteouts they have every year.. Whether the recruits are witnessing them in person or on TV, they are bound to leave a good impression


  41. This article is another reason why I can’t be overly critical of narduzzis recruiting. Obviously our ranking this year is not where we want it to be or need it to be, but it is ahead of teams with higher prestige (perception) and money.


  42. Always overlooked in the tragic early ending of pro football player lives is the use of steroids. I know CTE is real, but I don’t think the medical community (and certainly not the NFL) is making the connection to performance enhancing drugs.


  43. Maybe someone can explain the difference between the ncaa setting a salary schedule for FB and BB players versus the price of a scholarship at a school.


  44. New Staff Added to Help Pitt Athletics Launch Mentoring Program

    Three New Positions Created in the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program


    Link: Pitt Athletics Adds Staff to Launch Mentorship Program

    Sign Up: Mentor Pitt Student-Athletes

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt Athletics has added three new positions to aid in the development of a first-of-its-kind mentorship program within the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program, Pitt Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced Thursday.

    As part of this robust investment in mentoring student-athletes, Lousaka Polite and John Pelusi have joined the Pitt athletic department, with both garnering the title of Assistant Athletic Director of Varsity Letter Club and Mentorship. In addition, Lisa Auld has been promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Student Life.

    “As an athletic department, one of our top priorities will always be the personal and professional development of our student-athletes,” Lyke said. “With the addition of Lousaka and John – two former Pitt student-athletes themselves – to our Life Skills staff, along with the well-deserved promotion of Lisa, we are proud to expand upon our commitment to our student-athletes. We believe this new Pitt Athletics mentorship program will greatly benefit our student-athletes’ experience as well as connect our mentors to the athletic department in a meaningful way. We are grateful for the continued support from Cathy and John Pelusi to allow our Life Skills department to be a model program.”

    Polite, a four-year Pitt football letterwinner and nine-year NFL veteran, returns to the University of Pittsburgh in a full-time capacity. Known during his playing days as a bruising fullback who opened holes for running backs through his blocking ability, Polite will now have the opportunity to pave the way for Pitt student-athletes. Polite graduated from Pitt with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, earned his EMBA from Miami and most recently worked for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, assisting with their youth programs and entertainment projects.

    Also a former Pitt football letterwinner across three seasons as a tight end, Pelusi rejoins Pitt Athletics as a staff member after serving as a financial advisor with Socius Family Office, where he primarily worked with NFL players and coaches on investments, retirement savings, tax preparation and financial planning. Pelusi, who previously worked for PNC Bank’s wealth management program, owns an undergraduate degree from Pitt in marketing and also graduated from Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business with a master’s in business administration. While earning his graduate degree, Pelusi was instrumental in developing Pitt’s Life Skills Financial Literacy program as well.

    In their new roles, Polite and Pelusi will both focus primarily on mentor recruitment for Pitt student-athletes.

    Auld, who has been with Pitt Athletics since 2011, earns a promotion that will also see her play a key role in the mentorship program, in addition to her duties working with student-athletes on career and personal development and health and wellness initiatives. A communications graduate of Villanova with a master’s in counseling from California (PA), Auld is also a licensed counselor and an adjunct professor of sports psychology at Pitt. Prior to her career with Pitt Athletics, Auld worked in the footwear and apparel wholesale industry in sales and marketing for And 1 Basketball, Timberland and Converse.

    “Our mission has always been to help our student-athletes pursue success in life during college and after college,” Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student Life Penny Semaia said. “This new initiative will take another significant step in that direction as we will now ensure every one of our student-athletes has the opportunity to be matched with a mentor during their academic career. Equally exciting, we will have the opportunity to welcome home so many former Panthers who will make this tremendous impact on the lives of our current student-athletes.”


    1. I met Polite’s father who is a manager of an IT Dept at CMU where my cousin used to work. If Lousaka is anything like his dad, he will be a great asset


    2. I met Polite in 2014 when I was deployed in Afghanistan. He was part of a USO Tour that included the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders. As he introduced himself, he asked if anyone knew where he played college football. He was very happy when I yelled out “PITT!” I spoke to him for a few minutes after the event. He was very nice and down to earth. I’m glad to see he is back at Pitt.


  45. BigB — Excellent post above – the long one. Good stuff.

    I have this theory that much more could be done with helmets to better cushion or absorb the energy of the inevitable head hits, but neither the NFL nor the players want the “image” of running around in bigger helmets where they’d look like space aliens….

    But I think that’s what they need to do. They need a big jump in the evolution from leather helmets to padded plastic helmets to high-tech space-alien helmets…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Another factor if Pitt’s branding is as low as the Wake Forest and Vanderbilt who are hardly on a Regional Broadcast of any network. AND NEVER ON A NATIONAL BROADCAST.

    When is the last time you ever saw either of them on ESPN Thursday nite game when it’s the only show in town ? Never.

    Meanwhile from what I’ve read, some of Pitt’s Thursday night games are supposed to be among the
    highest rated they’ve ever had. Which is we actually do get a fair amount of national TV broadcasts,
    even with our mediocrity over the last 35 years.

    Same thing with Kentucky, Oregon State, Washington State, NC State, Cal, Duke, Virginia and several
    others with a supposed better brand than Pitt.

    So something doesn’t jive here. How can these schools who almost never appear on a National TV broadcast have a better brand image than Pitt ?


    1. when did Wake or Vandy ever upset the likes of Clemson, PSU or Miami at #2? Wake played in the Orange Bowl but that was 10 years ago at leats


      1. Guys – A brand is more than football. It represents sports and academics and student life. Pitt fails in 1 and 3 terribly. Vandy wins in lots of sports other than football.


        1. Right Mark a brand is all encompassing considering a students perception of a particular school. Yet, in this case study it was high school football players surveyed.


  47. Unless it’s due, to what many of us notice on these broadcasts…..Pitt is never shown in a good light.

    While ESPN does everything in it’s power(tight/low camera angles) to hide all the empty seats in their Made for TV Bowl Movements.

    They usually do everything in their power to highlight the empty seats at Ketchup Bottle.


      1. I have seen sleeping fans and yellow seats. And always the talk about playing where the steelers play. That can’t be good for the brand. Pitt is not Pittsburgh.


      2. It’s not false at all iek, what’s false is your stmt that it’s hyperbole. I could go into much
        greater depth, but you seem to be clueless sometimes iek.

        Do you ever notice when they show the banners at Ketchup Bottle with our former great
        players, it’s ALWAYS nearly at the end of the game. When a lot of ppl have already tuned out.
        Or does that pass you by too !


  48. This was just one study on the brand. But the relative positioning is true. The pedos kick out butts despite the scandal. They’ve invested millions in the we are campaign. Pitt doesn’t have a consistent brand. Pitt doesn’t have a strong identity. State penn gets it. Those Nitters know the value of Branding. I can call them all the names in the world…which I just did. But their brand overcomes.


  49. After giving the above chart a little more than a glance I have come to a couple conclusions.

    (1 it’s an early April Fools joke ….. and…

    (2 Upitt did the study. ….Why?

    There is no way possible I believe there are high school football players that rate 20 of those schools higher than PITT in brand or any other formula.


    1. Ike, this is the school that brought you the Dinocat.

      That hired 4 coaches in 4 years

      That plays in a ketchup stadium with more yellow seats than fans.


    2. Why is it that when you see something on the internet (not the POV) that puts Pitt in a negative light you always are skeptical of it – like someone would go out of their way to screw Pitt out of 129 teams – yet you would never question something that was positive towards us?

      You are very consistent with that.

      I don’t doubt this chart one bit because as i have written before I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people all over the US and international about college football and Pitt is clearly no where near the top in anyone’s mind.


      1. I’m doubting why the mention 224 high school football players. I doubt that the two charts have anything to do with their input.


  50. Great article!! Hope you sent Heather a copy, and you are right about a BB program that has not won a conference game and a field house that used to be a beehive of excitement to take recruits to but is now a negative for recruiting. Just watched 6pm local sports. UPJ basketball in top of Pa College league and headed for NCAA playoffs again just like their wrestling team does each wear. Maybe the (experienced experts) in Oakland should open their eyes at their own sattelites and see how it’s done. Oh and UPJ fits a lot of those branding criteria Reed cited.H2P


  51. After giving the above chart a little more than a glance I have come to a couple conclusions.

    (1 it’s an early April Fools joke ….. and…

    (2 Upitt did the study. ….Why?

    There is no way possible I believe there are high school football players that rate 20 of those schools higher than PITT in brand or any other formula.

    On the other hand, the graph could be correct but they didn’t use the football players opinions. I don’t think the graph is related to the high school kids thoughts.


        1. I just don’t get your dislike of Wannstedt.. I just don’t.

          He went to Pitt. He LOVES Pitt. If he wasn’t fired, he may have gotten the second most wins in school history.

          So He recruited some kids that weren’t academic All Americans. Is that a reason to hate the most successful Pitt Coach of the last 35 years??!

          At least he wants, and expects Pitt to be great! That can’t be said for our BOT- or many of the posters here.

          Liked by 1 person

  52. What a superb article Reed. One of your best! Clearly this brand business is a huge factor. It totally makes sense that Pedo, even with all of the scandals, gets top 10 recruiting classes when they have the third best brand. Their brand is so strong that it overcomes the negative news that comes out of State College. The high school kids don’t follow the bad incidents, but they look at the sports magazines, TV and articles and go for the Nitters.


  53. Someone mentioned Maryland was ahead of PITT in the article Reed posted.. the Twerps have a very cool mascot and apparently those wild unis and helmets are liked by many… The Turtles seem to be holding their own in recruiting the last 2 years with the # 25 and # 17 classes in the nation according to 247 and 5 Th and 4th in the BiG10 or 12 or however many teams they have in the Ohio State Football conference…

    Speaking of Ohio State…. OHOWIHATEOHIOSTATE… where are you ?


  54. Terps are doing something right inspite of their won- loss record… if it’s the unis… keep’em….and I will leave it at that….


  55. I was wondering why there is so much anticipation, derisiveness and the thinking that this coming year is PITT’s very last chance of ever being successful? Has Narduzzi become such a lighting rod that PITT football is being held under a microscope with the football fans?

    I’m just puzzled why anyone would be fed up at this exact moment. Seems to me that positives abound. I’ve notice in my life that working people are the hardest to deal with when they have already worked a long stretch while working their last day before a long break and they can be more unbearable than ever. Just when you would think they would be the happiest.

    The famous words I live by. “You go looking for trouble, you’ll surely find it” I look for positives and you know what? I find them too. Depends on what you are looking for I guess? ike


  56. Penn State is bashing the Buckeyes tonight in basketball. We have now hit rock bottom in the State.
    Branding? PSU owns Pennsylvania and it makes me sick to my stomach.


    1. I think that ship sailed back in December when Creepy Valley State dismantled Otis & crew in NYC
      in front of what use to be our recruiting area.


  57. I can’t see how some aren’t a little dismayed that our last 2 coaching hires are from a MAC school
    that got routed by Wyoming in something called the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
    and a doormat of the BigJoke. Next will be hiring someone from Colorado State Pueblo.


  58. Turtles went to those uniforms because of agreements with a company. They and Rutgers are tied to the bottom of the B10 where they will forever remain even though they are located in hotbeds of talent.


  59. College Football Brand Rankings graph says all you need to know about our brand. We are listed as “Pittsburgh”. Our AD can’t even get the basics right. How difficult is it to get the message out that we are Pitt not Pittsburgh. That our colors are the old ones, not the last 20 year colors. I ask again. How hard is that to get correct? It’s laziness and not having a plan. Sorry, this angers me as it is the most basic thing to correct.

    Second, those that keep arguing about typing anything basketball on a football titled article, need to take a break. If that is how several of you want it, please do not mention Heather Lyke on the football themed article as she also represents basketball and soccer and ping pong. It’s silly to make that request fellas, cmon now.

    Third, I am glad others have added on to my financial analysis of a month or so ago regarding the basketball landscape. I may have heard that Ohio State performed the exact same analysis before getting rid of thad motta. It’s a financial analysis with a reputational and bball program kicker which leads to a conclusion that the coach has to go Now. Every loss of 20 plus points shows that the AD is afraid to do the right thing for the university. She shouldn’t worry about an additional $250k or $500k by cutting him loose today.

    The sports programs are a mess and every coach and player is watching her “let it go/continue”. That’s an additional impact that many are missing.


  60. 1) go back to the throwback unis and stick with them
    2) find/keep decent coaches who want to be here, and don’t panic until it is really necessary
    3) the AD must not accept the status quo no matter what she hears from the admin. I.e., a small stadium is a necessity whether it be OCS or OCS (On or Off Campus). Living in an NFL city with 2 other pro teams, a low on-campus student population, etc, all are valid reasons for building a < 50k facility


  61. Obviously our branding has not reached the 224 recruits tested in this survey, which is a sobering thought, but as Dan 72 points out it shouldn’t surprise anyone. I didn’t see the date of when this poll was done, which may be relevant if it was before our big upsets of the last two years. Of course, they may not have been the most watched games. The good news is when you hit absolute bottom there is nowhere to go but up. The bad news is the budget. Marketing and advertising takes money. Recruiting takes money. This is also why local recruiting is most important, and where are image needs to matter most. This is also a problem for two reasons. First is the downturn in local prospects, second is the competition for the few good ones that are available each year. Local image also matters for attendance, since we need Pittsburghers, unaffiliated with the University to attend for the entertainment value.

    While the branding issues are important to some, I don’t think the change of uniforms, logo on the field relationship to Heinz Field have hurt us nearly as much as our performance. Why are Maryland and Minnesota perceived better than us with worse records, because they represent whole states. Pittsburgh, the City, has been the butt of jokes for years, few think of coming to Pittsburgh for vacation. As big as Steeler Nation is, every other NFL fan hates Pittsburgh, almost as much as they hate Tom Brady and the Pats.

    Of course our small Fan Base doesn’t help, not much word of mouth marketing going on. Making it worse, there are very few Ikes and Dr Toms who have unwavering support and optimism. Winning programs have an abundance of these types of fans constantly selling their program.

    Which goes back to developing a culture of winning. More people remember our epic fails (Houston) than our big wins. Bowl games are huge for image and recruiting, Houston, Navy, Northwestern. Beating Bowling Green isn’t something you can hang your hat on. Nor is getting pummeled by PSU and OKST this year.

    Being an utter disaster in basketball is certainly killing the brand. No wonder Ike and others can’t stand us talking about it.

    Heather is working hard to improve morale, but we really need Narduzzi to overachieve against all odds. The ridiculously difficult schedule this year and recruiting kids that never heard of us.

    We also need to fire Stallings now, there really is no other option. Cut those immense self inflicted losses, it will only get worse if you don’t.


    1. Disagree on Steelers. They are loved everywhere I travel bc those that moved away made sure of it. They had kids and they became fans. I see them everywhere TX, Mexico, FL and out West. Steelers are America’s Team.


        1. For several months a year, like at least 6 months….when I wear a hat outside it’s either a Steelers hat, a Pirates hat or a Pitt hat. And this would be in North and South Carolina

          Lots of people comment on Steeler hat
          A very few comment on Pirates hat.

          Pitt hat………crickets.


  62. Great conversation…

    I won’t be writing much over the weekend..going to North Carolina. My 102 year old aunt is having a birthday party.

    Pitt grad class of 1938 then Pitt Masters after WWII. Huge Pitt FB fan also.


    1. Reed tell your Aunt all of us at the POV wish her a happy birthday. Also maybe you can get her to write a piece for the blog over the weekend. Sounds like she is very capable to do so.


  63. I say fire him for incompetence and bad behavior towards players, don’t pay him a dime. Make him take us to court and then ruin him and the consulting firm that brought him. Sue them as well. Play hard ball. Not sure why they didn’t sue Barnes and make him return his salary. Make sure you fire all the attorneys that agreed to the buyout as well.


  64. Why is Narduzzi so successful when he gets a player on campus? Because he can show off the facilities,talk about the academics and support systems, but more than anything, show off the wall that shows Pitt NFL HOF guys and the wall that shows all the Pitt guys that played in the Superbowl and all the number 1 picks.

    That is our Brand.


    1. Sadly, and I think this is a major point .. most of the 4-stars that HCPN has gotten are late in the recruiting cycle and have never witnessed a home game at Heinz (including our most recent recruit)


      1. Great point, wwb. This has been the elephant in the recruiting room.

        Duzz would clean up in recruiting if he were at a school like PSU. When he leaves, it will be to go to a school where he has a packed stadium to show recruits…

        This season, he should only bring recruits in for the PSU game…

        Go Pitt.


  65. BigB, someone needs to lead.

    Case in point is the post by wwb right after yours. On the http line it reads….pittsburgh panthers. Shouldn’t we have developed http pitt panthers by now if that is who our Athletic Department says we are? Second case in point is that when the kids commit, they sometimes announce, “The University of Pitt”. How about, I have committed to PITT!!

    Many small things turn into big things. Get the brand correct.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. GC – I have been touting easy OOC for years. Back when the devil himself (Pederson) was scheduling and then not supporting with a good to great budget. Rely on your conference for strength of schedule. It will also lead to developing a rival. You can’t develop a rival when Pitt enters a game at 4-4 and their opponent is 4-4. Rivals develop when both teams are 8-0 or 7-1 and the game actually means something. Or, rivals develop due to close proximity of teams.

    I do not think that Pitt does a better job at showing academic support for the athletes. The P5 support programs are all very similar. Not really a distinguisher. Read the commitment stories on just about any kid at any university and they sight “academic support” as ONE of the reasons. That said, this is where sharing practice facilities is a benefit. Unfortunately, the actual game day experience is a FAIL. 4 and 5 stars can pick their place for the most part. Many want to play in front of a packed house, whether it’s 80k or 45k. That is the truth.

    Happy birthday to your Aunt, Reed. Please thank her for all of her support and paving the way for our futures. Always indebted to the old folk for doing what they did!

    Dilly Dilly!


    1. No doubt the half filled stadium does not help. One of many obstacles for Narduzzi to overcome.

      I do like the concept of the mentoring program that is being developed.

      Pitt also needs to sell the concept of the city school, not everyone wants the rural college campus.


    2. Wasn’t Jamie Dixon annually derided by Pitt fans as well as national and local media for appearing to do this exact thing “Rely on your conference for strength of schedule.”?

      I don’t believe that a rivalry developers and sustains because of great comparative records. Pitt’s greatest football win in the last 30 years occurred on December 1, 2007 against rival WVU. Pitt entered the game 4-7. WVU was 10-1. That game resonates with Pitt fans and WVU fans. The season records in that series have had little to do with that rivalry. The two teams have played 104 times and Pitt holds a 21 game lead in the series.

      Pitt’s most cherished win last year happened when they beat Miami and entered the game 4-7. Some Pitt fans consider Miami to be a rival.

      I think most Pitt fans consider Notre Dame to be a rival yet they’ve never belonged to the same conference and Notre Dame historically fields a better team than Pitt. The two teams have played 70 times and ND is has a 26 game lead in the series.

      A rivalry develops because of one or more of the following:

      Teams are competitive against each other and play regularly if not annually
      Teams share a geographic area for fans or talent (agree there)
      Teams and their fans share a lengthy history and have developed a mutual respect or antipathy

      IMO Pitt doesn’t yet have a rival in the ACC, but GT is probably the closest and it’s because they play every year and two of the games have been decided by last second field goals. There also might still be a little residual with Virginia Tech due to the fact that Pitt has typically been very competitive with VT even in seasons when Pitt hasn’t been good.


      1. Barvo, I have made this point before. I don’t mind a tough OOC schedule at all …but what I do mind is when people like you seem to deny that it should have an impact on the W-L record.

        I made this point a couple of times (as you well know) … since Narduzzi started here in 2015, Pitt played two OOC teams each year that were either ranked in the Top 10 or very close to it. This coming year when, it appears there will be three of them.

        Yet, in 2014 (PC’s 3rd year) his OOC was Delaware, FIU, Akron and a 7-6 Iowa team.(despite the fact that the Hawkeyes only played one ranked team all year – Wisconsin). Yet people here seem to think that this past year’s 5-win team was catastrophic compared to the 2014 team.


      2. You know Jamie, wasn’t doing anything that a lot of these programs do in the non-con. Boeheim at Syracuse for decades never either left campus or the State of NY, the entire non-con.

        The National media never derided him. But they loved to with Dixon. Like we were the ONLY one doing it. Dishonest media even in sports.


  67. @Reed – In one of my classes, I make the students interview their oldest relative and have them talk about their first car, housing prices, gas prices, wars, food and really just their overall living conditions when they were young. The students end up loving the project and thanking me for making them do it. They begin to appreciate their grandparents….and parents.

    It would be a great honor for me to read her thoughts (even if you write them) about those things. Always brings me back to a baseline and just an overall appreciation of our elderly. Please consider this. Thanks.


    1. Huff – that’s a great idea on your part.

      My father died at 59, and I’m always kicking myself for not finding a way to get him to talk about his WWII combat experiences…

      Go Pitt.


  68. RIP Chuck Klausing (92) who has an all-time college coaching record of 123-26-2 (IUP and CMU). Before the becoming an HC, he was an assistant to Bowden at WVU, and the year after he left CMU (’86), he was a Pitt assistant.

    In a 6 year period at Braddock HS, he had a 54-0-1 record, all WPIAL championships,


  69. Had Chuck speak at our all -sports banquet my junior year in high school. What a wonderful man. so glad he blessed this earth for 92 years.

    I sent a “Thank you ” email to Mr. lantz in the Pitt athletic dept for the art on Mr. Mullen’s tweet. Tried to call him but he has no phone in his office according to the young lady who works the front desk…another example of PITT being CHEAP!!!


    1. Well I have no hopes at all in Basketball. Except that I hope they fire Otis after the season.

      And for football, I actually don’t think we’re going to have a very good season next year. Unless the Defense becomes Michigan State’s D circa 2011 to 2013.

      That non-con is a killer again next year with a suspect O-line and a QB with 2 games experience
      and a running game which is questionable.


      1. Biggs was recruited as one of those cherished 4 stars, but never lived up to his billing. Had he, that team could have won the National Championship, with Sam Young & DeJuan Blair


  70. Regarding Narduzzi’s closure rate on official visits…

    2018 8 of 25 went elsewhere, he was at 68% signed with Pitt

    2017 8 of 28 went elsewhere, he was at 70%

    2016 4 of 25 went elsewhere, he was at 85%

    2015 8 of 16 went elsewhere, he was at 50%…this is taking into account only the recruits who had official visits after he was hired.

    So the total is that out of 94 official visits during his tenure so far 28 did not sign with Pitt of a so his success rate is 70% and has been dropping since his first full season of 2016… From 855 to 70% to 68%.

    Ill try to find national rates but that is his history to date.


  71. Pitt also needs to try and change how they are branded by the local media types.

    Did anyone catch that Zeise article which sort of mocked Pitt fans for wanting to continue
    the Pedo State football series.

    The Pitt/Penn State was a happening in Pittsburgh in 2016, like it had always been back in the day.

    Instead of the local media applying some pressure to Penn State to continue that series, they
    tell us….to just walk away.

    Our local branding has been greatly effected by the local coverage of Pitt. Which certainly has had
    an impact our missing so many local recruits.


    1. Zeise is an egomaniacal jackass. If his kid was half as good a linebacker as Zeise thinks he’s a writer, he’d be concesus All-America.


  72. Instead of Penn State being portrayed as what they are….not wanting to continue to play us.

    It is inverted to suggest we are at fault. Classic media trick


  73. Zeise’s article was weirdly one sided. The only valid point he made was that Pitt fans need to stop whining about the end of the series.

    The series is a blast as is the backyard brawl but if it ends it ends. All I care about is Pitt having 8 wins or more on a regular basis and getting to occasional conference championship games. Don’t give a crap who they play for that to happen.


  74. Ike, try the number and ask for his extension. Unbelievable he has no phone. Couldn’t believe how reminiscent his artwork with color selection of depicting PITT retro in it’s finest. A big shout out to Zach Lantz.

    You POVerts who lean towards that look -how bout contacting him. Shoot him an Emel. The pic of prospect Mullen doesn’t look accidental..I think Zach Lantz “gets IT.” A ray of hope…..


  75. I drove to the Duke game last year, and then drove up from NC to see Pitt play Miami.

    I have to say, the atmosphere was great and the stadium was rocking. I’m not sure what games you guys went to that the atmosphere sucked, but when I was there I was pleasantly surprised how loud everyone was cheering during the game.


  76. FWIW I think Pitt will have a good shot at being the Coastal Division Champs this coming season if Pickett stays healthy for the entire year.


  77. jrn..with emphasis on “staying healthy” and that will take an OL getting their act together sooner than it jelled in ’17.

    ATTENTION: if any of you POVerts plan on attending the Wake Forest game, a Wake graduate pal of mine suggested: Courtyard Marriot 3111 University Pkwy Winston Salem NC ..336-727-1277. The motel is within walking distance of the football field.

    That public service announcement has been brought to you by ” Winston tastes good lie a…..cigarette should.”


  78. Pittfan28..If the stadium isn’t rocking when the Panther is kicking the #2 team in the nation’s a$$ – then it would be time to take the patient off life support..

    I attended the UNC game and the crowd was not rocking but the PITT band rocked. All I remember is a lot of cussing and mumbling from fans as they exited the stadium.

    Stop by Lastrow’s POV tailgate next time, meet the gang and have a piece of our lady Annie’s homemade pie !!!..That Party always rocks. Never let a bad game ruin a good party……


    1. Wonder why they are just announcing this now. On his twitter account he said this:

      Davis Hendrickson

      Jan 17

      I am beyond excited to be a member of the awesome team with the University of Pittsburgh Athletics. Pitt is it! #H2P


    2. All this time I thought that was Heather’s Job. What a joke. More fat in an already fat atheltic dept that loses money.


  79. So honest Question??

    What does Heather actually do?

    She has 2 asst ad’s. A fundraiser one and another one. She hires bad olympic sports coaches???

    Seriously? She has more fat than Than Penn dot.


    1. Maybe this can be sent to Zeise. Largest Crowd at any Sporting Event in Pittsburgh HISTORY.

      How much revenue did this game bring to the North Shore, downtown, South Side, Station Square
      and tax revenue for the gooberment.

      The JOKE local Media should be insisting this game be played EVERY YEAR . it keeps them employed
      as well !


  80. Read that article yesterday. Keep them all out of NCAA BB tourney.

    Who do we know in PA legislature to sponsor bill requiring Pitt, PSU and Temple to play each other every year. Some other states require it.


    1. And few politicians would even support it. A&M doesnt play Texas anymore and that is a bigger travesty in a far more football frenzy state. Most politicians in Harrisburg care more about that Dairy school than Pitt. Pedo State wants easy wins and not sell outs.


  81. just think if our coach wasn’t an offensive genius … we would never score

    Craig Meyer@CraigMeyerPG
    In its 14 ACC games, Pitt has been held scoreless for five minutes or longer 13 times


  82. Just some things I think:
    1) I think it’s rather ironic that we are finally getting good overall press coverage at a time when most of our teams stink. And no, they aren’t piling on, they really are giving good coverage!
    2) I think the Duzz is learning, just wish he wasn’t so snarky.
    3) I think you will see PSU as one of the teams that get caught up in the FBI probe. Recruiting almost a whole AAU team from Philly. Ya, right!
    4) I think Ron Cook is the biggest jerk in Pittsburgh sports media. He was a jerk in high school, a hack when he wrote for the Beaver Valley Times, and has just continued to the current times. I really dislike this gut, if you can’t tell.
    5) I think there should be a criminal investigation on Scott Barnes as well as the BOT committee that was involved in Stallings hiring.
    6) I think I will renew my season football tickets and go to every game and yell and get out of control over everything. Don’t care about the weather, don’t care about ?Heather, Just will be much more invested than I should be. Hurts my health. Heart attack in my 40s should have taught me better!
    7) I really think Heather is not up to this job. It is, however, unfair as she almost certainly did not know it was this bad. ,
    8) I think all our athletic programs are a mess. Really, it would be hard to screw the pooch more if you tried. I know there are really smart people on these committees, so I can only think it is an actual plan.
    9) I think Kevin Stallings will still be the coach next year. ( you have no idea how much it pains me to write that).
    10) I think the POV golf outing at Quicksilver for the spring game should be an annual event.
    11) I often think I should get a life and not invest so much emotion in a school that really doesn’t care.
    12) I think Reed does a nice job, Upitt makes me chuckle, Ike is slightly misguided, and Bernie always goes above and beyond. Thanks all.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Our new soccer coach pulled in a top 5 recruiting class.
    Pitt soccer without any tradition or history
    Playing in an on campus venue which is nothing spectacular and in front of sparse crowds
    What is he selling these guys on?
    Narduzzi needs to listen
    From what I know, this coach is excellent at developing players and has a proven track record of success
    And his teams play an exciting brand of football
    Pitt soccer…The real football team on campus


    1. Heather is phasing out FB due to CTE and focusing on soccer (remember Pitt Medicine spearheaded the CTE research) Pitt is just ahead of the curve


  84. Here’s how many blue-chip players have come from every state in the last five years, with each state’s national percentage of elite talent included (Source: SB Nation):

    State ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 Total Total%
    Texas 47 52 47 37 46 229 13.8%
    Florida 42 47 50 42 46 226 13.6%
    California 35 45 44 34 41 199 12.0%
    Georgia 33 26 34 23 25 141 8.5%
    Ohio 16 12 17 15 19 79 4.8%
    Louisiana 12 21 13 16 12 74 4.5%
    Alabama 15 8 12 11 13 59 3.6%
    Virginia 15 6 13 10 13 57 3.4%
    North Carolina 7 15 9 13 7 51 3.1%
    Pennsylvania 9 9 9 7 10 44 2.7%
    Tennessee 9 8 11 7 9 44 2.7%
    New Jersey 5 8 7 10 11 41 2.5%
    Mississippi 7 11 7 8 5 38 2.3%
    Illinois 5 6 5 12 9 37 2.2%
    Maryland 9 11 6 4 6 36 2.2%


  85. Pretty late for POVerts on a Friday night. But I just caught a glance of some Twitter posts of Ms. Lyke and Pat Bostick sucking up to some donors. Note to Pat: Back off on the late night visits to the dirty “O” and Primanti Brothers. Note to Heather: Fire. Rockports. Soon.


  86. “I have a deep affection for the University of Pittsburgh. It is my university. I am proud to be a Pitt Man.” -Jock Sutherland

    Maybe he didn’t understand “the mission of the University” when he was winning National Championships.


  87. Dear Anonymous,

    CTE will not destroy college football. The majority of the concussion lawsuits were about the cover up and lack of education to the athlete. There was a failure to notify players. That no longer exists. No P5 program should have an issue if they establish and follow protocols, which include warnings, baseline measurements and education. And of course waivers after all of the above takes place.

    Only a below average AD is concerned about this. Concussions will only be a problem when the insurance companies fail to cover them. Sort of like asbestos in the 80’s. Insurance companies dictate a lot of business practices. They are not afraid of CTE. In fact anonymous, there are more concussions with the cheer teams and women’s soccer than any football program. Those are just facts. Please don’t tell me that our AD is concerned about football concussions. That would be embarrassing.

    Pitt medicine did not spearhead CTE research. Actually, if you want to see who has taken the lead on concussion research google russ lonzer, nfl concussions. He led the Seau research.


  88. ask the families of Mike Webster, Terry Long, Justin Strelczyk, Dave Duerson, Andre Waters, Junior Seau, .. and I can go on and on …. about what they think about CTE. In fact, except for Webster, everyone listed here died at age 45 or under. Strelzcyk was 36.

    As GC pointed out, right now CTE is a lot like tobacco was viewed upon in the 60s .. remember all the cigarette CEOs testifying before congress that their studies showed that their products did not cause cancer.

    I’m a hypocrite … I remain a big college FB fan despite the fact I think unless things drastically change, FB will eventually phase out, and rightfully so. And as far as Pitt Medicine’s part, read the attached



      1. It will be the parents of youngsters just starting to play sports that will lead to the eventual end of American football.


  89. Football won’t die out for a long time but it will decline as kids are no longer allowed or encouraged to play. If the decline around 700,000 kids not playing year to year continues, fewer future players and worse future fans. But no one can predict the future. Maybe they develop a magic helmet.

    Soccer could easily lessen the number of concussions by eliminating headers.

    But you can never eliminate all risk in any sport. But a game where violent head collisions are routine, and guys keep getting bigger, faster, stronger… Wait till we see someone die on the field, surprised it hasn’t happened yet.


  90. Huff,

    You demonstrate excellent writing skills. I nominate you to write the eulogy for football as we know it. The game is dying from the bottom up. Check out the drops in youth football participation levels nationwide. Nobody loves this sport any more than I do, but I also know that it is not the passsionate fans like you and I that will shape its future. Rather, the future of the sport is being shaped by moms and dads that are saying “no” to football.

    The game as we know it requires a drastic overhaul from the bottom up to survive. Off the top of my head: No youth FB until at least age 13; Form tackling (similar to Rugby rules) strictly enforced, which also means a tackler cannot dive at a ball carrier without attempting to wrap up with their arms; Establishing a “strike zone” for tacking, that means no contact below the knees or above the mid-chest level; and, unnecessary roughness protections enforced for all players on the field. So, for example, a few years back a Pitt receiver made a catch down the sideline against VT. The VT safety was running full speed from the other side of the field and blew up our receiver, resulting in a concussion for the Pitt receiver. A big, clean hit the announcers said. A true statement by the rules as written. But was that hit and it’s resultant concussion necessary to prevent the Pitt player from gaining additional yards or scoring? No. The VT player could have simply pushed him out of bounds or made a form tackle. Lastly, unnecessary roughness penalties should be treated like technical fouls in BB, each player gets one per game, a second results in an ejection.

    Yes, these are radical changes to the game, but desperate times require desperate measures.


  91. If the NFL and college FB did not believe in CTE, then why are we subject to all of these video replays of potential targeting. They know damn well this is a major issue that has been ignored way too long


  92. I guess most of us have seen the movie “Concussion”. Takes place in Pittsburgh. Helped to bring CTE to the attention of the nation.


  93. HbgFrank — interesting post with some good thoughts…

    I’d add that they need to improve the protection provided by the helmets — no matter how weird or funny they look…. We’ll get use to them, just like the current helmets.

    Go Pitt.


  94. I don’t doubt at all that there is a large handful of FB players who have played and don’t suffer from CTE but the substantial portion of those suspected of CTE (> 90%) actually have it as diagnosed in post-death analysis. I’m not in favor of banning FB but the prevalence of head injuries is not a joke or a made up phenomena … but people need to know the risks and can decide for themselves.


  95. The new concussion protocol helps. The new rules help. And I think better helmets will help along with changes in the youth system.

    But theres no denying that the NFL knew the dangers and did nothing for many years.

    Football wont go away but the equipment and rules will continue to evolve.


  96. @WWB – although I can agree partially on your premise of CTE being found during the autopsy and study of the brain on the former athletes you mentioned, I would offer one slant that i proposed to several neurologists and chief medical officers about a year ago. I asked them whether the use of steroids has ever been linked to CTE. We will just say they were intrigued by the thought.

    The point again is that concussion protocols are evolving. Science is catching up, I think. The best P5 programs are weaving chips into uniforms that can measure velocity and speed. The chips measure an athletes movements and the analytics can be used to spell athletes that show they tire and are not as effective in the second quarter as they are in the first, and so on. Some actually get faster and more impactful as the game moves forward.

    As far as reduction in participation, this also goes to a reduction in demographics for eligible players. Colleges are struggling in general because of a decline in qualified student athletes. That is why the Big to Rutgers and Maryland. They studied big data and found that the population was growing in eastern seaboard states and they wanted to open their sports to new recruiting areas. The tv sets were a bonus.


  97. Any one wants to talk about concussions and the NFL and other behind the curtain items let me know and buy me a few Old Fashions. I have a personal friend who is in the center of it.


  98. There are other ways to minimize injuries and still win championships… John Gagliardi of small St. John’s college was one of the winningest coaches at any level…and he had a unique way of coaching.

    “Gagliardi is known for his unique coaching approach, which he called “Winning with No’s.” He instructed his players not to call him “coach”, did not use a whistle or blocking sleds, prohibited tackling in practices, did not require his players to lift weights, and limited his team practices to 90 minutes.[1]

    And his kids rarely had injuries…



  99. Sitting here surrounded by Tarheels and talking sports. No one here cares about football but one guy told me…”you guys must have been embarrassed as hell when we beat you” and I said “Well yes, I was.”

    Then we looked up their recruiting class…seven 4* kids and a 21st ranked class.

    Makes me sick…

    But it’s all BB down here in Wilmington, NC, football is an afterthought.


  100. Tom Martin@TomKCTV5
    Bob Huggins, ladies and gentlemen.

    “Why aren’t [the referees] in here answering your questions? We’re gonna bring 19-21 year olds in here who don’t get paid and you’re gonna ask them questions… because [the referees] don’t want to get asked ‘why didn’t you call this?'”


    1. I had the pleasure of watching the hoopies collapse – they blew a ten point lead with 7 minutes to play and lost by 8. At one point, Kansas went on a 17-0 run that was broken by a wvcc three pointer with 6 seconds on the clock.

      Now that’s good tv.

      To reference Huggy’s comments on the fouls – Kansas went to the line 34 times to the hoopies 3.

      I think Huggy had a legitimate beef – still, the entertainment value for me landed on the right side, all things considered. I’d also love to see the FBI close their case this month and start sending out more arrest warrants. The NCAA will drag their feet on suspensions & sanctions until after the Madne$$ is over.


  101. Heard Paul Zeise say the other day that from what he’s heard, Stalling’s buyout is not going to be a determining factor in whether Stallings is kept or let go….

    Hope he’s correct…

    Go Pitt.


    1. MM – the rumors I’m hearing are Stallings stays another 2 years to see if he wins with his players. Pitt admin does not think they can negotiate down the buyout – and they are looking past the $ losses at The Pete as “once the team starts winning again, the fans will show up”.


  102. That just the narrative the school is trying to put out to the fan base. This from the same school who offered Matt Canada $1 million to stay as Pitt OC 😉


    1. the same school that actually became competitive for the first time in decades and offered a fast-talking Texan all he wanted … and he left 11 months later and didn’t even say “See ya”

      LSU paid Canada $1.5M and then fired him …. Pitt cannot compete in this environment


  103. I would change the Pitt bball program for the west of virginia program any day. Even when they lose, they compete as it id required by their coach.

    Actually, since Gordon Gee matriculated to West of Virginia, their sports teams have improved. He understands how to raise money. He understands that higher ed is a business. He has hired top researchers, physicians, and administrators and they have taken off. Not our Board.

    @Upitt – I would gladly take you up on your offer to talk with your pal that is in the middle of concussions. I was just in Indianapolis a month ago and speak to a group of neurologists every quarter to six months about new measurement technologies, medical research, causation analysis, etc. Perhaps we can re-connect on that.


    1. I don’t disagree about Gee being a great fundraiser. But it does help to have successful, stable coaches. Both Holgerson and Huggins were in place when Orville arrived, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon


    2. Huff:
      My company works in this space. We secured a 100,000 dollar grant from NFL. I would like to tell you about it if you are interested. Certainly, UPITT is welcome too.


  104. WV has a lot going for it over Pitt. It represents a whole state and is the only game in town. Pretty much everyone in the state is a fan. Their academics have always been less stringent, also giving a slight edge.
    And they have always had the full support of their administration. There are also more millionaires in WV than you might think that support the teams.


  105. There is also a strong fan base in PA. I have two close friends whose son’s are attending wvcc and my daughter-in-law’s dad is a huge fan of the hoopies.

    None are big Holgey advocates, but Huggy is fully supported by all three.


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