We all have opinions on how and why a University’s football program should exist and  how the employees of that University should conduct themselves.  I am not one who thinks that any sport, amature or professional, should be above adhering to basic ethical standards. Never, and I’m  worried about that now with Pitt football.  Allow me to explain why.

I have been associated with the University of Pittsburgh in various ways since my birth 62 years ago.  I’ve written before on here how Pitt has been a part and parcel of my very extended family’s life since my grandfather, Dr. Henry Kohberger, received his Medical Degree in 1899, then as a faculty member taught at The University of Pittsburgh’s  School of Medicine when it changed over in 1910.

Dr KohbergerMy father, Dr. Paul Kohberger was graduated from Pitt in 1939 then after the war came back as a Grad student, was made a tenured Full Professor and finally Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Pitt.  My mother graduated from Pitt and  then was the Assistant Dean of Women for the university in addition to being President of Pitt’s Alumni Association in a few successive terms and stayed involved with Pitt until her death.

My brother Paul is now the Assistant Librarian for the University’s library system. That’s the Executive Officer in military terms.  He started shelving books part-time at Hillman Library as a freshman at age 18 and has been walking into that same building to work for 47 years – which freaks me out, but different strokes for different folks I suppose.

There have been multiple Kohberger’s and extended family members at Pitt ever since… uncles, aunts, brothers, cousins, etc… it’s like Pitt’s blue and old gold runs in our familial bloodline.

The reason I mention all this in so much detail is to provide some verifiable background for what goes into formulating my opinions on the issues that take place within the university, and in turn as we read on The Pitt POV,  the school’s football program. I am opinionated and that doesn’t just spin out of thin air but comes from 55+ years of immersion.

I have always been very proud of Pitt and still am. I love everything about it and even when my military career took me away from Pittsburgh for 33 years and my now living in Maryland I have always made sure I stayed it touch somehow.  Most of that was of course through being a fan of the football program – and I sure am one. Believe me – no one puts the time, energy and money into writing a blog about a college football program unless it is made into a labor of love – and that is what this blog has been, is and always will be.

I’m cynical sometimes, skeptical when necessary, give kudos and praise at other times and I refuse to believe that the athletic tail wags the academic dog at Pitt – which is pretty laughingly self-evident given the state of our athletics now.

But damn, when I saw that our Head Coach Pat Narduzzi hired the father of a rare  5* and highly sought after high school recruit to be in a minor position in his program’s staff… and after I had time to read all I could on it and talk to some others within the university system about that move… It kinda broke my heart a bit.

Well, bruised my heart is maybe the better word.  It ain’t the end of the world and I know that. It just feels like the earth shifted a bit under my feet.

Not to take anything away from the new Pitt football staffer Mr. Paris Johnson SR.  He’s probably an OK guy and might be a good addition to the program.  But, as in all of Narduzzi’s hires it seems, he’s a FOP (Friend Of Pat) who came with a large scratch-off bonus in the shape of his stud football playing son.

This move by Narduzzi is pretty much is the end of my beliefs that even though he is an average football coach on the sideline…he was still a sterling one doing all the right things off the field.  His leadership and discipline (mostly enacted behind the public scenes but well delivered) were attributes that I have pointed to many times on here as traits I feel young student/athletes need to be exposed to in the form of realistic leadership.  I question that now.

Any that matters to me as much as winning football games.  It truly does.

And please don’t say this hire was a coincidence and that these two things, the hire and the 5* recruit, are unrelated – that insults all of our collective intelligence. Narduzzi knew exactly what he was doing; knew exactly what it would look like, and went and did it anyway.

There are supposed to be NCAA regulated measures in place to ensure  family member hirings aren’t done to sway recruits to the hiring school but I have done some pretty deep research into it and can’t tell for sure what can and cannot be done.

As the Post-Gazette sees it:

And indeed, the NCAA has taken steps to prevent it, but Pitt could certainly be a landing spot for the younger Johnson anyway. A rule that was approved along with the early signing period last year states that a school can’t hire someone with a prior relationship to a recruit (parent, uncle, guardian, high school coach, etc.) to a non-coaching staff position for two years before that recruit’s “anticipated enrollment” or two years after that recruit’s “actual enrollment” at that school. In other words, no, Nick Saban can’t hire Freddy Fivestar’s dad as a quality control coach in January just to get his son’s letter of intent in February, and he can’t promise to do so in March, either.

But because Johnson is a 2020 prospect, he likely wouldn’t enroll at Pitt until the summer of that year, so two years from now. Or, Pitt could eventually make Johnson Sr. an on-field assistant coach — not unreasonable given his experience — and then Pitt’s allowed to recruit his son, by NCAA rule.

But either way I don’t really care. It just should have been given a very wide berth and the hiring not been done.  I know other football fans will think I’m overreacting and that this situation is just… well… “Other schools do it!“.

Frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn.  I do not care what Michigan does, nor what Notre Dame or Alabama or WVU or even Penn State does (except for the elephant in that locker room).  They are not the University of Pittsburgh and they are not the Pitt I love.  Regardless of the letter of the NCAA law – it was a bad decision.

To me this hire smacks of borderline unethical conduct and at the  least reflects very poor decision-making not only by Pat Narduzzi himself  in doing it but by Athletic Director Heather Lyke in allowing it.

It is also seems a desperation move to get future talent on-roster and that just isn’t worth risking our reputation for the off-chance the kid turns out to be a star player for us – that is if Narduzzi will be able to land him even with the father depositing Pitt’s paychecks every two weeks.  But I’m also not naive, I know that sometimes corners are cut in private at every school when millions of dollars are at stake through athletics.  But I’m pretty well tuned into what happens at Pitt via my friends and acquaintances inside the university’s administration – and know this went down with a thud and elicited a sense of antipathy.

Look – we Pitt fans jumped up and down, and still do, about how shady it appeared when Kevin Stallings was hired via Scott Barnes’ connections and machinations, and we all feel that was shaky at best – so we should look at how this football hire went down with the same critical eyes.

If for no other reason than to avoid any sense of impropriety Narduzzi should have hired someone else and not dragged this issue under a microscope – but either he’s too egotistically vain or too dumb to have thought long and hard about it… and I don’t think he’s dumb.

This was a minor hire into a minor position on his staff – it sure as hell could have been filled by hundreds of just as qualified people without raising clouds of suspicion.

So that is how I feel – I’m building a mountain out of a molehill maybe but I  believe it’s a step in the wrong direction for Pitt to take. It impinges on the reputation of the university and for no other reason than that I wish it hadn’t happened.

NOTES:  Sorry but I have to call out POV readers for pretty much revising history when it comes to what we all thought our regular season won/loss record and quality of play was going to be in 2017 before the season started.  In reading a recent comment I was prompted to go back to the POV’s 2017’s season’s prediction article and review what POV’ers thought would happen.

Of all the 177 comments on that thread only two (2!) POV readers felt we’d have a losing season in ’17 – UPitt had us at 6-7 with a bowl loss and JoeKnew had us at flat out 5-7.

So can we please stop saying in retrospect that “Well, we all thought we’d have a down year or We knew that was going to happen.”  How many times have I heard that since last season started sliding into the crapper?  It isn’t true at all.

The majority of formal predictions was at eight or more wins followed by seven wins.  A smattering had us at nine wins and two (or so) had us at 10 wins.  I had us at 7-6 with another bowl loss. That’s the last time I err on the positive side with this current program.

Rereading the prediction comments you can see they were very optimistic on the whole also.  It tires me out when we start reading commenters bitch about ‘negativity’ on this site when it truly is a much more realistic approach to Pitt football then those who want to fool themselves about what they thought would take place last season.

They like to think they were way more pessimistic about last season then they really were – just because that is the way things turned out.  It was a crap year and a poor job of coaching save one singular game at the end of the year and readers now want to think they were prepared for that when the reality is they weren’t.

Let’s try to be more honest on here about the true state of Pitt football and how we truly view it please, both before and after the season.

Here is how the local pundits saw Pitt’s 2017 team before the season started. The guy everyone loves to hate was spot on:


Paul Zeise (Post-Gazette/93.7 “The Fan”: 9-4

Josh Taylor (KDKA-TV): 8-5

Chris Adamski (Tribune Review): 8-5

Jeff Hathhorn (93.7 “The Fan”): 8-5

Adam Crowley (ESPN Radio 970 AM): 7-6

Andrew Fillipponi (93.7 “The Fan”): 7-6

“Pitt is one of the least experienced teams in America on defense and the non-conference schedule is a challenge.”

Rob Rossi (Upgruv/Trib Live Radio): 5-7

Rich Walsh (KDKA-TV): 7-6

Bill Bender (Sporting News): 8-4

“It’s all about momentum for Pat Narduzzi in his third season. Max Browne should settle in, and the running game will be there. Will the defense be more consistent? If the Panthers can pick off Penn State and/or Oklahoma State in non-conference play early, then that momentum would carry over into the ACC Coastal race. How much of that can Pitt build heading into decisive games against Virginia Tech and Miami to end the season? That’s the challenge.”

Bob Pompeani (KDKA-TV): 7-6

Andrew Stockey (WTAE-TV): 7-5

“A new offensive coordinator. A new quarterback. A secondary with nowhere to go but up. A young team trying to maintain its recent string of 8-win seasons. It’s going to be tough but under this coaching staff, Pitt has been able to pull out some unexpected wins and should do so again. The question now is can they avoid the mind-blowing losses (remember North Carolina).

Looking at the schedule, I think the Panthers will go 5-3 in the ACC, but thanks to consecutive games against powerful top 10 teams (Penn State and Oklahoma), their non-conference record will be no better than 2-2. I see a 7-5 season in 2017, enough to get them to the post-season and be a building block for a young team which should be back at that 8-win mark or better in 2018.”

Chris Dokish (Panthers Prey Blog): 8-5

Lance Lysowski (DK Pittsburgh Sports): 8-5

Anson Whaley (Cardiac Hill): 8-4

Chris Peak (Panther-lair): 8-5




166 thoughts on “Something’s Semi-Rotten in the State of Oakland

  1. The hiring sends a bad message. Dont like it one bit.
    Pitt underperformed last year. Missing out on a bowl is inexcusable.
    I dont see Pitt winning more than 6 games this year unless Pitt gets some breaks


  2. Typical fan who wants to win doing it all the right way then wants the coach fired when he doesn’t win, which has been Pitt’s undoing for years. This is how it is done these days and I’m so glad Narduzzi is playing the game of recruiting.

    Does it really stink? Pitt cheated big under Majors and Sherrill, but I bet those are the good-old days for you as a fan? Some of the Pitt fans’ mentality is baffling to say the least.


    1. I have never once called for a Pitt HC to be fired.

      And I don’t think I am a “typical” fan…those are more willing to bend or break the rules than I am…guys like you apparently.

      If Narduzzi could actually recruit well he wouldn’t have to be doing this.


      1. I’m all about keeping coaches for continuity instead of firing them because of some minor issues that crop up. There are always going to be issues in big-time football because you can’t win with 85 angels.

        I know some of you fans want 85 angels, but you also want national titles with those angels and when the coach doesn’t deliver you all want him fired because the next guy certainly will deliver that title.

        I hate to break it to you All Holy fans, the school embarrassed itself enough when the Pitt professor poisoned and killed his wife about three years ago. No coach or player will ever put Pitt in that kind damage control mode. Of course, unless you’re Nordy calling a press conference over an SI article that tracked kids back to when they were 16 years old and in trouble for throwing rocks at an abandoned building.


  3. Reed great write up I thought I was the only one concerned about the hire as I said to you before keeping the university clean has always been more important to me than winning.I to don’t care what other teams they are not the University of Pittsburgh. Tim


  4. Some cheat big, some cheap little. Look at the rankings and place your school. There may be an occasional exception.but they are rare.


  5. Count me in the making a mountain out of a molehill column. If it’s legal it’s legal, and if it’s not then I’m wrong.


  6. I am gonna guess Upitt is ok with this hire.
    I have little problem with it, I have no problem with knowing the rules and doing everything within them even if toes come close to the line.

    I question the possible illegal or at least unethical activity surrounding the HCKS hire far more than this hire which is IMO both legal and only questionably unethical.

    Know the rules and stay within them. This does that and unless you know more, then I do not know how you can think differently.


    1. Hire sucks. Just buy him a car.

      An Intern at MSU makes him so qualified. Does Narduzzi even know his name if his kid wasn’t being recruited??

      This proves to me at least Narduzzi knows he sucks at recruiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks bad. And Pitt doesnt need to do this if Pitt recruited well. Its a desperation move.

    All schools cheat in some way. This hiring isnt cheating but does look bad. Its out in the public and not hidden.


  8. When you guys watch Pitt games this fall are you really going to be thinking of the new coach and how the hire seems desperate or rotten? If it does and it perturbs your concentration from the game then sorry for you guys.

    Life is too short. Hope Pitt wins and never apologize for how the job gets done.


    1. lets hope this coach can coach because if he cant Pitt does owe an apology.
      shows weakness on Narduzzi’s part
      borderline unethical


  9. He probably will go to another school anyway. Paul Christ could not land his nephew and the tennis coaches kid went to PSU.
    If he commits you can bring up the issue until then it is moot.


  10. I’ve gotta say Reed, we disagree on this hire. Maybe he’s a good coach, maybe he isn’t. But, if the program is willing to pay him to do a job for at least 2 years in the hopes they MIGHT land a kid, I say meh.

    Also, as far as the revisionists claiming they “expected” a down year and now use it as an excuse to be “optimistic” for 2018, I agree 100% with your assessment but I think you’re missing their argument..

    The same folks that predict 8-11 wins virtually every year did so again in the Summer of 2017. It didn’t happen. Some among us (upitt, me and you) pointed out the problems and concerns we had and the disappointment with the season’s outcome and they threw our predictions back at us saying, “We knew it would be a down year, so why be so disappointed?” they say. They’re not saying THEY knew it was going to be a down year. They’re saying, “Hey, Negative guys. Why are you so upset? You said it was going to be a down year and it was. But, don’t worry. We’ll win 8-11 games next year and win the Coastal.”

    To those folks, I say this– We’ve got as good a chance to win the Atlantic in 2018 as we do the Coastal.

    **I watched a few minutes of the hoops game last night. Uggh. I think there were more fans at the Franklin Regional Girls JV game last month. I actually was embarrassed for the 25 or so fans in the Oakland Zoo. It was hard to watch. Don’t worry, Pittsburgh Sports Now says, “Everything is fine. Stallings just needs more time.” Oh yeah, they also think Narduzzi has established himself as a “late-closer” in recruiting. Hahaha. Gotta love the guys over there. They must be loving this whole medicinal marijuana thing.


  11. It looks bad.

    And, I can’t help but wondering if it’s good for the 5* kid OR the Pitt coaching staff. So we land him… Now dad is pressuring and lobbying the other coaches to make his son a starter? Does this hurt the kid’s work ethic? Maybe, maybe not. Does this hurt the locker room? Do coaches bail out? Probably not. But, if I’m Narduzzi, I don’t want a kid’s dad on my coaching staff.

    That’s just me.


  12. Pete Maravich’s dad, Press, (both Aliquippa natives BTW) was hired as LSU HC prior Pete’s senior high school year.

    Danning Manning’s dad Ed was hired as an assistant at Kansas during his senior HS year. Yes, the same Danny Manning who coached against us last night, and led Kansas to national title

    These are only two higher profile examples of several where this has occurred. Reed provided an example where Michigan did it recently.

    The fact is that Paris Johnson Sr, as a staff assistant at MSU the past 3 years, is qualified for the position he was hired to. And the position that he was hired to was made open due to the fact that the incumbent decided to move to is former employer last month.

    Any other blog would praise this except of course Mr. Anti-Narduzzi


    1. In fairness Reed added an entirely new trigger in questioning Coach Pat’s ethics.

      Add that trigger to questioning Coach Pat’s in-game coaching, game planning, defensive philosophy, recruiting, coaching hires, player development, as well as any comparison to Chryst’s efforts at Pitt or Wisconsin and there is only so much that a true believer can take. It’s VERY personal.


      1. OK, let’s compare PN’s and PC’s recruiting this year. Both had all 3-stars and 1 4-star.

        But PN is coming off a losing record; on the other hand, PC had a Top 10 team, won the Orange Bowl and has a soldout stadium for every game.


      2. I have never once compared PN and PC as head coaches as far as gameday coaching goes.

        But records to tend to speak for themselves in the long run.

        Fans don’t usually take the state if the program into account when PC got here and PN didn’t have to deal with that.

        But for the record I’ve never thought Narduzzi should be replaced -he won 8 games twice and at Pitt that’s something.

        This upcoming season will be a real test for him though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is going to be 7-5 in 2018 plus whatever happens in the bowl game. Very concerned with the OL. There are decent pieces of that puzzle there, but my jury ic out on the new OL coach. He has travelled more than former pitcher Bob Miller. Other than coaching changes there has to be a reason for that


  13. I’m not the same Anonymous who commented previously above. I agree with your assessment on this issue Reed, you are making a mountain out of this molehill.


  14. As of others have said, this is Pitt, they won’t actually end up landing the recruit.

    Mizzou did this last year with a top BB recruit. How many folks knew that and do you now consider their reputation tarnished. “Is it legal for a school to hire a recruit’s father? Yes. Will the NCAA come snooping around because of the hire? No.” http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/eye-on-the-tigers/father-son-package-deals-like-the-porters-nothing-new-in/article_22769d25-f58c-5e4c-b3dd-6578d9f12ceb.html


  15. You don’t read the national sports news then…no one is praising either Harbaugh or Narduzzi for these type actions. If anything there is a sense of what I wrote above.

    Hell, I linked the PG article that was written about just this subject, why would they even broach the subject if there wasn’t something unusual about it?

    And how old are you anyway? Most of us matured past name calling in grade school yet you persist. Honest to God if this blog bothers you so much that you have to act out then don’t torture yourself reading it.

    I ask for civil conversation on here and you call names…


    1. I was setting you up, Reed. You could have responded by call me the Anti-Chryst.

      And speaking of maturity and name-calling … just yesterday you used Captain Bly. (BTW, it is Bligh) .. and gave me no credit for my response of mutiny


  16. We all have opinions, mine are based on more than wins and losses. As I said repeatedly above, this isn’t a great big deal, but it is a disappoint to me that it was done. I believe either you don’t hire the father or don’t recruit the son.

    In Pitt’s case not recruiting the son is a better way to go because, and let’s be brutally honest here, without his dad here he’s not a Panther.

    Narduzzi had offers out to 105 4* and 5* kids this last class. He needs to start landing some of those before dealing in actions like this. Again, the AD bought off on it, but If the AD had any backbone she would have questioned this seriously…and maybe she did. Or, maybe she’s cowed by the HC.


    1. Then why for the last 14 months have you continuously bashed a guy with a 21-17 record? And he was 16-10 when you began with your assault


      1. Because he should have done much better in 2016 but didn’t have the balls to fire his DC to capitalize on the best offense Pitt has ever had…and that includes Dorsett and Marino.

        He held onto Conklin when any other good HC would have fired him.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. every game we lost in 2016, we were the underdogs except for the bowl game … and I guarantee that if the oddsmakers knew that we lose our two interior SR DLs, Conner for half the game, and our QB and best OL for the entire last quarter plus .. we would have been underdogs for that game also


  17. Truest statement so far” if he could only recruit he wouldn’t have to resort to…”. For the life of me I can’t understand the recruiting mess. When HS ADs are telling me Pitt was the most negative recruiters they had seen in over 20 yrs. I agree something smells. (Funny thing is that kid signed with us anyhow??!). Asked someone whose opinion I respect what type of coach or recruiter we needed and without a lot of hesitation he said a good old southern boy. It shocked me coming from him, and that was about 10 yrs ago.


  18. I may be in the minority but I love the move by Duzz to bring in Paris Johnson if it helps us get his son. That’s how the world works. Things in life are dirty, filled with nepotism, corruption, and tons of other crap. If Pitt/Nard Dawg/the new basketball coach get a little dirty to up our quality of recruits and win/loss record, let’s do it. If we aren’t willing to do what it takes out of false morality, let’s quit embarrassing ourselves and move out of the ACC because we are just in D1 athletics only for the money. Is it moral to be in the ACC to not win and only care about money?

    Look at the usual suspects in the top 25 of both fb and bb. If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying. Create an easy athlete major like WVU did with athletic coaching education to attract kids. Offer the kids better perks. If we get some sanctions after a ten win football win or a trip to the sweet sixteen, so be it. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth…but they will not win games in the ACC.


    1. “That’s how the world works. Things in life are dirty, filled with nepotism, corruption, and tons of other crap.”

      Yes, and this attitude, and my advanced apologies here to you sir, people who actually believe that those attributes can’t be avoided at certain levels, are truly what is wrong.

      Can we not see we are talking about a fcking game here, not international politics or the shtter aspects of Wall Steet?

      If an institute of higher learning charged with setting examples to their students…and a football coach charged with teaching leadership to his 105 roster players and staff members , don’t at least try to stay above the muck and mire you talk about then who should??

      I spend a full professional career with people who made correct ethical decisions every day when they easily could have taken the lesser and easier roads,

      Hell, I work with homeless people who apparently have higher standards than the believers in the above do.

      Don’t lump the majority of people who doing the right things in with people who don’t, but we all draw the line between right and wrong ourselves. It is not etched in stone for all but is a personal matter and belief system.

      The fact that you accept this crap so easily is also disappointing but you are not alone. We adults should be less tolerant of this attitude, not more so just because it makes us feel better if it helps our team to win.

      Again, this is a minor issue at Pitt and I wrote that. Life will go on and some will agree and some disagree, but to think that anything should be done without certain considerations is not they way to act in my opinion.


      1. No need to apologize to me Reed, I’m glad you answered my response. According to your logic that Pitt needs to be a beacon of morality to our student athletes, we in return should only actually recruit true STUDENT-athletes. We should only take students that meet the actual criteria of admission to the university. When I got in back in 2004, you needed to be in the top ten percent of your hs graduating class or you needed around an 1150 to 1200 SAT score.

        If we want to be about morals and values and running a clean, compliant program, let’s start with the actual recruits themselves. We won’t do that though….we have selective morality. We take all sorts of interesting stories like Cam Carter. We are willing to let someone in that doesn’t meet the academic standards solely for sports, but then we can act holier than thou in other ways and turn our noses at the UNC’s and Louisville’s of the world. In my opinion, selective morality is worst than just plan immorality.

        How many players on the football and basketball teams do you think actually met these academic requirements? I’m going to guess 25% at the most and that is a guess out of thin air…so college athletics is a farce to begin with and has nothing to do with morality…it is a business just like Wal-Mart. In my opinion, we should either play with loose rules like the rest of the big boys (Majors and Sherrill days) or bow out gracefully and focus our university’s resources on other pursuits.

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Bringing a father son sports relationship to a team has been going on since the Greeks played. Whats the fuss?


  20. College sports is a business. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be all the backlash toward Stallings.

    His kids get good grades and stay out of trouble. The program isn’t doing what some of you fear: your degrees being tarnished by athletics. I’m still not sure what that means since I’m pretty sure no one has ever been turned away from a job because that person’s alma mater is a cheater in athletics.

    Narduzzi is playing the game. I commend him for doing what it takes to potentially help Pitt.


  21. Let me ask this. Why the outcry from Pitt fans when 5* WR Robert Foster chose Alabama after his father was given a job down there. We all knew exactly what transpired with that…

    Foster was always going to be a Panther; his mom wore Pitt gear to the presser and Foster then screwed us because his father basically made him choose Alabama. That was no secret.

    Pitt fans went wild and screaming accused both Alabama and Mr Foster of everything under the sun.

    Yet Pitt is doing the exact same thingy and now its fine and dandy?

    Hypocritical to say the least.


    1. I say this with ALL HONESTY. This is the first that I was made aware that Foster’s dad was given a job in Alabama.

      As I remember, a PG article said that Foster told his parents the night before that he decided on Pitt .. but when he woke up on decision day, he changed his mind


    2. Assumptions being made on several levels by Reed at this point in time. But if it floats his boat to do so, then I say just keep climbing that mountain that he is manufacturing.


    3. Assumptions being made on several levels by Reed at this point in time. But if it floats his boat to do so, then I say just keep climbing that mountain that he is manufacturing.


  22. Hiring the kid’s father is, at a minimum, a tacit and public acknowledgement by Narduzzi that his recruiting skills are inadequate.


  23. Is he qualified to do the job? If anything, it appears he’s over-qualified for the position he accepted. The way Stallings was hired was way worse than this.

    This is from the PG:

    “This isn’t to say the elder Johnson isn’t qualified for the position; in fact, one could argue he’s overqualified, given that he comes to Pitt from the Savannah State staff, where he coached safeties last season, an on-field role. He spent the four years before that at Michigan State, as a defensive graduate assistant and then in the recruiting department.”

    It’s a hire with benefits … and within the rules. Better to play in the grey area than break the rules. He has on -field coaching experience as well as several years working at Michigan St, the program Pitt is modeled after.

    Seems like a smart hire to me with little downside. I agree, I don’t want Pitt lurking in the back alleys of college athletics. I really don’t want to see that. But I also don’t see this move as that either. It’s highly unlikely it’s a coincidence. I’ll call BS on that defense too.

    I do see it as killing two birds with one stone, however. They backfill a spot and potentially land a recruit.

    I can certainly see why some would be suspect of the move but when you look at where he comes from, his relationship with Duzz and that he accepted a very low-profile position eases my concerns.

    It does have an air of desperation, I’ll grant you that but sometime you do what you have to do. And this was done within the rules.


    1. I never knew about Foster’s dad either…just figured Robert wanted to win. How can you hold it against a guy for wanting to win a title? If Bama did that for a high ranking recruit that was a mere side dish on their offense, imagine what they do for kids that the main course. It might be like the movie Johnny Be Good.


  24. Year 3 and Narduzzi went 5-7. Next year we are going to have juggling clowns and El Caminos filled with Natural Ice to try to help close candidates. I also hear Pitino will be on pay role with some ‘Massage Therapists”


    1. So, by your comment up above at 11:20, you are ok with the possible ethics issue but you would rather have gotten him a Camry than a job. Got it 🙂

      And I do agree, it may be a sign of a recruiting issue, or maybe this is just one step in the right direction to compete for the and 5 stars.


  25. What really worries me is what affect will the BBall dumpster fire have on the Football budget?

    A previous post showed the correlation between $$$$ and success on the field. Are we heading for a death spiral. At least with Heinz, the gate doesn’t matter all that much in terms of down side. The Pete on the other hand has lots of fixed costs, that must be paid with or without attendance. If Football has to carry basketball for the next few years, Oh Brother!


    1. Bingo gc.

      Dumpster fire has gotten pretty expensive. Wake forest tickets were $45 per ticket last nite
      and there were 10,008 empty seats on an announced attendance of 2.420

      Game Information
      Petersen Events Center
      9:00 PM ETFebruary 21, 2018
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Line: WAKE -9.5Over/Under: 142
      Attendance: 2,420
      Capacity: 12,508

      $45 X 10,008 = $453,960.00 in lost revenue on ticket sales alone.

      If each of those 10,008 peeps spent an extra $20 at the game = $200,160.00
      (and that’s being conservative)

      So we’re up to at least $654,120.00 of lost revenue on just 1 game.


  26. So Nutting consults with Heather, and the Pirates just made its best trade in the offseason. They traded a part time starter for Corey Dickerson, 28, who hit .282 with a career-high 27 home runs, 33 doubles and 62 RBIs for the Rays in 2017.


  27. You’re entitle to your opinion Reed:

    First off, where is the proof Foster’s dad got a job a Bama and when did he get it it? The day before LOI? Secondly, if he did, that would have been before the rule change putting restrictions on hiring off field personnel. What Narduzzi was honest and adhered to all rules of recruiting.

    The simple fact that something like an honest hire, which btw, Mr. Johnson is more than qualified for the work, much unlike Fosters dad would have been, show’s me that you’re picking at an open wound you have for Narduzzi. Your dislike for this man is so transparent to many but to not to yourself.

    You’ve created a sour atmosphere on the POV blog that seems to make you happy. As far as negativity goes, I’m sure most are like me and can understand some negative criticism from time to time but to be beaten over the head with it constantly makes the stop here less and less enjoyable for me.

    The general negative comments are ok by me and I completely get the bad vibe concerning the BB program, but the BB articles have become amateur hour for the truly wicked.

    As far as the predictions from last year, many posters put their eggs into the Max basket and that didn’t work out well at all. By no means imo did that make the predicted records unreasonable. Touting a few posters that were more on the beam with their thoughts than others is ok too but hell a broken clock is right 2 times a day.

    I forget who made the point but you want a sparkling clean program with 10 win seasons and you want them yesterday. Why no patience for a coach that’s already shows signs of turning the football program around? Keep hearing about the poor recruiting, that’s also unfair as no one knows or can tell how good a recruiting class is until 3 or 4 years later. This just in Reed, your blog is heavily slanted into the negative twilight zone.

    Having said that, stick to what you do Reed, it’s your ball.


    1. “You’ve created a sour atmosphere on the POV blog that seems to make you happy. As far as negativity goes, I’m sure most are like me and can understand some negative criticism from time to time but to be beaten over the head with it constantly makes the stop here less and less enjoyable for me.”

      Easy solution.. stop reading. You won’t be missed.


  28. While I would love for us to be ‘clean as the driven snow’, that is never going to happen since they lowered academic requirements for those that can tote a football or dunk(sometimes) a basketball .

    Let’s wait till we even see if this supposed 5 star recruit even ever enrolls at Pitt, before we all
    worked up about it. Maybe the father ends up hating Pittsburgh after 1 year and bails.
    It’s not like there aren’t other options or schools that will hire him.

    As we’ve seen on more than one occasion, the recruiting process is a very fluid process. And
    2 years is an eternity in recruiting. Ask Dixon when the 5 stars he had lined up all bailed and he
    ended up with a Dodo and an Ivy League bigman stiff


  29. I am in agreement for now with the hire and look to the east for guidance. Grasshopper’s, Larry Johnson was hired on PSU’s staff back in the day. As a result, three of his kids matriculated to the dairy college and I believe 2 went to the league. Larry Johnson Sr. is now considered one of the best recruiters in college football. He stayed at the Dairy College for many years learning along the way and it helped that he brought in some great talenet. Much of that success came from the framework laid early on with his sons.

    Same thing here. Let’s get a 5 star and celebrate it. In fact, let’s get a 5 star EARLY and let that fact lead to a 4 star qb and RB and other top OL recruits to come to Pitt. That is how you change your program. If the caoch can’t build off the successes of recruiting, than he needs to move on. In the interim, take the noses out of the air.

    The hypocrites are the ones saying to run a clean program, get no troublemakers and win big, with a small recruiting budget and small coaches budget (top 65), or else get fired. That is ludicrous. This is simply more cost effective on all fronts. Sure, the optics aren’t the best locally, but nationally this type of activity is considered normal. Please don’t complain if the new coach reels in a 5 star and several 4 stars. Complain if he gets them here and can’t teach!

    I applaud the move for now!

    @Reed – if you go back to the prediction thread for the season, I believe I stated that Pitt would be 1-0 after week one. I don’t typically predict a season due to key injuries and opponents key injuries and breakouts.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Reed – I appreciate your concern about the optics of the situation.

    Only Narduzzi knows what his true motivation was in hiring Johnson. His visible off-the-field track record suggests that he is running an above board program and is looking after the University’s reputation.

    If Johnson Sr. did not already have a professional relationship with HCPN and/or was not qualified for the role, I might be concerned. It will be interesting to watch this play out over the next couple of years.

    In the meantime, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt until complete facts suggest otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Until his son shows up at Pitt, it is a reach to suggest he is a given. He isn’t and quite frankly Pitt will be in the hunt but no guarantee here. Narduzii does have a relationship with him and he does bring football experience as a player in the NFL and coaching. He will help in keeping Ohio and Michigan as street cred for Pitt and Narduzzi. I don’t think Narduzzi is unaware of his sons talent, but it far from a given at this point. I don’t think it is primary a wink hire and Narduzzi doesn’t need to compromise the program for a 4 star sophomore. Way to premature to make that leap of the fix is in.


  32. Pitt also brought him, the recruit, in for a visit months ago. He was very complimentary and liked the time spent at Pitt. Hid dad was coaching at another program and is here in a administrative capacity. It actually is more regulated by the NCAA for these kinds of hires. He was on Pitt’s radar long before the hire. Secondly,If you think ND,OSU, BAMA will back ff his recruiting due to his dad at Pitt think again. .


  33. Well Reed, Jay and all. That was kind of my swan song right above anyway. Thanks for the invitation to leave as I was headed in that direction. Reed, you will never be happy with Narduzzi even if he wins the ACC. You won’t even admit you don’t like the guy one bit. Upitt will never be happy with anything PITT, he’s so bitter. Wonder why he thinks he got the shaft? Bet he was one fun guy to coach?

    It was a good run friend and I do hope you sorften up a bit on HCPN. Most of all good health and prosperity to you and all….. IKE


    1. Ike.

      Don’t know why you posted as “anon”. My response would likely have been less terse. That said, if you truly are unhappy reading this blog, it’s probably good you’ll stop. My offer for a beverage of your choice still stands. Happy trails..


    2. And you are a Homer Narduzzi boy toy. I’m not bitter at all anymore. What I am is sad we pay 2.4 to a terrible 5-7 coach who recruits like he is at Gannon. Knew you were anoymous. Have some balls Ike.


  34. It looks bad. And Pitt is not known for looking bad. When Pitt looks bad, coaches get fired. I cant see how the Chancellor or BoT approves the hire given their history. So Pitt now wants to play dirty? And we all know this isnt real dirt but it is dirt and The Chancellor has really never allowed too much dirt on that front porch. Its well swept every day. So I see Pitt being hypocritical.


  35. I can now say that I had heard shortly after Foster signed that we got out bid. Ya, we got out bid. Shocking.


  36. “If Narduzzi recruited well he wouldn’t need to make hires like this.” Illogical comment when it is agreed that most schools bend the rules. So these other schools who bend the rules can’t recruit too?


  37. @Tex – What is dirty? We can only hope it turns out as successful as Larry Johnson Sr. at Dairy College. Nothing dirty there at all. Interestingly, there is more compliance scrutiny over an athlete being given a scholarship by the ncaa when a parent is also employed by an athletic department before matriculation. Just sayin!

    It only looks bad to Pitt people because Pitt people don’t want their programs to be successful. Or they want to do it the right way. Who decides what is right? Too many Smiziks, Skeeziks and Cooks around town. Debbie downers. Only Pitt people want to be ranked in the top10, schedule top 25 and pay their people in the top 65. Must be the new math that never took hold.


    1. Pitt isnt known for publicly showing its dirt. Thats why this hire struck me as odd since Pitt fired Wanny for bad behavior, hired Chryst who was told not to break any rules or even get dirty and has an AD with a compliance background. Its atypical for Pitt.

      I’m all for the traditional gifts of cars and whores…all of which are not public. All of which are hidden. Pitt doesnt even bother to cover up this ‘bribe.’ Tells me they are stupid. Thats my point. And Pitt touts itself as some high and moral mighty school that doesnt engage in anything borderline unethical. Thats the hypocrisy.


      1. Wannstedt was fired for – basically – insubordination. He himself didn’t break any NCAA rules, it was the things he allowed to happen as a HC in his program by his players and the type of recruiting he was getting that got him fired.


        1. I think Wanny got fired because he was getting more powerful than the AD. The off field problems were the excuse.


    2. May I correct you. Only the BoT is fine with Pitt being in the top 65 and getting top 65 results. Thats called being mediocre. Fans know that Pitt is destined to fail with this approach and will only occasionally get lucky to break the top 25. ‘Pitt people’ are not those here who post.

      The real issue is basketball where Pitt isnt even in the top 200 but is paying top 50 money and is playing at a top 25 venue.


  38. What in the he** are you people complaining about with this hire. IMO it was a brilliant move and as another posted above he coached safeties at Savannah State is is probably over qualified for the job he accepted. I’d do it again next year if the situation presented itself and the dad was qualified.—That said with the offer sheet the kid got as of now I’d say that Pitt’s chance of the kid signing on the dotted line are less than 50/50 even with dad employed here.


  39. Wow, what great off-season of conversation so far… Seems pretty real to me.

    Just wanted to chime in and say thanks to all, especially Reed.

    BTW, would LOVE to have that loaded Tackle Box.


  40. Re: comment above: How in the world does anyone on here KNOW that “that most schools bend the rules…”? I don’t know that – you don’t either.

    There are 129 teams in D1 football – I’ll bet that there are a majority who do everything they can to stay inside the rules. And Pitt did that with this hire but barely.

    I think Pitt fans feel that if we only cheated a bit our program would be better off. Good luck with that. Winning starts with a good solid program, a good coach and most of all good recruiting. If you have those three things you win lots of football games.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Honestly, I’d love to see the salary he’s getting in this position if he’s ‘overqualified’ to fill it. That’s where the rubber meets the road – if he’s getting income above the position’s pay grade – and I wouldn’t think that was impossible given what has gone down- then that speaks volumes.

    Everyone is saying that he’s overqualified. And overqualified guys go to where they will be getting a salary that matches or exceeds their skill set, they don’t take lesser jobs unless there is something else involved. That raised a red flag with me also.


  42. Me?
    I hope HCPN hires a few more fathers of 5-star players.
    This isn’t child rape.
    This isn’t co-ed rape.
    This isn’t fake degrees.
    This isn’t sham classes.
    This isn’t ho’s for recruits.
    This isn’t an apartment for a star’s family.
    This isn’t $100k shoe deals.
    This isn’t tattoo money.

    If we were sp pure, we would have tossed Ironhead when he went wup-ass with a crutch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. not every school does these things but many elite schools today got to elite status by doing those things.


        1. the point is that Pitt will never be elite and nothing more than mediocre
          championships are won by cheating
          Pitt doesnt cheat
          I’m fine by that
          But lets not have Pitt being hypocritical or shoving morality down our throats
          I like some dirt on my front porch…just sayin

          Liked by 1 person

  43. If Pitt cheated a lot, they’d still find a way to lose. Dirt is always best left under the rug. Pitt doesnt have good experience with dirt. Jackie was dirty and Pitt gladly let him go. Its what I think is finding the right detergent. I’m fine with a somewhat dirty front porch. I’m fine with sweeping some under the rug. I’m not fine with outright cheating and FBI investigations. Its a gray area and I do NOT trust Pitt to play in it.


  44. Pitt would somehow find a way to get the death penalty over a minor NCAA infraction. Our Chancellor should have nothing to do with sports.


  45. Sorry, it may look fishy to you, but hiring someone into that position so that MAYBE his kid can get recruited in 2020 seems like a pretty bad bet. You analysis also supposes that there are many qualified candidates to fill this position. I don’t know that and I doubt that you do either. Maybe Mr Johnson is super qualified.

    There are many things I worry about with Pitt football, but this certainly isn’t one of them.



  46. I was told from a relative that a Pitt coach said in recruiting Pryor, “we can;t play in that league” Pitt is not lily white here but summer jobs ect are not the kind of mild stuff you see at certain programs. .But Pitt does not cheat as to drug tests, NCAA education and compliance issues. Never had a problem with a cash envelope but with the COA payments now that is nor as prevalent. So when a greyshirt at PSU gets back his tuition notice as paid in full, that is not an advantage? Pitt is not a player here and does very well in finishing ranked 36 after a 5-7 season. Narduzzi is doing a great job as expectations are naive and unrealistic. Pitt hasn’t had a top class since Gottfried. Pitt football is Ok and getting better. Asking or expecting more is get off my lawn pablum.


      1. Maybe playing better the second half of the year with substandard QB play that should improve big time as the next season progresses. Pitt with decent QB play beats Syracuse and VT should have been a win. that improved play especially on D is a very good reason to expect improvement. and better results this year


  47. For the Veterans:

    The Colmery Act (also known as the Forever GI Bill) includes significant education benefit changes that may affect you.

    Did you lose your VA education benefits due to a school closure or disapproval? You may be able to restore your benefits. Learn more and apply here.

    In addition to assistance with school closings, new legislation:

    Eliminates the 15-year time limit for those who left active duty on or after January 1, 2013.
    Provides up to nine months of additional Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to eligible individuals who are enrolled in a program of education in a STEM field.

    Allows Veterans who had eligibility under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) and lost it due to the sunset of the program to have that service credited toward the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program.

    Find out more about benefits you may qualify for by visiting Explore.VA.gov or clicking the button below.

    Note: As always you can get in touch with me and I’ll try to help in any way I can.


  48. Expecting Pitt to win even Division titles is unrealistic because:
    Pitt doesnt pay top dollar for coaches
    Pitt doesnt have a top dollar recruiting budget
    Pitt doesnt have an administration that cares
    Pitt doesnt play dirty
    The list goes on
    Until the culture changes and money flows in to make those changes, its SOP
    6-8 win seasons and a crappy bowl

    Football breaks even
    Basketball losses will be threatening the sustainable mediocrity of football very soon
    Thats why I know a change in coaching will happen
    Its pure economics (or at least what Pitt taught me)


  49. Look – Pitt could have had a 10-11 win season in 2016 with that offense we had. did we have to cheat to get those very good offensive players on the field – all they did was set Pitt historical scoring records.

    I’m saying that with the right coach (and that maybe Narduzzi) and the right recruits we could put a great team out on the field without cheating – but some fans think it is a must to win games. I very much doubt we paid Conner or Peterman or Donald or Boyd of Price or…. name the star to come to play at Pitt. They came because they wanted to be here and graduate from our university (another thing Pitt fans tend to overlook is the academic draw we have here).

    Wannstedt didn’t cheat yet he won 10 games. He kinda sucked as a gameday coach and made mistakes off the field but he recruited kids legally then coached them to succeed at high levels.

    I think it is rather sad that Pitt fans think we can’t do that again, or even better, without cheating. I believe we can do it.

    But to me it is all about the Jimmys and the Joes – need those good star players to excel. Don’t see many of those in the last three classes.


  50. Any article that gets over 100 comments is a good article.

    I have always heard that it’s not what you know, it is who you know, that gets you the good job.

    I really don’t see much of if any ethical dilemma with this hire. Was his son a consideration in the hire?

    Possibly, but should this guy not get a job because of who his son is?

    People are hired everyday because of who their father is.

    It’s not like the Mafia where people get paid for no show jobs.

    If you had a chance to get Shaquille O’Neal, Coby Bryant, or LeBron James by giving their mother a job,

    you would be stupid not to.

    As long as you are not breaking any laws or NCAA rules, I don’t see a problem

    Didn’t Morelli’s dad get a job in State College?

    What if a booster hires a parent or sibling?

    Recruiting is tough stuff anymore. It will be very enlightening to see what the FBI has found out about College Basketball. We know that shoe companies set up trusts for players. How is that not Payola?

    Now, if they are paying this guy half a million for a hundred thousand dollar job, that’s a whole nuther story.

    By the way, the negativity on this blog is due to Pitt’s recent and long term performance on the field.

    Reed calls em as he sees em, just like all the other commenters. He like everyone, is entitled to his opinions.

    To accuse him of some hidden agenda is absurd.


  51. Regarding the pre-season predictions, we were all lulled into positive territory due to the previous success of our transfer QB’s, the thought that are O-line would be good and two 8 win seasons in a row. Most thought that our transfers, Clark and Hendrix would be special, and some of the young guys would step up. None of it happened when the O-line was miserable as were the QB’s. Without the Miami game to give us some hope, most would be predicting a 4 win season this year.


    1. It is alway fun to go back and read predictions.

      I have to say I’m batting about 1.000 with the QBs over the last five years.

      I knew Browne would suck; wrote that DiNucci wouldn’t see a starting job except for injury; that MacVitte wasn’t going to see action at Pitt; that Peterman was brought in to start and that he’d do well and that Voytik wasn’t the star QB recruit Pitt fans were expecting and that “he didn’t play well enough in 2014 to not to lose his job”

      But the big one I wrote was that I believed Pickett will be a star for us – I wrote that back in March of 2017… I just wonder if that will happen this year or the next!

      Let’s hope so or all might be lost… just kidding – we’ll suck again though if he doesn’t play well..


      1. Reed – you have nailed in the QBs! Congrats to you.

        But let’s remember that we really could have, or perhaps should have, won two more games last season, despite the poor QB play. We didn’t score from the 1 yard line at VT, and we fumbled at the goal in another close loss.

        Course we easily could have lost at Duke too…

        Go Pitt.


  52. All I can say is — Wow!

    I ask you to read the following resume (yes, not a trick, it is Paris Johnson’s resume):

    Former NFL Draft pick Paris Johnson is in his third season working with the Michigan State football program, his first as a recruiting intern. He served as a defensive graduate assistant at MSU in 2013-14, primarily working with the defensive backs under secondary coach Harlon Barnett.

    A Chicago native, Johnson began his collegiate football career at North Iowa Community College before transferring to Miami (Ohio) University. A two-year letterwinner (1997-98) for the RedHawks as a safety, Johnson was a member of the 1998 team that went 10-1 and tied for the Mid-American Conference East Division title. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft (No. 122 overall) by Arizona and played one season (1999) with the Cardinals. Johnson also was on practice squads for the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys.

    Following his playing career, Johnson spent over eight years in law enforcement (2003-11), serving as a police officer before participating in the NFL Players Association Coaching Internship Program. He was an assistant in 2012 at Central State (Ohio) University, coaching the defensive backs and special teams.

    Johnson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Miami in 2006 and earned his master’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State in 2015.


  53. Now, be honest, does this sound like a forced hire?

    —worked with coaching DBs with the highly respected Coach Barnett at MSU.
    —played in the NFL.

    We sure don’t want this guy on the staff. Won’t parents of recruits be disappointed to learn that Pitt hired a former NFL player who was a cop! That couldn’t be a giant asset could it?

    I like the hire. (BTW, is Paris supposed to go back to walking the beat until his son is out of college?)

    Go Pitt!!


  54. I have to say I agree with Reed.
    Most of the public and nearly all of the media (espn, fox sports and especially cbs) praise Alabama every year.

    They all seem to have “forgotten” that they had to forfeit all but 2 wins from their entire 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons.

    At some schools, you cheat until you get caught, and then you either stop cheating or you learn to not get caught. Because for them, once the ball is rolling, they can keep adding all the 4 and 5 stars they want. Because to them and their fans, the cheating is/was worth it.

    I don’t want to ever back a Pitt team if that’s what they someday do in order to win.

    I would rather they play with integrity and passion than someone else’s money or free grade handouts.
    If you have to cheat to win, you are not a winner in my book. I’m not that naive.


    1. the cheating you refer to is clandestine … because it is illegal. This recent hire is obviously not hidden nor is it against NCAA rules

      Since it does not violate rules and the new hire is qualified for the position, then it becomes solely a matter of opinion … whether you like Narduzzi or don’t


  55. Though to be fair about this new hire, I do believe it’s quite possible that with michigan state’s impending sacantions, it’s possible that every member of their staff was on Narduzzi’s list as a potential hire. (Except those whom he felt were not in any way involved with the crimes.)
    And perhaps that Johnson’s son is a good player is just a bonus.


  56. I agree Major. It’s not like there was a job created for Paris just to get his son to come to Pitt.He’s already an established coach and maybe is a good fit here.Theres a lot worse going on in recruiting than this.And Reed I disagree with your comment that HCPN somehow was to blame for the 2016 team not having a better record even though they had great offensive talent and he didn’t fire Conklin. When he came here the D was drastically short on talent and Dick Labeau wouldn’t have done any better with that group. I think in the next couple of recruiting classes he has addressed some of those weaknesses and the D is going to much improved. While I didn’t like Conklin either I think it was more lack of talent for their shortcomings.


  57. Reed, I’m in agreement with you on this issue. It looks like a dirty trick to get an edge on a recruit. What alarms me more is that it shows narduzzi feels he’s working at an extreme disadvantage at pitt. Let me say this if Wannstedt wanted a player he generaly got him. Wannstedt problem was he trusted the kids too much so they walked all over him and it cost him his job. Feel free to blast me bit I feel like Wannstedt was the best pitt coach I’ve had in my lifetime he could flat out recruit without cheating. I just watched his resignation presser when he said there were a lot of coaches before me and they’ll be a lot of coaches after me but no coach will love this university as much as I do.


  58. Baseball68 – PN’s defense in 2015 was a good one – just ask wbb. It is a Pitt urban myth that he inherited crap defensive talent from the previous HC.

    Total Defense 37th 363.2 ypg
    Rushing Defense 40th 148.5 ypg
    Passing Yards Allowed 54th 214.7 ypg
    Team Passing Eff Defense 66th 126.97
    Scoring Defense 57th 26.1 ppg

    It was the coaching staff and the loss of some of Chryst’s players from the defense that started the spiral. Again, and I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face – had Narduzzi been a risk taker and fired Conklin when it was so very obvious our defense was terrible and taken over DC duties himself he could have won 10 games easy.

    We gave up 121 points in our first three D1 games (40 ppg) – that was when the hammer should have dropped. We scored 116 in those three games (39 ppg) and should have won all three. Instead he stuck with Conklin and we lost three more games when we could have run the table and finished 10-3 or even 11-2 with that great offense.

    Again – a good coach can be conservative – but great coaches make big decisions and play to win the games. Instead he kept Conklin on for two more years and our defense dragged us down in both seasons.


    1. the myth is that Conklin was in charge of the defense. Only you and a few other of your followers here believe that


    2. Reed, when you refer to 1st 3 D1 games @ 40ppg, I believe you are referring to 2016. Now let’s see ….

      that’s Trace McSorley who hung 49 pts vs USC in bowl game (not to mention 38 on #7 defense Wisc),
      that’s Mason Rudolph who QBd the #1 passing offense that year,
      and that’s Mitchell Trubisky NFL #1 draft pick


      2-star Terrish Webb,
      2-star Mike Caprara,
      2-star Dennis Briggs,
      2-star Reggie Mitchell


      1. So how about
        The 39 points and 405 passing yards that VT hung on Pitt?
        The 51 points and 356 passing yards that Miami hung on Pitt?
        The 42 points and 580 passing yards that Clemson hung on Pitt?
        The 61 points and 441 passing yards that Syracuse hung on Pitt?

        To my recollection you’ve never acknowledged that all of these teams threw for far more yards in their games against Pitt without some lame excuse about playing from way behind (UNC), or that the team should have given up (Syracuse), or that the team had NFL draft picks. Is it just possible that they threw because they knew that they could with great success?

        Why the cherry picking in singling out Webb, Caprara, Briggs and Mitchell? Because it helps your argument? Didn’t coach Pat also start those guys in 2015? Coach Pat also had 5 guys on that defense that made NFL rosters and practice squads last year.


  59. I have been reading this blog since it’s inception and have always been truly impressed with the research and effort you put into your baby,Reed. However your antipathy toward PN has been gradually increasing since that first closed practice as I see it. I’m sure you root for the panthers as we all did even though there were recruiting irregularities and players got away with a ton of mischief. This hiring is a smart move as long as the new hire does his job . By the way, I was a LCDR in the Navy and was witness to plenty of unethical behavior. I rarely post but just had to get this off my chest. I will miss Ike a lot more than I’d miss the ex ballplayer. Thanks for all the work you do with the blog and all your good works

    Liked by 1 person

  60. How can it not be a disadvantage when you invite a recruit to a home game and the stadium is half full?

    And now, Coach Duzz can’t even take a recruit to the Pete for a game. Remember the reception Shady got at the Pete? Does Shady go to Pitt now?

    Go Pitt.


  61. Wanny was the best thing that happened to Pitt. He could have used better assistants for game day prep and coaching though to make up for his deficiencies, but no other person was more passionate. That passion rubbed off on players and recruits. He didnt have to flat out cheat to get players but did allow boys to be boys and didnt recruit choir boys. Corhole fired Wanny and then Nerdball rewarded Cornhole with a golden parachute. Wanny would make a great ambassador and fundraiser. Maybe thats why Heather recently paid a visit. Wanny will raise the funds for a clandestine project…3 initials.


  62. A good recruiter is like a good used car salesman no matter how much a pos the car is he makes the sale. Wannstedt was at an extreme disadvantage some of his own doing for his first three years but he was signing top 20 recruiting classes and by 2009 he sold out heinz for a game against cincy it can be done ethically.


  63. Shady didn’t care the stands were empty wanny told him u come to pitt I will get you too the Nfl. I wish I would have saved the article I can not remember what paper I read it in or if it was Chris peak tweeting but I read wannstedt put more players in nfl from 2005 to 2010 than the rest of the Big East combined.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 4 and 5 star kids want to play on Sunday in front of 60k they could give a crap less about our fans their chasing that bag.


    1. Not all 4 and 5 Star kids are created equal. Many like the idea of playing in front of a full stadium. In a recent article on Joey Porter’s kid, for example, he talked highly about his offer from Pitt, but then said that if he got an offer from Ohio State, that would be a “game changer” because of the game day atmosphere at Ohio State…

      And aren’t the coaches at the places with the great gam-day atmospheres also going to tell their recruits that their school can help them get to the NFL – or does that only work for Wanny?

      Go Pitt.


  65. Reed your stats speak for themself. That defense wasn’t great but they were much better than I remembered. As always you do your homework. Although it’s no excuse, I think Narduzzi was still learning how to be a head coach and loyalty got in his way with Conklin.


  66. BTW Reed, it’s no secret that Chryst offered Terris Webb and Titus Howard …. 2-stars from Clairton …. to entice Tyler Boyd to Pitt. I’m not implying that it is unethical ….. but am implying just how much PC didn’t care about defense while at Pitt

    You are the stubborn one who refuses to acknowledge that the 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes brought very little defensive quality to Pitt. Those are the RS sophs, juniors and seniors of 2016 and 2017

    Since you are so big on 4-tsar recruits …. where are the 4-star DEFENSIVDE recruits from Chryst? The only one was in 2012 and he never saw the field


  67. “I was just sick and tired of hearing that John Denver song for five days leading up to it,” — Dave Wannstedt

    Greatest Pitt win that I remember
    Either too young or drunk to remember any others


  68. Off topic, but Duquesne recently had its Day-of-Giving, where donors can designate to which school or department they want their donation to go.

    The school raised nearly $300,000 in 24 hours, with over 1600 donors. So, can you guess which department got the most donations?

    The most donations (312), just under 20% of the total, and the most money, about $59K, were designated for the Athletic Department. The next department was the School of Business, which had $23K, then Liberal Arts at $20K, School of Education at $17K and School of Law at $16K.

    Just thought those were some interesting numbers.

    BTW, Pitt’s Day-of-Giving is next Wednesday, February 28th…

    Go Pitt.


  69. They myth of Wanny and is recruiting he had one class ranked 21st by Rivals. The rest were between 28 and 47. And of course his QB recruiting was terrible. Secondly, he recruited exactly 2 four star DB’s in his time at Pitt. Also his Line backing recruiting was below the line as well. He didn’t play the schedule Narduzzi did last year or quite frankly this year. Not everything was bad of course, but Wanny couldn’t deliver a BE title in 6 years.


    1. Chet — I agree about Wanny’s recruiting. He found RBs who could make people miss and DEs who could apply pressure. Most of his 4-Stars (except for the RBs) were not all that great.

      To his credit, he found 2 and 3 star guys who came up big.

      And, yeah, I had high hopes for QB recruiting with Matt Cavanaugh here. How disappointing was that! They needed to consult with Reed…😊

      Go Pitt.


  70. Ok, all u bean-counters:

    The price of Herman’s ‘noisy’ ineptitude:

    Jamie’s reduced buyout
    Stalling’s obscene contract
    Stalling’s buyout
    Overpaying for next coach due to dumpster fire
    Extra recruiting for players fleeing the sinking ship
    Lost revenue from tickets, concessions, clothing, etc for MULTIPLE YEARS
    Bogus searchfirm payout.

    Herman was a big-headed money-wasting fiasco.
    When it is all said and done, he may have cost us half what it took to build the Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points and very sad.

      Herman also extended SMS and the softball coach after each had one decent season. Woeful conference records since and no tournament appearances.


  71. What Herman did with Otis was historically inept and possibly criminal.

    What Cornhole did to Pitt football was criminal and he shouldn’t be receiving a dime from Pitt.

    Not only did Cornhole tear down Pitt Stadium, ruin the brand. He then came back for an encore performance
    at the behest of Nerdball…..to fire the only guy who could have ever won 10 games at Pitt on a shoestring


  72. Chet, more perspective: DW was recruiting to a dying BE conference. The BE was literally being slammed by Tirico and Herbstreit types and local media on a regular basis for its perceived unworthiness for a seat at the college FB big boy table. If DW were recruiting players to Pitt in the ACC he would far exceed what PC and PN have done.


  73. Wwb, I am a fan of PN, but there is no acceptable excuse for the defense that PN put on field in 2016. IMHO all of those players were his players because he was their coach. This “not his players” line is just a way to duck accountability for what was a historically bad defense…I’m talking Kevin Stallings bad! With its prolific offense, the 2016 Pitt team had the potential to be a New Years Day bowl team if PN had figured out a way to put just an average defense on the field. Who knows when we will have that opportunity again.


  74. Under FWIW. DK sports has an article on Pitt and the possibility though remote of negotiating the buyout down to half of the 10 million. The suggestion he has failed so bad as coach that his record and recruiting do not reflect that of a coach and a program that Pitt paid for. Thus Pitt isn;t writing a check for 10 million but Pitt brass may show cause for firing for doing such a poor job. Also, Danny Hurley is mentioned as the coach from Rhode Island that Pitt will go after/ His buy out is 1 to 1.5 million, but Pitt is almost desperate to sell a new beginning and fannies in the seats.


  75. DW landed 28 4* and 5* recruits in his six recruiting classes.

    Almost five per year and a lot of those played great ball for us.

    When you can do that then the 2* kids you recruit, and who bring down a class ranking, are acceptable.

    Compare that to what we have been getting after he left.

    My point in recruiting isn’t class ranking so much as star-caliber players who really produce on the field.

    Getting only three blue Chip kids in 2017 and now only one in 2018 is very worrisome to me.


  76. PC’s defense in 2014 was the best we had had in some time:

    Total Defense 33rd 359.8
    Rushing Defense 55th 160.8
    Passing Yards Allowed 24th 198.9
    Team Passing Eff Defense 43rd 121.59
    Scoring Defense 58th 26.3

    Then PN’s 2015 followed suit with a very slight dip:

    Total Defense 37th 363.2
    Rushing Defense 40th 148.5
    Passing Yards Allowed 54th 214.7
    Team Passing Eff Defense 66th 126.97
    Scoring Defense 57th 26.1

    Then the player turnover started happening and the defense tanked in 2016:

    Total Defense 101st 452.8
    Rushing Defense 16th 119.6
    Passing Yards Allowed 127th 333.2
    Team Passing Eff Defense 106th 143.57
    Scoring Defense 106th 35.2

    Now in 2017 we saw this slight rise, but still very poor, in the defense.

    Total Defense 69th 396.6
    Rushing Defense 41st 142.4
    Passing Yards Allowed 105th 254.2
    Team Passing Eff Defense 88th 136.42
    Scoring Defense 65th 26.6

    It is blatantly obvious Chryst’s recruits and players already on roster played much better defense than those who came after but Pitt fans have “Narduzzi Blinders” on.

    When you go from 33rd to 37th to 101st to 69th in total defense that is a dramatic problem.

    Conklin’s hire was a huge mistake but fans keep blaming Chryst for the defensive dumpster fire under Narduzzi over the last two seasons.


  77. Pitt POV is definitely one “wing”similar to what we see in politics-left or right. Dokish and vuck would be on the opposite wing. One wing is critical of everything Narduzzi does and the other thinks he walks on water. I would say peak is more of a “centrist.”


  78. 2014 defense gave up points as much as any team.Tthey really didn’t play anyone of note and yet gave up over 50 to Duke, over 50 to GT and over 40 to NC. Gave up 35 to Houston. Lost to Akron and Virginia, two really poor teams. 2015 did give up points to ND and simply had a rash of injuries at DT that killed them. They started the 5 and 6 depth DT against ND. Keep in mind Narduzzi came in with playing Whitehead ot of position, Mitchel knee was shot, Webb as his only safety and a young Maddox as the starters. HCPC was terrible in procuring talent for the D. That caused Narduzzi to make the best of a bad situation. I think if you look at the caliber of offenses in 2016 Pitt played it is the best in decades.

    Numbers you use are not reflective of the year to year change in who Narduzzi faced and who he had to work with. When Pitt plays really good defense this year, what will you offer then. D will be good , The O will be better as the season progresses.As to Wanny you simply offer results in a vacuum. Wanny didn’t play the schedule Narduzzi did lat year. and his QB recruiting was terrible. And by the way. What do you think HCPC does in 2015 with Voytik at QB or play the lefty his freshman year? . Pederman was far superior than any coach had at Pitt in years. and yes missed on Brown although his injury took him out early. Did you not see improvement in talent with Jackson at DB. and better play by Garner, as well. Now add a healthy Hamlin a stud in P Ford and coleman, Campbell, to the mix and tell me that is not a significant upgrade over what has passed a DB’s in years.. 2017 Pitt gave up less points at PSU than the mighty Buckeyes did at home.


Comments are closed.