No movement on the new BB coaching  hire yet…it may be a long while until that is announced and the longer the better I believe. This is a once in a career situation for an AD and will, most probably be the defining moment of Heather Lykes’ career to date..

First off she has to wrap up this pissing contest as soon as possible.  All this creates is some more negative publicity for the program – she doesn’t have to cave on the buyout amount, but she needs to keep her trap shut and let the other side blow off steam.  Just get the deal done, shut the barn door and move forward.

Here is a good article on that found in the Post-Gazette this morning and it makes all the sense in the world.

Pitt doesn’t need to hire a coach at this point. It needs to hire a plan,” said Mike DeCourcy, a longtime college basketball writer for the Sporting News. “Whoever you bring in, I don’t care what his record is, I don’t care who is recommending him. That matters to me less than ‘OK, how are you going to do this?’ ‘Oh, we’re going to go out and recruit the best players.’ Oh, good for you.

No, you’re not. What is your plan to get this better? The resume is important because it says what you’ve done, but what really matters at Pitt’s juncture is how are you going to do this? Because there is no obvious answer to this.”

While we are on the subject here are some names being bandied about:

The P-G’s Paul Zeise seems to think it will cost an arm and a leg... I say good luck with that… Stalling’s kid chips in on the subject as well.

We have lost one recruit for the 2018 BB team – Danya Kingsby has re-opened his recruitment based on Stalling’s firing.

I don’t know about you all but I get sick and tired of people in sports who constantly refer to what they do as some sort of war actions – when nothing could be farther from the truth.  Yes, I know this is picky and based on my professional experiences but still – it rubs me the wrong way.  Here is a unsigned letter to PSN from an unknown “coaches’ wife” that has Pittsburgh sports fans’ collective tongues wagging.  I disagree with it almost 100% but because it strokes Pittsburghers’ ego in the most obvious manner some fans love it…

Here a bit from it:

Give more credit to the athletes and coaches in this town who show up every day and compete at the highest level regardless of what their record is or what you’re saying about them. Recognize the fact that they’ve spent the entire year in a foxhole together, growing along the way. There are more lessons to be learned in losing than in winning. Imagine how great we could be if we allowed our teams to learn these lessons and get better because of it.

Color me completely unimpressed and just a little disgusted.  What she see fails to realize is that Pittsburghers and other Western PA sports fans have been actually working for ages in steel mills, coal mines and other damned hard jobs – showing up every day also – for a hell of a lot less money than her husband does while he coaches players in a friggin’ game.  They have done that to put some food on the table, some clothes on the backs of their kids and maybe, just maybe, a new pair of shoes or two every year. Oh, and an annual trip to Kennywood for recreation.

They send their kids to public schools and pray like the dickens their sons or daughters may get a scholarship to attend college – many being the first in the extended family to do so.

That is the real gist of Pittsburghers’ history and the current generation of sports fans in WPA are but one, maybe two, generations removed from those who worked those shitty and dangerous jobs to keep their families from the poor house.

So spare me if you have to pack up and move yet again… after making hundreds of thousands of dollars in your short stay in the city.  By the way – I moved my family 13 times in 30 years for a hell of a lot less money than hubby makes – try that on for size.

Then there is this:

To every Pittsburgh sports fan out there who has used their voice to spread negativity, it is time to realize that the only thing standing in your way of achieving the greatness you so strongly desire for your city and your team…is yourself.

You aint fooling this guy Sister – you flit your eyelashes and spew out some tripe that completely turns the pointed finger around and blames vocal sports fans for your husband’s shortcomings.  Way to go!  Way to teach your kids that personal responsibility for a job NOT well done couldn’t possibly lie on Daddy’s shoulders but instead is the fault of those nasty Pittsburgh sports fans who had the audacity to call out your husband on his professional failings.

Imagine how great we could be if we allowed our teams to learn these lessons and get better because of it.”

How about this – let parents, teachers and positive role models be the ones who teach Pittsburghers’ children lessons in how to live properly – your husband’s sole job was to create winning teams so that fans can remove themselves from the harsh realities of life for a few hours and revel in successes they might not personally be experiencing – that’s it and that is the extent of your man’s impact here. It isn’t to pretend to be some sort of Master Life Coach.

Here’s my suggestion – take the boatload of money your husband earned and was paid for by those harder working Pittsburghers and flit off to some other, more genteel, city preferably down south where disgruntled sports fans will say “Well, bless his heart” when your husband coaches poorly and gets fired instead of “You suck – get the hell out of here.” which Pittsburghers apparently just did.

I’ll take honesty over false illusions any day lady, especially when it comes to an overpaid coach whose professional efforts revolve around ‘working’ with even more severely overpaid people playing a friggin’ sport.

God grant me the serenity…

190 thoughts on “POV’s Bits & Pieces; March 10 2018

  1. Overly harsh, I’d say. The typical Pittsburgh sports fan is not above reproach for being overly demanding, unrealistic, obnoxious, etc. Remember the “fans” who threw beer on Kordell Stewart, threw trash on Tommy Maddox’s lawn, etc.

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  2. Agree about the “foxhole” comment.

    The amount of money these coaches make is just ridiculous— I get why it’s so, but it’s still ridiculous.

    And to have a battle over a buyout, when the coach has been paid millions of dollars, which he clearly didn’t “earn,” and now gets millions more while not even being in the same state, just makes me ill.

    Coaches break contracts all the time…but that seems to be okay.

    I’ve been considering writing a letter to Scott Barnes just to try to make myself feel better.

    Anybody up for sending Barnes some letters? I’d love for the post office to dump a pile of Pitt fan letters on his desk every day for a year or so.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like I said when he was hired, he was a washed up never has been, who was going to be fired from Vandy, after only 5 winning seasons in the SEC.

    Shame on Pitt for hiring a bum who yelled he was going to @#$%^ kill one of his players and giving him a ridiculous contract.

    Our fans are no different from any other fans, they know incompetence when they see it. In two years he had 4 ACC wins. He is a total embarrassment to his profession and now he is going to retire with Pitt’s money.

    A decent individual would admit he didn’t deserve it and apologize for destroying Pitt’s basketball program.

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  4. In response to that unsigned letter on PSN … I can appreciate her grief being that her husband is now unemployed.

    However, what she has to realize is that it’s not only Pitt fans and locals that ridiculed the Stallings’ hiring. This hiring was bashed by well over 90% of the national sports world …. with adjectives like ridiculous, ludicrous and insane.

    The other part is that the staff did little or nothing on or off the court to win the critics in either season. And the final thing she has to realize is that Barnes’ quick exit not only was slap in the face to us, it was even a bigger slap to Stallings who would still be here if Barnes didn’t bail

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    1. Not sure about that last sentence. Barnes having remained as AD may have made it more likely that Stallings remained but it depends upon the origin of the pressure to terminate and then gained support..

      Otherwise spot on.

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    1. Let’s hope so…especially looking into the ridiculous extension and exorbitant buyout package. Did Barnes take a percentage on the way out the door?

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  5. One things for sure…….this alleged “coaches wife” certainly isn’t Mrs. Stallings, for as we all know she’s never lived here and may not have even stepped foot in the Burg!

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  6. Very good interpretation and counter to the anonymous wife. I pretty much agree 100% with you Reed. But in this PC world one might get hurt if one challenges the poor wife of a coach in a sports town. Hurt like in feelings for the wife. I cant really sympathize too much with her. Move on to the next opportunity.

    And I agree. Pitt needs to settle this mess as quickly as possible. No more talking about it. There will be some settlement at some point in the courts. I’m glad Pitt is on record for a number far less than what KS demanded.

    And I agree. This hiring decision will define her legacy at Pitt. That and a feasibility study for an OCS. 🙂

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  7. I think you nailed it,Reed. However, I would draw a distinction between the head coach and assistant coaches, who often work on only a one year contract and make very little at cheap schools like Pitt. They usually end up jumping all over the country just to stay employed from year to year, and that coach’s wife was probably frustrated at yet another move when the head coach was living off of a 6 year deal. BTW, wwb I totally agree that Barnes is the one who really screwed Stallings. Clearly, he would have been given an additional year to turn things around under Barnes.

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  8. Barnes didn’t screw Stallings. Barnes screwed Pitt. And he had plenty of help from the chancellor, BOT and the legal team the all wrote and/or agreed to that contract. All complete morons.

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      1. The “cause” is for NCAA recruiting violations. Do you think Hurley wants to walk into that mess?

        My guess is he stays at Vermont.

        Georgia reports are surfacing that they will part ways with HC Mark Fox. Sorry JoeKnew…

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    1. This is why we can’t wait too long for the hire. It has to be done by the start of the Tournament.

      UConn can have Hurley IMO….

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  9. That was an assistant coaches wife and good point Pittman, supposedly and I see no reason to doubt that. Much like the article on Narduzzi hiring a high school stars father this is again much to do about nothing. She lets us all what we have in this area and we should all stop and smell the roses once in awhile.

    If it does take PITT some time to hire a new coach it could mean that the prospective coach may be still involved in the big dance. << This not 100% a good thing. PITT can’t afford to put their eggs in one basket and wait on someone who may not come, like Hurley.

    FWIW, Hair Walsh claims that Hurley in on top of the PITT wish list.

    I agree with Reed when statements like, it’s going to be a war on Saturday afternoon, are made. That’s a lot dramatic for me. ike

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  10. Amen Reed. I don’t know how that statement could be read any other way but to each his own.

    It’s odd that PSN, which I think even loyal readers would say is typically overly supportive of Pitt, is so supportive of Stallings. It’s also amusing that Vukovcan seemingly singled out the fans and their lack of support as cause for Pitt’s sorry record for the past two seasons and Stallings’s inability to recruit top tier talent. He then shows his pettiness by criticizing Dixon’s work at TCU (which isn’t at all relevant). What a bitter pr…

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    1. there’s no question PSN is a big cheerleader. I do read it however because it provides info on Pitt. I read a handful of blogs/twitters and then make my own mind up as to what I agree with or not

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  11. PSN has been acting strange with the Stallings stuff. He was a disaster. But I think there is some truth to it all. Pitt fans just brutalize their coaches and act as if we are Alabama or Kentucky.

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  12. Maybe your best piece EVER … spoken from the ❤️….Read the other day where males are becoming less masculine, lower testasyerome levels… not our leader- locked and loaded.
    Like many of you I was raised with a mom who stayed home and a Dad who went off to Woodings Verona Tool Works in Oakmont each day for 40 years never making more than $25 k a year including overtime. Dicksock ( Love that UPitt word) becomes an instant multimillionaire even if he never worked a day in his life before landing here.

    Again, Reed a superlative piece. I can skip church tomorrow.

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    1. Soy Boys…. lol

      Yeah, I grew up in Verona (8th Street & Center Ave.) and my dad worked at the Verona Works in the ’50’s and early ’60’s. He went to college on a scholarship to Xavier after playing football at Central Catholic, so he got to move up to sales, and later inspected steel castings. He grew up in Bloomfield and his dad left the family when he was about 12. Zero money….he had one sister.

      I always worked blue collar jobs and never made more than 40K (except for 20% pension added each year). I’m 68 and still work part time as a serviceman. I never went to Pitt but was always a big fan because my dad was a big fan growing up in the area and he took me to games. We had little money (big family) and I couldn’t play ball, so….off to work.

      I get tired of hearing about these coaches and athletes who want millions more “so they can take care of their families” whining crap. Do your job or get fired like the rest of us.

      I recently heard Patriot’s players whining about how Belichick is running things like a dictator….I never met a boss who didn’t. Rant over…..

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  13. Reed, so proud to know you personally. Maybe your finest work! I don’t think you went far enough.

    I would suggest that most folks offering the Pitt hate for “daring” to fire for cause …are not business folks or they are academics or government employees.

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  14. I pretty much agree with Reeds take. In fact, I have been questioningPSNs slant on this firing since it happened. Vucovan was a huge proponent of keeping him. His writing reflected that, always pointed out the best, never real problems. Then a mysterious unsigned letter appears. I actually am that cynical.

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  15. The really sad part is that Barnes could have given Stallings a year-to-year contract for a million per year and he would have jumped on it. What options, what bargaining strength could he possibly have had????

    Can he be charged with impersonating a high-level BB Coach??

    Go Pitt.

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    1. Then who is the idiot(are the idiots) that thought his “impersonation” was good enough that it warranted a nice contract and spectacular buyout clause?

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  16. I will never understand why Pitt gave Stallings a 6 year deal. This guy was at the end of the road, when job security should not be a factor (he didn’t even move his family). Without looking at the contract it is hard to tell, but it seems Stallings extracted some huge concessions from Barnes and Pitt before agreeing to the contract. That $10 million buyout seems high for this type of long term deal, and I suspect guys like Fraud and even Narduzzi had much lower buy outs..

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  17. I’m just glad the shoe salesman is gone. Back to Tennessee to see his wife who never moved to Pittsburgh. Looking forward to the new hire in hopefully a week or two.

    Also looking forward to Spring training and football.

    Fit is so important with these hires.

    And how this new coach will get Pitt back to respectability and NCAA appearances. What is his recruiting plan because Pitt needs talent to compete more than good coaching.

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  18. Bryce Drew having a ton of success recruiting at Vanderbilt. Two 5* studs and one 4*. He has the #8 class for 2018.

    Drew was my choice 2 years ago when Barnes brought in Stallings. I’m not making a choice this time. Opie Taylor from Mayberry would be a better choice than KS. Good riddance.

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  19. I’m a little worried at the amount of publicity this dispute with Stallings is getting. I said all along that they should just write the check (painful, I know) and tell Stallings to just move along. Although, they are claiming “just cause” in the Ollie firing ss well, so maybe this is the only leverage these schools have. We can only hope that the Ollie firing drags on past the Pitt termination so that UConn cannot hire someone ahead of Pitt.

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  20. Should mention that the UConn “just cause” situation is based on some NCAA inquiries into illegal workouts. So it is not the same as what Pitt is claiming…

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  21. Nationwide it’s almost a non issue. The news cycle goes by so quickly. I agree, Pitt should just keep its mouth shut. K.s and his lackey Colin ?Dunlop and the rest on the fan will try to keep it going, but it will soon be replaced by something else. No one cares nationally.
    I really wish we could do something about those smacks on the Fan. I certainly don’t think we shouldn’t be criticized, but taking constant cheap shots would not be tolerated in any other college football or bb market. Someone should have the juice to get them to at least be objective. Only ones who are are Starkey and Muller. At least they are fair.

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    1. Pitt has kept quiet. I hope you mean, should remain silent.

      Your sentence insinuates that Pitt is blabbing about the subject, but they are not. Unless I’m missing something by living in Central PA. Enlighten me please.

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  22. VOR – Pitt actually looks strong in this firing IMO.

    The media in Pittsburgh is made up of non-Pitt grads – some are psux, hoopies, cuse, nd, etc. They are the ones keeping this going and the knuckleheads at PSN are going right along with them.

    When was the last Pro-Pitt article in the Post-Gazette?

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    1. here is more fuel for the fire. Narduzzi was on The Fan the other day and was asked several questions including one about the future of Pitt-PSU. He said Heather really tried to extend it but PSU didn’t want to.
      So with all of the questions that he answered, the PG headline was that “Narduzzi says PSU doesn’t want to play Pitt” (Of course they don’t – they will sellout for NW Directional ST)

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  23. Some disagreements – Although Reed’s logic and general sentiment is valid, I think if you simply read the assistant coach’s wife’s comment at face value, then some of our comments are over-the-top harsh. We all have bad days, lighten up Francis. Also, the supposed ‘bad press’ regarding the Stallings contract dispute is irrelevant, we need to do what we can to save money if we feel we have cause and not be myopic. Good discussions though…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Starting to think that Matta is out of the picture, and if we don’t hear something soon, it might mean that we are in for a long wait on a coaching announcement. Any chance that Chris Mack would move to the ACC? I really like him and Musselman at Nevada.

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  25. Nationally, the story has just pivoted, UConn firing Ollie for cause will replace us. Only the local dimwits will keep it going.

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  26. Spot on Reed.

    Now if that letter was signed I’d lend it some credence – but as it stands IMHO it is nothing but a passive aggressive hit piece by a spoiled brat with a knife to grind.

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  27. I am sure the letter was heartfelt and her true opinion. Life must be difficult for assistant coaches wives. Husband gone most of the time, not great pay, and little security until they are with an established program.

    But this situation had very little to do with the fans, other than they don’t show up when a team is on a historic losing streak. Pittsburgh fans may be a little more spoiled than most, we do own a significant number of Championships, and even though that does not include Pitt in modern history it does taint the local gene pool.

    However, there is nothing in his resume to make anyone think that Stallings would ever preside over a winner, let alone a Championship team, which realistic or not is the only thing that will satisfy most Pitt Fans.

    Even Jamie was roundly criticized for his Tournament resume.

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  28. Guys and Ladies, before you go crazy about Stallings not moving his family to Pittsburgh, remember that our AD’s family has not moved here either after a year on the job. If Stallings had alternative motives for not moving, what say the group about Lyke’s motivations for not doing so? Let the excuse makers start trying to differentiate the two in 5, 4, 3,….

    I don’t care for Lyke too much. She is not a P5 AD at this point and has done nothing to change my thoughts through her first year. Firing Stallings was not a difficult decision. He didn’t win ANY ACC games and coached us to 19 losses in a row. The players could have matched that record without any coaching. I never liked Stallings. I never liked Barnes even more. And, I never liked Pederson even more than that. There is one common thread, the Pitt Administration. Chancellor and Board are in the wrong business, and it is a business.

    This isn’t negativity. To the coaches spouse, I would suggest that she take an “as objective a look” as you can and write about the positives out of these hires and records. You need to know where you were, before you can address where you are and where you are going. You just can’t say this is where we are going because frankly, it’s not believable, based on where you actually are. There were no signs of improvement. In fact, quite the opposite.

    Dilly dilly.

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    1. ” the Pitt Administration. Chancellor and Board are in the wrong business”

      According to the WSJ – if you even know what that is – has Pitt in the top-60 of all colleges. Apparently the Pitt chancellor and board are in the right business and succeed quite well in that business – education.

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  29. An anonymously written diatribe has as much credence as an anonymously written blog post.
    As for assistants being poorly paid…they aren’t living off stale bread and water.
    Plus, go find another job if touring the country, watching men-boys play a game is too much to handle.
    Many folks live on commissions; ours was an ACC 0 n 18. How many cars, boats and square yards of carpet equate with that?
    Point your jaded finger at Pittsburghers all you want…but only because you are unwilling to point it at yourself.

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  30. Meant to post this yesterday but it’s as valid today as yesterday.

    A Big SHOUT OUT to Pitt fans for staying away from the catastrophe that was Pitt bball at the Pete this year.
    Unlike Pirate fans who continue to go to PNC Park regardless of the garbage product put on the field.

    By bringing attendance down to the 20 to 30% level of capacity, this forced Pitt administrators to come to their senses and make a change that had to be made.

    Cudos to the Pitt Fan base for recognizing a turd when they saw it !!

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    1. This should be a lesson in group defiance success for all the Pirate fans who still think they have a chance this year….

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  31. All D5 BB coaches love to live it up at the Final Four. We should know a lot more by then with the scandal rumors flowing freely. Maybe the FBI will be there.

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  32. Look, I spent 33 years surround by enlisted folks who had wives (and husbands) and children and who were paid about a tenth of what a college assistant coach makes and those wonderful people had to deal with lengthy deployments missing birthdays, holidays and family member hospitalizations…and then literally pack and move their families thousands of miles away upon a phone call.

    And some of those spouses became widows because of the job. Yes, they were volunteers, but for a greater good and something a hell of a lot more important than basketball.

    Nobody twisted this lady’s husband to go into sports and coaching, so she needs to suck it up and deal with it… That letter was an insult wrapped in a silk covering and sprayed all over with Yuppie privilege.

    If you can’t take the heat get into a non-public profession where your work isn’t reviewed by people you don’t know. Don’t write anonymous letters accusing others for your man’s shortcomings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was probably the one who recruited a kid who avg’d 3 ppg at an unknown junior college.

      Otis probably put whoever wrote that trash, up to it.

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    1. Herman needs to be (Wayne) Tinkled on ! Btw the Herman’s Hermits got trounced in that game 61-48 and they finished 3rd from last in the worst P5 bball conference.

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      1. He’ll be joining KS on the permanent unemployment line soon enough. No one will hire this clown after what he did to Pitt basketball. It’s common knowledge about the search firm he hired.

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  33. Stallings may be a good person and maybe he sent many years as such. But at Pitt he wasn’t. and we are speaking to that. He doesn’t have the street cred to carry any sympathy from Pitt, fans and media. He was hired by a AD who didn’t make an honest effort to hire the best candidate. He was given terms that no other P5 program would have come close to offering. He didn’t act in good faith to rebuild the program. He recruited badly and no top player would even consider him as a coach to play for. He needed to go as he simply didn’t keep his end of the bargain. But then again that was never a consideration as his selling points were lip service and he never intended to really have a ACC caliber program. It was a bad hire because he took the job under a false pretense.

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    1. Thanks, outstanding comment – I’ve been trying to put my thoughts about the entire 2 year KS ordeal at Pitt into words that didn’t come across as a wild conspiracy theory or paint me as a bitter looney fanboy – you have done it for me. Well spoke.

      H2P

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  34. I think the general theme of the wife was that ‘words matter’, they affect people, so be accountable and respectful of how you use them, etc. If that was part of her intent, and I think it was, then it’s a very valid point. Sports is awesome, but keep things in perspective. James Connor taught us that, and some of us already forgot the lesson. And as far as writing anonymously, I think that was smart, it’s a free country, and all the power to her. I also disagree that she couldn’t take the heat, she was just sharing her insight, whoever she was, like we do here on silly blogs like this.

    Emel – I agree that people staying away from the awful bb product was impactful. I suspect some were sending a message, but many others were just exercising their rights in a free market economy. We’ve said it many times, Pittsburgh is an great city with a lot to do, if the product is bad, people stay way and find something else to do, so you have to produce for people to come to games.

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  35. Wonder if there is any way to compare Stallings Pitt contract to other coaches to compare records/resumes at that expense level?

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  36. “NCAA Division I Basketball

    In NCAA Division I basketball, a number of men’s and women’s teams are nationally known, with top winning schools paying assistant coaches high salaries. For example, as of 2013, assistant coaches for the Michigan men’s basketball team make base annual salaries of $155,000 to $160,000. At the University of Connecticut, the primary assistant women’s basketball coach makes about $250,000 in base salary. A study by Marquette University also shows that pay for men’s football and basketball assistant coaches are affected by the school’s success on the field or court.”

    Assistant Basketball Coach Salaries

    Job Title Salary
    Wagner College Assistant Basketball Coach $36,263
    University at Buffalo Athletics Assistant Basketball Coach $65,178
    North Greenville College Assistant Basketball Coach $35,918

    I’ll venture to say Pitt Ass’t coaches make at least double the University at Buffalo’s salaries…maybe triple which would be well above $150K per year.

    Cry me a river or three.

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  37. I didn’t take the letter as an attack or diatribe against the locals. Was it necessary, I guess not. A little too suggestive, maybe. Vicious, c’mon of course not.. Could she have wrote a letter like this from many different parts of the country? I think so.

    As innocent as it was to me, maybe she could have faded into the distance. I took the letter as explaining to everyone that she thought that PITTsburgh was and continues to be built by special people. I guess that is how a person would take the letter who is a little more positive.

    Hey we can all have our own takes on the letter. I certainly don’t see the middle finger waving at all of us and she waves goodbye.

    She sent a letter to Pittsburgh like Maria typed and sent off to the bosses wife, she’s off to start a new life.

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    1. That’s because you don’t read between the lines Ike. This singular sentence is her absolving her husband of all responsibility in his own failures…

      To every Pittsburgh sports fan out there who has used their voice to spread negativity, it is time to realize that the only thing standing in your way of achieving the greatness you so strongly desire for your city and your team…is yourself.”

      Sorry but that is misdirection at best and insulting to the taxpayers and tuition payers who actually paid her husband’s salary while at Pitt and was what allowed her to live in that ‘small house in Bloomfield’…a part of the city that few can afford to live in these days.

      My God…would she have even mentioned that if she wasn’t waving it around as a symbol of wealth? The median home cost in Bloomfield is $288K as of today. The average home cost in all of Pittsburgh is $130K.

      I’d love to know exactly what this woman did while living ‘in Bloomfield’ that made an actual difference in Pittsburghers’ lives?

      Look, that was an anonymous letter written to make herself feel better about what happened, pure and simple.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. 1618mt,
    Writing anonymously is not smart…..it merely lacks integrity and forthrightness.
    By the way, this is Pittman4ever.
    If someone doesn’t have the fortitude to say the words are their own spare everyone else their valuable time and don’t write at all.

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  39. Otis should have retired 2 years ago. The never was, was washed up after 20 years or whatever at Vanderbilt.

    And this retiring now statement is because NOBODY would hire the clown, so he’s saving face.

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  40. This kid that de-committed was the 4th leading scorer on his juco team. And at only 6’1″ tall was not a good 3 point shooter. So no loss there at all on the de-commit. Just another one of Otis’s D3 caliber recruits.

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      1. Glad you brought that up, Reed.I wanted to ask you when we might see that article about the QB’s and your Intel on Town? After all these teases inquiring minds want to know!

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  41. JPK… grew up in Apollo… played my last football game against the Oaks.. think Oakmont and Verona merged either in 70 or ‘71….I graduated in the 1st Apollo-Ridge class

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  42. No need to apologize PT. Reading between the lines is a great concept. We have to remember that there really isn’t any words between those lines though. It’s an exercise in interpretation. I didn’t take the piece as fiction but rather what the woman wanted to say.

    As far as being anonymous, well she said she was an asst coaches wife that lived in Bloomfield. Hardly anonymous for anyone who’s interested in looking into her identity any further. Plus how is she to post her name after telling everyone her husband was a coach? She was nothing more than a game show host leaving us with some parting gifts. When does football start. ike

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  43. PT, I have a general article about the quarterbacks that I’ll put up tomorrow morning. But I have a in-depth one about Ricky town that I’m still working on it might be a two or three parter so that’s going to be something that I’ll do during spring practices or maybe afterwards but I’m doing an awful lot of research and phone calls on that

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  44. Well, Forget Grant. Georgia just fired Fox, and they will be all over him. Unless they make a major blunder and hire Crean, Grant is off the market, sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Pittman4ever, I disagree, no problem with anonymous writing with me. Without knowing her situation, how can you judge that? If it makes you feel good to have a “name” besides your post, have at it.

    Very much looking forward to Reed’s article on the QB position. I’ve seen enough to believe he’s the best there is at it, and we’d be fortunate to have access to his insights. I believe its in the best interest of the program for Pickett to win the job, and I suppose I’m very confident he’ll do it, but I try my best to always be open to new info. At the very least, I hope the juco is a solid backup and provides competition.

    Like

  46. I’m a bit worried about Heather’s experience at hiring a top notch coach for a major sport. She may be an attorney, and a good AD at a mid-major program, but can she hold her own with the ADs at Georgia, UConn and other major schools that have been battling in the P5 arena for sometime? Settling the Stallings contract can be handed off to the attorneys to negotiate the best exit deal, but bringing in the new guy will take some savvy and ability to handle fluid situations and ultimatums.

    Like

    1. from earlier today
      “I’m a little worried at the amount of publicity this dispute with Stallings is getting.”

      You’re becoming the Voice of Worry 🙂

      If you are a Pitt person you should be ecstatic that Stallings is gone.

      Like

  47. Problem is ?Hurley and Grant are perfect geographic matches for UConn and UGA. Always said it was not should we but rather could we. Now we will look at lesser coaches. Now I will root for Mattas health.

    Like

  48. Even thought I disagree with much of it, I’m not going to demonize the lady fro writing the letter. Heck, this may well have been the best job and location that her husband and her ever had, and she is upset. I wish her very well.

    Like

      1. Bloomfield must have really changed since I left. Unless she was a regular at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Del’s or Lombardozzi’s or the Pleasure Bar.

        Like

  49. Reed please explain why you need to read between the lines on her post. It was written anonymously so if she wanted to rip or insult people she had no reason to hold back seeing there was no name tied to it. I read your comments and others and to me it seems that you all are looking for things to get fired up about. Sitting here ripping her just validates what she is trying to say imo.

    Like

    1. JJ, I don’t need to do anything.

      What I read was a thinly-veiled attempt to place the blame for her husband’s and the coaches’ shortcomings onto the fans in the city of Pittsburgh. It’s pretty obvious to me what she wanted to say and she couched it in terms that were going to first stroke the Pittsburgh fan’s egos and second , point the finger of blame around right at them. Which is patently ridiculous.

      She should have said what she really wanted to say right up front – that’s all.

      I don’t have much patience with people who get paid way above their worth to society just to then bite the hands that feed them.

      If she wanted to send a love letter to the city and its people then she could do so without the attempt to tell people how to live their lives. If she wanted to scold or enlighten then she should write a letter or essay and be up front with it.

      I’ll invite her to do so via this media if she chooses, but as I well know, when you put thoughts out for all to see, and that is exactly what she did, then you will get feedback, rebuttals and some criticism if warranted. This is what doing something publicly entails.

      Like

  50. Lots to comment on with this piece….

    Reed: ONE of your best efforts ever. Hands down. Straight from your gut.
    I’m no fan of Stallings as a coach. He never should have been hired. He neither coached nor recruited well. But he really did try to rebuild the program the right way by bringing in young players and starting from the ground up. Unfortunately the players he brought in weren’t very good and didn’t have any juniors or seniors to lean on. But maybe I’m in the minority on this, but I loved his comeback to the Louisville fans who were heckling our kids. I understand the perspective of those who believe that he should have just kept his trap shut. But for me, I loved to see that he had his player’s backs. And considering how bad the season went, I think he generally handled himself with class. Now about that nitter tie….
    Pitt and ADHL need to be very careful. I understand not wanting to pay the whole buyout. But blame Barnes and Gallagher and whoever else for the buyout number, not Stallings. I’d just say kudos to Stallings reps for negotiating such a deal. This nonsense of “dismissal for cause” for the Louisville comments is ridiculous considering that there was no punishment, reprimand or even a public statement from the AD at the time that it occurred. Now if there are other issues that we don’t know about, then that is different (travel to see his son play baseball?). Clean this mess up quickly, otherwise you have no hope of getting a quality coach to come in and take over. Who wants to step in to the worst program in power 5 hoops, with the added bonus of an administration who wants to smear you on the way out the door to save a few million. Not that I’m confident we’ll make the right hire regardless.

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  51. I will say establishing a folder and documenting the infractions are the way you must go. Basic. We do not know if these things were addressed and there was some type of internal discipline. It well could have occurred, and if kept internal then kudos for doing it right. We have no idea. One would hope if the Louisville incident was the cause to start the documentation it would follow there was more to come, but again, no one knows.

    Like

    1. But was anything he said or did at Louisville cause for discipline or reprimand anyway? It’s one thing to document it, but if it has no teeth anyway, what’s the point?

      Like

  52. Oh, Emel, row houses in Lawrenceville are going for 225,000. Garfield and East Liberty are also hot spots. If you’ve been away for awhile it’s sure changed!

    Like

  53. I’ve read that letter multiple times now. I really hate to say it, but who publishes an unsigned letter supposedly from an assistants wife. If unsigned, how does he even know it’s really from a coaches wife? Seriously, how does he know. And if he does, don’t you think he should put in how it was verified. Crime, it could have been written by Upitt or Vuc himself!

    Like

  54. But Matta, Hurley, and the Nevada guy are still in the market. I’ll take any of them. There might be another two more in the mix. A pool of five is fine.

    Like

  55. I really do not care if we get a big name coach. Our best coaches were the ones who came in and did the right things to make a good team. KS messed up the players we had in his first year and then did not make any progress with the players throughout this year. We simply need a good team coach.

    Like

    1. Those kind take years to get recruits to trust them and build a program….we don’t have 5-10 years. Big names start right away. We are on the cusp of being BC or De Paul. Remember, they once had a great coach and good basketball program too.

      Liked by 1 person

  56. I will give a different slant on reading between the lines. Read between the lines of Stallings retiring. Those are words funny. Who thinks he is really retiring? He and his counsel are using that term to maximize the buyout amount. Read between the lines.

    By retiring, he doesn’t need to search for a new position in good faith. If he doesn’t retire, he needs to make an effort to secure employment (i.e. Matta). The contractual legal term is “cover”. He can and probably will un-retire the minute his payoff checks clear. It’s contract negotiation 101. Pitt needed to be smarter than this and should have demoted him to a position/title that kept him at Pitt, but limited all coaching interaction such as special assistant to the AD. After about 6 months of punching a clock and working 8-5 everyday, with no frequent flier miles, he would have quit on his own.

    I say that without looking at his contract, but a well written contract has a clause at the end which reads “and all other duties as assigned by the AD”. That is very broad wording, so read between those lines.

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  57. This may be the longest off season for PITT football in my memory.

    Isn’t reading between the lines of an anonymous letter some form of an oxy moron?

    I hear that Ricky Town can really spin the ball?

    Is Carson Van Lynn still with the PITT football team?

    I wouldn’t think Stallings can say he’s retiring while recouping his buyout and then work right away. Most contracts have a good faith clause. lol, look what I just said. good faith.. lol! ike

    Like

  58. Tough question Gasman. These kids seem really tight to me. Another thing I liked about the group. I can see them all leaving or all staying together. Hard to say right now, I think the next coach will have a say in the matter. I think the top six could help any team down the road as long as most of them are role players. Example Kam Davis reminds so much of Jaron Brown.

    As we all know, all three Dixon commits de-committed when KS was hired and all 3 ended up staying… . then leaving after one year. Carr, Brown, Stewert and Stevenson will get better. I know Dan says no but they are way young with signs of a few positives for being so young. Chukwuku? and JJF will stay for his one last year.

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  59. wow, some of you guys are brutal, assuming the worst in people… Have a cold one….

    Ike, I could be wrong, but I don’t think Town started for his Juco team, I’m not suggesting he doesn’t have raw talent, but most of that is based on those of us enamored with star ratings, who don’t have the time to actually research players. I just hope he’s a solid backup, Pickett like to run outside the pocket, so we may need him to play next year.

    Like

  60. I was talking football.

    But on the subject of hoops, Luther had a nice team statement regarding KS. Very classy. Despite the record, our players, and coaches, exhibited class throughout this mess.

    Like

    1. Very true. At no point did things boil over. Which is shocking to some degree. Zero for the conference season has potential for Chernobyl, but somehow the coaches and kids rose above the gloom.

      Like

  61. LOL Gasman, see what’s happened to my brain?

    That’s a tough question as well. There has already been a big turn over with the roster. In the recent past we usually find out some surprises the day before spring ball starts (tomorrow) so I’m expecting something soon. I’m just hoping better news than the past two years when the boom was lowered.

    Seriously I can’t find an updated roster and which players are on scholarship or not.

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  62. 1618, that was just a teaser. I have little clue how the young man throws the ball but his career was a little strange. I’ll add this, when we all think of jr college, they are not the same as jr football colleges, there are some schools that are football surrogates so to speak. So I don’t know how much shame we can put on players not being starters on their team.

    Like

  63. seniors yes. better coaching…hell yes
    and their frosh are better than our frosh
    buffalos players are far better than pitts
    they are 1 star recruits playing in the mac
    coach and players much better
    they would beat pitt 80-40
    i remember when pitt beat buffalo by that score back in the mobley days
    pitt is a mac team with Stallings
    i’m glad that jerk is gone. and he is one regardless of what luther says
    no coach who threatens to kill a player
    who mouths off to fans
    who prevents a player from transfering
    who doenst engage the fans
    who wears nitter ties and rockport shoes
    and who thinks he deserves a full $10M buyout
    thats a jerk in my book

    Like

  64. Sheldon Jeter has nothing but good words to say about Stallings.I think he may know a little more about the guy than people on blogs do.

    Like

  65. Tx posted “who wears nitter ties and rockport shoes” You got me shaking my head. You are better than saying something as dumb as that.

    Like

  66. That’s ok Dan, that’s what I do. plus I get a little upset with things said on here that my grandchildren are to smart to say

    Another rumor I heard. Miller reached out to PITT?? Just passing that along.

    Like

  67. Bad Bad Turbulence so if I go down I want it known on the POV that Ike would defend Satan himself.
    4-32 and you defend him, the loser asst coach wife letter writer, Narduzzi even when you shouldn’t, The Entire Pitt Basketball MAC Level Roster. I haven’t posted for weeks and 3 out of 5 posts you make digs at me about Heather Lyke amongst other items. Quit talking about me indirectly. No response it isn’t needed. Just be real and when you say good things people would actually take them serious. Defending that Turd Rockports is beyond even you.

    Like

  68. Welcome back Upitt and I do hope your plane stays up in the air until it’s time to land. Not defending Stalling one bit. No need to read between the lines. Disagreed with the hire from day one, disagreed with the way he was hired by the search committee ties to Barnes, disagreed with his contract, also disagreed with his coaching. << or lack of.

    I also have posted here many times I hope PITT pays him the least amount they have to. I know what a contract is though and you don’t pay the man because of the tie he wears or what type of shoes are on his feet. I’m super happy he’s gone and hope Heather the non puppet gets the next coaching hire right. Which I think she will. fingers crossed.

    Like

    1. Thank You Ike.

      Still up but bad stuff.

      I was wrong on Heather having balls and being a puppet. She has fight. Let’s see how she does here. Baseball 1-2 in ACC. Not playing anymore rent a wins. Maybe Heather can purge all the underperforming coaches.

      They have some reasons to fire in their pocket I’m sure. He will settle for 5M or he can give 40% to his lawyer. If I went 4-32 I have pride. I would say keep it I didn’t earn it.

      Like

  69. PS Upitt, glad you got some balls to post me directly tonite, as you have some backing this evening from some that are pissed at me.. BTW, I always speak the truth. or what I believe is the truth…. Happy Landings.. ike

    Like

  70. Welcome back UPitt

    Seriously Ike. Stop defending stallings. I can be childish if I want to by commenting on his ties and shoes.

    But if my coach told me he’s going to kill me, I’d land his butt in jail. Hes a bad character guy. And he prevented jeters transfer out of spite for Dixon. I don’t want to talk about him anymore.

    My support is behind our new coach if hired properly unlike last time. And KS knew it.

    Like

  71. Back to thin skin freak show on the POV again.

    Oddly enough, maybe I’m the idiot but I see merit in both Reed’s position AND Ike’s about the assistant’s wife. I lean to thinking passive aggressive like someone above says(JoeKnew?) and I think I might be more upset she wrote it and it got published….IF I ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT HER. I don’t, it comes with the territory of an assistant coaches position. That said, I am glad Stallings is gone and his assistants whoever they were, and if Pitt saves a dollar trying to reduce the buyout then great.

    All that really matters now is who they hire and then how that coach is supported by the University and the fans. If. that doesn’t happen fully, Pitt may get lucky to catch lightning with someone, but the article Reed linked by Mike DeCourcy in the PPG Meyer article, lays it out well. Pitt needs to hire someone with a plan as to how Pitt will proceed over the next several years with their full support.

    Truth is, I was willing to give Stallings a chance, he did not show signs of achieving anything whatsoever and considering the way it was orchestrated by Barnes kind of poisoning the waters, that chance may not have ever really existed.

    Now if someone here even starts to defend Barnes, I will shoot first and respond to questions later.

    Like

  72. I’d rather do a 3 way with Ike and a Longhorn on live TV than see that triple xxx pumpkin head bafoom in person. He is scum in an Oakland alley behind Mitchell’s tavern circu 1998

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Emel, I’m the voice of worry because I have NO FAITH that Pitt will not screw up this BB coaching situation big time. And frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of hearing about this coaches wife’s letter. Who gives a crap? We don’t even have a name of the writer, so its a non-issue written by a coward who wouldn’t leave a name. That letter is good for a__ wipe and nothing else. I think Upitt would even agree once he gets out of the clouds that this letter is a pile of crap that deserves no time. Oh sorry, Upitt, I guess I’m talking about you indirectly and it might hurt your feelings 😦

    Like

    1. Hey don’t worry, I understand Randy Juhl is gonna be involved. And the other part…whaaaaaaaaaaat

      I didn’t make more than a couple word comment about the stupid anon letter. It was probably some nitter or hoopie who wants to disenfranchise Pitt fans from Pittsburgh itself. That’s the gist of it that I got.

      Like

  74. Just watched the movie “I Tanya” tonight . I think it’s safe to say that Scott Barnes “gilloulied” the Pitt Basketball program.

    Like

  75. Great post Reed. It was very much needed and welcome. To some others…all I can say is wow. I’m not naming names here, but if you can’t read between the lines, you must get used and abused on a daily basis. That’s what people do, especially in the office.You have to be able to understand that and react to it in kind or you get steamrolled.

    Glad you’re back, Upitt. Couldn’t picture myself saying that 2 years ago, but whatever.

    Like

    1. What one must remember panther94, Pitt blogs. sites and article comment sections on newspaper websites and basically anywhere…….. get constantly trolled by pedo nitters and hoopie hillbillies (couldn’t get admitted to Pitt).
      We must be ever vigilant.

      And Welcome Back my son Upitt……!

      VeV

      Like

  76. I have no dog in the BB fight because I really don’t follow it that closely, but I do follow AD Lykes’ work as it affects Pitt on the whole. What I don’t really get is the fans praising Lyke for firing Stallings. To me there was no real decision making there at all – it just absolutely had to be done and would have been done by anyone occupying that office.

    The real test for her will be the next BB hire and then – maybe the ultimate test for a Pitt AD – what she will do if the football program stays at 5 or less wins in 2018 which may well happen. Four years of appraisal is the norm for a HC in football and if we stay down that is a referendum on Narduzzi’s ability to recruit D1 Power Five players.

    That will be a tough decision to make – regardless of any contract Narduzzi has. Contract extensions usually come with very discounted buy-out clauses so that won’t be a big consideration.

    Let’s hope he rebounds well back into the 7-9 win range but I’m not betting on that at this point.

    One thought on that letter in a roundabout way – we were discussing coaches and administrators who don’t move their families to PGH. Well, there is a valid reason for that and it is because Pitt is seen strictly as a stepping stone waypoint – and why move the family when you are almost sure you’ll be leaving with a year or two?

    I very much doubt we’ll see Lyke stay past year two or three.

    QB article up Sunday Morn…

    Like

    1. Hey Reed, we finally agree on something. See my comment 2:09pm on the 10th.

      Same thoughts on firing and moving to the burgh. Solid observations if I say so myself. The determining factor of AD success is when she and Gallagher/BoT conflict and she either backs down or rolls them. A very good to great AD rolls them and makes them think the whole thing was their idea in the first place. Time will tell, but not much time.

      Like

  77. In the past decade, the Pitt FB program was hijacked by the Pitt AD, and his successor hijacked the Pitt BB program. Heather is now on the clock; odds should be that she can’t do any worse … but then again, this is Pitt

    While big names abound, we have no idea which of the high profile candidates are really interested and how much money Pitt can offer. While a big name hire will give a needed shot in the arm, the new hire may well disappoint.

    While Narduzzi has been panned by many here, (and he has made his share of blunders not unexpected for a first time HC on a budget), he may have been the best viable candidate. If a mid level successful coach or an assistant at a big program is hired, we may be disappointed but it still may end up as a good choice.

    Chances are that no matter who is hired, we will need to be patient … unlike the Stallings’ hiring where the college BB world knows we were swindled immediately.

    Like

  78. PSN still mentioning Grant, Hurley, etc. That guarentees they aren’t actual candidates.

    I have seen multiple articles claiming Pitt is trying to not pay KS his buyout money but I have yet to see a named source. KS lawyers even said, “If the sources are correct…”

    Maybe I missed either camp saying it was fact.

    Like

  79. Howland was a successful, mid-level hire and Dixon was an assistant … and both hires were met with skepticism. Not saying that the new hire will turn out this successful, but ….

    Like

    1. Yes and that was before we were good and had the Pete. Now you hire winners. A CEO at a company doing 22M vs. 900M is a big difference.

      Like

  80. Reed, Heather did her job, nothing more or less. It was a very easy decision for the entire PITT administration. Although I think outside her doghouse list she’s made up for the x-BB coach she really has little to do with the buyout negotiations.

    Around PITT when an AD does something they are suppose to do to help a sports program it has become a very rare occasion and celebration is in order.

    Like

  81. I hate to say it but what name coach will come here? It will have to be someone like Howland that no one has heard of. Hopefully Heather and her team find an up and comer who can recruit and teach. Someone that has gravitas like Howland, who is a good public speaker.

    Her other problem is that if she has to pay more than she is paying Narduzzi she has a problem since Football is the cash cow and bigger job, at least it should be. The other reason to get an up and comer is no ridiculous buy out should be necessary.

    Like

    1. To me Pitt decided Basketball is more important. They pay coaches more than Football. They tore down the stadium for Basketball. Football rents a stadium. To me Pitt is/was a basketball school.

      Like

  82. The list of D1 college BB openings grew by at least 2 yesterday (UConn and UGA) – the competition Pitt will face with the next hire will factor into the decision as well.

    Matta would be quick, good and a proper fit if his health is ok. All other candidates will be waiting for tournament bids, better offers from schools other than Pitt and of course current contract reviews.

    I’m tempted to switch gears to FB – wait, I see Reed posted a QB article. Perfect timing…

    Like

  83. On last possible HC BB candidate post that no Pitt fans are talking about that I know of –

    Ron Hunter
    Why he makes sense: Hunter, the coach who fell out of his chair when Georgia State made its NCAA tournament run in 2014-15. Hunter has 405 career victories and has coached in the Sun Belt Conference for the last seven seasons. Hunter, 53, could be a stabilizing force for the program.

    Pat Kelsey
    Why he makes sense: Kelsey, 42, had kept Winthrop in the hunt in the Sun Belt Conference the last three seasons. The Eagles are 68-28 with a NCAA tournament appearance in that stretch. Kelsey is an up-and-coming coach who eventually will get a swing in a bigger conference.

    Welcome back UPitt – if you can make it to the Pitt Spring FB Game, we could golf, watch the Spring Game and take in a Pitt vs GT baseball game at Cost Field in a quick 3 day stretch.

    Like

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