April 27, 2018

Pitt Extends Contract of Director of Athletics Heather Lyke 

LINK: Pitt Extends Lyke Contract

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh has signed Director of Athletics Heather Lyke to a new six-year contract, which will keep her at the university through at least 2024, Chancellor Patrick Gallagherannounced today. The move reflects the university’s long-term commitment to strengthening its athletics programs under Lyke, who has just wrapped up her first year at Pitt.

“Heather is leading an ambitious charge to transform Pitt Athletics, and her success here is just beginning,” said Chancellor Gallagher. “I am thrilled that she will continue to push our athletics programs to new heights—and spur positive change for our student-athletes and our university community—for years to come.”

“I am grateful to Chancellor Gallagher and our Board of Trustees for their belief in me, our team and what we are building in Pitt Athletics,” Lyke said. “Their support is invaluable and every member of our department knows our university is committed to helping us construct a championship culture with the right people. I want to thank our university leadership for their belief in our vision of what Pitt Athletics is capable of achieving—athletically, academically, within our campus community and in the City of Pittsburgh.”

Since joining Pitt in March 2017, Lyke has recruited six new head coaches. Last month, she appointed Jeff Capel—who owns a championship pedigree as a former Duke player and coach under the iconic Mike Krzyzewski—as the new leader of the Pitt men’s basketball program. She also named highly regarded Florida State associate head coach Lance White as Pitt’s new women’s coach.

In addition to Capel and White, Lyke hired four other coaches this past year: women’s soccer’s Randy Waldrum, a two-time College Cup champion while at Notre Dame; wrestling’s Keith Gavin, a former NCAA champion at Pitt; gymnastics’ Samantha Snider, who led the Panthers back to NCAA Regional Championship competition for the first time in five years; and diving’s Katie Hazelton, who previously distinguished herself in leading the Duke Diving Club to unprecedented success.

Beyond recruiting top coaching talents, Lyke has outlined an ambitious goal of achieving championship results in each of the Panthers’ 19 intercollegiate sports. Her top priorities include bolstering the student-athlete experience and a culture of comprehensive excellence throughout Pitt Athletics. She also solidified the future of Pitt’s ascending football program by extending the contract of head coach Pat Narduzzi, who has directed the Panthers to signature wins over Clemson, Miami and Penn State during the past two seasons.

“It has been a tremendously rewarding and fun first year at Pitt,” Lyke said. “But the best part is we are just getting started. As proud as we are about our history and tradition, Pitt’s future can be even greater. We are highly motivated to usher in a new Golden Era for Pitt Athletics.

Also this:

Bethany Wagner has been named Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sport Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, it was announced by Pitt Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.

Here is a P-G article about the sit-down Lyke had with local media members…

421 thoughts on “PITT Extends AD Lyke’s Contract

  1. Heather has proven to be an outstanding hire. Better days ahead for all of Pitt’s teams and atheletes. Solid leadership is invaluable.

    Like

  2. I Lyke it, I Lyke it. But seriously, I really do like it. She really seems determined to PITT’s athletic programs on solid ground, appears to welcome input from fans like us, and perhaps most importantly, seems to have the administration buying in as well. H2P!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry if this is a double post, but my first post disappeared. I Lyke the move very much, and don’t like the picture at the top of this thread. Heather Lyke truly seems committed to putting PITT’s athletic programs on solid footing, to value the input of fans like us, and most importantly, to have the administration buying in. I know, ….some will say, that’s just doing her job, but it seems so refreshing to see, and apparently the administration thinks so too. H2P!

    Like

  4. Well, Upitt is once again proven right. Six new coaches in a year. You don’t need much time to figure out you had a dumpster fire. She probably started zeroing in on this very shortly into her being hired. Most everyone could see major changes were needed, her and Gallagher included.
    Might not have been as quick as some wanted, but really, 6 hires in a year is really quick. No long term evaluation needed here. Couple more may be coming! Nice to finally have an AD do their job!

    Like

  5. Is the extension due to accomplishment or the euphoria of hiring HCJC…a task she performed only after Gallagher unleashed the funds allowing her to do so?
    Her termination of Suzie, given her dismal record, poor recruiting, massive defections and player complaints was a no-brained. And only time will tell if hiring the smiley replacement will pan out.
    Finally, she extended 5-7 Pat, he with the inflexible coaching, absurd practice privacy and mediocre recruiting.
    It is easy to be on board after the basketball hire, but she is the one who brought u Fanta and let me present another award.
    Therefore, I will save my enthusiasm.
    Besides, we are comparing her to the disaster that was Herman. A gorilla in a leisure suit would look great, in comparison.

    Like

      1. The basketball team lost millions. The BoT realized that athletics need to be taken seriously. That’s a huge hole to overcome. Could have forced Pitt to cut programs.

        Plus when you’re at the bottom 20 percent in most programs each year and show little signs of improvement, you get a dress down from the ACC brass. Talk is cheap about that front porch. Actions show you are serious.

        Where are the funds coming from? Maybe some shadow boosters have been allowed to step in. Maybe there is greenlight to an ambitious fundraising initiative for athletics and not academics. Maybe Pitt is finally ok incurring debt to raise funds to improve athletics.

        Need to not forget that every time Pitt seems to be turning the corner in sports, the BoT yanks it back. Fear of booster influence. Fear of athletics getting more attention than academics. Fear of making an investment in the porch and the extra responsibilities it requires. Who knows. But something is changing and finally the AD can do the job of an AD without interference or sabatoge.

        Tex

        Like

        1. Looks like she’s better at raising donor funds too than recent AD’s. IMO she should be AD of the Year and the female recipient of the Dapper Dan Award next year.

          Like

  6. Gas, ya, there is no guarantee that the hires will pan out, only that they were needed. Only thing that took time was probably her securing the funding. She’s replaced most of the problem areas, the baseball program is probably still on a wait and see, one or two good years isn’t enough. Then you’d say what about the Duzz. I think we are married to this for awhile. And that’s because of the mess we had before. The football program is a long term fix. I would guess money for better assistants is the ongoing issue they will be addressing.

    Like

  7. I am hoping she has nothing but success. Pitt is at the very least showing a commitment to the Athletic Department which has been sorely needed for some time. She hit a home run which no one on this board saw coming. Within a very short period of time she changed attitudes, even UPitts, if only for a short period of time. She is addressing the culture of change that is needed. She is changing camera angles and getting the Pirates to cooperate. If she can get the Steelers on board with the camera angles and make Heinz more Pitt centric on Saturdays…The move of the student section is a good start.

    She is addressing the big and little things.

    Hail to Lyke

    Like

  8. Anyone walking in will quickly know based on the Trophy case that Pitt hasnt won anything of significance in over 40 years. Horrible competitiveness across most programs year in and out given Director Cup rankings.
    And facilities like Fitzgerald and Trees that are dinosaurs.

    An AD should hold coaches accountable for winning if the AD gives them the resources. In the past, AD’s were not quick to fire underperformers and/or set up coaches for failure.

    I like excellence across all programs as the goal. But again, it will take the right coaches, very good recruiting and very good facilities.

    Hence the plan for that 3000 seat venue. But no timelines or money figures have been publicly disclosed. Heather will need to probably raise at least half the funds via donations. I figure the rest will be financed via low cost debt but glad no student fees will be required…as of now.

    One of an AD’s primary jobs is to raise funds. Programs need money to hire ‘expensive’, experienced coaches and to have modern facilities to attract recruits and to be worthy of ACC membership. I would love to see some specific details on fundraising campaigns. I dont see why Pitt can create separate committees for each sport led by a popular former player to raise money for their program.

    I’m still concerned about football recruiting. If Pitt cannot get 4 stars, it will continue to be mediocre and attendance will hover around 40k each year. Football has to generate a profit since it supports all the other programs which breakeven at best. Basketball should also generate profits in most years despite taking a $20M dollar hit last year…buyout plus lost revenues (damage to brand incalculable) I think that really woke the BoT up to the importance of good coaches and attendance.

    Like

  9. To piggy back on the last topic about missing out on local recruits. I beieve it’s less a recruiting problem and more a stability concern. This tweet also exemplifies the reasons Pitt has not been able to get beyond mediocre.

    Imagine what Pitt can do with good, consistent leadership? We’ve been able to stay afloat thru all those AD’s and HC turnover.

    Like

  10. It seems absurd to me to not offer a 4 star (ruling out problem kids, of course) just because of some flimsy idea that he might not come to Pitt anyway, or that Pitt should stay focused on one area or only on kids who initially want to come to Pitt. Pitt cannot know what is in a kid’s mind and what is important to him without some type of contact. So you start by recruiting all 300 4 stars, and then work the list down as the kid’s thought process becomes apparent. There are thousands of alumni across the country (including relatives of these kids) who may have an influence on a kid that is not known to the coaching staff. (How did Browne end up at Pitt from California?) It doesn’t take a huge investment to contact every 4 star, have a conversation, maybe have a local “representative” visit him, and then rule him in or out. Isn’t that what the recruiting coordinators are supposed to do?

    Like

    1. Sorry but offering all 4 stars is a ridiculous exercise in futility. It is like getting junk mail, It is just annoying, and wastes peoples time and energy. If you are wasting your time doing things that don’t get results, you will not be successful. I agree that a phone call or a visit is justified to judge potential interest. But when we hear poor follow-up with interested parties it speaks to poor organization. If you are missing the low hanging fruit while trying to grab the brass ring you are not doing your job.

      Recruiting resources are obviously not infinite, you need to use your time and money wisely to get the best results. There are also plenty of three stars that are better fits, have more potential and will beat out many four stars. Wasting your time on guys you have no chance with is time lost in getting the ones that may come.

      Like

  11. I like that she had the “guts” to make the change in the women’s basketball program. Getting rid of Stallings was a no brainer, but getting rid of an under achieving legend was difficult. Susie did a fine job at Duquesne, but something did not click at Pitt.
    Hopefully we will Lyke the new hires.

    Like

  12. I have written about this before and I’ll post it here again… that there was a conversation at lunch with a long-term Pitt football guy and he mentioned the terrible problems we had in recruiting over the last few years.

    The aministrative problems with dropped phone calls missed appointments, not picking people up at the airport, and passing the recruit from one recruiter to the other and the second one not following up on reaching out to said recruit.

    I talked to two different people about this and a quote passed to me was “It’s the wose I’ve seen in twenty years”.

    So there is a real problem that Narduzzi has to address with not just local kids but with his recruiting in general.

    You have to remember that Pitt, and other schools, reach out to these kids two or three years before they’re seniors in high school so a lot of the recruits we see in the 2015 and 2016 classes were actually first contacted and offered back in the other coaches tenure and all that has to be followed up at the same level of interest or you lose the kid.

    And of course sometimes the new staff decides they don’t want that recruit to be part of their roster so that happens also, but I’ve heard stories about kids who were expecting to come to Pitt and that Narduzzi wanted but they dropped the ball pretty badly on lot of these four star kids.

    Hence the recruiting coordinator and recruiting staff changes made over the last year.

    Like

    1. Reed do you think Narduzzi’s biggest weakness recruiting is the administrative stuff? Or do you think it has more to do with connecting with/selling to kids?

      Like

  13. Maybe it is tine to keep these coaches and AD for a while. Tired of one and done coaches and ADs.

    Chancellors seem to hang around for a while.

    Like

  14. Reed, what you described is exactly right. It doesn’t matter what the “star” level is if the administration cannot handle the basic recruiting administrative stuff. I guess it is unreasonable for Narduzzi to expand his recruiting circle if he cannot even count on the basics getting done. Not picking a recruit up at the airport? It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. This is where Heather can help out.

    Like

  15. Reed – Who told you that? Or what position within the Pitt administration do they have? Or what connection to Pitt do they have?

    When people start tossing phrases like “worse in 20 years” around, it sounds like a complete exaggeration and it’s hard for me take seriously.

    I’ve said it several times. Go look at teams that finished 11-25 in the final rankings last season. Then tell me what the avg recruiting ranking was.

    Pitt is recruiting at a top 25 level. They won’t start recruiting at a top 10 level until they become a top 25 team first.

    Pitt has been as average as you can get for 35 years.

    5 AD’s in 11 years. 6 head coaches over the same period.

    That’s why Pitt isn’t recruiting consistently. It’s affected Pitt’s relationships locally. It doesn’t help that Pittsburgh hasn’t been generating the same level of talent they have in the past.

    Pitt hired a first time coach known for his Cooridnator success more than his recruiting success.

    Pitt hired a coach modeling the program after Michigan St, who recruits very similarly ranking wise.

    We did not hire a Franklin type coach known for their recruiting ability.

    That’s the reality. It takes time. We’re in year 4 of Duzz. The next two season are his make or break years.

    Like

    1. I’m not ever going to say who l talked to in a personal conversation but both parties are connected in various ways to the program. Whether you believe it or not is your choice. But I wouldn’t have written it if i didn’t believe it 100%.

      And how in the world do you get that idea that we are recruiting at a “Top 25” level? If you mean comparable to ‘real’ Top 25 teams then i’d say that’s an indictment of this staff not being able to win with the latest recruits – but we’ll see how we do in 2018 and beyond.

      The fact is that recruit class rankings show us we have had exactly one year under #30 in class ranking in the last decade which would be Narduzzi’s #29 ranking of the 2016 class..

      We are averaging 47th over the last ten years and at the same time we have a 56% winning percentage and have finished in the Top 25 exactly once in 2009 and (this is terrible) have been in the Top 25 at any point in the season only in only four of those 10 years. So three of those four years we blew our highest ranking

      Agree 100% about the coaching and staff changes – but I think the main reason is that we just don’t have very strong recruiters or recruiting staffs for our HCs over the last three in Graham, Chryst and Narduzzi.

      Like

      1. I agree. If we are recruiting in the top 25, where are the 4 stars? Pitt needs at least 6 of them every year to have a chance to win the Coastal

        Stick to basketball Tossing.

        Like

  16. Sweeeeet….both Whitehead & Maddox go in the 4th round. Maybe the Steelers will take Weah with their 2nd 5th round pick.

    Like

  17. Wait, Maddox can’t have been drafted? 99% of what I saw posted here wrt Maddox was negative…We need to show more love for our players that work their backsides off to get better and wind up on NFL rosters.

    Boyd is another name that comes to mind…Played hard every game at Pitt, hated losing, wound up on an NFL roster; yet, from many of the comments on here you would have thought he was a cancer to our team…Congrats to all the new and existing Panthers in the Pros! H2P!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was it really that widespread? I swear there were at least a half dozen people on the prediction thread thinking that Maddox could be a productive pro. I didn’t see that many clear detractors.

      UPitt resonates because of persistence and repetition.

      Like

  18. Ike, you misinterpreted what I meant about Upitt. He was calling for the multiple coaching changes that were needed and indeed made. I questioned if Heather was up to the task which was needed, as did many others. It’s nice to see she quickly saw the same problems and made the needed changes. So far she has done what Mark and many others saw as problem areas. She is cleaning up the mess of others. Good job so far, now let’s hit the fundraiser part.

    Like

    1. Well JoeK, just like when Heather fired Stalling and Suzie it was called obvious and no big deal. Who didn’t know other coaches didn’t need replaced as well? Wasn’t all this obvious?

      Like

  19. Hbg – Agreed. I don’t get the negativity on players going pro. Maddox was a great represantive if Pitt and had a really good senior season.

    Like

  20. Re: recruiting. As I stated previously, my old roomie was the AD of a major HS in Va. His teams won over 30 state titles while he was there. When one of his players told the Pitt coach recruiting him he was thinking of VTech my friend stated he had never heard that type of verbal abuse in all his time as an AD. He said he could not believe it. There are or at least were some issues, and it sounds like they were in many areas.

    Like

  21. As I noted last night after the Stillers drafted the Okie State tandem, the media couldn’t wait to dig at Pitt.
    They must have been sitting salivating…at the mere thought.

    A sampling….from the Syracuse creep Benz.

    “Stop twitching, Pitt fans. It’s OK. Rudolph and Washington can’t hurt you anymore. They play here now.

    I admit it. Seeing these two hook up for 14 catches and 420 yards and three touchdowns over two games against the Panthers in 2016 and 2017 probably has inflated my opinion of Rudolph and Washington

    After all, c’mon. It was just Pitt’s awful pass defense on the other side of the ball. “

    Like

    1. Seriously? Benz didn’t write anything that hasn’t been stated many times on this board including by you and me. Rudolph threw for over 1000 yards with 7 TDs and 1 pick in two games against Pitt. Pitt earned that.

      Like

      1. It’s a little different if it’s coming from me and you than the anti-Pitt media in this city. We didn’t need reminded by this Cuse creep Benz. Like I said, they were salivating at the thought of being to barb Pitt with this. And we haven’t heard the last of it either…rest assured.

        And yea I’m serious, I’m tired of these local anti-Pitt aholes in the 2 Pgh Papers and on these stupid radio programs.

        Like

  22. Continuity will hopefully solve most of these problems. I recall someone saying that Pitt was getting a good percentage of the recruits who were actually coming for official visits (assuming they were picked up at the airport). So additional effort must go into getting those 300 4 stars to take official visits. That’s where the focus should be.

    Like

    1. But the real key is to get the blue-chip kids to take an official visit to Pitt in the 1st place and we haven’t done very well at that at all. Once they are on-campus for a full weekend it is an indication that they are seriously thinking of choosing Pitt in the end.

      But have to get them here first…

      Like

  23. Ike, I certainly thought those moves were obvious, but a couple of those coaches were allowed to continue far beyond their expiration dates. I’m not certain what your point was. Am I missing something?

    Jackagain, You know, some draft boards called that one. I actually like that pick. I think he’s a pretty solid player. He might actually be better than the first pick, lol.

    Like

    1. No Joe, you aren’t missing anything. The difference is obvious as well. It’s called a decent AD doing the job she was hired to do. ike

      Like

    1. I currently have 11 POV bloggers who said yes, they will attend and some are bringing foursomes.

      When Reed returns from his aunt’s funeral, I’ll ask for his help getting a sign-up article launched. I’ve been away on vacation – just returned last night.

      Thanks for asking…June 9th is the date at Champion Lakes

      Like

  24. As far as the job Heather is doing? I would say as far as we all know it looks to be a good job. Now how far do we all know is the better question. Or maybe we shouldn’t question it at all and just be happy that something sure as hell has changed down in Oakland and the change appears to be a good change.

    Most of us have followed PITT for a good portion of our lives and it has been a bumpy ride to say the least. I really do not consider we as PITT fans to be all that much different from other college fans or more directly PITT football fans. I do however consider PITT football to be a much different team to follow than most. It totally seems to me that people in charge have been concertedly trying to ruin all our PITT sport experiences. That is until recently. I point to chancellor Gallagher as a possible tipping point in the right direction? Just in my opinion . . . .ike

    I all I got 🙂

    Like

    1. Heather has certainly demonstrated more aptitude in a year than Barnes did in his 18 months and Pederson did in his 8+ before that.

      Like

  25. ^^ …and btw. If we think about your question Gasman, ultimately the decision would still be up to PITT not the ACC. I still think it was all HL and PITT.

    Like

  26. Whitehead and Maddox both go in the 4th round. NFL scouts again have more faith in our players than apparently most of our fans/alum.

    With them both going in the 4th round, begs the question, why was our pass defense so dreadful all the years both of these guys were in the secondary ?

    Like

    1. Emel – this happens every single year – almost. We keep putting guys in the NFL and keep having average football teams.

      Look at 2011 – 6-7 season and we have five players drafted: Sheard, Romeus, Pinkston, Lewis and Baldwin.

      Basically our HCs and their staffs have been mediocre.

      Here is the list for this year:

      2018 Pitt Drafted

      Like

      1. It is indeed very strange. But we had PC here, who then goes back to Madison, who doesn’t exactly have Top 30 recruiting classes and he does nothing but win 10, then 11 and then 13 games in 3 season.

        Which then leads me to believe there’s more than meets the eye to Pitt’s troubles. Maybe the Deep State is against us 🙂

        Like

      2. Pitt went 8-5 in 2010, not 6-7, then those guys were drafted in 2011. It takes more than some guys getting drafted to have a good season. You need a strong two deep and some redshirt freshmen waiting in the wing who play on special teams contributing.

        Quarterback play is also very key.

        Like

  27. ^^ Could be competition Emel? NCS had 7 players taken in the draft so far.

    Anyone know if Weah taken yet? He could be a sleeper. In more ways than one.

    Like

    1. Right, #99 in passing yards in 2017 and #127 in 2016 can be explained away with strength of schedule.

      I think four of those NC State players are defensive players. That would have nothing to do with Pitt’s pass defense.

      Like

      1. Barvo, I used the word “could” be and yes, the entire front four for NCS was drafted in the first four rds. and three others also drafted. People are amazed that PITT could have 4 players drafted in the first four rds and still lose 7 games. People sleep behind the one big tree in the forest.

        Like

  28. Ex-Pitt Safety Andrew Taglianetti’s mother was found dead in the Pittsburgh Jail today…

    Personal: Andrew Walter Taglianetti, born 12/22/89, is the son of Peter and Alison Taglianetti…has three brothers (including twin brother Jon) and one sister…father was an NHL defenseman and played for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup champion teams in 1991 and 1992…mother was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Vermont…earned his bachelor[apos]s in business and is pursuing his MBA in Pitt[apos]s Katz Graduate School of Business…selected to the University of Pittsburgh’s prestigious Blue and Gold Society, a group of undergraduate student ambassadors…has been an intern in the Pittsburgh Penguins[apos] front office.”

    How very strange and sad… best wishes to Andrew and family.

    Like

  29. Ike – His hands definitley slept on a few occasions.

    Worth a pick but has to get mental aspect of game under control.

    Like

  30. I think the over praise of our new AD is not warranted….yet. Let’s review.

    For the past few years before she even arrived on the scene, this blog in particular had a multitude of posters that went after the BoT and Gallagher, rightfully so. Candidly, I think the blog did the homework for the Administration. The blog said how can you expect championships when you only pay for “C” programs. It is not a mystery. If you have financial support, your programs can flourish.

    I would argue that the pressure put on the Administration required a loosening of the purse strings which ultimately led to the hire of better coaches (i.e. more than we ever spent on head coaches). So is it the AD, I don’t think that is fully accurate. We know she went after Hurley, hard. She failed. The fact that she went after him hard, shows that she almost made a huge mistake. She was saved by an arrogant coach who spurned her. Believe me, we were close to Stallings II.

    Instead we got Capel iii. a larger upside. So let’s not think she was all that. She was a Connecticut firing away from a disaster. Also, none of the coaches that she has hired has done anything special yet. It’s great everyone is dairy high school blindly excited, but temper that until such time as her coaches win at something.

    Pitt opened purse strings after a hugely embarrassing athletic performance since being in the ACC. Not one person can argue against that. When purse strings open, you should be able to compete if you hire the right coaches. The question is how long will Pitt wait to see wins with these newly minted head coaches.

    Moving benches at bball game – not the idea of the AD. The idea started here.

    Firing multiple coaches – not the idea of the AD. The ideas started here.

    Pushing Administration to give an “A” or “B” Program to its employees, students, alumni and fans by opening the checkbook. The ideas started here.

    Not going to bball games because the team sucked. The idea started here.

    Getting rid of Peterson. The idea started here….and on and on!

    Social Media heavily influences decisioning at campuses around the US. Not one other social media outlet breaks down what Pitt needs better, than the POV!! Dilly Dilly!!!!!!

    This isn’t a bash at our AD. It is a truthful assessment…of course, in my own opinion. Fire away!

    Like

    1. I’m not sure that’s fair or accurate.

      People have been complaining about the court situation at the Pete for years. Barnes dismissed it as too costly to fix.

      Firing Stallings and SMS was clearly based upon performance and attendance. I didn’t refuse to renew my season tickets two years ago based upon anything I read here. I did because of Barnes attitude. Thinking the firings were based upon blog research is seriously misguided.

      Getting rid of Pederson was also a no-brainer. He was a dead man walking after terminating Wannstedt and the hires thereafter. Chryst’s exit was the final nail for him.

      Is it possible Lyke successfully lobbied Gallagher with her vision for success and the importance of it?

      Like

      1. The loss of $20 million in basketball plus an arse chewing from ACC brass got the BoT’s attention.

        Finally they, our Nitter and political appointee flunkies on this board, seem to begin understanding the role of an AD and the role of athletics in this conference.

        This isn’t the Big Least anymore. These schools are serious about winning and commit the resources. The conference is also far better run.

        You can’t run away from losing millions and still keep your board position. You can’t continue to do nothing about sports performance and still accept the privileges of ACC memebership.

        Like

      2. I don’t think Chryst leaving Pitt for Wisconsin surprised anyone at all and don’t think it was necessarily the ‘final nail’.

        However i firmly believe that the extremely negative (toward SP) exit interview Chryst had with Gallagher was the final nail.

        Like

        1. When nordenberg left, pedersons protector was gone. Hence the golden parachute that nordenberg gave smiley. They saw the wall writing.

          And dixons days were also numbered after cornhole left. They were best buds.

          Barnes and Peterson 2 have to go down as the absolute worst ADs in the modern era. Picking low hanging fruit makes Heather look like a genius.

          Like

    2. I totally agree. Once money is released, it can solve many coaching and facility issues. But much of the money needs to come from football success since it subsidizes other programs. And of course boosters help but that comes with certain strings. And facility improvements come with incurring debt.

      So yes something changed and it sure wasn’t Heather coming in and demanding things. She treaded lightly.

      Who demanded then? Us fans and the ACC brass.

      Fans by not showing up to that basketball abortion and roasting stallings over the coals. Credit to this site and others.

      The ACC leadership for having a coming to Jesus meeting with Pitt. Membership has certain stipulations and being bottom barrel across most programs isn’t one of them particularly in basketball.

      So if Heather isn’t sabatoged or restricted in doing her job, she should be fairly successful since I believe she thinks the right way and could just have the right stuff. But if the BoT reverts to its old ways, she will fail. She needs support. Previous AD’s were handicapped and also borderline incompetent.

      So the culture is a changin. Credit the basketball failure and loss of millions for that. Probably the best thing that could have happened to Pitt sports in 40 years. Implosions of this magnitude gets everyone’s attention.

      Tex

      Like

      1. So you’re suggesting it was more from anonymous people speaking up rather then the new AD that had more to do with opening up the purse strings after all these years? Why does this sound absolutely ridiculous to me and no one else?

        Like

        1. If the ACC said get your act together, you would…wouldn’t you?

          If you took a huge loss in a program that could essentially force you to cut programs, you’d end up changing your stripes…wouldn’t you?

          Like

        2. People with money and those that run the ACC spoke up.

          Heather is being allowed to do her job. Focusing on low hanging fruit. The big changes require money. Follow the money trail.

          Bottom line is that Pitt can’t afford to lose over $20 million in basketball, be the butt of jokes within the conference and nation, and expect to receive all the privileges of ACC membership without getting its act together in a hurry.

          Given Pitts performance since conference entry, UConn, Rutgers, Cincy and West Virginia would have all been better selections.

          Tex

          Like

  31. Xavier Johnson committed to Pitt. A new starting backcourt with reportedly better athletes and speed. Hopefully the reports prove accurate. Season ticket call on Monday!

    Like

  32. Point guards and athletic ones are what Pitt needs to get back quickly. It’s a guard league. An athletic league. Capel understands it which is refreshing but even more so he can sell those elites. If only narduzzi could do that.

    Like

  33. Certainly seems like the culture is changing…only time will tell. I lyke the hoops guards. Sad to read the details of the Taglianetti story.

    Like

  34. BB is on the rise! Capel is the man who can recruit! BTW, ike, I remember well the ’76 national championship under Majors, and foolishly thought that there would be more to come. Some 40 plus years later, we are still waiting… When Majors left, the AD picked a good coach in Sherrill, but didn’t really understand the competitive nature of college FB, and failed to protect their investment for the long term. It has been a hard lesson, which many ADs have failed to learn until now.

    Like

  35. Ike, I think it was certainly a combo of things. If the fans didn’t stay away in droves there probably wouldn’t have been a change. I’m now convinced more than ever t(at the ACC was none too pleased with the overall performance of our athletic program. While they really couldn’t boot us out they most likely expressed their displeasure. And finally, you needed an AD and chancellor who were on the same page. I doubt if any of this occurs without all factors colliding.

    Glad to see Capel went after a point guard. When I said Trey wasn’t a PG some went nuts. He’ll be able to give some minutes at the point, but he really is a combo guard. Best thing he does is go to the hoop and is really,really athletic. Looking forward to seeing film on Johnson. Hope he is able to handle the point. Now let’s get some size.

    Like

  36. ^^ JoeK, I agree there was certainly a culmination type of an effect going on but there is also many new and unknown factors at play here with the PITT administration. Too many want to keep looking back expecting something that isn’t under their bed anymore. Example when good things start to turn around there is a mad scramble to explain it away as nothing to see here? Not you but why do people want to search so hard to find something to not give PITT credit for?

    Like

  37. Hey Tx, you like to make it sound like anyone can be an AD at a P-5 school. No offense but when you can show me proof the ACC applied pressure telling PITT to straighten up or proof you can do the same job as Heather I will hire you myself and double your current salary.

    Like

    1. You don’t think the ACC talks with its perennial bottom dwellers? It’s bad business to consistently place at the bottom and damage a conferences brand. Prove to me it didn’t happen. It’s a common business practice to put lower performers on a productivity improvement plan.

      And Heather is just doing common sense stuff and picking the low hanging fruit. Nothing too difficult. But she is being allowed to do her job because the BoT realized the sports program could go Bankrupt with another basketball type epic failure.

      Call me more impressed when I see her raise funds for that 3000 seat venue, when our rank in the directors cup is top 50, when Pitt generates an overall profit in athletics and has money to start new programs like lacrosse and hockey.

      That would be tressell like.

      Tex

      Like

      1. First off Tx. Heather is doing things that haven’t been done at PITT for a very “Long” time. Why?

        Second off, Tressel was fired for indiscretions. Maybe time to take his bobble-head off the fireplace mantel. as always Tx, with much respect. ike

        Like

        1. Ike
          Heather is being allowed to do her job. Why? $20 million in basketball losses and coming to Jesus meeting by the ACC. Nobody goes zero for 24 in ACC play and doesn’t get an arse chew by the brass who founded this basketball conference.

          Tressell is a president of a school. His indiscretions didn’t prevent him from becoming a president of a school. Much higher position than coach or AD. And his indiscretions pale in comparison to stuff these days. It’s like justifying the firing of wanny because of an SI article.

          I’m waiting for a Heather bobble head give away since she’s such a marketing genius. I’ll place her head on my mantel.

          Tex

          Like

  38. Ike, the best way I can explain it is why does Charlie Brown keep trying to kick the football? Sometimes you just get beat down. But every time we get all excited and have hope and happiness, someone keeps pulling that ball away. But most of us root for CB, not matter how many times she pulls that ball away. Once, just once, he’s either gonna kick that ball or kick her in the head.

    Like

  39. Making up stories to further advance your position. Really the idea that the ACC has taken such a concerned interest in the Pitt athletic situation at that point in time is utter nonsense IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most ACC schools love kicking Pitts butt each year. Much like when Pitt loved kicking Temple and Rutgers butts. You need schools that are dysfunctional in sports to rack up easy wins. But didn’t Temple get booted from the Big East? ACC should have picked UConn.

      Like

  40. Ike – Heather has done what a competent AD is supposed to do. She surprised me on Capel but I’m sure it was her recruiting teams that put his name out. She gets a solid B from me. No reason to extend her after 1 year. Capel can recruit, but can he coach? We will see. Regardless I’m not excited about the other coaches she hired. The jury is out. She is doing a good job but after the 2 previous turds anything she does looks like gold compared to pumpkin head and smug.

    I can’t believe Maddox was drafted. Maybe I’m crazy but that was way to high to take a kid who has a hard time staying healthy because he is so small. Has a ton of heart but lacks the physical aspects. Love Steelers 2, 3,3,4 round picks and the PSU Safety. Edmunds was taken to early but got Rudolph later than I thought so I guess a wash.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Narduzzi better win 8-9 games this year or it is a case of doing less with more.

    I say upgrade him to Heather. We make excuses for him non stop. Time to judge him like the rest.

    Like

    1. A rare time that I agree with Upitt. Nard Dog’s year to walk the walk. It doesn’t matter that the OOC schedule is once again brutal, make it count in conference play & we can be competitive in the Coastal race.

      8 wins should be the bar set for the program this season. Anything less is under performance for Narduzzi at this point.

      Like

  42. If he wins 8 or 9 games this year I’ll buy you and the goat some Pappy,lol. There is no way he’s gonna get there. They can’t can him, so they better figure out what they need to do to help him. If they start out crummy and the Nitters wack them, well, they’ll have to figure something out, cause they can’t fire him without killing the program.

    Like

    1. Firing Narduzzi wouldn’t “kill” the program.

      Setting it back for some years is more like it but just like any head coaching change it would be disruptive but not the end of anything.

      By the way I’m not advocating firing narduzzi either. He had a down year last season… if he has another down year in 2018 then we have to start looking at his future pretty clearly..

      Like

  43. It’s really tough being a Pitt fan (have no choice). Our only claim to fame the last 34 years is the kids we get drafted into the NFL.

    The players are good…the team stinks…and I am at a loss.

    Somebody in Football Deep State don’t (doesn’t) like us 😦

    Like

    1. Some players have been good, but when has Pitt had a legit two deep? I think 1989 was the last time. Also need that college star at QB. Pitt has had some solid guys, but no game changer.

      Like

      1. How many QB’s have Ohio State, Wisconsin or Pedo State put in the NFL the last 25 years.

        Answer….not too many. Much less any of them other then Russell Wilson and he was really a NC State guy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s quite amazing that since 1990, those 3 schools have produced virtually no NFL star QB’s. Other than again the aforementioned Russell Wilson and he was an NC State product really, 4 years there and only 1 at Wisky. For the Pedo’s only Kerry Collins way back in the mid ’90’s actually became an NFL starting QB. Wisconsin has had some of the most pedestrian QB’s of the 3. And the great The Ohio State University has produced virtually NADA as starting NFL QB’s or even backups, like Creepy Valley State. With PSU’s latest bust QB being Hackenberg, who didn’t play a down last year and couldn’t even beat out some guy named Petty as the backup QB. And would have spent the whole year on the inactive list had not Josh McCown not broken his hand in week 14.

          Yet all 3 (especially OSU & Wisky) win win win since 1990. Pedestrian QB’s yet win win win.

          Like

        2. OK, but my two deep point still stands, and those schools, especially tOSU, have had superior players littered in the two deep. Pitt needs a superior QB if it doesn’t have a strong two deep and simple hasn’t had a guy who can overcome team shortcomings.

          Ohio State had Troy Smith, who won a Heisman. The others have had solid college QBs, and so has Pitt. Pitt has fallen way short everywhere else. That’s why it is comical when people think Wanny destroyed the program after taking over a “BCS” team in 2005. Was that the slowest D-1 team ever?

          Like

    2. Emel, this team is giving off no smells as of yet. Perfume or putrid stench remain to be determined.

      The team that I saw taking down #2 Miami smelled sweet to me.

      Wait to do the smell test until the end of September. We’ll know what we got after playing UCF.

      Like

  44. I can’t even get Verbal Commits to change Trey McGowans rating to a 4 star. Even though Rivals has him as the No. 80 player Nationally and a 4 star and Scout has him as a 4 star. They have him listed as a 2 star.

    Basketball Deep State ?

    Like

  45. Jones-Smith signs with Houston (Gus Mustakas is his agent, Winslow with Da Bears and Quadree H apparently will sign as FA with the Steelers. Seems that QH got some bad advice about opting to leave early

    If Capel now can get a decent JUCO forward then Pitt has a fighting chance of being mediocre this coming year … which, of course is much better than this past year

    wwb

    Like

  46. ^^ Mark, I’ll take that as two, “I was wrong admissions”. 🙂 (Heather and Maddox)

    We agree on Heather though. Like I’ve been saying…. never said she’s great, just give her a chance.

    Like

    1. I agree with you Ike.

      Listen scouts can be wrong as well. IE Boyd drafted way to high and be has performed below a pedestrian level. Maddox will get killed out there and burned. Wish him the best but size will be his downfall.

      Like

  47. Another head scratcher for me? Why does it bother people when Heather shows respect and recognizes others for being special in one way or another at a game (it’s her job). Just asking, is that a sign of not liking her for no other good reason? I think it is. imo ike

    Like

  48. JC is now 2 for 2 with only 4 star recruits. Can’t remember last time Pitt had two 4 stars in one recruiting class. Capel does it with his first two recruits.

    Like

    1. ike – who do you think Lucy is. She isnt the AD.
      Lucy hasnt really changed
      Lucy allowed the Pitt football program to flourish under Majors but then eventually took the ball away from Sherrill
      Charlie hasnt been able to kick the ball since
      I’m glad the basketball program nearly destroyed Pitt athletics
      Sometimes it takes an epic failure to learn…just unfortunate

      Like

  49. Upitt, Won the Pappy state store lottery a couple years ago. It’s good, but not life changing. Should have kept it though, could have financed my grandkids college, lol. Are you gonna make the golf outing?

    Like

        1. That’s the worst kind of Pittsburgh kid….one that didn’t go to Pitt for a southern school. Have some pride in your own city for god sake. Not bumf*ck alabama.

          Like

    1. Holy Smokes I can make that work. Is that in Pittsburgh area? If so will be coming from Miami. Maybe I can talk a few Brazilians into caddying. I want paired with you if possible! Haha.

      Like

  50. Reed – I’m not questioning the intel from your discussions with your sources. You have the highest of character and that is not being disputed … but I think it’s a fair question to ask how your sources are tied to the university and football in particular. I think you could be vague enough without outing your sources. “Worse in 20 years” sounds ridiculous so I think it’s okay to ask questions around it.

    Regarding the Top 25, I’m 100% serious that Pitt is recruiting at a Top 25 level.

    The avg ranking of teams ranked 21-25 in the final poll of 2018 is 58.27. That is based on Rivals rankings from 2014-2017. I did not include 2018 since it was after the season and had no impact on 2017.

    The teams ranked 21-25 were Memphis, VT, NC ST, Boise St and South Florida so I’d call them real Top 25 teams.

    Pitt’s avg ranking over the same period is 44 and that includes the 65 Pitt put up in the coaching transition year of 2015. Pitt’s avg the last 3 years, including 2018, is 34.33.

    Regarding the top 20, teams ranked 16-20 had an average recruiting class of 28.15. These teams were Stanford, MS State, LSU, Northwestern, and Washington. Also, fair to say, all real Top 25 teams.

    If you sort on Star avg. (using 2018 data) the #28 avg star rating is Michigan St with a 3.18. #34 is NC St. with a 3.08. Pitt was 3.05. I did it this way because Rivals uses a point system. Stars are easier to digest. But I think it makes my point …

    Not only is Pitt recruiting at a Top 25 level, it’s .13 (Four 4 stars instead of 1) of a star rating from being ranked 16-20. And for this recruiting period, Pitt had a majority of their 3 stars just below that 4 star level … so, they are getting closer and adding three 4 stars is certainly not out of the question.

    If you take out the #65 ranking in the coaching transition year, Narduzzi’s first full class (at least 1 year to recruit) is just entering their redshirt sophomore year. It’s a very young team but should be hitting it’s stride the next two season.

    That’s not meant to soften the expectations of this upcoming season. This season is important as it’s really Duzz’s team from a recruiting standpoint and we should finally see it starting to shape into the program that he has envisioned. There will still be bumps, however. It’s a tough schedule and a young team with a core recruiting class that was ranked #65.

    That is why these coaching changes are so devastating.

    A missed class like that really sets the program back (FU Chryst). The core of this team will be redshirt Jr’s ranked #65. Next season’s core of redshirt Jr’s will be ranked #29.

    Once Pitt can crack that Top 25 barrier, recruiting should open up. It’s just a process to get there. It’s a miracle with the chaos and disorganization the athletic department the last 35 years Pitt is even competitive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree on the stability issue but you cant be competitive in the ACC by averaging 3.05 stars. 5% of Pitt’s recruits are 4 stars. You really need 25-30% to compete in the Coastal. Elite schools have percentages that are 50% plus.

      And you need an easy OOC schedule.

      To me, Pitt still has a long way to go.

      All selling points are there. Pitt fails to execute. Thats on the coaches. In a way the university and program should sell itself. If Chryst can now land 5-6 4 stars in his class after averaging a bunch of 2 stars at Pitt, that tells me its about execution (his assistants) and the program.

      and i agree that it truly is a miracle for Pitt to still be somewhat relevant or competitive in football after countless years of gross mismanagement. Most schools would have given up and dropped down to D2. Pitt really has been that bad relative to its conference and facilities and money invested. The poorest ROI in sports.

      Like

  51. Pitt Athletics has started to talk the talk in the last last few months, I really don’t care if it is a hard working AD and staff showing some gumption in hiring coaches and increasing her budget by getting the Administration on board; the BoT feeling the pain in their backsides from the very negative public perception of Pitt as a University because of the financial and on court disaster Men’s BB had become since Coach Dixon’s departure; a much needed tongue lashing from the powers that be in the ACC about Pitt’s poor showing in non revenue producing sports and the poor facilities for the same; or simply an act of a mysterious and capricious God.

    SOP seems to be on its way out the door…and I family for one am on my way back in!!

    Today I paid in full for our 2018/19 Football season tickets, put down deposits for Men’s BB season tickets, expressed interest in getting Women’s BB season tickets, and increased my donation to the Panther club.

    H2P!

    (P.S. If anyone is going the the meet the coach event on May 6 let me know…I’ll see you there work permitting!)

    Liked by 2 people

  52. 2 other Pitt guys sign on as FA

    Like

  53. Tx – You can absolutely be competitive in the ACC with 3.05 star ranking. You won’t be winning the coastal but you can be a top 25 team … and that’s all I’m pointing out. Pitt is recruiting well enough to be a top 25 team and not far off from being a top 20 team. They are not close to being a top 15 or 10 team but they have to become a top 25 team before they can start thinking about that. If you’re consistently recruiting in the 30’s you’re set up to be a top 25 team and Pitt is doing that.

    You realize Pitt and Wisc both had 20 commits with 19 being 3 stars and one 4 Star and Pitt was ranked 3 spots higher, right? Wisc was ranked 35th in 2017 and Pitt 38th. Pitt had three 4 stars to Wisc’s 5 that year.

    Closer than you think.

    Like

    1. i get what your’re saying. Yes we can be competitive – 8 wins maybe. But to win 10 games and a division or conference title, you need more 4 stars. these stars arent abundantly found in WPA anymore. Hence I like the out of state focus. But Pitt needs to execute. Narduzzis staff is dropping the ball far too often.

      Like

  54. We can only hope that Heather can improve with time.

    She has to be stumped now that all the low-hanging fruit have been plucked…

    Keep in mind that all she knows is “compliance, “ and she’s fresh off of destroying the athletics program at Eastern Mich. 😊

    SOP…

    Hail to Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lets see how she does raising funds for that 3000 seat venue without incurring too much debt and raising student fees. Thats definitely a nut at the top of a pecan tree.

      And Eastern Michigan has no business playing football. Avg attendance is only 15k…in a good year. Football wasnt able to subsidize the other programs hence the school had exorbitant student fees to help support athletics. In the end, they had to cut programs.

      Pitt has 19 programs. Are there plans to support more or to even exit programs that cannot be competitive? Why Pitt has a baseball team for instance is beyond me. My apologies to UPitt.

      Like

  55. Regardless of anyone’s take for once it seems the stars are starting to align for Pitt and just maybe this will lead to some 4*s. Ha. Feeling better about the U than for quite a while. H2P

    Like

  56. ACC clearly was concerned over Pitt BB. Pitt and Syracuse came in as BB names and added cache to the ACC. Heather did a great job representing Pitt with Gallaghers checkbook visible in the interview. . Coach K saw an opportunity to get his coach and good friend into a good spot. ACC knows that they need to begin the transfer from the old guard guys to a new generation of BB coaches. As to Narduzzi, he is piecing together a good D. With a nice QB, and some skill guys, Narduzzi will address the OL. I am optimistic this year will be better than many forecast. Pitt BB can be a really good program as it has a niche in the market. If Hyatt reclassifies, that is big. Pitt gets the big from kennedy Christian in 2019. Guard from Butler will be at Pitt 2020. .

    Like

  57. Steelers take Marcus Allen after not taking the original, they took Walter Abercrombie. If they would have taken Dan Marino and Marcus Allen, they would have 4 more Super Bowls .

    Like

        1. That wasn’t Noll’s philosophy, unfortunately.

          Never a player for Steve Young when it needed a QB desperately because it would have meant trading away its future according to Noll.

          Like

  58. Reed’s info on recruiting foul-ups is extremely troubling. Obviously you have to get the best players you can – and we’re already at a big disadvantage from the yellow seats.

    I find it interesting because we have also heard stories of the staff pulling off well-coordinated actions to get last-minute commitments. One I remember was Keyshon Camp, who had an offer from Michigan and supposedly Alabama, and who was committed to USC but then changed his mind. Pitt had a coach in Florida and had that coach visit Keyshon the next day…

    This year Pitt heard about Baldonado late – and he is a project- but apparently there was a lot of late interest in him (and Coach Partridge did compare the situation to when he recruited Romeus). And again, Pitt was able to get a coach in Baldonado’s house the day they learned about his apparent potential and availability.

    With all that said, how does the same staff that gets a coach into a recruits house in Florida in a matter of hours, forget to pick up a kid at the Pittsburgh airport?? ( Hell, they could call me and I’d pick up a recruit at the airport…😊)

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  59. Charlie Brown lost all of his hair at 9 years old, right? That’s a creepy reference.

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that the Administration (Chancellor and BoT) has opened the purse strings, not the AD. That is good. Pitt never has paid $3.5M per year for a coach, or $3.2M. This is a positive sign. It is something we have been pushing for, for a long time.

    Whoever it is that mocked my statement about the power of social media, my response is “look at Greg Schiano and Tennessee”. Schools watch social media and it is more influential than what most on here would believe. In fact it is a critical tool used by higher ed administrators over the past 2-3 years.

    My jury is still out on the AD as indicated above. The firing decisions have been no brainers so far. Let’s see how hiring decisions pan out, or when new sports aren’t added.

    Having a 4 star and now a rivals 3 star are very good for Capel. Still wondering what happened to Brandon Stone. Need a big man, stat. We can now play three on three halfcourt.

    Like

    1. I still want to know where the money is comin from to pay for the over $20 MILLION dollar hole caused by the basketball program.

      Social media is very powerful. The medium is the message. The brand and message can be greatly impacted by things as simple as a tweet liked by thousands.

      In the end, Pitt can be successful in athletics if the support is there from the BoT. I think the basketball failure scared many of these members nearly to death.

      Like

  60. Seems like progress…..the tone has moved from “in over her head” and “a puppet” to “the jury is out”, “I’m withholding judgement”. And the latter are appropriate at this time. Nothing wrong with that either.

    Just a guess, but it seems the humiliation brought upon the Administration by an empty Pete probably was a much greater impetus for investment than a conjectured phone call from Swofford asking, “How y’all down up there?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol….the dreaded Temple phone call. (as in the one Temple U got from the BigEast)

      If Pitt doesn’t get it’s act together Temple might be replacing us in the ACC. As they are building an on Campus Stadium while Pitt dawdles with Victory Heights silliness. Wasting that space on anything other than a new Pitt Stadium is criminal. An we’re extending Heather already….give me a break.

      ACC would love to get into Philadelphia I’m sure. Villanova could always decide to upgrade their football program as they almost did a few years ago. If they did do that and with their bball program and the Philly TV market, don’t think they also wouldn’t love to replace Pitt in the ACC. Although they are flourishing quite nicely in BigEast bball since the departure of Pitt, Syracuse, L-Ville and WVcc.

      Like

  61. PittFan28 you’ll have a hard time finding much optimism on Pitt athletics reading the blog. However lately the Capel hiring has brought out a few more positive comments than normal.

    Like

  62. cynicism is a learned trait …. and when it comes to Pitt athletics, long time Pitt fans are going to take a wait and see attitude. Right now, there seems to be plenty of reason for optimism I just hope expectations aren’t put too high for the immediate future.

    1) whether many of the cynics here want to admit it or not, we will read article from a national source in August for the second year in a row that Pitt will play the hardest OOC schedule. But when the team is hovering once again at .500, there will be great consternation here. People …. the late 70s have been far gone, and will never return. And those late 70s teams never came close to playing the quality of schedule that Pitt has had in the past wo years.

    2) even with Capel, Pitt BB cannot be expected to achieve a .500 ACC record this coming season. There are just too many holes and inexperience in the backcourt.

    wwb

    Like

  63. Whether Pitt BB reaches .500 or not in the ACC this coming season almost completely meaningless, I’m not even sure why we would raise this question/point, realizing Stallings just finished off an 0-19 season in the ACC. The remarkable thing to me is how well Capel is actually doing recruiting already: (1) X is the #42 rated PG and a 3 star according to rivals (4 star per ESPN), had a nice list of offers, and was considered one of the best available players in the country at this late juncture, and (2) McGowens is reportedly the highest rated recruit we signed in 5 years. Considering Capel has been on the job for a little over a month, and almost all of the 2018 players were already signed when he got the job, this is remarkable. And he’s not even done.

    Like

    1. 1618, if you read my post above, I’m saying that nobody should expect a .500 ACC record. Yet, there will be some here who will be very critical. That’s all I’m saying

      wwb

      Like

      1. Exactly Jack. So does Duke for the most part and guess who recruited most of their one & dones the last 5 years. JC is recruiting the type of kid who expects to play immediately and be a star immediately. There are not going to be these ‘project players’ that poor recruiters fill their squads with.

        Like

  64. Just a point to consider with the optimism of Capel bringing in a 3 star Johnson. Look, if you think about it, Johnson as a 3 star probably was never on Capel’s radar at Duke because they don’t typically go after three stars. But he has built solid relationships in the industry for years.

    So to that extent, getting a kid and his handlers to trust you in a few weeks shouldn’t be under-appreciated. Now, can the kid play in the ACC – still to be determined. Optimist says yes. Pessimist says no. Realist says maybe, we’ll see. Nothing wrong with any of those outlooks. Each can be backed up with an example or 50 that Pitt has so graciously shared with us over 40 years of mediocrity.

    I like Capel. For $3.4M, I better and you better. Can he coach em up, we’ll see. Need a big man, stat! C’mon Stone.There just aren’t many players left.

    Like

    1. Again why label the kid a 3 star when ESPN has him rated as a 4 star. And don’t forget, like 90% of the top kids were already signed when JC got the job.

      Like

  65. McGowens was a remarkable get. Johnson, not so much, based on his ranking. That doesn’t mean he won’t be good.

    Pitt’s record in the ACC is not meaningless. They can’t go without a win or only get a couple wins. Capel has to show he improved the team from last years debacle.

    Hopefully he pulls in another highly ranked player for next year.

    Like

    1. Disagree, Johnson was a remarkable get as well in my opinion, b/c he was one of the best available players left in the country AND fills a position of great need. At this late juncture, that’s a terrific get, whether he proves to be an ACC level PG or not is another matter, like Huff said above. He did have nice offers though, so this isn’t a desperation signing by any means. And I agree, Huff’s re whether or not Capel can coach em’ up is a valid concern, but I think part of that is having the right staff in place, and this is true with all successful coaches, so I hope he’s well supported this time around…

      Liked by 1 person

  66. Some things I think:
    Reflecting on a Sunday morning is a great thing at this age. Reflecting on a Sunday morning following a Saturday night in your 20s, well that could be a real mixed bag!
    I think Heather gets a B so far. She did the obvious, as some have pointed out, now the real grade will be based on just how good these coaches are.
    I think Capel can flat out recruit. Now let’s see if he can coach. And he shouldn’t be judged on W/L this year, but HOW he coaches.
    I think the Duzz will go a game over .500. Just still too thin at too many places. Hope he has a miracle in the second game of the season.
    I think that James Franklin is a really poor coach. How did he ever blow those 2 games. He had the best player in college football, a reallly good QB, a great offense, and a talented defense. If he didn’t win it all last year I do not think he ever will.
    I think Pitt football will play for the ACC title in the next 3 years. Ya, I really do.
    I think I will get dressed for church so I can get some help for my last thought!

    Like

    1. yes … less than 2 years ago, Capel was making $525k in total compensation. This isn’t college FB, even at Duke (except for Coach K of course)

      Like

  67. Played the River Course several years ago. It was so cold and rain/ snow that when we asked how much for a replay the guys justed laughed and let us go around again foe free!! They got 6 inches of snow that night! It’s a nice track, you’ll have a great time, just remember to not bite off too much on18,everything even slightly short will curve into the water!

    Like

  68. I think PG is one of the hardest positions to evaluate as everyone looks at it a little differently. Some guys love the flash and dash, some love a kid who can shoot, some want him to drive. Some what it all. I just want the kid to run the offense, take care of the ball, and make the pass for the assist. I really haven’t seen enough film on Johnson to know what he can do. The very, very limited stuff I’ve seen shows a pretty quick kid who uses both hands and can pass, but it’s such a small sample. This is why I selfishly want the summer league back. Like to see firsthand what we have

    Like

  69. Emel right in earlier comment. If the ACC ever does expand, will it be Temple or Nova? Either would certainly hurt PSU in recruiting.

    Like

    1. I can’t see Nova expanding its FB program. They’re sitting in a good place right now; nothing wrong with being a BB school. Temple, UConn and Cincy are the 3 possible ACC expansions IMO. But I believe the long term contract where there is a large buyout for any team leaving the ACC also includes job security, so to speak … Pitt is in no immediate harm

      Like

  70. Just looked at JCapels twitter page.. the guy knows how to connect to the Pitt fan.. way to go coach.. I haven’t seen this since Johnny Majors 1…

    Heather.. you need Narduzzi take lessons from Coach Capel… Duzz is clueless when it comes to drumming up public support and excitement within the community… just my opinion.

    Like

  71. What’s the rumor that Capel sent an assistant coach to Europe to talk to a potential recruits mother? Then he goes and gets McGowens to commit without him ever visiting the city of Pittsburgh let alone the PITT campus. Pretty remarkable stuff.

    Like

    1. Pitt doesn’t announce salaries ever. Do you think Capel
      Would take Pitt’s job for less than 3M? Believe me or not he makes 3.4

      Like

  72. Tx – What you want is Pitt recruiting at a top 15 level and I agree Pitt’s not there yet or really very close. What I’m saying, is that is skipping a step … Pitt has to become a top 25 program before they can start recruiting like a top 15 program. It’s a slow burn. You can already see Pitt is recruiting higher rated 3 stars. Most of this class bordered on 4 stars, being in the highest tier of 3 star. Pitt is not close, but close at the same time. Once Pitt cracks that Top 25, the pace will accelerate. Until then, it will always be just out of reach.

    A lot of people complain about the recruiting but the recruiting is better than most realize. It’s easily within the realm of being a 21-25 ranked team and very close to being a 16-20 ranked team. Recruiting in the late 20’s and 30’s is very healthy recruiting. It’s definitely not next level but Pitt has to earn those stripes and they haven’t. Re-read that last sentence. Everyone wants Pitt recruiting better but they haven’t earned that right yet. Once they earn that right, the recruiting will take the next step.

    Duzz repeatedly says he’s building a program built to sustain long term success. He’s not going for flash in the pan seasons. Long term approaches take time. Like I said earlier, Duzz’s first recruiting class with at least a year invested will only be redshirt sophomores this season. Let that sync in.

    Xavier Johnson is a good get, not great. I agree with the Stallings vs. Capel comment. I’ve seen him play this season not realizing he’d be coming to Pitt. He didn’t stand out from a skill perspective but the kid has elite ACC speed. Bishop O’Connell is right down 66 from me and I’ve seen them play against Paul VI (Aaron Thompson/Mannigault). I have a bunch of friends who went to the Catholic schools down here so they always drag me out to see the local talent.

    Aaron Thompson (Stalling recruit/de-commit) was much better IMO. That was a big loss when he de-committed and went to Butler. Xavier is athletic and big for a PG and very very fast. I don’t remember him shooting much. He has length and athleticism. He didn’t strike me as a natural. Speed was his differentiator.

    Hopefully, Malik Ellison comes back and Xavier is off the bench. He’s ranked where he is because he, ideally, would be a redshirt and a starter in year 3.

    Bishop O’Connell is a basketball factory, however, so he is very well coached and has played big time HS and AAU talent. His AAU team, Team Takeover, is very very legit.

    Like

  73. Just a thought, the hated AD Barnes is probably the reason Pitt changed its modus operandi and opened the purse strings. The zero win in ACC play got the attention and ire of the conference heads. Hiring Stallings made this happen and Stallings legacy went from mediocre coach to inept coach. IMO the ACC saw the situation and told Pitt to upgrade or lose out on the 20 mill or so the conference was giving them each year.

    Barnes saw the lack of support at Pitt and left in a hurry much like the hated Fraud did before him.

    Like

    1. Pretty simple – Pitt was a national embarrassment to the league last year. The ACC has a brand to protect.

      And somebody needs to come up with over $20 Million for that buyout plus lost revenue. Basketball’s failure last year basically ate away at that entire ACC check. Pitt is lucky it doesnt have to cut programs.

      Barnes and Stallings are probably the best thing that happened to Pitt. Their incompetence and poor decisions finally woke up the BoT.

      Like

      1. Pitt bought 2-3 years with Capel coming to town since Duke will support his development for awhile. Duke & UNC run the conference.

        Like

  74. I don’t know Tx, you seem stuck on something we have no proof of. I understand that over a period of time all programs are reviewed in all conferences. Until it can be proven to me I think I’ll give credit where it is due. I don’t find that all that hard to do, crediting PITT. I don’t understand how that so difficult to do for some?

    If you take into account that PITT is currently spending over 10 million dollars for the new ACC network I really can’t see the conference in their ear telling them how to run their athletic programs. PITT has a better history then to be scolded for one lousy year.

    Like

    1. Are you saying that somehow Heather convinced the BoT to begin spending money and taking sports seriously? You give her too much credit.

      I credit fans for not showing. Avg basketball attendance of 4k was the lowest since 1982. That cost Pitt over $10M. So the loss of money hurt Pitt enough that it awoke from its comatose state.

      Heather is still on the hook for Stallings buyout. Thats another $9.4M.

      So the check we get from the ACC was pretty much wiped out by the basketball failure. Pitt depends on that check to support other programs. So it definitely got the attention of the BoT. Money talks.

      And you cant tell me that the ACC brass was pleased with Pitt going ZERO for 24 and counting. The ACC brand is basketball. Pitt embarrassed the league last year.

      And a school that ranks in the bottom 20 percent of any league gets a talking to particularly when little progress is being shown (eg Directors Cup ranking). These conversations do happen. Pitt is an underperfomer in the league since entry if you look at Pitt’s overall 19 scholie programs. Underperformers get placed on a productivity improvement plan.

      And Pitt is being forced to spend the money for the new ACC network. They have no choice in the matter.

      So I credit Barnes and Stallings the most. If it weren’t for those bozos, the Pitt BoT would still be in a deep sleep.

      Like

  75. Talk about fake news, Temple building a 35,000 seat stadium isn’t going to grab the attention of the ACC, nor is Villanova. Pitt has a very bad season and you think the ACC is concerned? Give me a break. They are very happy to kick our northern asses. Their fans are coming to Heinz and the Pete in droves. A few years ago they were worried about FSU, Clemson and possible others defecting. They are still willing to give ND the sweetheart deal.

    Some bar talk in the Carolinas means nothing.

    Pitt is going through a period of adjustment to the new conference. Gallagher and Lyke are showing the appropriate level of commitment. It looks like they may finally be getting it right. Capel will fill the Pete again,
    and Narduzzi will get average attendance over 50,000 if he can get to 9 wins a year. Non-revenue sports are getting the attention they have needed forever.

    I agree with Tex. Barnes and Stallings provided the wake up call.

    Like

  76. Regarding Football recruiting. While I hope that TT is right and current recruiting will be a stepping stone to the top 25 and that all is well, I don’t think it is nearly that simple.

    We all know the many obstacles facing Narduzzi. He no longer has the WPIAL to provide a base for recruiting. He has appropriately expanded his target areas. Unfortunately in doing that he isn’t yet able to close the top guys and has to settle for the guys that the elite programs don’t take. I do agree that the offer sheets of the guys that are coming are improving to some degree. Hopefully TT is correct and this will get us enough success to start to close on some of the higher rated guys. The guys that would make us truly competitive.

    However wishing and hoping doesn’t make it so, and many of the obstacles won’t go away soon.

    An easier OOC would get us a couple more wins which may get us the better players and better bowl games, until we have the team worthy of a tougher OOC. I think one tough game vs a rival is enough for now.

    Our conference is tough enough, there are no cupcakes, sure wins in the ACC, until we get better.

    Playing PSU and OKSt back to back was a huge mistake as is our schedule this year. When you start out behind the eight ball, you usually stay there.

    Like

  77. Thoughts on Coach Capel’s coaching — when you bring in more athletic players, you immediately improve your man-to-man defense. When you bring in more athletic players you immediately improve your rebounding.

    I’ll gladly suffer some head-scratching coaching moves if it means we are filling out the roster with more elite players.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  78. when your basketball program goes from making money (profits) to losing significant money, the swing is huge and has a ripple affect on other programs. good article above by those that know the ACC.

    Like

  79. When Stallings took over, all he needed was to find legit point guard to play with the seniors and he couldn’t do it. Capel is offering a complete do over to recruits and they are willing to listen. Some guys can sell their shared vision and some guys can’t. It always comes down to the head coach being able to close the deal, to overcome the obstacles and get to yes.

    Like

  80. My guess is Gallagher and the BOT recognized the need to give the athletic department a grant from the endowment. It is a good investment. They dug the hole in the first place. Gallagher and Lyke sat in the Pete during the embarrassment that was last year and knew it would continue without a large infusion of cash.
    Whether it was a grant or a mortgage doesn’t matter, something had to be done. Just glad that it appears it was done very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Gc – OOC scheduling is defintey a factor in getting to top 25 status. At the same time so is attendance and big names schools draw fans. It’s a dance Pitt has to play. Recruiting wise, Pitt is recruiting at a top 25 level and that’s my main point.

    Like

  82. Tx to your above question. No, what I’m saying is that the ACC in a zero way had anything to do with PITT stepping up and spending money.

    Like

    1. I’m not saying the ACC forced Pitt into doing anything. I’m saying the brass most likely had a talk with Pitt about its basketball program and Pitt’s overall lack of success in its sports programs across the board since entry. I’m pretty sure they asked Pitt to step up their game. Hence the talk from Gallagher about a front porch. Hence the talk of this Victory Heights project. Hence the more serious attitude and support from the BoT (see Narduzzi extension and money allocated for Capel). But the biggest contributor of change was the basketball program blowing that annual ACC check. The program went from making $16M (per that ACC article I posted) to losing well over $20M. Nearly a $40M dollar swing.

      Like

  83. That was $5.5M per annum in the article…..4 years ago, 2014. It is funny to read the article where it reads “he makes a little more than $5M”. A little more than 5m to me is like $5.05M, not $5.5M. Funny. Actually deferred compensation is a tricky issue. Bobby Bonilla gets $1M per year from the NYMets for many more years. It’s a great tax and financial planning strategy, i guess. That’s Reed money right there….lol!

    I think we know what Hurley was offered, so go from there. Speaking of Hurley, he and Capel will always be tied at the hip in my opinion until hurley or capel leave their current positions as they were both offered the pitt job. Hurley has brought in a 3 star, a 4 star and a grad transfer to Uconn thus far. Very similar results recruiting thus far.

    Jermaine Harris is the 6’8″ power forward that committed to rhode island under hurleys watch. Hurley probably agreed to leave him alone as part of his going away deal. He is ranked number 85 overall and is a 4 star. Probly worth a call. He is from Maryland, not Philly as mentioned yesterday. Need a big guy to help balance out class.

    I like the 2019 headway even better. Perhaps another 2019 will re-classify to 2018 soon on top of a big guy.

    Like

  84. Seriously, with the new ACC network and the serious money being spent by the ACC members, no one is going anywhere for a very long long time. Even if a team goes ofer ever.

    Like

    1. You dont think going ZERO wins for perpetuity is acceptable by the ACC that prides itself in being the elite basketball conference top to bottom? They have their brand to protect. Pitt could very easily be substituted for UConn, Cincy or West Virginia. Programs that are very good in basketball and care more about sports excellence than Pitt.

      Like

  85. This years schedule is an abomination. Other than PSU, the worst home schedule ever, plus all the tough games on the road including ND and UCF. Some of it is the luck of the draw, but no favors to Narduzzi, making it really difficult to bounce back from 5-7. Also incredibly bad for attendance after PSU.

    Like

  86. Plus Albany for the opener, at least Youngstown St brings some fans. How about Akron,

    Buffalo or Kent St, at least areas we recruit in.

    You can’t make this stuff up. Hopefully Heather and Co. get this corrected soon.

    Like

  87. The ACC absolutely has had a voice in Pitt Athletics. The ACC network required them to change multiple things at the Pete. They also required them to,adjust some olympic sports. Both Pitt and the ACC were embarrassed going o for. It was on every sports channel that they were the only power 5 school not to win a game in conference. If you listened to any basketball show they just ridiculed the team and the program. Pitt has never spent big money on coaches or buyouts. Jamie was probablythe highest paid ever, and they were looking for a way to get rid of him for awhile.
    I have a hard time believing they had a come to Jesus moment on their own. It may have been as simple as “ guys,uh, we expect a little more” or something else, but I really think there was some subtle suggestions made. The loss of revenue, and overall embarrassment of the school were the major reasons in my opinion, but there had to be other factors. Pitt never opened up the purse strings on its own. And ya, those two clowns with the 70s Shake n Bake commercial accents I heard on the radio sports show in Charleston can suck it. Can’t wait till the shoe is on the other foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. That’s not what we are talking about here Joe. The ACC didn’t jump in PITT’s face and tell them to straighten the hell up and spend more money. It didn’t happen and that is fake news pure and simple.

    Being required to do something for the ACC network was an across the board adventure that encompassed the entire ACC membership. << Not just PITT. ike

    Like

  89. Ike – I heard Swofford and the CEO of Bojangles dressed in leather and gave Heather spankings until morale and financial commitments were promised. We thought she was in Disney but in fact she was in NC, only way she fell into Capel was running into him at Waffle House the next morning. Just reporting the facts….. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  90. You mean the same way they scolded UNC, Louisville, FLST, NCST and Louisville for their indiscretions?

    You give them too much credit, and authority.

    Like

    1. those programs win and generate money for the conference. thats the bottom line. the acc will scold schools like Pitt for being losers and not making money for the conference.

      the public already knows the elite schools win because they cheat in some way. Public doesnt care.

      Like

  91. You know Mark, you took the words right out of my mouth. As much credibility concerning the ACC wagging their finger in PITT’s face for being a very bad boy or I mean team, as there was Heather interviewing Goofy in Disney World for the head BB coaches job.

    Like

  92. Realist = If anything good happens at PITT they must have had a shotgun pointed at their heads forcing them into something positive or it was just plain ole dumb-ass luck……….. For some of you guys… SOP is like a rubber tire.. You can’t bury it as it just keeps popping up out of the ground. Frowning takes more muscles than smiling. Try smiling sometimes, it really isn’t that hard. . . ike

    Like

  93. Xavier Johnson is a great signing. First off enough with this 3 star crap. He’s a 4 star

    http://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/230202/xavier-johnson

    And at this late stage of the 2018 recruitment cycle adds to the signing.

    Plus this kid is a true PG, which then allows JC to move McGowens over to 2G.

    Knock off the negativity with this signing. Or least we will think you’re a Pedo or Hillbilly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  94. Additionally even though he’s a 3 star on 247…he’s like very close to the 90 score which is the 4 star level for them. Johnson is at .8866

    89 – 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.

    Like

  95. 97 – 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.

    Interestingly enough 247 has him rated at No. 223 nationally. So that’s within their guide lines of their own rating system of a 4 star. Being one of the top 300 players in the nation.

    He’s a 4 star in my book, ESPN’s book and really 247’s own qualifiers.

    Like

  96. 247 has Trey McGowens at .9651, so he is near the Top of the 4 star range of 90-97. So Trey was very close to being a 5 star with 247.

    100 – 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.

    Like

  97. I’ve been thinking and it has to be the big time donors that stepped up and kicked in some real big cash to throw at PITT’s recent woes. Thank goodness for PITT’s big time donors to save the day… hooray…

    Like

      1. No, Reed said there aren’t “big-time ” donors who would kick in for high salaries like Sean Miller’s $5.2M salary and $10M buyout and I was correct.

        I also wrote that donors toward new facilities will pony up big money for brick and mortar sports arenas where their name is attached.

        The first instance is a crapshoot and is fleeting, whereas the second instance there is much more permanent and long-lasting value of the donation where you’ll have better value to all the student/athletes and general student population at the University.

        That’s where the big donors wanted put their money and is why Corkey Cost, John Peterson, Ambrose Urbanic and the Vartabedian families donate millions of dollars.

        And Lyke will raise the $$ for the “Victory Heights” rebuild IMO.

        Like

  98. In basketball it doesn’t matter how many stars you are. It’s what rank you are. Two top 100 players and you can compete for Sweet 16. Two top 50 players and you can realistically look at the Final 4.

    Completely different mindset than football recruiting.

    Like

  99. Many moons ago, the site owner indicated we would only use rivals rankings so that our discussions would be based off the same ranking system. I try to respect that but can see how multiple other site rankings lead to more excitement about a player, or conversely make a player less desirable becuase the ranking criteria amongst sites are not consistent.

    Like

  100. Ike – Or Heather got approval from a donor to the general fund (endowment) to reallocate money … or the athletic department could be borrowing against the endowment.

    Regarding option 1, the rumor was that she had that approval for Sean Miller but was getting stiff armed on anyone else. If that was the case she was able to sell them on Capel too.

    Pitt has big time donors. They just don’t earmark athletics. Those donors can be asked permission to reallocate funds, however, to athletics. They can also say no.

    Like

  101. ike has it right concerning Pitt and the ACC. The ACC is lucky to have Pitt and it got a clean program which it desperately needs right now. Also, Pitt is a top 50 public academic institution which further adds to the image of the ACC. Anyone who thinks that the ACC would dare to criticize the one-year athletic performance of the BB team, especially after the recent BB success of only a few years ago, must be smoking something. Maybe they should kick Boston College out first..

    Like

    1. Pitt’s performance in basketball has never been rivaled by another ACC member. BC comes closest but they got their act together. You really think the brass isnt embarrassed by Pitt’s performance. You really think they would allow this to continue and to damage the conference’s brand. Membership is a privilege and not a right. The brand is the sum of its members.

      Pitt got a dress down for sure. And the conversation has probably been something like – ‘we see that over the past 7 years of ACC membership that your Director Cup rankings are at the bottom of our conference, little to no improvement has been made and it appears sports is not being taken serious by your leadership team in a conference whose brand is about sports excellence. We also see that your basketball team imploded this past year. Was a national laughing stock and a big embarrassment to our conference. We sincerely ask you resolve this basketball issue immediately and seriously consider putting in the time and resources to improve the overall competitiveness of your programs. And thanks for beating Clemson.’ Signed John Swofford NC grad and ACC President.

      Like

    2. would be Ga Tech if it wasnt for the fact they represent a major city and only ACC team in Georgia. 217 final ranking in Directors Cup. You have to really not care one damn bit about sports to do that.

      Like

    1. Exactly JoeK that was totally tongue in cheek and pure baiting, I have no proof. That was my point. We can’t say anything we want to as something to be true.

      Like

  102. So, Pitt hires a new AD who had spent time at Ohio State. A short time after The hire some big changes occur at Pitt.

    Had the hire been Tressel, some of you guys would be adoring him on here like Cook swooning over JoPa. There would be “I-told-you-so” out the wazoo.

    But it wasn’t Tressel, it was some compliance babe. Surely she couldn’t have come in with fresh eyes and moxie and led the charge for changes, having seen the level of commitment at Ohio State. No way, Jose.

    I happen to think the athletic department personnel want Pitt to win – even as much as the boycotting fans…even as much as ike.

    Hail to Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tressell would have never accepted. He would have reported to Gallagher who is all talk about a front porch and is the mouthpiece for the BoT that cares not one damn bit about sports.

      Barnes and Stallings are the ones that woke the sleeping giant. Pitt goes from making a modest profit of $10-$15M in basketball to losing over $20 MILLION. Thats Pitt’s ACC check folks.

      The check that is supposed to help cover the budget deficits in Pitt’s Olympic sports programs.

      Damn glad Pitt didnt have to cut programs like Eastern Michigan was forced to after Heather left.

      Like

        1. He’s 65 and near retirement and getting paid more than most AD jobs. Why would he want to leave his home town and family?

          Like

          1. “This is obviously a low point in my professional career,” said Wetherbee, tearing up in a news conference Tuesday morning. “But 25 years ago, I went through this. I sat in their seat, so I know exactly how they feel. It hurts.

            “The toughest part for me was standing before the coaches and student-athletes. I have been here eight months. I harp on student-athlete experience and helping our coaches succeed, so I feel like I am disappointing them, pulling that experience and opportunity away. They came here to compete and to get a degree, and now they won’t be able to do that. I feel handcuffed. I walked into a terrible situation. I knew the budget was bad, I just didn’t know it was going to be this bad.”

            Call it fake news people but thats the new AD at Eastern Michigan after Heather left it as a dumpster fire.

            Like

  103. JoeK, I figure you were swaying that way, just not sure. (it sounded a little cliche) PITT has already decided to build an on campus stadium but they are waiting on all us old birds to die off and save us from walking back up that dam cardiac hill to save from lawsuits. I think a new article is in order. The rumor of the day…. sounds like fun…

    M&M, it’s funny. Most people in life forget when a decision is made how the opposing choice not made may have likely turned out. In PITT’s case, it always seems like we cannot stop remembering or imagining how the choice not made was a huge mistake on SOP again. confused yet? . . . . ike

    Like

    1. nobody is saying that Heather was a huge mistake. But Tressell could have truly transformed the culture if allowed. BIG IF. He would be able to raise funds. Why? former football guy and very successful. Plus from Youngstown…blue collar. You cant beat that. He would have been Wanny with a brain.

      Victory Heights is the closet thing to a multi purpose center in the next decade. Probably cost around $30-$50M depending on how much they want to spend and how much raised via private donations.

      Not having a track and a student rec center are big holes at Pitt today. Google student rec center you will see what I mean.

      Like

  104. Are you Tressell’s agent? Seriously, the Robert Morris AD is more qualified. You can’t assume an old washed up coach would do all these great things. Oh wait, Johnny Majors would be awesome. LOL

    Like

  105. He’s a successful football guy. Who are the big whales at Pitt? Men who love football. They would be very impressed with a resume like his. And yes – I am his agent just like you are Harbaugh who gets beat by tOSU every year. 🙂

    Like

  106. This site is getting to the point that you don’t have to look at the name of the poster to know who it is. Same stuff over and over. I Lyke the positive posts much better.

    Like

    1. Clue time: Bill Belicheat coached the Browns before going to the Pats. I don’t care about her previous job. That school has less money for sports than the University of Nome.

      Like

  107. so what? Scott ‘Herman’ Barnes was considered as an outstanding AD at Utah St ….His work has been recognized thus far with the awarding of the 2009 National Champion in the Excellence in Management Cup to USU (from Wikipedia) …as well as being named Chairman of the NCAA Selection Committee in 2013.

    Why should we give a damn? Heather has been outstanding so far here at Pitt

    I swear …. Texas must be a horrible place to live based solely on the cynicism I see here on POV.

    Like

    1. wbb – Heather may be good at Compliance but Finance is not her strong suit. Sorry to wake you up with the slap.

      And please dont bring Texas into it. Politics, Religion and ones state (Republic in the case of Texas) should never be brought up.

      Like

  108. TX, you’re a good man. I like you and you are a great asset on the POV but listen to yourself. No one is ga ga over Heather. << It’s called giving unconditional credit. You have it bass ackwards, you’re true dislike of her is really over the top (obvious) and completely nonsensical imo. << never the less, I support you but do have to wonder what it is you’re smoking in that Texican pipe? jus kidding I think.. ike 🙂

    Like

  109. Tressel has never been a college athletic director.

    Funny thought, Heather was so powerful at EMU, she destroyed the entire university but at PITT she’s in control of nata. Nothing, zilch, bupkus, el-zero. Is there a bias here folks? duh

    Like

  110. Did anyone else miss Reed’s Sunday morning podcast from beautiful downtown Columbia Maryland? Hope your spirits are lifted Reed, ike

    Like

  111. Tex

    Did you read the article you posted.
    “Eastern Michigan University, facing steep budget shortfalls”

    The entire University. Athletics was impacted by the universities overall budget. Lyke wasn’t the CFO there.

    You can’t bend the truth to make a point.

    I will take Lyke over Youngstown Jim any day.

    Like

  112. I think the link posted by Tex is fair, candidly. We look at a head coaches prior history and make assumptions for when they get to Pitt. Why wouldn’t we do it with the AD. It’s good and accurate information. Does it mean she will bankrupt our programs, maybe? The bball program lost more money than it has in forever under her watch. Time will tell how she does as I stated in other post.

    Seems like the same folks who didn’t want Tex to state what happened at her previous job were quick to point out what Tressel did or didn’t do at his prior job. Can’t have it both ways fellas. Well, I guess you can, because you tried to do just that. You guys are funny.

    Let’s also say that her experience at OSU was not in Athletics Administration. That is just accurate. Compliance in Athletics, doesn’t even report……to athletics! They probably report to Chief Compliance Officer, but I don’t know nothin about nothin. Easy to figure that out if you do a little homework, or just know how Athletic Departments work.

    All this to say I think Tex is more right than wrong here. Maybe not next time Tex, but I’ll give you the nod here.

    Like

  113. Doesn’t that work both ways Huff the third? Apparently everything Heather does at PITT is not her doing according to Tx. Why did she wield the power at EMU then?

    Like

  114. Well the answer, sir ike alot III is that we probably don’t know the answer. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle, so what’s wrong with that. The unknown creates great fodder amongst the people. Each can claim some part of a victory.

    Huff III was me showing support for our new bball coach. Been signing that way from day one of his gig. I like the hire. More importantly I like that someone freed up the money to pay for a strong recruiting coach! Social media pushes decisions like I haven’t seen in years. It’s a fascinating case study. Tennessee and Schiano are not the only examples.

    If all these coaches win and athletics doesn’t go bankrupt, than she did good. She has made some hires but not sure if any new coaches have won anything, yet. She ran the show when bball lost a bunch of money. Hopefully that turns around quickly for her.

    Mediation is in my future.

    Like

  115. If we need Ricky Town this year, especially early in the year, Pitt will once again not be bowl eligible. Great season with Pickett in control and a disaster with Pickett out for the season.

    Like

    1. IMO, a “great season” would be winning the Coastal & at least a 10 win season.
      Even if Pickett plays lights out I just don’t see 10 wins with this schedule. Beating the correct teams however still could get us into a Coastal showdown with Miami at season’s end. 8 wins is obtainable, 9 wins would be over achieving & 10 wins would indeed be GREAT!

      Like

  116. Are people still clamoring for Tressel? A retread, suspended former coach that was on show-cause for 5 years for lying to the NCAA? C’mon. No way anyone, let alone Pitt is going to hire him. His wounds are self-inflicted.

    You people that continue to try and compare Pitt to PSU (or in this case OSU) are really still stuck in the early 80’s. I’m not saying Pitt can’t get there but Pitt is not getting there going from 0-60 in under 3 seconds.

    Give credit where credit is do. Heather has had a nice capper to her first year on the job. A long way to go but Pitt athletics finally has some hope and there are hints of a cultural change.

    Like

  117. Special K,

    No, Reed said there aren’t “big-time ” donors who would kick in for high salaries like Sean Miller’s $5.2M salary and $10M buyout and I was correct.

    I also wrote that donors toward new facilities will pony up big money for brick and mortar sports arenas where their name is attached.

    The first instance is a crapshoot and is fleeting, whereas the second instance there is much more permanent and long-lasting value of the donation where you’ll have better value to all the student/athletes and general student population at the University.

    That’s where the big donors wanted put their money and is why Corkey Cost, John Peterson, Ambrose Urbanic and the Vartabedian families donate millions of dollars.

    And Lyke will raise the $$ for the “Victory Heights” rebuild IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. Don’t care whether Xavier is a 3 or 4. The fact that Capel has been here a New York minute and he has two solid guards after >90% of the players are signed is amazing. Wilson-Frame can now become a Power Forward and look for rebounds, no need to jack up threes.If Capel can get a couple quality bigs, our return to competitiveness will happen sooner rather than later.

    Jamie & Stallings couldn’t get a decent guard in the last five years.

    Anyone that is not impressed with what Heather has accomplished just might be a misogynist.

    Like

  119. I think it is interesting that some Pitt fans denigrate Franklin and Chryst in their current HC jobs.

    Wisky has gone 34-7 over the past three years with a SRS: 22.61 (1st of 130) and a SOS: 6.18 (15th of 130) in 2017.

    PSU has been 22-5 over the last two years with a SRS: 21.62 (4th of 130) and SOS: 6.31 (12th of 130).

    Meanwhile we were: : SRS:1.21 (63rd of 130) and SOS: 4.13 (34th of 130)

    SRS = https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/about/glossary.html#srs

    SOS= https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/about/glossary.html#sos

    for some people it is hard to give these guys any credit for being excellent HCs.

    Like

    1. I agree. you don’t have to like them, but you should respect their accomplishments.
      Although I do like Chryst and he helped us recover from the darkest of times, plus instrumental in getting SP gone.
      Franklin’s recruiting is top notch and their program is totally back. They have put their scandal in the rear view mirror which is what all big time programs do.

      Meanwhile guys on this board continue to blame our coaching changes and instability for current poor recruiting. It is time to put that in the rear view mirror as well.

      Like

      1. No doubt that both PSU and Wisc were legit Top 10 teams the past 2 years. Franklin is one heck of a recruiter, and if there ever was a made-to-order HC, it’s Chryst at Wisconsin who fits into that system perfectly.

        The SRS above uses point differentiation as a key element which means the easier the schedule, the more chance os a higher rating. I cannot locate the SOS methodology listed.

        But all I know is that although Wisconsin finished the season undefeated last year, the Selection Committee, which includes Barry Alvarez, did not include UW in its Top 6 until mid Nov, putting one loss and even 2-loss teams above them.

        Like

  120. So far Narduzzi’s success was largely due to Chryst’s offensive linemen and Conner.
    Yes, the schedule got tougher but he is now playing with “his” guys, so this is the year he and they
    have to prove they are worthy. Also the year he has to recruit at a higher level. No more excuses.

    Like

  121. I too like Chryst, but can’t like or even respect Franklin. Helluva recruiter but not sure about his coaching. I do envy his OOC schedule though….

    Like

  122. Franklin has won almost every recruiting battle he has had. He is one of the premier recruiters in the country. He gets very good assistants. He is still not an elite coach in my opinion. There are really only a couple games a year that define elite coaches. The previous year he did make his name on one game, a blocked kick, which combined with what was an extremely favorable schedule, had a great year by any measure. Last year he had the best talent there in forever. The best player in college football, an extremely good qb, a great offense, and an experienced and talented d, and somehow managed to blow two games they really should have won. I mean it was almost inconceivable they lost the way they did at OSU that late in the game. And do you really think they handled the rain delay at MSU well? He’s young, perhaps he will learn, but let’s just say they have done very well. The stars don’t align very often in college ball unless you are a couple programs. They missed their chance last year in my opinion.
    I will root for Chryst every game he plays, except vs us. No ill will there. Wish him nothing but the best.

    Like

  123. Tossing is right. It’s time to give the Tressel thing a rest. The man has significant baggage and is 65. Do we really want someone like that to take over the reigns of the athletic dept.? It would probably be a Majors II situation. The AD should be the rain maker, which takes energy and relationship building with the Pitt crowd.

    Does anyone know where the cash came from to pay off Stallings? I think it had to come as a one time allocation from the general fund or from their endowment fund. No one coughs up that kind of money to pay off a coach going out the door.

    Like

    1. Note that Stallings’ lawyers made a bunch of noise when they loudly proclaimed that they would not settle for anything less than $9.4M buyout. Then a week or so later when an agreement had been met, you heard nothing.

      It could have meant that Pitt did agree to that amount under the condition that nothing be made public about it

      Or it could have meant that Pitt did indeed have a very legit ‘for cause’ argument resulting in a substantial lower amount.

      It was probably was something in-between .. which included a monthly pay schedule for a number of years … which eases the burden for the university

      Like

  124. I agree wwb, and wondered if her management of that situation had as much to do with her contract extension as Capel ‘s hire or anything else.

    Like

  125. Sounds right, wwb. The fact that we have heard nothing about the final terms strongly suggests that there is a non-disclosure involved. I do think there was probably more to the “for cause” angle than has been publicly disclosed. There were some questionable travel expense practices, I believe, that made the press, and we may have been a little too critical of Pitt in thinking that they dreamed this stuff up just to get a better settlement.

    Like

  126. gc – I showed how Pitt is already recruiting at a top 25 level. I’m not sure what you mean by “has to recruit at a higher level”. Why do you think Pitt should be recruiting at the same level as Penn State? What has Pitt done to earn that type of recruiting success?

    Pitt is recruiting well enough to be a top 25 team (teams 21-25 have an avg. recruiting ranking in the high 50’s) and the quality of 3 stars they are getting is going up, and not up for dispute if you look at Rivals star tiers. Recruiting has gone from mostly low to mid-tier 3 stars to the upper-tier. Duzz’s last 3 recruiting classes has an avg. ranking of 34. He’s close to having a team being able to compete for a final ranking of 16-20 (avg. recruiting ranking 28). There would be streamers flowing from the Towers if that happened.

    Pitt (Duzz) was never going to be recruiting like Franklin overnight. We did not hire that type of coach. Penn State went for the quick fix because they could. Money, alumni base and a winning culture. Penn State also made some well known sacrifices for that culture. Take away whether Penn State should, or should not, have bounced back as quickly with the scandal, the reality is they were in a position to hire a coach like Franklin and Pitt was not.

    Pitt was (is), not as established. Pitt doesn’t have the same resources to make the same type of hire Penn State did. Pitt did not have the organization or money to spend money on the assistant coaches, or ancillary recruiting requirements, necessary to recruit at that level. That’s the reality, not an excuse.

    While PSU was going thru the scandal, Pitt was in it’s own purgatory with the coaching carousal and never pounced on the void Penn State should have left. That’s 100% on the Pitt administration.

    I don’t understand why some people feel Pitt is entitled to elite recruiting or sudden success. Pitt, based on the last 35 years, doesn’t deserve anything. Pitt is exactly where they should be. Hell, I’d even argue that Pitt is better than they should be.

    Pitt fans may feel they are entitled to winning because of the hell we’ve been through, but that’s just not reality. Winning is earned and Pitt has not made the commitment necessary to win.

    Pitt’s fix was always going to be long-term. To have long-term success, you have to have consistency and stability. Heather realizes this and that’s why Duzz got the extension. It’s also why she already has an extension.

    Pitt’s problem was cultural and that really has only been addressed recently with an AD, Heather (not Tressel), who appears to understand this. Common sense may not be sexy but the best leaders have it. Where I grew up, it’s called street smarts … and it’s a great starting point. Fix the common sense crap and then, and only then, do you start fixing the obstacles that are hindering long-term sustainment. In other words, have a goddam plan. Pitt has not had a plan for approaching 40 years. Pitt has just thrown sh*& at the wall to see if it sticks to appease fans instead of going balls out and trying to be a successful athletic department. It appears we have an AD with common sense … and a plan. That’s an f’ing good thing.

    As I said before, this will be the first team that is almost 100% in Duzz’s image. Having said that, his first recruiting class was completed in 30 days and was ranked 65th in the country. They are redshirt juniors or true seniors this season. What should be the core of this team is not a strength. It was essentially a role player class so the strength of this team is some redshirt seniors, a dash of true juniors and redshirt sophomores. We’re missing a recruiting class.

    Duzz’s first real class with a full recruiting cycle to recruit is mostly redshirt sophomores with a sprinkle of some juniors. The defense should be improved (depth and some experience) but key positions on offense are very very young and inexperienced. Next season will be the first season where the depth and experience is pretty evenly spread between the offense and defense. If you look at the roster, you’ll see that’s true. It’s college football, so there is always turnover and there is always the unknown of who is the next man up … because we haven’t seen them.

    This is the season where Pitt should start turning a corner but next season is when Pitt should start realizing it’s true potential. That’s just reality. I’m so sick of reading Pitt (or Duzz) should be doing this and doing that. Let the process play out. We’ll know over the next two season if it was a success.

    I’ve always pointed to this season as the real differentiator. If this season does not go well, I’ll be right with the contingent demanding more. Having said that, this season will be an interesting one to evaluate. It’s a tough schedule and an imbalanced roster. I have a feeling the look test will be the key indicator. Does this team look like a team that can take the next step the following season. I’m assuming that will require steady improvement as the season goes along. I’m anticipating the offense to struggle a bit, unless there are wholesale changes that we are unaware of and not on display for the spring game.

    I know Pitt fans are sick of the word “patience” and they should be. I was proud of the way Pitt fans abandoned the basketball program. It was needed to send a message that it’s unacceptable. Pitt football is not in the same position as the basketball program was, however. If you really take a step back and look at the last 4 years, you’ll see there is a pretty solid foundation to a good football program. It may not be happening at the pace some of you expect, and Duzz may not be the guy to fully realize the potential, but a cultural foundation for success is being laid out and, despite what some will say, the recruiting is in line with what a program like Pitt should be doing. Once they realize that potential, then they can start recruiting at the next level.

    Pitt’s athletic department had a lot of problems and it’s affected on the field performance and success. Maybe, just maybe, we’re in the beginning phases of an athletic department realizing it’s true potential.

    Like

  127. Go to doc and get Thermaflu Reed. Got me through it in March. Get well.

    Looks like NHL planning for Caps – Pens to be 7 game series.

    BB recruiting moving well. H2P

    Like

  128. Well said, Tossing. Nothing more to add except that we have learned through years of experience that the long term goal may never happen. I hope its different this time.

    Like

  129. VoR – Yes, that is a risk. Unfortunately, we just have to hope. Pitt is not a quick fix, however, so if this experiment fails, the next one will also take time and faith.

    Pitt’s hinderances extend well beyond the respective playing fields of the sports under it’s umbrella. Pitt’s problems are institutional and until that culture is fixed, everything else is just a crapshoot. I, personally, like the direction. Regardless, the last thing Pitt needs right now is change. Let the next two football seasons play out … Duzz will be here for at least that … and then you re-evaluate.

    I’m just tired of hearing the recruiting piece. Pitt is recruiting perfectly fine for the time being. At some point it will have to take the next step … then the next step after that … but let’s not skip steps … otherwise we’ll be falling over them instead of walking up them.

    Like

    1. I mostly agree. I do agree with Reed that thus far the OL recruiting / coaching has been sub-par … but it is unfair to judge any recruits that haven’t reached their 3rd year in the program since experience shows OL takes time. Only Dorian Johnson, Lucas Nix and CJ Davis have started as natural frosh in recent years (15 years) … and Johnson and Davis were out of necessity, and took their lumps.

      Like

    1. I believe we will see at least 2 stars in the making this season with P.Ford on defense and K.Pickett on offense.

      We’ll need a few others to get to 8 or 9 wins.

      Get well soon Commander!

      Like

      1. Hate to be negative, but I am very concerned with this O-line and Pitt’s insistence on playing Pro-style with at best an avg O-line. Pro-style means you have to have an above avg O-line, which means you have to recruit many more better than avg players to make the offense work. The offense which takes a lot less above avg players (specifically linemen) to work is the Spread. As the linemen don’t have to hold blocks very long at all. It’s all about getting the ball out quick and keeping the opposing defense..off balance. And don’t need 4 star O-linemen for that.

        The Spread Offense is the Great Equalizer in college football.

        Like

  130. Get well Reed…lots of crud being passed around. Bronchitis is taking some of my staff out for a week at a time. Any chance we can get UPitt and wwb to agree to a 1 on 1 match play podcast similar to “Shell’s wonderful world of golf” back in the day. Iek can provide comment. haha.

    Like

  131. Reed – That’s what happens when you change HC’s every 3 or less years. It takes 4-5 years to establish that foundation. Especially, at a program like Pitt that can’t make up for the change with sheer talent on the roster.

    Look at schools like TN and FL and UM that are much better football schools that have had similar problems as Pitt. The common thread is too much change and anxious fan bases, not coaching ability. Change takes time.

    College football is very much a system oriented sport. You need players to fit the systems because you’ll have 100% roster turnover every 5 years. The NFL is very player centric because it’s a contract driven league. You need a coach to adapt to the players.

    For the life of me, and Emel would agree, I do not understand why we aren’t a spread team. The pro-style offense is too complicated and if there is ever change very hard to recover from.

    That’s as real as it gets. When you start over, it will take time, unless you have the talent to compensate, and even then it’s often too hard an obstacle to overcome.

    Like

  132. Recruiting is not good at this point, and must get better. There are good arguments to be made that PN’s first recruiting year was below standard for the reasons discussed. But this most recent class was a disappointment and cause for concern. Even with the assistant coaching changes, Pitt should be doing better in the recruiting wars, and Reed is right that there is no star power in the current group.

    Like

  133. VoR – This most recent class was ranked #36 and had over a 3 star rating with no 2 stars. It also had I think 8 players ranked one notch below a 4 star. Not many MAC recruited only players, if any.

    Wisc was ranked 3 spots behind us. Last year Wisc was only 3 spots ahead of us. Pitt is recruiting just fine. Too much is made over the ranking because I think people see top 25 and equate it to polls. It’s not. It’s about recruiting consistently, which Pitt is right now, with no big swings. That’s how you become a top 25 program.

    You’re right, Pitt is not ready to win the ACC but baby step man. Baby steps. We didn’t make a splash hire who is a miracle worker. We hired a guy who it took 4 years to get his defense installed at Michigan St. and who is mentored by a guy (Dantoni) who took just as long to get Michigan St. to relevance and recruited in the same consistent range … Now, after success, Michigan St. is recruiting in the teens. It took a long time to get there, however.

    Like

  134. Agreed, Tossing. Maybe I’m a bit impatient after waiting, say, 40 years for another top team! But Reed is still right that among the recruits each year there must be a little star power. When the program consistently brings in classes ranked in the 30s, they will eventually get to the point of having serviceable if not above average players at each position. But without a few star players, they will not move into the teens let alone single digits in the rankings.

    Like

  135. TT and others, this is what boggles my feeble mind at times. Isn’t it obvious that a good part of PITT’s football ineptness the past decade is due to the lack of continuity with the entire PITT administration and direction? Yet when there is a glimmer of hope for the future, impatience rules the day.

    Points like Narduzzi’s 30 day time limit to put together a decent recruiting class his first year is just blown off as an excuse even though it is factual. Like suspensions last year hurt that team but just another excuse. Just when you would think that we as PITT football fans can see that tiny bright white light in the slow approaching distance trudging towards us all there would be sustaining hope among the PITT faithful….. then boom………………………..

    The constant search to find this wrong or that wrong. It’s the true never ending SOP fan story. .ike

    Like

    1. Who is being impatient? Narduzzi is in year 4. He’s had two good years and one fair year. Another good year and 2017 was just a downtick. Another fair year and the trend is down and people have reason to be restless.

      It’s equally ridiculous to whine about his 30 day recruiting window. Chryst had a class in place that included Whitehead. Narduzzi held it together and added a few of his own (e.g Brightwell). It’s silly to read about a “lost” class that included Henderson, Whitehead, Brightwell, Jackson, Hall, Stocker, Tipton and McKee. Henderson and Whitehead started multiple seasons. Brightwell and Jackson started last year. Hall and Stocker have started some games. Tipton and McKee have been injured but are expected to be contributors in 2018. It wasn’t a lost class.

      Actually I think you blew off the dismissals and suspensions last year as inconsequential. I recall you thought that the loss of Whitehead would temporarily hurt.

      Like

  136. ike – Agreed. The reason for Pitt’s lack of success on the field has more to do with Pitt organizationally than the coaching. A foundation is being built in football. They’ve had 3 solid, if unspectacular, classes in a row. It will start to come together the next two seasons.

    VoR – I understand the impatience but patience resets every single damn time you switch coaches. That’s just how it is.

    Pitt will eventually need star power to make the next step. I don’t doubt that. Pitt’s still trying to get on the first step, however.

    I think you’ll see the defense turn a corner this season. I have concerns about the offense and think it’s probably a year away. The OL recruiting is fine, depending on what Pitt does. If Pitt wants a pocket passer, then, no, it’s not up to standards. If Pitt runs a power offense with RPO then the OL is fine against the majority of Pitt’s opponents.

    Like

  137. I’m not worried about Coach K. The fact Pitt anted up for Capel lends me to believe they’d do it again for the next coach.

    Like

  138. Upitt just a couple of posts ago you were worried about Cabel’s coaching ability and now your concerned about him returning to Duke with the demise of Coach K. Do you think up these things just to continue with your downbeat posts on Pitt athletics going forward?

    Like

  139. Any fair minded person will agree that 2017 was a significant setback for the program. Too much assistant coach turnover is not a good thing, but it is reasonable to assume that the recent turnover was to correct the mistakes of the first Narduzzi years. The current group seems much more capable now, and if I am ike I’d say that the next few years should produce dividends in the recruiting area. After all, these coaches have experience recruiting over most of the country. On the BB front, not sure what is wrong with Capel, it has been about 3 days since he announced his last recruit… 🙂

    Like

  140. Barvo, maybe I wasn’t talking about you and wonder why you thought I was. Our feelings are mutual between the two of us.

    Couple thoughts:

    Whitehead is not considered a Narduzzi recruit on the POV. I think it’s against the rules.

    Didn’t realize Wirginis would be lost for the year.

    So we are bringing up another “fair year” already? << negative vibes. Additional point, I do not think last year was a fair year in any way. Last year was very poor considering.

    Didn’t have one idea Max would fail so badly with no back-up to help out. Should have listen to Reed more closely.

    A lost class doesn’t include players who Narduzzi was able to get to commit Barvo, duh. It’s the players he didn’t have time to chase down. That really isn’t that hard to understand. << What you said is giving Narduzzi credit which he deserves. He thanks you. 3o day class anyway you want to frame it it Barvo.

    I really don’t like you Barvo. Keep it coming . . ike

    Like

  141. hope this isn’t considered political but I saw this today and consider it to be a true classic photo

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DcCfFNbX0AEaMDw.jpg:large

    it pictures Major John Glenn with his wingman Captain Ted Williams at K-3 AFB in Korea in 1953. With all of his lofty lifetime records, Teddy Ballgame served in both WWII and Korea. And oh yea — Senator Glenn didn’t do too bad for himself either

    Like

  142. TT, I never said that Pitt should be recruiting at PSU level.

    I did say they bounced back much stronger and faster, under more dire circumstances.

    I did say that Narduzzi needs to do better, and I stand by that.

    We will see how his #36 class pans out.

    Not preferred by Reed but 247 say 46 and ACC rank of 8.

    We all hope that Pickett and Ford will be stars. Even if they do, still not enough.

    Poor O-line, average running backs and wide receivers, don’t give me a lot of confidence.

    Last minute JUCO Linemen are a cause for major concern.

    Where is the great d-lineman or linebacker. We are still counting on Wirginis ( not a Narduzzi recruit)

    I certainly don’t see the top 25 this year and next year is a long way away.

    How long have we been saying wait till next year?

    Like

    1. That’s a pretty good bet brother GC…..Pitt has only finished ranked in the Top 25, four (4) measly times in the last 35 years. Yes that’s 35 years. That equates to only 11% of the time period.

      Unless the O-line is magically transformed in August or they install the great equalizer…the Spread, I see us struggling to even match last years record. Unless this is some sort of Hugh Green/Ricky Jackson type defense which can hold opponents to less than 10 points per game.

      Like

      1. Our luck is we will probably somehow get that amazing defensive year — okay maybe more like less than 15 points a game — and still end up with an 8-5 record nonetheless. Then people will wonder how come PITT can seem to never get a good offense and defense at the same time. (Recall two seasons ago and Canada’s offense).

        Of course there would be genuine hope that the next year is better…but then key pieces will leave for the NFL and we will have to wait two seasons to see if both phases of the game hit in the same year–and PITT is finally rewarded with it happening as Pickett stays and is amazing, Narduzzi/Bates has a system that works, and the both lines are great with or without a major star (but for some reason special teams will be bad even if both offense and defense hit on all cylinders and whether getting to double digit wins or not, PITT will be left with a sense of having underachieved).

        Like

      2. And the WPIAL isn’t growing many stars like the past too. I think Reed and others here would just like to see a couple more 4* kids sign up is all.

        Like

  143. Barvo – it’s reality … and this is the year Pitt should start turning a corner. 4 years is how long it takes to rebuild after you lose a coach. It’s why you always hear that a coach should get 4 years. There is data to back it up. It takes a full generation of students to build a coaches foundation.

    There is also data showing how year 3 is a traditional dip year.

    There are exceptions. We just saw it with Stallings. I think we can all agree Narduzzi has not been a detriment to Pitt football. You can argue he’s maintained status quo but he has not hurt Pitt football like Stallings hurt Pitt basketball.

    I think ike would agree with me … No one is arguing that this is very important season. This is the season where we have to start seeing something from the team. Next season is the season that they build on turning the corner. Who knows, maybe they surprise this season and end up a year ahead of schedule.

    I have concerns about the depth and inexperience on the offense but who knows what kind of attack they are planning with Kenny P behind center. I have a feeling it will be much different than what we saw last season. No evidence to that … more good ole optimistic faith. Haha.

    Like

  144. gc – the average ranking of teams ranked 21-25 in the final poll last season was 58. I did the math for you way up in this thread. Teams ranked 16-20 have an average ranking of 28.

    So, yes, the math you’re doing does not add up. Class ranking does not equate to similar poll rankings. It’s about recruiting consistently, which Pitt is.

    With a 65th ranked class, Pitt still has an average recruiting ranking over 4 years as 44. Well within the 21-25 spots.

    Minus the 65 and only including the last 3 seasons, Pitt has an average ranking of 34, which is really not far off from the 16-20 spots.

    Pitt is closer than you think and recruiting just fine. Wisconsin was 35 and 38 the last two seasons. Pitt has been 38 and 36.

    Everyone looks at the recruiting rankings and equates them to poll rankings. That’s not how it works. Teams ranked 21-25, again, had an average recruiting ranking of 58.

    Like

  145. I do agree with you TT but the crowd looking, searching and grasping at everything they can to make a case that Narduzzi sucks no matter what reasonable barriers that may have presented themselves in reality that manifests itself of what the truth is. Of course Heather being on vacation and the ACC holding PITT athletics by the throat telling them to spend spend spend and how to run their athletic programs not withstanding. That’s believable to some of this crowd. Myself? Sounds like an agenda. IKE

    Like

  146. Expanding on my above thought. With having finished in the Top 25, a measly four (4) times in 35 years.

    Over the same time period, even lowly Boston College has finished in the Top 25 a much more respectable ten (10) times.

    That is how bad our program has been in the last 35 years.

    It’s actually kind of amazing we draw 40-50k to a game.

    Like

  147. Just because my opinion is that Narduzzi has to recruit better does not mean I am down on him. All things considered I think he is doing a good job. But there are no great teams without great players and the way you get them is to recruit them.

    You also need good solid upper class men on your lines. I just don’t see the pipeline being developed for these.

    Like

    1. Franklin has a 100,000 sell out home crowd to sell each and every season. I’d bet if Narduzzi had a 100,000 home sell out to entice some of the top stars each and every year he’d be able to go toe to toe with Franklin on the recruiting front in many cases. It’s a stacked recruiting deck against Pitt versus OSU, ND and PSU each and every year. Maybe that will change in the not too distant future. But what will probably never change is Pitt’s inability to sell out Heinz field each and every week.

      Like

      1. This post is right on the money. I doubt anyone works harder at recruiting than Coach Duzz – but the deck is stacked against him.

        This is why I fear him leaving to go to a place that checks all the boxes. At least we should get the Pete back rockin’ with Coach Capel in town…

        H2P!

        Like

  148. Central Florida’s football program only started in 1996. 22 years ago and they have almost as many Top 25 final rankings as Pitt. Three (3)

    That is how bad we have been and people complain about the attendance.

    Like

      1. Mark, could you give your opinion on the commitment between PITT and UCF on the football front since 1996? In your honest opinion, was there a level playing field between the two football programs? If your answer is no then I agree.

        This isn’t macro it’s a slow train rolling down the track. Think ahead not back and let go of your demons for my own sanity… ike:)

        Like

  149. ACC teams and Final Top 25 Rankings (since this is who we are competing with) since 1983

    Pitt – 4 times

    Miami – 24 times
    GT – 10 times
    Duke – 1 (is the loneliest number)
    Syracuse – 9 times
    UNC – 5 times (why can’t we beat these clowns)
    Va Tech – 19 times (amazing we beat these jokers, sometimes)
    Virginia – 8 times (even they are better than us the last 35 years)

    Clemson – 19 times (hey we’re 2-0 against them since 1977)
    L-Ville – 10 times (they were in C-USA until 2004, still better than us over 35 years)
    BC – 10 times (hard to believe Pitt has been much worse than BC over last 35)
    Wake – 2 times (they’ll prolly beat us this season)
    NC State – 6 times (they did beat us last season)
    Florida State Pen – 29 times (wow did these 2 programs go in opposite directions after 1983)

    So we only have done better than a basketball school who hasn’t been noted for football since pre-WW2. (sort of like us sans the Majors/Sherrill miracle) and tiny Wake Forest with it’s less than 5,000 undergrads

    Like

    1. When you throw away a decade for academic integrity, panic over an SI article, have university leaders who don’t care about winning big and play tough schedules in the nonconferenceto just to stay consistent with something you gets lots and lots of losses and mediocrity.

      Liked by 1 person

  150. One of my main concerns is our QB’s (Although we are all excited and want Pickett to do good) he is a true Sophomore. We put a lot of stock into the Miami game. Pickett will probably win us a game but he will definitely lose of 1-2 by making rookie mistakes.

    Now, Had he started 80% of the games last year some of those mistakes would of been played through in my opinion.

    Like

  151. There is a big difference when you are a no name and no expectations on you vs. when you are hailed the savior QB of Pitt Football.

    Like

  152. The ACC is a NC based conference. I remember when MD, an ACC Charter member, complained constantly about ACC refs, plans, etc. They seemed to say that MD was that northern school.

    I guess we are that northwest school in the big 10 footprint. I wonder if WVU feels like that eastern school in the mountains.

    Like

  153. Those are extremely sad stats.
    A good reason for most of us to be pessimists.
    A whole can of SOP for Narduzzi to overcome.

    The amazing thing is that during that period we have had more than our share
    of great players, NFL Hall of Famers, and future HOF’s.

    During that time the SEC, Miami, FL ST have dominated NCAA Football with a few others thrown in, USC, tOSU, Okla, etc.

    Makes me strongly question when we will see a top 25 team again, TT’s analysis aside.

    Like

  154. Ike, I have been very clear to separate that 2015 class from Paul Chryst’s recruits or the kids that committed to Paul chryst and those who committed to Pat narduzzi.

    But even with that his last two years have not been all that good either. 2016 was ok; 2017 was a real dip and 2018 is not that good a class imo.

    One of the reasons you need to have 4 or 5 Star recruits in your class is because attrition is going to take some of those out. So what you want to have after attrition is to have remaining four or five star kids on that roster so they can be the kind of superstars that help carry the team. I honestly do not see anyone on this roster at this point other than Kenny Pickett who might fit that bill.

    Maybe Weaver at DE? Ford at DB?

    But the truth is that not one HS player who committed to Narduzzi has reached any real level of stardom save Henderson on special teams…one kid out of 55 of his own recruits is a poor track record.

    And if you are trying to build a strong program that won’t cut it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed, all due respect but what has all the star players have gotten us thru the years? 4 Top 25 rankings in 35 years … big deal

      It’s been since 1981 since Pitt had 2 losses or less. They reached the 10 win plateau only once since then.

      It is hard to recruit here … and it’s getting harder with the dissipation of talent

      Like

  155. Reed, I know your rules but leaving out Nate Peterman is cheating. He wasn’t at PITT before Narduzzi. So who gets the credit? Men from Mars? or Men from Down Under.. Who could it be?

    Like

  156. Reed – Narduzzi’s first real class is about to be redshirt sophomores. On offense, most were behind established starters. On defense, he did his best to redshirt them. There is not a sample size to make a statement like that. The next two seasons there will be.

    Like

  157. Reed posted:

    “I have been very clear to separate that 2015 class from Paul Chryst’s recruits or the kids that committed to Paul chryst and those who committed to Pat narduzzi.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes you have been very clear friend but I wonder, Whitehead doesn’t count, Nate doesn’t count, yet you blame Narduzzi for bringing in other grad transfers and JR college players that haven’t worked out? All of a sudden those players seem to count very high up on your list. You are not consistent at all Reed.

    This is how I read this and it’s just my opinion. Nate doesn’t count for Narduzzi but Narduzzi is to blame for all the other transfers that didn’t work out as well as Nate. (Max). My head spins trying to figure out your rules. Can we drop all the special POV rules? Narduzzi didn’t bring in this guy or he didn’t bring in that guy? << This isn’t star trek. They weren’t beamed down by Scotty, Narduzzi brought all of them to PITT. The good ones and the not so good ones….. They came in under HCPN tenure. They count.

    Like

  158. What recruiting dilemma?

    … And yes, winning more games will get Pitt into the top 25 and, in the process, open the door to another tier of recruiting.

    Like

    1. Losing is only better when it is to a good opponent in the nonconference since many Pitt fans have this incredibly foolish mindset over beating a tomato can at home.

      Like

  159. Been away from the site for the weekend and had some time to kill before a softball game so I just read 300+ posts, very impressive everyone! I have made my feelings known that we recruit as well as we can currently based on circumstances and agree with TT’s points and outlook completely. Unless we really start winning or Western PA players miraculously come back we are doing as well as I would expect. Hope I’m wrong but I think this year will be tough, I will reserve my judgement until 2019 unless effort is not there. A strong 2019 and I do believe we can turn the corner. Oh, and the idea that the ACC has even considered throwing out, let alone actually verbally threatening Pitt, because of one bad hoops season is hysterical.

    Like

  160. One should also understand that in the lean 3rd and maybe 4th years on the field, we should be able to see some help on the way in the form of some good recruiting classes and red shirts. POVers have a legitimate concern that the recruiting classes haven’t started being better at this point, at least it doesn’t appear so. I am still firmly behind Narduzzi but would like to see some better recruiting classes going forward, but right now, it doesn’t look great for 2018/19 from an early signing standpoint.

    Like

  161. Reed – on the post you just blocked comments on, I was not calling you negative. I just disagreed with your opinion on the O-line. I just wanted to make that clear. I understand you write with a critical eye. I was just providing facts on Duzz’s O-line recruiting to support my opinion. I hope I was not one of the ones to shut comments down and I apologize if i offended you.

    … and I do understand people speculate on blogs. Speculation veers from reality, however, and I was just pointing out the reality of where the O-line is with Duzz recruiting … redshirt freshman and sophomores.

    I say that knowing I speculate all the time too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  162. I think the opposite. I think the commenters that have a more of a negative spin on PITT athletics should write articles in their own words. Tx, as an example, writes wonderful articulate comments that could very easily be articles. Reed does need help with the writings on the POV to keep it lively and show the differences of opinions from us all.

    On the other hand, if there happens to be an article I find is slanted against my feelings, I was under the impression it would be ok to oppose that view of thought? Otherwise, what are we doing here?

    Bottom line to me is……………. I can’t think of one poster who wrote an article on the POV that writes comments that are negative or shall we call you realists?

    Let me make myself clear…. It’s not a prerequisite to write articles to comment. Myself, I like hearing and reading all comments with my own condition, I reserve the right to rebuttal. ike*

    Like

  163. One recent observation on recruiting: Capel signs a top 100 player, and then uses it to back fill the remaining scholarships available. So it is start high and create some buzz and excitement from there. Narduzzi starts with a few 2 star and 3 star players, and then hopes to close out recruiting at the end of the class with a couple of 4 stars. It is almost like he is so unsure that he will get good recruits that he will take anyone at first and then try to upgrade the class going forward. So who is more likely to be successful on the recruiting front?

    Like

  164. VOR..just one look at Capel’s twitter page let me know he is a “people person.” He is obviously very comfortable being out in the community and our community will know Capel far better than Duzz in a few months. Kids are going to want to be around him. Capel just being Capel will create a buzz. Duzz seems to be more of a recluse-loner when it comes to dealing with the public and the PITT community. He has a “wall” that he has built around him from which he operates. Big style differences.

    Like

  165. Right, BigB. And that style difference is critical in the recruiting wars. These recruits often mention that their relationship with their coach is most important. Coaches can become a father figure. Capel starts early to recruit kids. Look at today’s Post Gazette article on Ethan Morton from Butler. The kid is a Sophomore, and the article mentions that Capel is already a regular visitor to his AAU games. That is how it is done. Obviously, FB has a greater number of scholarships so it is slightly different. But relationships still sell these kids and Narduzzi’s recruiting has some issues here. He is no longer a DC, and I’m concerned that he has not adjusted his methods sufficiently to fit the head coach role.

    Like

  166. C’mon …. what would make any of you think that Narduzzi wouldn’t want a 4-star commit as his first commit .. or 2nd …. or pick your number. In fact, I believe Paris Ford was his first commit two years ago.

    I’ll say this again … you will note that all his 4-star recruits are either locals who want to stay or ones who commit very late in the recruiting season … meaning that they (1) did not get an offer fro the school they were hoping for, and (2) never attended a Pitt game at Heinz.

    Pitt has offered plenty of 4-stars while they are juniors, and even a few sophomores. I suggest you look up all the players they have offered so far these past few months.

    And if anyone was a recluse, it was Chryst for goodness sake. Look at it twitter page and tell me he is not a good communicator. And as far as community, he just planted trees near some area roadsides.

    JFC! Do some research before you make these asinine observations.

    wwb

    Like

  167. VoR – There were no 2 stars in the class and most were on the high end of 3 stars. The one 2 star who de-committed ended up a 3 star at stanford.

    Like

  168. wwb, you obviously missed my point. You can Twitter all you want, these kids get 100 contacts a day. Offering is not the same as relationship building. The 4 stars get 30 or more letters in the mail offering them a scholarship. If you are Nick Saban, that might be enough to consider that college. But if you are Pitt in the middle of the pack and not even making bowl games, that is not enough. The kid must WANT to play for you, and that comes with intensive interest and building a relationship with his parents and HS coach as well. Sure PN wants the 4 stars, but what is he doing to get them? Relying on planting trees, and recruiting by Twitter, is what’s asinine.

    Like

    1. 2 words: Donovan Jeter. PN met with hi every time he came to watch his brother play BB., He also attended a large handful of Pitt FB practices. Yet, he took one trip to an ND game, and committed 2 dats later. And get this … his dad was interviewed and said that the toughest think Donovan had to do was to call PN and tell him he was going elsewhere because he likes ad respected him so much (I am NOT making this up)

      2 more words: Dorian Johnson. OC Rudolph who is a Belle Vernon alum was in constant contact with him, and why not .. an area 5-star from Rudolph’s home town. Johnson took his first visit to Happy Valley and committed before he left (I am NOT making this up.)

      I don’t care how personable you get … when you don’t have as much to offer as your competitors … you lose!

      wwb

      Like

  169. Almost all of narduzzi 4-star recruits signed in very late fall or early on right before the LOI day Anthony Davis no not Anthony Davis someone elsethey all hesitated to almost the end. That usually does mean they were waiting for the bigger dogs they wanted to offer and that didn’t happen.

    Hamlin, Davis and Salahuddin signed on LOI day or very close to it.

    Like

    1. correct .. except for maybe Hamlin who, according to local reporters, was set on Pitt (and probably told PN weeks before he made it official)

      Like

  170. Reed is right. While there are exceptions to every rule, relationships are generally most important. Some kids, as Reed mentions, hold out for higher value and then get real at the end. For others, a letter is all that is needed if they are Alabama or Notre Dame and the player has followed them all of their life, even if the current coach is a real jerk. No one size fits all, but the majority of kids want to play for the coach who recruited them, and early commitments are a sign of that. I don’t see PN as someone who excels in the personal contact part.

    Like

  171. If you look for those exceptions who may commit earlier I think we’ll find they were mostly local players. Ford, Hamlin and Whitehead who even though I heard he committed to Paul. Look at the few four stars that committed elsewhere recently, they mostly committed early. I don’t think this is specifically a Narduzzi problem. It’s more of a product of what we talked about yesterday, that PITT’s instability for the football program still has lingering effects. ike

    Like

  172. At the risk of offending some, the Nard Dog is recruiting alright. Pitt’s recruits rarely get moved up to another star level upon committing like so many of these other more favored places of higher learning (?) do.

    Perfect example the TE who decommitted from Pitt who was a 2 star, signs with Stanford and they move him up to a 3 star. That doesn’t happen if his commitment stays at Pitt.

    I’d be willing to bet more than few shekels that had some of Pitt’s upper end 3 star recruits signed with one of the favored places, say like Pedo State or Ohio Fake, etc. etc., they would have moved up to 4 stars.

    Such is life when you’re a middling program, that is not favored by the media, the recruitment sites and even your own local media hacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  173. ^^This is a good example Emel. What the strange part is that the kid changed his mind because of academics not football. I believe his name was something like Symonds of something close.

    PITT recruits rarely get the bum up as some other schools get. It also tells us how close a 5.7 is to a 4* player. ike

    Like

  174. Anon or wwb or whoever posted Duzz’s twitter page ( which I look at several times a day) .Take a look a Capels twitter. What stand sout to me is how he acknowledges individual fans who have tweeted him either to congratulate him or let him know they are excited and buying season tickets…very personable and seems to embrace people. In my asinine opinion, I think this is an area that Duzz needs to work on..It’s who he is and people don’t change…but,,,,,

    Like

    1. it’s wwb. That’s fine if you like Capel’s twitter better … but don’t tell me that Narduzzi is not a good communicator or a “recluse-loner when it comes to dealing with the public and the PITT community” ….. which IMO is (again) asinine.

      Like

  175. BTW, off of Reed’s latest article. I truly beieve that Narduzzi is building the PITT football program from the ground up. He’s been laying the ground work for recruiting, he’s changed a few asst coaches or a few left and he’s building a more complete team then we have seen in a few years. Maybe an article will be born from the question of the young depth on this team?

    Like

  176. If a player graduates from Pitt and feels he doesn’t have a legitimate shot at the nfl, and he decides to begin his career or seek our his masters in lieu of staying for his 5th year of football, I commend that player.

    Like

  177. While I agree that recruiting needs to improve, I am wondering where the 4-5 stars will come from. It is very concerning

    Like

Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s