By Rich Hefner (PITTcocks on the POV)

Is Pat Narduzzi being paid $3.5 million? Is it conjecture based on a false assumption from known published figures? Or is it a reasonable guesstimate? Let me lay out some known facts based on my research.

Paul Chryst (PC) was PITT’s head football coach from early January 2012 through early December 2014. He was replaced by Pat Narduzzi (PN). PN signed a contract in late December ’14 & assumed duties in early January ’15. Per reports, it was a 5 year contract running from 2015 thru 2019. In December of 2015, the late great AD Scott Barnes (SB) signed PN to a new contract that added a 2 year extension to PN’s original 5 years. His contact would now expire in 2021. In December of 2017, current AD Heather Lyke (HL) signed PN to a new contract/extension that extended PN term of employment through 2024. No contract terms or conditions were released by PITT at the announcement of these signing/extensions.

Everyone has seen the USA Today report on college football head coaching salaries. For your entertainment here is the link for 2018.

As usual Alabama’s Nick Saban is the highest paid at $8,307,000. PN comes in at #42 with $3,017,718. Some other fun facts, Do you know the USA report is sortable? Click on the any header & it will sort the report by that header. Try it with header “Max bonus” & up will pop up “Stoops, Stoops, Stoops” from Kentucky with $3,100,000. Also, if you click on the items highlighted in red in any column heading explanations, there is more specific info or history provided.

But what makes up the numbers behind the USA report. That’s where methodology comes into play. If you drop down to the bottom of the report below the data, there is a line reading ” To see the methodology behind this data, click here “.

They give an explanation of what is included or not included in each column. This report in general is for the current contract year. I am assuming it is the calendar year 1/1/2018 thru 12/31/18 except for bonus paid which are from 5/15/17 thru 5/14/18.

A while back, someone asked if Brian Kelly of ND is only paid $2,129,638. The answer is probably more. Below the explanation of specific column headings, there are specific explanations pertinent to some individual schools. Since the schools are in alphabetical order, slide down to Notre Dame & read what it has to say.

Well that leaves PITT. What does the school have to say about pay. Well in short – nothing. Or at least to any person who asks. But there is info out there. Due to the State of Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law we have this link:

The link takes us to a disclosure file of all IRS Form 990 & attachments. So what is Form 990? The Form 990 title says it all: “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax”. Why do we care? This is the form that tells us what PITT paid PN (Well specifically Form 990 Part VII & in greater detail Sch. J of Form 990 does).

Before I go into my findings, let me explain some details. PITT reports on a fiscal year. Their last reported fiscal year began 7/1/2016 & ended 6/30/2017. If you open the link above, the first of 10 links is titled Fiscal Year 20 17. If you click on it up pops 20 16 Form 990 for fiscal year 7/1/16 – 6/30/17. It’s a little confusing between header title & Form 990 header
Once you have opened the link to Form 990 for FY 2016, scroll down to PITT numbered page 9. (The PITT page # is on bottom center of page. Do NOT use the IRS page number at top right.) PN is shown to have received $2,979,242 in reportable compensation (W-2, 1099 income). PN also received $39,476 in other compensation for a grand total of $3,017,718. (this is the same amount on the USA Today report. Note: PN is one of 5 “Highest Compensated Employees” the “x” in column C.

While you have the link open to Form 990 for FY2016, scroll down to Sch. J, specifically Sch. J Part II (PITT page 90). The schedules are in alphabetical order & is about 2/3 of the way down. There you will find the info on officers, trustees & other highly compensated employees. This report breaks down compensation into 5 broad categories: Base Compensation (BC), Bonus & Incentive Compensation (B&I), Other Reportable Compensation, Retirement & Other Deferred compensation, & Nontaxable Benefits. There is also a total column.

I looked at most of the Form 990’s, specifically looking for football coaches compensation. The list below is for the PN’s & PC’s years at PITT. I am only going to show Base Compensation (BC), Bonus & Incentive Compensation (B&I), Other reportable compensation, & All Other (total of remaining 2 categories), & Total. The year I will show is from the year shown on IRS Form 990. Remember it is a fiscal year so 2016 runs from 7/1/16 – 6/30/17.

FY 2016 PN $1,822,250 1,058,333 97,159 39,476 $3,017,218
FY 2015 PN $1,312,782 450,000 26,266 38,687 $1,827,735
FY 2014 PN $0 0 0 0 $0
FY 2014 PC $1,052,097 587,500 22,375 37,950 $1,699,922
FY 2013 PC $1,042,079 583,333 22,526 36,782 $1,684,720
FY 2012 PC $1,020,881 500,000 22,549 35,327 $1,578,757

If you are following my walk through, a question you may have is where is PN for the part of the FY 2014 he was employed. (1/1/2015 – 6/30/15)? My best guess is he was NOT one of the 5 Highest Compensated Employees that PITT must report. Actually PC is not shown for his partial year FY 2012 (1/1/2013- 6/30/2013). Dave Wannsted & Michael T, Graham are included in FY 2012 reporting.

After all this data & background, I still have not answered the original question: Is PN making $3.5 million this year. I also will add a second question. Is that $3.5 million comparable to the other coaches making $3.5 million in the USA Today report?

Lets break down some $’s based on the breakdown above. First up – “Base Compensation”(BC)

All non-profits must report salaries & benefits for trustees, officers, directors, key employees, & the top 5 Highest Compensated Employees. For the FY 7/1/14 – 6/30/15, Susie McConnell-Serio was the lowest of the reported group at rounded total compensation of $540,000. This means PN’s total was less than that amount. For various reasons, I am assuming that PN signed his first contract for $1M. Half of that is $500,000 & with no bonus/incentives & the other areas of compensation were probably less than $40,000, that makes Susie’s total greater.

Since we estimated reported Base Compensation for 1/15 – 6/15 we can now convert FY base to Calendar base & adjust for the two contacts/extensions. (Note-#’s below are rounded for my convenience.)

FY end 6/30/15 $500,000 (est.) – Calendar 12/31/15 $1,000,000 (2500,000) Original Contract
FY end 6/30/16 $1,312,782 – Calendar 12/31/16 $1,625,500 (1,312,782-500,000)
2 SB ext.
FY end 6/30/17 $1,822,250 – Calendar 12/31/17 $2,020,000 (1,822,250-812,750)*2

We will not know anything about PN’s Base Compensation for FY 7/1/17 – 6/30/18 until sometime in May of ’19 when PITT files & reports its annual IRS Form 990. We do know that a contract extension was made by HL in Dec ’17, so it is safe to assume a raise is in order. I am assuming a $500,000 upgrade in BC to $2.5M. Why? Check the USA Today report. $2.5 M is now puts him in a pay range comparable to a few other ACC coastal teams.

Now for B&I. This category may include such items as wins, bowl appearances, NCAA APR scores, (Petrino at Louisville gets $400K for any APR score above 920. A really low bar since 919 or lower draws the NCAA’s ire,) 1’st TD scored in a game or leading at halftime, (Randy Edsell at UConn has both in his contract.) amongst other items. Bonus money is dependent on the contract which for PITT/PN we do not know..

PITT has a B&I breakout, For FY’14 PN showed $0. Of course it should. Jan. – June is not bonus earning time for a football coach. It’s bonus paycheck cashing time. In FY ’15, PN earned $450,000. Reasonable considering his team won 8 games & made an ACC Tier II bowl. In FY ’16 PN earned $1,058,333. Well, he did win 8 games again and upgraded to Tier I bowl. The 8 wins & Tier I should be worth more than $450,000 and I think $150K is the upgrade in bonus. Once again we don’t know PN’s contract but it is my contention that PN received a one time signing bonus. $400,000K seems to me about right. Makes up for the low original contract. But then again, it could be all football related.

So what about B&I for FY 6/30/18 It should be a lot lower than $1.058M after 5 wins and no bowls. But PN/HL did sign another contract extension. I assumed that in the prior extension (PN/SB) that there was a signing bonus of $400K. Is there another signing bonus? Is it more or less. Was there any interest in PN after the ’17 season that didn’t make the news? Was it HL getting on PN’s good side? I am going to go with another $400K.

I am not going to talk about the two remaining categories: Other reportable compensation, & All Other, about $140K in total. It’s pocket money or chump change (while not to me & probably you & if it is please chip in on a new OCS). I will say that in reading the USA Today report methodology it is my interpretation $40K (all other category) would be excluded.
So how much is PN being paid for ’18? I say $2.5M. in BC, $550K in B&I ($400K (the I of B&I) & $150K in B (I like giving out bonuses for the fun of it.) & $140K in all other. This is a total of $3,190,000.
Now, is this amount comparable to the USA report. The answer is NO. If you read the methodology, a one time signing bonus is included in school pay but actual bonus (for contact provisions) paid is a separate amount & is NOT included in school pay. So while my above figure of $3.190M is what would show on a W-2, the USA Today would only show $3.040M. I really didn’t give PN a B of $150K for the fun of it but to prove a point. I do believe he will still get some amount of bonus even after the 5 win, no bowl season.

I really enjoyed this exercise. I learned a lot but I also learned such things as Todd Graham real name is Michael T. Graham. I also learned that Arizona State paid PITT $1,000,000 as a buyout payment. First one to report where that came from (on IRS Form 990) has way to much time on their hand but I will give that person a hearty well done. I also found out how much Wanny was reported to receive by PITT and it is more than what is shown on the USA Today report.

I will revisit this in May of ’19 to see if my assumptions are correct. You can also come up with your own assumptions and we can debate.

101 thoughts on “So What Exactly IS Pat Narduzzi’s Salary?

    1. Reed – Thank you for posting my submission. This type of article is what I am comfortable with producing. I like stats & numbers & trying to make heads & tells of them. I am not an X&O man or a recruiting fanatic. I am not a PITT alum so I basically know nothing about the Oakland area (but I do have a story of buying beer as an way underage teenager when my dad was in a Oakland hospital after an industrial accident).

      And a thank you yo Mark who also made this possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Big game this weekend. I am very excited Have not posted for a while just haven’t had the time. This game is as big as the Cincy game in 09. Could go a long way in overturning the SOP tradition or will it continue. Gosh that North Carolina game hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Richard, anyone remember Richard profession he’s retired from? It shouldn’t be that hard to guess. Plus I want to meet the guy who’s willing to debate him on this matter…. 🙂 Love you Richard ike


    1. Thanks Ike -I feel the same you – Your generosity & enthusiasm helps make life a brighter place

      Don’t want to be political but I just got back from doing my civic duty. I voted.

      Long lines for my voting precinct. Usually it takes me longer to drive to there (10+ minutes) then it does to register & vote. I was inside for 15 minutes.


  3. my guess is that in total compensation, PN is making close to $3.5M, but his base salary is around $2.3M. This total will put him in the area with most of his peers in ACC …. but not Dabo, Richt, Petrino, etc


    1. I assume you are the previous wwb who became anonymous but used wwb at the bottom of your comments. Always enjoyed your comments.

      I just don’t see $3.5M for calendar 2018. I used published numbers to come up with estimation of $3.190M by converting & extrapolation fiscal year #’s to calendar year #’s. Your base comp would make the B&I # somewhere in the range of $1.2 M. This is after a 5 win no bowl season. Yes there is an extension signing bonus but together being near your # is way over my high side.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes I am wwb. I have no mathematic formula for the $3.5M I listed. Just threw it out there because it was in your title; your $3.19M is likely much more accurate. Good job


  4. Nice podcast Reed.

    I understand your POV thinking. I have volunteered for 18 years concerning the same work I did in the government. Some things are in one’s blood. Good luck. But always H2P


  5. If anyone cares. (I do) PITT will be wearing their close to throw back uniforms Saturday.

    Fran, I may have a few extra family members coming to the tailgate. Emphasis on “may” … Pulled pork sandwiches with slaw looks like a full go. Do you need anything else? I’m ready to suit up right now. ike


    1. Thanks. It’s on my list.

      Didn’t realize until reading your comment that May ’19 is only 6 months away. For some reason I thought I had a year to go. All my or anyone else’s assumptions or conclusion will come true/false next May & then we can get on to making assumptions about 2019 pay.


  6. Rich — WOW! What a detailed article, great job.

    I happen to think it is obscene what college FB coaches are paid. Should be something like a salary cap to keep things in better perspective. And contracts should have to be upheld.

    But then I’m old! 😊

    Go Pitt.


    1. Thanks John. I enjoyed doing it. I worked on it in fits and starts over two weeks. But as I said I learned a lot.

      The problem is that college football (or at least some P5 conferences) are awash in tv & bowl money. And like most organizations, they have to use it or lose it. That’s why there are always upgrades to facilities, coaches salary increases & even adding new teams (I actually like adding a PITT women’s Lacrosse team now add a men’s).

      If the Athletic Dept. didn’t spend it they would have to give it back to the school where it would disappear into the general fund. It would be nice if any returned funds would be ear marked would go to reducing school athletic fees.


  7. Was talking with a young man who is pharmacy school. Kid is over $300,000 in debt. Since Walmart, Target and Grocery Stores all have pharmacies now, they can’t be making that much in those stores.


    1. Pharmacists are doing quite well– with the aging population and modern physicians’ propensities to prescribe drugs for anything from anxiety and ADHD to high cholestrerol and ED. (I probably need one of those– anybody have a guess which one? LOL!)

      Average salaries are around $125-135K, with very few making less than $90k.. I think they’ll handle that $300k debt easier than an English teacher covering their $125k undergrad debt making $50k at a public school. Just sayin..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We may have a guess what you DON’T need with a blog name of “JayTower” and showing the picture of your tower (LOL)


  8. Good work Rich. My conclusion is that when someone makes $3 million plus, the pressure to win should come with it. I really hope PN is successful this year, and wins the next 2 games, but long term he needs to fix the recruiting issue or it will ultimately be his demise and rightfully so. Maybe some big success with a strong end of year run will help recruiting? Really, Borbeley’s work with the OL should pay recrutiing dividends, we’re starting to look similar to the Chryst teams, minus the pass blocking (& Borberly had less to work with).

    By the way, this was probably discussed in the game thread, but I’m not sure that I’ve seen an odder call in all my days as Narduzzi going for it on fourth and less than one at his own ten yard line. Truly, I’ve never seen anything like it. It almost seemed like he was purely going off of emotion. Maybe even more odd was, I liked the call at the time (even before we made the first down).

    One thing I will give credit to Narduzzi for is, I think this team is improving as the year progresses. Our low point of the season was early in the Syracuse game, after they went down and easily scored touchdowns on its first two drives, then surprising things began to turn, literally after those drives. Hey, not every team improves as the year goes on, just ask James from State College.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 1618 – that was mentioned, but what wasn’t mentioned was that the track was extremely wet, the ball was wet and so many things could have gone wrong because of footwork, ball security etc.

      If we don’t make it and they get a TD, aNarduzzi’s seat would have been on fire. Luckily, there was plenty of water available to put it out!

      Also showed he lacked confidence in a 50 yard punt or even 40……probably figured a punt from there leaves them in fg position anyway, so let’s go!


  9. Then again they don’t have any overhead of running their own pharmacy. Down here I can count on one hand, the number of independent pharmacies. Soda Fountain, Lunch Counter in a Drug Store…good luck
    with that. At least down here in the New South !

    Pickett btw is like almost last among ACC passers, bracketed by the 2 bad Miami QB’s.

    We’d be pretty good if we could pass for like 200 yds/game.


  10. IMO, Narduzzi’s recruiting issues is still just a perception until we see what his recruits do in the longer run. This year is proving to be doing just that. Let’s wait another year and see.

    I see a few budding superstars on that team right now.


  11. Funny about college football & basketball coaches….for poor performance…they never get their salaries slashed.

    Pretty good fraternity to get into I would imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pitt Volleyball won 2 more matches over the weekend. Trouncing GT 3-0 and Clemscum 3-1.

    Pitt is now 25-1(ranked #10) and of course I saw their only loss 😦


  13. Thanks Richard for that detailed work. I will study it later in detail.

    You know what would interest me…P&L statement from the D1 schools in the sports programs….how may schools operate in the red vs black….if they are in the red where do they grab the money from to stay operation…

    I agree that these salaries are obscene…would like to hear how playing “keeping up with the jonse’s” affects all of D1 sports


    1. Bernie – my pleasure.

      I believe USA Today or the NCAA publishes some data on P&L but it is not in detail.

      Back in a earlier stage of my life, I was a Gamecock club member (the fundraising arm of the So. Car. athletic Dept.). They would hold various meetings during the year At one meeting a year, the county Gamecock officers would give highlights of the funds raised & where it went (mainly athletic scholarships). They would then pass around a 2-3 page report going into more detail. Never had time to study & they always wanted report back at the end. If it is a “true” state school the data is there. You would just have to file a FOI request. Since PITT is “state related”, they would probably respond with thanks for the request but no.


      1. I forgot to mention that in some cases (like ND, & the Armed Forces schools) there are fund raising organizations that are not arms of the schools. These organizations can decline to provide any data.


  14. Rich – Thanks for the analysis! Assume you are/were an accountant, tax accountant or actuary?

    One correction – Michael Graham’s middle intial is really “F”. 🙂

    Emel – just a hunch, but I am guessing that “bots” will replace a high number of human retail pharmacists in the next 5-10 yrs. Artificial Intelligence advances being what they are, reliance on a human mind to understand and assess common drug interactions within a pharmacy store will wane as the need for individuals who understand how to read/write code in that area will grow – somebody has to look after the pharma-bots after all. Its only going to get harder to pay that school loan off sadly.


    1. Yes, I was a manufacturing accountant. Long time Plant Controller. How I got into accounting is a story. But I have lots of stories. I like to tell them but I really like to listen to other tell them or their experiences. When kids/grandkids go somewhere they always bring me back a memento of the trip. but won’t go into any details of what they did or what they experienced. I would start with “I got in my car…. ” & a 1/2 hour later say – any questions.

      On Michael Graham, I had to go into my link to see because I truly believed I had it right. But now I get it.


        1. Not with Westinghouse – Alcoa. I grew up in the Pittsburgh area & haven’t lost my yinzer/northern accent. Most people assumed that Alcoa Corp sent me here. The problem is that the only Alcoa people I knew before I became an Alcoa employee was my uncle who worked in an Alcoa plant in Texas


    2. Good point Joel, as most of their time is counting pills and putting them into smaller bottles. A lot of jobs are going to be lost with this Ai. And then there will be the job of managing the pharma-bots.


  15. Richard – ffrom one accountant to another, that was a ffine use of your number crunch abilities.

    UPitt and I will debate whether the 5 wins to date (or this season) have cost Pitt $638,000 per game or more.

    The hokies are hurting and you know what that means – some of their back-ups whom Pitt was recruiting may see the ffield this Saturday. That should be enough ffuel to ffire up coach Duzz and his staff to throw the kitchen sink at Ffuentes and company.

    Roast the ffowl ffeathered hokies and let the “wildcats” ffeast on their ffixens…


    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rich, that was the most detailed and informative articles I’ve seen in any publication or blog on that subject. You certainly get an A+. Thank you.


  17. Great article. I enjoyed it.

    Is it possible PN’s last extension was similar to a pro football player reworking his contract so the team has more salary cap money. In this case, Pitt has more assistant money. He still gets his money, it is just restructured.


    1. nrs – it is possible. In the USA Today report methodology under bonus paid there is this line:

      Includes payments due to head coaches, regardless of whether they distributed portions to other staff.

      But I am using an IRS tax filing. In my opinion, the tax filing $ only includes PN’s actual compensation. It wouldn’t surprise me that PN, as part of his contract negotiations got more money for his assistants. He my have also got more money for the back office or even more back office staff.


  18. Rich, as a man familiar with . . . . . “taxing matters” I want to say that I was very impressed with your research skills and knowledge, not to mention your perseverance. Great job.

    With tuition increases annually in the double digit range and our graduates suffering under the burden of sometimes unmanageable debt, if the NCAA actually gave a damn it would impose a salary cap of some kind on coaching budgets. For example, a salary cap for revenue generating sports, versus the alternative sports could help to keep universities from raiding the general fund, from which tuition is the primary source, to supplement non-educational activities like sports.

    Another thing, why does the NCAA allow donors to give money exclusively to athletic departments? Its inherently unfair and gives those ADs with well-healed donors an advantage. If your have a couple of extra million you don’t know what to do with, give it to the university of your choice and let them use it for the reason they exist. What should the primary purpose of our universities be? Educating the next generation of Rich’s or winning national championships in (insert your favorite sport here)?


    1. Thank you taxing – while I spent almost all of my accounting years in the manufacturing field, my first accounting position was a revenue agent for the IRS. After awhile I left & went into manufacturing. Job was closer to home & no driving to assignments. There were locations 100 miles from where I lived.


  19. Since I know how much everyone likes my “negative” comments, allow me to provide my opinion of Pitt’s current situation and provide some context..

    I predicted 5 wins this season and with the dumpster fires at Miami and VT and Wake being..well Wake, it LOOKS as though we’ll surpass that number.. And I’m DAMN HAPPY about that. But, let’s ask ourselves a question. Is that because we’re better than some believed or because the ACC Coastal is much worse than believed? I think it’s far more about the latter.

    Let’s be honest here. What is the worst P5 division in football? The Big10 West is mediocre and the bottom half of the Big12 (they don’t have divisions) certainly isn’t very impressive, but “sheesh” the Coastal is awful.

    Consider this:

    Coastal leader, Pitt, has been POUNDED twice this season (PSU & UCF) and it’s best win is against a UVA team that lost to Indiana. VT has beaten no one of note and lost to Old Dominion. Yes folks, Old Dominion. GT is 5-4 with two of those wins coming against Alcorn St. and Bowling Green. The Jackets also got pounded by G5 USF. Miami is 5-4 overall, only because of three OOC wins– Savannah St., FIU and Toledo (no doubt known in college football circles as “murderer’s row”). As for Duke and UNC.. they both open up in the Top 10 in hoops and don’t really care about football.

    That’s the REALITY of the Coastal in 2018. While I am rooting like hell for the Championship and right to travel to Charlotte and lose to Clemson by 40 points, it doesn’t scream “progress” to me. If some of you look at it as a return to Narduzzi’s first two seasons, that’s you’re prerogative. But you’d be wrong. The Coastal was stronger then and we had better players those two seasons. This year, we’ve played hard and continued to fight. That’s something to be proud of.. it just isn’t the same as being good.

    Now, let’s take advantage of a terrible conference, and do something Pitt never seems to do– win games they should win consistently. An 8-4 finish and a bowl WIN might even improve recruiting (let’s hope).

    I, like many of you, will be in attendance again this weekend. forecast is 38 degrees with 98% chance of drunkeness. Go Pitt! Beat the Hokies!


    ** And a quick “shout out” to my guy Tossing Thabeets. He pointed out several times that Narduzzi is recruiting well enough to compete in the Coastal. And it appears he’s right. The problem? It looks like you can win the Coastal and still get stomped TWICE by 30+ points when you leave the division.


    1. As psux fans wanted two years ago – Pitt would love another shot at playing the pedos today.

      I believe the contest outcome would be much different.

      You play who is in front of you when they are in front of you.

      Just one man’s opinion –

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jay91 — With all respect, you seem to be assuming quite a bit here about what other people on this blog think. I don’t read the comments on this blog and see Pitt fans crowing about our great team. I think we are all painfully aware of the significant flaws in this edition of the Pitt Panthers. We have a very weak passing game, and we just don’t know how ineffective our defense might be for any given game. (For myself, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that we somehow won the last two games – but I’m smiling when I think about Pitt FB…)

      As far as the Coastal, it looks to me to be pretty much as usual, except that this season we have not run into our opponents having outstanding QB performances against us like we’ve seen in the last couple of seasons. I still can’t believe the throws Trubisky made against us, for example. (Hope I’m not jinxing us for Saturday with that comment!)

      Even Mr. Positive, ike, acknowledges that the Panthers have a lot of work to do to become the team we’d all like to see. But you’re right that there doesn’t seem to be that many really good teams in college football this season – big drop-off after the top 10 or so.

      Great to hear you’ll be at the game Saturday – we need more fans with your passion for the Panthers.

      Hail to Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is a “DOWN’ season for the ACC Coastal. Throw in the fact that our two crossover games are Syracuse and Wake, we have an extremely favorable conference schedule this season– even more than most seasons.


        1. Regarding #13 cuse, the ESPN pundits are touting them as ND’s next big challenge. The pundits say that Dino Babers has cuse firing on ALL cylinders.

          Never a mention that they lost to Pitt.

          Their only win over a top 25 team was NC State 51-41.

          They did beat W.Michigan, Wagner and UConn in their OOC scheduling.



    3. Jay – if we win more than 5 games this year, its progress. Progress over last year, whether that is saying much or not. If we win 7-9 games this year though, then one could look at last year as an off-year and that the program under Narduzzi will have won more games on average than his predecessor (and please lets not get into whose players he won with). That is progress.

      Consider this – if Pitt does the improbable and wins the Coastal, the program will have a story to tell recruits. One that most of the schools it is competing against for recruits won’t be able to tell. And if we have decent crowd on Saturday, attending recruits will also get to see a big game with great atmosphere. (btw – decent is 45k+ bodies in the seats – note I didn’t say great or outstanding). Maybe he gets some 4 stars to commit as a result of both. That too would be progress.

      Perhaps its not screaming, but at this point any progress is good progress.


    4. Seems to me that after Alabama and Clemson, college football is very much ‘evened out’ this season.

      Another very non-daunting P5 division is the PAC 12 South. Out of the 6 teams, in conference play, you have 4 teams with 3 losses and the remaining 2 teams with 4 losses. Like the ACC Coastal and BigJoke West, nobody in the PAC 12 South is ranked in AP, just mainly…..rank !


  20. On a side note, Tossing I’m interested in your thoughts on Pitt BB as Pitt begins the new season. What is your prediction on total and ACC wins?


  21. if you guys think college coaches’ salaries are obscene … Clayton Kershaw just got a 3 year extension from the Dodgers for $93M. And since it’s baseball, the contract is very likely guaranteed


  22. I have tried to answer everyone’s comments as a reply. It’s taken me about two hours to do so not just because I am a hunt & pecker at typing but because 8 turkeys (no not Va. Tech grads) keep circling my house doing what turkeys do. Boy, do I love living in the country.

    So if you have commented on the article, go back & read my reply. If you have a question, please use a new comment. Thanks


      1. Reed – I am enjoying my time as a now published writer. Besides, its a rainy day here. No small projects outside that would keep me from getting wet & muddy. Besides it keeps me from having to clean/vacuum & other unappealing inside chores.


  23. the bottom line is that Pitt is paying good money for the head coach and assistants. That was not the case previously with Chryst and Wanny.

    so yes the pressure is on this coaching staff to earn their compensation

    being paid in the top 40 of all coaches means 8-9 win seasons plus a bowl win. Thats the bar that Narduzzi and staff need to clear.

    Pitt has all the resources needed to be a top 25 team and a contender for the Coastal every year.

    It comes down to scheduling, talent, recruiting, player development, scheme and coaching.

    Fix the OOC schedule, recruit 4-5 four stars each year, hire good assistants, get away from this Big 10 mentality, and Pitt should do fine

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Pitt has been a 5 to 10 win team over the past 20 years. And Pitt has been notoriously cheap to make matters worse.

        Now with ACC money, Pitt is opening up the checkbooks. Thats a good thing but with that comes higher expectations. $3M plus doesnt buy mediocrity any more.

        So I would think 8-9 wins per season is the bar plus a bowl win. Moreover, to be in the chase for the Coastal title each year.

        Win 3 of 4 OOC (assumes 1 P-5, 1-2 middling teams and 1-2 patsies). You then only need to go 5-3 in ACC play. That should be the minimum goal each year. A 10 win season buys you a shot at the ACC championship and that should probably happen every 4 years.

        Heck if Pitt would have just beat NC this year, Pitt would be ranked in the top 30 and my complaining would drop down to a crickets chirping instead of a B-52 at takeoff.


        1. Believe it or not, 8-9 wins a year on average is what the pedos have been getting in the B1G on average since they joined (my guess anyway).

          That’s what they’re getting for 5Mil a years right now.

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Hate to be a nag, but if you’re going to the game Saturday, please try to get to your seats early enough to give the Seniors a hand when they are individually introduced. These guys work their tails off for Dear Old Pittsburgh and the glory of the game!

    Even when we are disappointed in the way they play, we should appreciate their dedication and hard work. I think potential recruits notice too…

    I’d love to see a big crowd sitting there 30 minutes before kickoff. See the band come out – all the stuff that makes college football great.

    And don’t forget that those Billy Hillgrove Bobbleheads will slow the lines down. “LOOSE FOOTBALL!!!”

    Hail to Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I agree, Narduzzi just needs to go out and recruit 4 and 5 star players and win 8 or 9 games plus a bowl game.


  26. with regard to some of the comments above about this year’s Coastal — this year reminds me of 2004, Pitt’s only BCS appearance. I thought that team wasn’t as good as the 2002, 2008 and 2009 teams, but won a tiebreaker in a watered-down league,

    Nonetheless …. it is still better to win a mediocre league title than to not win it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. The healing that has taken place since I joined the POV:

    A POVer losing his mother to an insidious disease.

    A POVer losing his wife prematurely.

    A POVer losing multiple family members

    A POVer and probably many more going through surgeries.

    A POVer and probably many more going through family domestic problems.

    A POVer and no doubt many more finding solace in coming to a place where he/she has feels like family.

    A POV golf outing or two

    A POV tailgate where many smile, laugh, talk, shake hands and hug, despite not knowing each other only a year earlier.

    A POV round-table where faces were shown and personalities were discovered.

    A POVer pouring his heart out asking for help to save his life with a kidney donation.


    If this isn’t helping mankind I don’t know what is..

    Sorry if I left out any private moments out and my heart goes out to you all

    The POV is a life worth saving too. Let’s save the POV.. My prayers are with you Eric. . . .ike

    Liked by 2 people

  28. JoeL,
    My uncle, Nick Masterson, passed away a few weeks back. He was a great man and pretty much ran Westinghouse’s Bettis Plant for many years.
    P.S. He was also President of the Dormont Council for many years (you Mt Lebo cake eater you!) :>) and a Pitt grad and big fan.


    1. Sorry for your loss. Hope you make it to Pgh for a game sometime. Would love to meet my favorite greaser.
      I’ll bring Beto’s to the tailgate.


  29. BTW, another excellent film-study article by Alan Saunders on PGH Sports Now. Goes over the details of the blocking on Pitt’s long runs against UVA.

    Aston and the Oline obviously do a great job — KP makes the correct calls, and some nice strategizing by the coaches…

    Then Daunders covers Pitt’s pass rush and how they managed to contain UVA’s running QB. This shows a fix from earlier in the season when our DEs would just keep rushing too far up the field, letting the QB easily escape the pocket.

    Good stuff.

    Go Pitt.


  30. So Rich, was the $3.1M for fiscal year 2016-17? I think that is what I took out of your nice article. If so, $3.5M for 2017-18 fiscal year is not out of the realm in my opinion.

    Add to that, approximately 30% – 35% on top of wages to cover benefits. I defer to my HR friends on here, but I think that is the going percentages.

    The follow-up question is whether at $3.1M or $3.5M, are we getting the right bang for the buck?

    If we are paying at top 30 in wages, are we getting top 30 recruits and top 30 records.


    1. Huff – sorry for the delay, I was watching the BB game.

      I did not do a projection for FY 17 7/1/’17 – 6/30/18. My estimation was for Calendar year 2018. I did that because the $3.5M was being compared to the USA Today report which is for a calendar year.

      For FY ’17 we know by simple # crunching that for the time frame 7/1/17 – 12/31/17 PN should have earned $1M. But in Dec’17 PN signed a contract extension. My estimate was a $500K yearly raise but for a fiscal year only $250K would count. That brings base compensation to $2.250M.

      The other big hitter is bonus & Incentive payments. In FY’16 the reported amount was $1.058M. But what changed? No bowl. A 5 win season. I estimated that he would receive a $150K bonus for whatever football related reason. The other change is another contract extension. I assumed $400k. That make a bonus total of $550k

      Through in $140k in the other category for a gr and FY ’17 (7/1/17-6/30/18) of $2.94M.

      Is $3.5m reasonable. I personally think that it is way on the high side. But give me your thoughts on why $3.5M is reasonable for FY’17.

      Benefits are a cost but all schools pay them. Benefits are not included on IRS Form 990 for individuals & are excluded in the USA TODAY report.

      As for expectations that up for debate. As for top 30 pay, My estimate we are paying at top 42 rates.


  31. The only senior on Pitt BB team Jared Wilson-Frame has been suspended for tonight’s opener for violation of team rules. welcome to Pitt Coach Capel.! J


    1. it was for “Violation of team rules for something that happened ‘this spring’ which could mean in between the two coaching staffs” So it doesn’t seem as bad


  32. Somebody mentioned the bb game was on ESPN, I guess he meant, ESPN online. Cause I can’t find it on AT & T Uverse at all and they have like every sports channel on the globe.

    Lots of our former BigEast foes are on though, I saw St. John’s being carried by 3-4 channels, Providence & Seton Hall are on as well…. as far as the early games.

    Pitt really needs to get on more in the East. And that is not happening in the ACC with many of these channels.


    1. The ACC HATES northern schools.. They added Pitt, Syracuse, BC as a necessity to be large enough to have 2 divisions and add market relevence in Boston, NY and Pittsburgh.


      1. Many ACC fans yearn for the old days when even Miami, VT. AND BC weren’t in the conference.

        Q – how many southerners does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

        A – Three. One to put it in and two to lament about how nice the old lightbulb was.

        Bless their hearts….


  33. Watching the PITT hoop game on TV. Go to search, type in ESPN3 and go to college basketball. Then watch the game…


      1. But they absolutely played shut down D in the second. Was at the game, decent crowd for a home opener, …the Zoo was PACKED and they stayed until well after the last 4:00 media timeout.

        Impressive opening win to start the Capel Era…started 3 Frosh for the first time in Pitt BB history. #15 – the kid from Sweden was a firecracker – what a bundle of energy!

        Enjoyed seeing fast paced running style of ball…the bigs were slinging the d rebounds out to the guards almost before they had control of the ball…this team is going to be fun to watch grow.


        Liked by 1 person

  34. Lots of thoughts on the first half. Much improved perimeter d, despite the last 3. McGowens is really exciting in transition, but he has a terrible looking outside shot. No wonder he tries to drive all the time. Johnson is just out of control. Funny, after a couple of these guys moves they would never have seen the floor again under Jamie. Team is going to get creamed on the boards. Can’t comment on outside shooting too much cause I didn’t see much.
    In summary, watching one half of ball against a really bad team, I’d say they will struggle all year. Now, not having the beard has a lot to do with it. Like to see them more under control, also, that goes for the coach, although I did think the ref teed him up pretty quick.


    1. Disagree Joe. At the game – the rebounding was actually pretty good after the first 10 minutes or so. Think they are going to hold their own there.

      Shooting was tough – but the shots will come. Those kids were obviously nervous in the first half. Frosh guards tended to drive too deep and overrun their passing lane, forced to take a bad shot with no one in position to rebound. Once they settled down things got better.

      And OMG they ran a jump trap several times when the Youngstown guards picked up their dribble just across the half court corner…haven’t seen that in a long while- prototypical Big 4 ACC style of ball. Fun to watch.

      Not to be crowing we are going to win more than a handful of ACC games this year, but it looks like Coach Capel has the kids playing , or attempting to play solid fundamentals. Several times in the first half they got bunched up, but after the third or fourth time down the court the kids actually recognized this trend and spread it back out again.

      This team is going to surprise someone this year…Coach K watch out!



  35. Hard to tell, since YSU is so bad. But our new 3 Young Guns…are leading the way. We will only get better.
    Unlike with Otis.


  36. Well, second half was a little better. First half observations hold, plus they are really bad from the line. I think they’ll win more than the fb team, but not by much. Johnson is gonna drive some on this board nuts! I do like Toney, and McGowens gonna be fine.


  37. So without last year’s leader scorer, Pitt still wins YUGE 69-53, after being up by as much as 22 points.
    The X Man with 16 points & 6 assists & 5 rebounds
    Trey McGowan led the way with 17 points & 5 rebounds
    And Tonie Toney had 12 points and team high 9 rebounds.

    The Young Guns of Pitt !


  38. Pitt shot a respectable 49% FG, not too hot on 3’s or FT’s. Got to get in the gym and practice those shots
    after & before practice. What did Larry Bird take 500 shots per day ?


    1. Yeah, they were only 2-11 on 3’s.

      The ‘Guins chucked up 38 3’s. LOL….Dixon would have had a fit if he coached them.


  39. Guins picked 9th out of 10 teams in that league. Pretty sloppy game. Surprised they had as many assists as they did, lots of 1-1 play. Will be an extremely interesting AND frustrating year!


  40. It was so good to be back in The Pete again after I refused to renew my season tickets last year in protest of the coach who shall not be named.

    There is a ton of energy on this team – and not a little talent. After he settled down McGowens played a solid game. ‘Chuck-a luck’ – #15 – the new kid from Sweden was fun to watch – intelligent player who hustled his butt off the whole time he was on the floor.

    Lots of mistakes, but unlike the last two years this team is well coached and it showed.

    It’s going to be a fun ride the next few years watching these kids grow – it is not going to take long before Pitt is back in the mix for an ACC title.


    Liked by 1 person

  41. Tommy, I want some of that stuff you have,lol. They couldn’t even outrebound this team(44-44). And they ( the Guins) are not very good, certainly not ACC caliber. But they do hustle, can actually get in front of somebody on d. I thought Johnson was an out of control wreck. McGowens will be really good, but you have to admit, for a shooting guard ( or any type of player,actually) his shot is uggggggly. And guards who take it to the hole and can’t shoot free throws are a problem! Wow, In psyched again for Pitt hoops!! I like football, but I love hoops! Tommy, look forward to your on site reports.


  42. Was at the game. McGowens was really impressive. Made a couple of “wow” finishes at the hoop. Johnson looks promising – but might be a bit of a hotdog. Looked like he tried to go behind the back while in traffic on a fast break and lost the ball. Very athletic though.

    Toney looks promising too. He has a nice stroke on his foul shots. Another athletic player.

    Seems like all three frosh guards wanted to show-off a bit with dunks where simpler shots would have more prudent…but pretty exciting when they worked…

    If Coach Capel finds a good big for next season, these guards will be a real handful to defend.

    And Kene played really hard – and did some nice things.

    Go Pitt.


  43. The three freshmen saved this season for sure. What a trio of building blocks for Capel moving forward.

    The staff must land Wahub ad Akok along with a JuCo four or five. Peace doesn’t have it. Brown was very disappointing last night. I know he’s just a sophomore, but that soft look on the court is still there. The staff must recruit over them and they can still be solid bench players or transfer out. Kene saved the day in the post last night. He looked much stronger and his energy is much needed.

    Ellison was active and we’re lucky to have him on the court. Now if JW-F can be a semi-consistent three-point shooter then this team might win 15 games.


  44. Just let me know whether any of the guards look to be better than James Robinson….if not, I need to wait to get back on board the Pitt hoops wagon. Looks like none are close in shooting FT’s but how about everything else?


    1. They certainly drive to the hoop better, foul shooting not even close. Robinson never got better from day one, he had a great handle, but was an awful perimeter shooter, was a little slow as a defender. He was always surrounded by some pretty good players. I think our two new guys have more upside, but time will tell.

      Liked by 2 people

  45. Anyone thinking that Pitt BB will make great strides this year is fooling him/herself. Mainly because the lack of height and rebounding. While Coach Capel appears to have brought in some talented backcourt and swing position players, he struck out (in his limited time) in attracting any power forwards or centers, which is a glaring need.

    I expect a better team this year (can’t get much worse) but anyone thinking that Pitt can win more than 4 games in the conference is delusional. Capel is starting from a much worse position than his predecessor who took over an 23 win, NCAA team that had 6 of its 7 top scorers returning.


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