Chris Peak must have read my mind this week because the first thing in his 3-2-1 column was thisIt’s interesting to look around at Pitt football fans right now. They are, for the time being, a pretty content bunch. Perhaps even happy. Dare I say optimistic.

Coincidentally (before I read the column, believe it or not), I happened put together this graph:

Pitt Fan Sentiment Over time

As this very scientific chart illustrates, Pitt football fan sentiment is at ten-year highs.   Since the firing of Shawn Watson, Pitt and Pitt football have done just about everything right, and besides a 9 win season and a bowl victory (and maybe a few four-star recruits – cue open skepticism…now), there is little else that Pitt football can do right at this point.

Except for maybe this…

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 2.43.31 PM

And this…

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 3.16.07 PM

Now the land acquisition piece at this point is mere hearsay, but the administration’s desire to do a feasibility study is apparently real.  That desire, coupled with Pitt’s current momentum has the Facebook Fanbase titillated.  The momentum is so strong amongst my generation – the Gen X fans who were not spoiled by the Majors / Sherrill era, and not jaded by the decade that followed – that a few leaders have started to talk about how to get behind Pitt in a bigger way, and surprise, surprise, the administration is supporting it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 2.39.42 PM

Editor’s note: I would like to be abundantly clear that this is not Jeff Ferruzza’s initiative. He was simply the one who brought visibility to it in an effort to gain fan feedback. MM

Yes I know, many of you will grumble and say “golden panthers this” and “it will go away if the football team doesn’t win that”, or “I got that tattooed on my a** thirty years ago”.  Well that may all be true, but I have two things to say in response.

  1.  If you don’t dream of great things, great things will never happen.
  2. This:

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 2.45.01 PM

Yes.  That.  Pitt was dead last in alumni fundraising in 2015-2016 and we are probably still dead last.  Texas Panther has been saying as much for a week now (He’s probably been saying it much longer , but he re-articulated his position very nicely in the past week), and he is right.  PITT NEEDS MORE.  It needs more from the fans so that we put ourselves in a position to win sustainably in the ACC.  And it all starts with Football, “the front porch of the front porch” if you will.  If we can figure out a way to get more fans engaged and giving, we will have an advantage, and we will have a voice, and we will be much more likely to get what we want.

Do you want an On Campus Stadium?  How about 40,000 fans giving $10 a month?  That’s $4.8 M per year.  By the time the Heinz Field lease expires ten years from now that’s $48 M.  Add in a couple of big donations and we’ve got a down payment and money to pay for financing.

This is something we can all get behind.  I’m in communication with the leaders of the Facebook group and they want to hear your ideas to engage the fanbase.  What resonates with you (or your kids for that matter…)?  What would motivate you to do more?  What could Pitt be doing better to engage all generations of Alumni (and fans) and boost Pitt into the top third of ACC fundraising?  Many of the folks on this board already give A LOT, and that is excellent, but many more (myself included) can do more.  This is a tremendous opportunity to help the football program we bleed for, so speak up.

Hail to Pitt!


180 thoughts on “A Body in Motion

  1. I agree with the degree of angles on your line in the Fan Sentiment Chart but don’t agree with Y axis. At no time have Pitt fans ever come close to a 10 in any measure of satisfaction this past decade,


    1. Bahaha. No. Most people said that it’s pointless because the lease runs for 30 years. This news still states that preliminary research is still 10 years away to prepare for the end of the 30 years lease which is still 15 years away … with no guarantees. So saying something 10 years ago puts the dream happening 25 years later. I would not call that an accurate prediction.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What exactly is the definition of a Kool-Aid drinker? If the meaning is of someone who doesn’t constantly bitch about everything PITT every comment, then count me as one.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Much like I unlike myself. I’ve taken pills for that…………. So I learned the hard way, you can’t make a race horse out of a jackass! So now I can look at myself in the mirror. 🙂


  3. I actually met and know someone who lives in that target area, try telling her she has to move. Seriously… of course money talks as well.


    1. That target area is roughly 100 acres
      About 40 homes/buildings based on the map visual
      I’d think at least $30 million for land acquisition alone.

      Why doesn’t Pitt just admit that the move to Heinz hasn’t worked out as planned and now is the time to begin thinking about bringing football back to campus.

      Fans like me will not give money to the football program until Pitt does this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The administration has to publish a plan and goal. Period.

    Get people excited, go on the offensive!

    People want to know where their money is going.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Why would Pitt wait 6 more years to do a feasibility study. That seems unlikely, and makes the other info suspect to me.

    It is interesting though that there is some level of discussion/speculation going on about an on-campus stadium…

    MM – good stuff to speculate about. Kind of makes me wish that Heather would have some get-togethers, invite all Pitt donors, and give the donors a rundown on what’s being considered…

    Go Pitt.


  6. BTW, was at the Pirate game today. Saw about 10 people , besides me, wearing Pitt gear and only one pathetic PSU shirt.

    But relative to MM’s graph and article, I bumped into a guy that a worked with many years ago. He’s a Pitt grad and was a big fan. I asked him if he still goes to Pitt games. He said that Pitt broke his spirit too many times. Said the last straw was when they fired Wanny…

    I imagine a slew of fans have been lost because of Pitt’s antics over the years. Will be a tough job bringing them back – but I suspect a couple seasons of consistent winning could do the trick…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent article

    I’m sure confidence is somewhat high after a Coastal title but my enthusiasm is more curbed. It’s not like Pitt finished strong last year or is a team loaded with All Americans and Heisman candidates. I doubt Pitt is the team to beat this year. I’m no more excited this season than last season.

    I’m not really sure how serious Pitt is about taking sports to the next level. Changing the culture is paramount. I still don’t think Pitt is giving anything more than lip service regarding the front porch.

    Actions speak louder than words. Show me a feasibility study. Show me you can support more than 19 sports. Show me growth in revenues. Show me the plan to grow the fanbase. Show me a profit instead of a $10 million deficit each year.

    The mindset hasn’t changed.

    So I would think until these things happen, fans won’t donate substantially. Fans have not been seriously heard over the years. Show me you care by listening first.

    Something so simple yet Pitt fumbles the ball.

    Once we’re heard, once it’s two way communication, once it’s mutual respect, things can change.

    Change that can result in donations.

    For me, I want to know how my money is being used. Show me how it helps and why it’s needed.

    So listen to the fans and give them what they want.


  8. We make good money but aren’t rich I would say. But I would definitely get behind $10 or reasonably more per month if there was a clear plan for an OCS. I would want something in writing that the money would be used for an OCS only and if they flaked I would get my money back.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I think I wrote a comment here last year about this…how IMHO the only practical way Pitt will get a new on-campus facility for football is if some fans start an independent effort to raise awareness and funds on the need for an on campus stadium among the local peanut gallery. I used the Dean Dome and UNC/CH as an example…it was built only because the initiative and funding was almost entirely due to the efforts of an independent fan committee. And I believe a decent percentage of those donations came from small donors.

    (Of coarse being raised in NC at the time I also remember how North Carolinian’s raised the money that brought the Battleship North Carolina to Wilmington as a museum/memorial in the 1960’s…it was from a “Pennies from Kids” effort run through the public schools.)

    Rabid fans with a dream get things done in the long run…bureaucracies drag their feet, ankles, legs and arse.

    I am all for the effort above – kudos to all involved.

    One thing Pitt could do to increase donations is to establish a “Personal Panther Savings Fund:. Instead of giving fans only 3-4 months to buy season tickets, set up a fund where a fan can take the total amount they want to contribute and total amount of the cost of a full season of all the sports they want to see, and divide it by 12, and put it the fans personal Panther Savings account. The fan would in effect pay for those tickets and donations a year in advance. But they would never need to worry about renewals – those would be automatic. It would need to be funded for a year before taking effect – (or a fan could deposit an initial lump sum). This way if Pitt needed more for something special or just because – I could go online and either give a one time donation or increase my monthly savings deposit by a few (or $$$$$) dollars in just a few minutes, no fuss no bother. Sort of like the Christmas Clubs some Credit Unions run.

    Nice article and comments so far btw. Love this place – intelligent discussions are the best. (Well, perhaps a good old friendly Irish jaw fest over a few pints is a bit more thrilling.)


    Liked by 6 people

  10. You have to wonder how many broken spirits there are in the alumni base, let alone metropolitan Pittsburgh?
    Most folks can take only so much heart break.


  11. At the risk of being branded (again) as totally negative…

    Look, I’ve had numerous conversations about this over the years with long time, multi-generational political families who have been key participants in local Pittsburgh and State politics …both in the public arena but also behind the scenes in private life…and with the last two ex-Pitt Chancellors.

    What has been made clear to me many times are these points:

    First and foremost no endowment money will be used for an OCS.

    There is zero (0) interest in doing this at any political level.In fact I was told there were more negative influences when the subject comes up.

    There will never be Eminent Domain used to acquire land for a Pitt football stadium either in Oakland or anywhere else inside the city limits or in the County.

    There will never be any public parks or public city-owned land for sale or lease to build a stadium. Meg Cheever, the founding President of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservency, (PPC) swings huge weight in the city and is adamant other lands would have to be used. That’s a total non-starter.

    Btw, both Schenley Park and Schenley PLAZA are owned by the city and the PPC so I believe any plans to use the Plaza are not possible.

    Any resulting infrastructer modification costs needed to accompany a new stadium, (transportation, parking, sewer works, etc.).. will have to be paid for in the majority by Pitt with no public bonds issued by the city, county or state.

    Both Posvar and Nordenberg said there was almost no interest at Pitt to do this at any level.This was echoed in essence by Gallagher multiple times since he was hired.

    So it is very clear to me that if a new OCS was going to be built it would have to be on land that Pitt either already owns or can easily purchase…Which imo leaves out Panther Hollow completely.

    If Pitt wants a new stadium it will be done pretty much with no outside help at all but I really believe this is more of the fan’s dream than the University’s.I wouldn’t mind an OCS but also have no real problem with Heinz Field either.

    This would be easier if Pitt were 100% public and not just “state related”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Reed is very correct in this comment. Pitt just finished a master campus facility plan. You can search for it. This is a 20 – 30 year plan. Note it does not include an OCS. As far as new athletic facilities, a track and field complex is far more likely.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pitt has made it abundantly clear that they have zero interest in even talking about the matter. However, support for bringing back football to campus has been growing and its no longer just a fringe movement by some crazy dreamers.

    So I’d like to get Heather and Pat on record about Heinz. I’d like to show them all the things that Steve and Nordenberg promised. I’d like them to explain to us fans if any of these promises materialized (besides building the Pete). I’d like to hear their plan for addressing these broken promises.

    I can only assume Pitt is happy with Heinz. I can only assume they have no plan to address the expiration of the Heinz lease in 10 years.

    Right now Pitt is in a position to control their destiny. I would rather have Pitt be proactive than reacting at the last minute.

    I can tell you that more and more fans are not happy about their Heinz experience. The students have never been happy about being bused over and back. I cant see how Heinz can be made to be everything that was originally promised. We’ve had 18 years of results to serve as validation.

    So if Pitt is not serious about changing the culture, I cant see how fans can be serious about supporting the program.

    At the very least, Pitt should support a feasibility study. Otherwise, I will NEVER shut up and be silenced. Nor will I donate a cent to football.

    Heinz has been a tomb for Pitt football. The Pitt Spirit can be resurrected in a new OCS.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. One more point, if Pitt was in a city with a bigger population and bigger local fan base this may be feasible but the fact that Pitt football is literally the 5th (at best) most popular sports entity in the tri-state area kills us.

    I just don’t see that changing even if we begin to win big.

    More non-alumni citizens associate themselves with PSU because it is the State’s university (to say nothing that there are more PSU grads there then Pitt grads).

    It is a tough uphill climb to get Pittsburghers and WPA citizens to care about Pitt football when those people have literally no ties to the university. Pitt has been battling that for years and will so into the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tepper Stadium to be accessible via the Tepper-T

    I agree with all of Reed’s points accept that an OCS will never happen. Politicians, Pitt admin and BoT will not pony up the money, but if the alumni bring the “G’s” you can bet all three will line up for the photo shoot and eventual ribbon cutting.

    Enjoy your Easter Sunday and the great news that this holiday brings us.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. a casual fan and non-alumnus probably has this mindset and experience:

    We plan to go over to the Steelers stadium to watch a Pitt game. Its a noon start since the Pirates have a evening game. We found parking but its either a garage or far away. The closest parking is reserved for VIP’s and season ticket holders. We paid $5 for tickets and sat up high in the nosebleeds. Plenty of empty yellow seats around us. Saw most of the students leaving at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Wanted to walk campus after the game and get a bite to eat at the ‘O’ but didnt want to travel into Oakland. Headed home with our Marino bobblehead.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A few years ago we had a nice big group of PITT fans, a mix between alums, family and friends, some intertwined. Big tailgates with lots of ex PITT football players. Hell, one regular was an ex Iowa Hawk-eye fullback. Problem was, these youngsters didn’t want to come out of the club. I never saw them as they stood at the bar hardly even watching the game. Half of them would just come down in the 3rd quarter and say goodbye as they were headed over to the casino. Pissed me off every-time, mostly because I gave them the tickets to sit up there and watch the game.

    Why did that happen? IMO, atmosphere and a learned behavior. Most of these people started out at PITT with a stadium and then had it ripped and bulldozed down. Heinz Field is not a college football gameday atmosphere most of the time. Build a new PITT stadium and they will come back.

    Meantime, I found a new bunch of PITT fans I enjoy pregame activities with before and after games. POVer’s! It’s very rare not to see me in my seat the entire game come hell or high water. I’m easy to see to as there is usually no one sitting next to me, not even my wife who loyally attends with me but sometimes bails out because of the weather. Build it and they will come back!! . . … ..ike

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have my doubts about an OCS but I also know people in Pittsburgh politics who do believe a Pitt stadium only can happen … just not in Oakland. The reason being is that UPMC has gobbled up a bunch of land that is currently tax exempt. Pitt buying the land from UPMC and building a stadium adds tax revenue.

    “UPMC now owns 8 percent of Allegheny County’s $16.67 billion of tax-exempt land. As a purely public charity, it avoids paying a combined $42 million in property taxes in Allegheny County to municipalities, schools and the county.”

    There are still about 15 years left on the lease so a lot can happen. i wouldn’t say yay or nay with any confidence. The one thing that has to happen is Pitt becoming very good in football and building excitement and momentum in the fan base to the point where Pitt has not choice. If Pitt is in the same state they currently are … and have been the last 20 years … zero shot at this happening.


  18. Forgot to say…another great article by Mike!! He’s the best covering Pitt sports.

    Erie, agree that it may happen but it won’t be in Oakland… We missed our chance with the Hazelwood land.

    He’s an interesting bit – I asked the recruiting coordinator at Pitt some years ago what route the Pitt drivers took when bringing recruits and parents from the airport.

    He told me they use 376 and Bates Street which goes directly through the crap part of Oakland… So I said ”Thats a really poor first impression of Pitt’s campus for the parents to see especially.”

    Don’t know if they changed that or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For anyone not raised in a City, the first impression of Oakland is a jolt to the system. Many prospective recruits and students dont recover from that initial shock.

      South Oakland should have been carpet bombed by the Air Force 30 years ago. The failure of Pitt to properly police, invest and clean-up their neighborhood is a far worse indictment that Pitt’s failure to win a sports championship since 1976.


  19. PITT needs to work much harder getting UPMC, Oakland and the city of Pittsburgh on board or they will never get anything done. The University of Pittsburgh is treated like the proverbial red headed step child and I raised step children and it’s not easy to say that. Frankly, we have never used the word step when referring to each other. Turns out, I couldn’t be more proud of my children and our 7 Grandkids.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. In a PG article today, Gil Brandt compared graduating Duke QB Jones to Peyton Manning. Made me feel better about Duke going up and down the field on us last season…

    And I still shake my head in amazement that we somehow won that game…

    Go Pitt.


  21. Fran, isn’t that the truth on all sides? PITT and the BoT are not united. Oakland hasn’t been informed what side their bread is buttered on. UPMC are just total arrogant asses. There is leverage there for PITT but they just like where they are right now. << The problem…


  22. Either way, Pitt will have to do something. With the lease expiring in 11 years, does Pitt plan on playing their games at the airport, or on the practice field?

    Best to plan ahead and forge your own destiny, than to be reactionary.


    1. Exactly

      when the lease expires, it all depends on what the Steelers decide to do (Pitt has very little say)
      Will they renovate the stadium?
      Will they implode her and build something new?
      Will they move to the burbs?

      Remember, stadium maintenance and repairs becomes increasingly more costly as the venue ages. Things like seats and urinals need replacement. Many things only have a certain shelf life. Ask any engineer or architect.

      But also remember that Heather and Pat have no incentive to be proactive. The decision where Pitt plays in 10 years will not be part of their legacy. Heather will probably be gone in 3-4 years using Pitt as a stepping stone to get back to the Big 10. Theres also a good chance that Pat will retire by then.

      Pitt will react and then over-react. That is their nature.

      For something to happen, one needs to leap over the leadership. Pitt’s leaders will,never lead on this.


  23. Face it, the only way an OCS happens is if Heather and the BoT become absolutely convinced that Pitt cannot win at Heinz. Nothing else matters. The hurdles to build an OCS near Pitt campus are too high to overcome. With Pitt contractually locked in to the ACC, they will accept mediocrity in football but not being totally embarrassed.


  24. Pittman2003 – As an out of towner, I prefer Heinz. I visit campus with or without the stadium. Parking, traffic and venue all better than anything Pitt Stadium offered.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. TT what you prefer is nice to know BUT the OCS sucks from the perspective of the students and the general atmosphere surrounding the game day experience. Now that might not be enough with today’s technology where every game can be accessed via TV or your computer. Drawing people to come back to Pittsburgh for game day will be increasingly difficult going forward IMO. Thus the likelihood of Pitt ever signing off for an OCS is slim to none from where I’m viewing.


    1. jrnpitt – I was only stating my preference. The idea of trying to navigate Oakland on a game day makes me shutter. I do agree it would be pretty awesome once I’m at the venue … but getting to the venue and leaving the venue outweighs that. Haha. When I go back to Pittsburgh I always visit campus so a stadium does not help with that experience … for me.

      I feel that a lot of folks complaining about the OCS do not attend games or get back to campus regularly and they may think that an OCS will help them get back. In reality, I doubt it brings many people back.

      Now, a Pitt only stadium that is fairly close to campus is a different story and something I think is a little more realistic.


      1. Oh Come on Tossing..we navigated Oakland for years to get to Pitt Stadium. Half of the joy of attending games there was finding that secret parking spot, walking up Cardiac Hill and enjoying the ambiance of cooking hot dogs and hot chocolate.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha – I didn’t have to navigate anything. I lived on Fraternity Row and had field view from my room. I still went to every game but it’s probably the worst stadium I’ve ever attended. I have zero sentimentality about it except for hitting golf balls into it from the fraternity house in the middle of the night.


          1. You need to join us for this year’s golf outing – I need a teammate with that kind of accuracy.

            Plus your POV handle is one of the all time best.



  26. How about a stadium along the river with an incline coming down the hill for students to get to the stadium? Every pre-game and commercial break could have a shot of the incline with either the stadium or the Cathedral in the background.


  27. The transfer portal is causing havoc …. Ohio St lost its starting QB to the NFL draft (early entry) so it brought in 4-star Justin Fields from Univ of Georgia who was declared immediately eligible … (because they’re OSU I guess). As a result, 2 other QBs transferred so OSU now has Fields and an unexperienced player who are the only 2 schollies on the roster.

    Miami, FSU and Pitt opponent UCF will have starters at QBs who are transfers ….. UCF has Winbush who was the opening day starter. at ND this past season. (There are probably more in the ACC but not sure). It appears that WVU and Oklahoma will have a transfer as starting QB for the 4th straight year

    And these are just the QBs and just a small percentage of NCAA teams … there are many other instances (including of course the Stevens kind who potentially the starter at PSU)

    It’s amazing how stable the Pitt roster was this past season …. I believe the only player (post-season) to enter the portal was back-up kicker and 1st-team holder, Scarton. (of course TE Sear left during the season ,, and I don’t eve remember when Ricky Town left) Maybe they realize they are not in demand else but for goodness sakes even Peace Illegomah transferred from the BB team


    1. Great post wwb. This gets back to my point of If Pitt were to grab that xfer qb from psu it would really degrade a lot of the trust pat has build up in the locker room. It’s one thing to bring in a senior OL when you have a bunch of sophomores vying for starting jobs, and a TE when you have no depth. It’s another thing to bring in a QB on top of a junior starter, a senior #2 and a room that has two handpicked young guys who have the potential to grow into starters down the road.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree. Even bringing him in with a recruiting class is different. This is most likely a ploy to get a guarantee out of Penn State that he’ll begin the season as a starter, so I’m not sure he’s even worth kicking the tires on.


  28. If Tommy Stevens has more talent than any of the backups we should be on the phone with him now.

    I don’t get the logic that bringing another horse into the barn is a bad thing.


  29. I concur with the Maestro’s logic, as bringing Stevens in could further negatively future recruiting at all positions. Let’s keep the good mojo going. I do believe however that there should be a true QB competition amongst the players on the roster, as opposed to anointing KP the starter before the season starts.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Big difference between first and second string QB. Why would anyone stay when they can play if they leave. Really a good thing since the big schools can no longer stockpile QBs to keep them away from the competition.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. He won some big games his senior year: @Wisconsin, @Penn State, beat ND and Ohio State and Alabama in the bowl game. Brady’s biggest issue was he looked like he weighed 185 pounds as a senior.


  31. Off topic but I just found out the Dick Groat will be on the FAN Thursday at 8:25…(and Bill Hillgrove calling in)
    to promote the Pitt Celebrity Golf Tournament at Champion Lakes May 18.
    Im playing with Major, Richman and my nephew.
    We had a blast last year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Have another blast Fran, you’ll probably get Heather Lyke as your celebrity, I mean besides Richman.

      I try my best to keep up with new and currentthings in life but I just can’t wrap my head around all these transfers. I’m too much of a traditionalist. This reminds me a lot like what free agency did to Major League baseball.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. There must be some pretty stiff competition at PSU for the starting QB job for Stevens to go searching for a new home. He’s not looking to compete with anyone at this stage for the job in his final year. Thus he will end up anywhere in the lower 48 that guarantee’s him the starting QB position.


  33. I do not see a problem if a kid fulfills his scholarship obligations. Maybe a new school FB situation is better or the academics advance his career.


  34. Speaking of BODIES in motion. PghSportsNow reporting Assistant Director of Personnel Paris Johnson Sr. joining the long list of those out the door.

    The move continues what has been an offseason of significant turnover amongst Pitt’s support staff. Since the end of the 2018, Pitt has lost director of football operations Ben Mathers, director of recruiting Reed Case, Johnson, director of creative media Zach Lantz, sports dietician Katherine Hopkins, four graduate assistants and both quality control coaches.


    Could it have something to do with his son saying “No” to Narduzzi? Maybe, maybe not.

    You can read it here.


  35. Erie – I appreciate the invite. My accuracy is legendary … I even once hit the broadside of a barn.

    Paris Johnson, Jr. committed to OSU last June so I doubt it has anything to do with his recruitment. Speaking of which, he’s kinda-sorta reopened his recruitment since Urban stepped down. I would not be surprised to see Sr. end up on a staff where his son goes.


  36. I get it’s total hearsay, but here are some thoughts on that proposed “land acquisition” piece. If Pitt wants to expand back that direction, I’d love to see it. Every time I drive through there, I see all of the empty lots and abandoned buildings and think of how much potential there is given the proximity to campus. On the other hand, it’s not very flat land. Furthermore, that isn’t Oakland. It’s part of the Hill District. Someone was talking about how after they go to a Pitt game, they don’t want to walk into North Shore Steelers/Pirates bars but instead want to walk to the O. Well it’s probably a two hill, 30 minute walk from that proposed location to the O. Now perhaps Centre Ave could get redeveloped with some college-type restaurants and establishments and have a college vibe back there, but that is not Oakland.

    Also, I think there are still bad vibes in this city from the use of eminent domain to take away Hill District homes for the Civic Arena. That could be an obstacle to using eminent domain to again shrink the size of the Hill District for the benefit of Pitt.


    1. eminent domain is ugly and yes the City would rather receive property taxes (but how much tax are they getting on these lots today anyway)

      and yes that location is part of the Hill but it is near other sports facilities on campus. Moreover, one could always take a shuttle/open air trolley bus up from the lower campus. Unless you like walking.

      and a venue used all year round, could spur economic development. Business could locate and be taxed…property and sales. Hotel development as well (hospitals would be on board)


  37. Some SEC schools might be luring Johnson Sr. to grab Jr. if he indeed is looking around with Urban now gone. I guess Jr. had zero interest playing for Pitt, which stinks considering his dad was on staff.

    Yellow seats.


  38. I reported on Paris Jr. opening up recruiting about a month or so ago on here. OSU playing it as ‘we want him to see what’s out there before he fully commits”.


  39. The city has no incentive to advocate for any more tax free property being developed within the city limits. Particularly so with a football stadium that sees limited activity throughout the year with very little additional employment.


    1. businesses would locate to be around a multi purpose venue used all year
      and Oakland needs more hotel space (best view in the City outside Mt Washington)
      businesses are taxable entities…property and sales taxes

      and how much tax do HUD or slumlords pay each year…very little. And most slumlords are probably delinquent in their taxes anyway.

      and do realize, many fans walk through campus to many stadiums throughout the land. A 20 minute walk is not going to kill anyone. And every college stadium I have visited uses remote parking…you cant see the stadium from your tailgate spot. So you either walk or catch a shuttle. I favor the open air bus.

      You Yinzers are spoiled playing in the City at Heinz. The real world is not Pittsburgh. College football is played on campus among 98% of all schools. Pitt is Oakland and the surrounding hoods.


  40. My rough prediction is that Pitt will lock arms with CMU and create a futuristic multi-purpose stadium that will be backed by alumni of both fine universities (Tepper, Donald, Wanamaker, McCoy, Ted Danson, Jack Klugman and Albert Brooks, to name a few).

    David Tepper is listed as an alum from both schools. Tepper Stadium accessed by the Tepper-T would fit just fine nestled into the Oakland landscape right between both campuses keeping the politicians and school bureaucrats out. I know, they will need to be a part of the planning and back slapping. But, money-wise, they are not needed.

    H2P and CMU!

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Multi-use stadiums/arenas are the worst. Just stay at a football only if that is the alternative. I’m having flashbacks to that dumbass red track around Pitt Stadiums field and how far back fans were from the action.

    Basketball/hockey arenas are terrible for the same reason. Basketball suffers because of the accomodations made for the size of the hockey rink. You’re not right up on the court.


    1. Tx Panther has given us numerous European stadium options that would work. Also, CMU could use this facility for robot Expos, futuristic invention conventions, etc.


      1. Euro and French are probably not PC these days. I’ll stop calling the stadium by name and only refer to it as that really cool looking stadium that is an engineering marvel.


  42. ^^ Exactly Tx, think a little more forward TT but you’re right, no track. If PITT and their fans can be asked to play and travel to the home games at Heinz Field miles away, Why can’t the smaller sports play off campus? The reality of it is, The Pete is a big waste of space all things considered. Should have been made bigger more modern and accommodated both sports. The baseball fields up on that hill are pretty much outdated already and taking up valuable real estate.


    1. if Pitt could make a hard choice for once, they would scrap baseball and softball. Those programs have never been relevant even during the Big East days when Pitt was playing small Catholic schools. The fields they play on are an embarrassment and the weather is a huge hindrance to attracting quality recruits and allowing practice time.

      Build a new multi purpose venue on those cheap fields that Pitt constructed. Then you have new homes for mens and womens lacrosse, mens and womens hockey, football, mens and womens soccer, larger basketball games. As well as a venue for concerts, special events, etc.

      No eminent domain. Facility on campus. Homes for more than 1 program. 365 day use.

      But it requires Pitt to cut bait. Its been fishing at the same hole and using the same bait with no bites.

      Time to move on and change things.

      Pitt is planning on spending about $75M for Victory Heights impacting 4 programs (3 of which already have homes albeit outdated). With this project, they will provide new homes for an additional 4 programs (2 of them being brand new) or about 220 scholar athletes.


      1. The baseball field looks fine to me. The embarrassment was where Pitt played baseball before having this field…

        (If you want to see a campus that screams sports, visit the U. of Tenn. As you walk across the campus you see sports facility after sports facility after sports facility…) 😊

        Go Pitt.


        1. its better than the patch where they used to play but take a look at the other ACC facilities. Pitt’s does not impress. A recruits first impression has got to be poor. And Pitt will never put real money into baseball. I’d love to hear UPitt’s thoughts on this.


          1. When I played at Pitt, the baseball team, like practically every sport except football and basketball, was simply an extracurricular activity. I think the situation is a bit different now, but not much.

            Go Pitt.


  43. This sounds like an agenda from the European socialist countries: Give us your money and we will do what’s best with it (we promise).
    Sorry, I’m calling BULL***T.


    1. If I give $$$ to Pitt, it will NOT be for a single purpose stadium. That makes no economic sense.

      Why would you want to build a separate facility for hockey when you can use a football venue that is multi purpose. Saves money and space.

      I’m sure you’ve given money to Pitt before. Have they done whats best for you? Has Pitt kept any of its promises they made when they razed Pitt stadium and moved to Heinz?

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Pitt only has to sponsor 13 sports to be D-1
    Pitt has 19 and there are some that probably arent worth supporting given attendance, recruiting and weather

    I love baseball but why Pitt bothers to try to support a team is beyond me. I dont think Cuse or BC have teams.
    Tough to be competitive in that sport given the weather and Pitt will never spend the money on a proper field (there are better high school fields in Texas). And if you’re a baseball talent you head to a southern school.

    I would think Pitt should make some real hard choices on what sports it intends to play in the future

    It has already killed off tennis in favor of womens lacrosse
    Football pays the bills but a venue that could be homes to other sports makes the most economical sense

    Lacrosse and hockey are no brainers as new additions to me
    And if Pitt gets really good in basketball, it could play in front of 30k for the Duke game. $$$$

    Tossing – that stadium can transform the field in under 3 hours (new playing surface, seating, lighting, etc); the roof can open and close in 15 minutes


  45. Penn States mens lacrosse team is #1 in the nation
    Their wrestling team finished #1

    Thats where Pitt should begin investing their dollars

    Very fertile recruiting grounds for those 2 sports
    And hockey as well. Could also recruit Canada.

    Heck Narduzzi reeled in Liam Dick…He’s a Cannuck.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. If Pitt really was acquiring property you guys have just thwarted the plan. Acquiring large tracts of land in the city requires secrecy and is done by third parties. With the cat out of the bag, the price will skyrocket.


    1. when was the last time Pitt listened to its fans?
      Pitt thinks they are smarter than anyone else
      For all we know, they are buying land in Cranberry for the Pitt OCS.


  47. As much as I’m on the record for being Anti Pete and Pro Pitt Stadium, my understanding is that the Pete is looked upon as being IMMENSELY valuable as a Multi-Use Facility for both University sports teams and the general student population.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. I realize practicality and affordability come into play, but if you really want to hit a HOME RUN with a New Pitt Stadium you need to build it so the Cathedral is in view of fans during games.

    Equally critical is to make it an EASY commute for students.

    And then there is PARKING which falls under the umbrella of practicality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. students have always bitched about walking up Cardiac Hill. That will never change. The smart ones learn to make sure one is inebriated for the walk. Then its almost like you’re being teleported.

      Liked by 2 people

  49. The Pete was the right idea but fell a little short in the idea. Basketball was the new PITT sport and football was not included. Not real sure why the powers at the time decided to move home games to Heinz Field. Yes, I have my opinions but I can’t substantiate them. Anyways, The Pete takes up enough room that a more progressive approach could have solved all desires.


      1. It’s the off season TT. False hope runs rampant.

        Here’s a thought, too many PITT fans sit on their asses and hands during games. I really do feel that PITT has a more complacent fan base than most schools.

        Predicting over 50,000 people at the Virginia game. Not a bad start.

        Oh and a PITT win.


  50. Pitt is now in the top conference in the U. S., both academically and athletically. Eliminating ANY sport at this point is ridiculous and is unbefitting a first rate university. Heather and the BoT need to find a way to support ALL the current sports, and maybe add some, even if it means building a multi-use stadium on campus. Where is the “can-do” attitude in Oakland?


    1. Also fwiw even schools that have strong alumni based but sports. My cousin swam for Clemson and they cut the program after his senior year. He is so mad at them he won’t give IPTAY a dime


  51. Tex, from a cash flow perspective, how much would it cost Pitt to pay for a multi-use stadium over 20 years vs. paying fees to the Steelers for use of Heinz?


    1. all depends on the financial assumptions for revenues and costs

      right now the cost is just $1M per year for renting Heinz…I think Temple pays $3-$4M
      what Pitt doesnt receive is 100% of the revenues for things like concessions and parking unless I’m mistaken
      Pitt also receives nothing for naming rights and has limited control over marketing and advertising monies
      Pitts revenue from Heinz is primarily ticket sales for football only

      Pitt has zero debt payments so again the only expense is the rent (covers maintenance and game operating expenses)
      Heinz is a real good financial deal for Pitt

      the cash flows depend on utilization
      How often will a venue for used, what will be the revenue generated per usage, debt payments, maintenance and operating expenses

      the key driver are the revenues
      what are the potential revenue streams

      thats why multi use is the only way to go. more revenue sources to cover the fixed costs or overhead.

      Pitt could probably build something like ‘that cool looking stadium and engineering marvel’ for around $500M. Ideally, you’ll want to incur as little debt for financing as possible. So fundraising, naming rights and other up-front monies are critical.

      a feasibility study is the only way to know

      so for you doubters, the land is there. Its on Pitt campus. Its already owned by Pitt. Pitt just needs to make some tough decisions for the first time in like…EVER.


  52. MM, they need to address the real problem, which is alumni giving. I wonder, does all the university research pay for itself? Does the library pay for itself? It is a shame that the university can sit there with a multi-billion dollar endowment while not supporting competitive sports for its students.


    1. For whatever reason, Pitt does not endow scholarships. So it fails to generate enough revenues to support the operation of its sports and has to transfer $10M each year from the general fund to offset

      there are over 400 student athletes at Pitt. Thats roughly $16M each year for the ‘free’ ride.

      If you could show the math that a multi purpose venue could help Pitt sports generate a profit each year, you would never have Pitt de-emphasize sports again and the profs and students would be on board since the general fund isnt being raided.

      again, the key is venue utilization

      so although playing at Heinz doesnt cost Pitt much in terms of tangible dollars, Pitt is missing out on revenue opportunities and other intangible benefits


  53. And let’s face it, the reason all those AD staffers are leaving must have something to do with what they are being paid…


  54. Chris Peak has a good “what if” podcast where he discusses the games that Pitt coulda, shoulda, woulda won last season with just a bit more offense.

    I didn’t remember that Pitt was leading after 3 quarters in both the No. 5 ND and Stanford games. In those games, Pitt only gave up one TD in the fourth quarter, but it was enough to lose the game because the Pitt offense did not score…

    Other interesting tidbits from Chris Peak — under the Doozer, Pitt is 23 and 3 when ahead going into the 4th Q.

    And Pitt is 5 and 18 when trailing going into the 4th Q.

    Good stuff from Chris Peak.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still think that if they would have abandoned the passing game in the fourth quarter (like they did against against Syracuse) they could have won those games. But then Watson would still be the OC which in the long run is not a good thing so one step backward to take two steps forward in my opinion

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So narduzzi is 28-24 at Pitt which = 52 games. I guess we were tied in the other 3 and lost them all? I learned this math during my third year of sixth grade.


  55. Reading comments about the possibility of a future OCS, it is interesting to see how some Naysayers still in DISBELIEF are the same who thought simply the chance to play where the Steelers play would be a MAJOR draw for Recruits.

    Helps put things in perspective.


  56. It will be nineteen seasons without an OCS. A rumor of a feasibility study from a guy nobody ever heard of in six more years gets your panties in a bunch, now that is HILARIOUS


  57. This goes out to ALL of the Naysayers. May they find the error of their ways and come to realize a NEW Pitt Stadium is coming some day.

    And that James Conner is REALLY a Runningback.

    Now that’s funny.


  58. Tx..excellent post on making the case for a New PITT me homesick..I remember sitting in the stadium and peering at the cathedral in the distance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And the Panther painted on the side of Pennsylvania Hall! That was so cool – that was so “college football”…

      Hail to Pitt!


  59. Colleges and hospitals are 2 businesses that the public has no understanding how their finances operate..costs continues to go up far faster than the rest of the businesses in the country..I just won’t
    t give much on “blind faith” when they have been able to squirrel billions..not millions…right now I contribute a little in pesos but give my heart like many on here..How has that worked out for ya…????


  60. You can search the Allegheny County Real Estate page to see who owns property in the area circled in the article. Pitt owns very little. Some on Brackenridge over the hill from the baseball/softball/soccer facility.

    I’m not buying the story. LOL


  61. PITT sits there with 4.2 billion dollars worth in endowments. I know I know, it’s not earmarked for athletics. Why not? I’m not Tx or some of you other smarter guys but I do know that college football is a big business and in all practicality, should be a revenue generator. Which imo, why monies should be released to re-energize the sport to the point the money could be returned over time through revenue gains. Hence a new football stadium. Well at least it should be in some sort of plans in the near future.

    I’ll say this again, I’m perfectly fine with Heinz, I’m comfortable, love Fran’s tailgates and enjoy being on the north shore all weekend. It’s just I think it inhibits PITT’s chances of being competitive in the long run. Heinz Field kept Terrell Pyror from coming to PITT to play football and many others.


    1. Pitt needs to re-energize revenues. Its revenue poor due to a small fanbase and low donation rates.

      So how do you build and grow the fanbase and encourage more people to donate.

      Look at how the Premier League does it. They build supporters at a very early age through community service, soccer academies and constant marketing. Teams represent their towns or certain neighborhoods. They develop strong brands and a known style of play. They attract the casual fan by making the game a big entertainment spectacle…before and after game traditions. They dont share their playing venues. Everyone is treated to a great experience and feel connected to their clubs.


      1. You have a small fanbase when your top generator of fandom has lost or been insignificant for 35 years. And you move off campus….and….you don’t even know if you are pitt or pittsburgh…and…too much crap to type!

        With over 350,000 live donors, we should do better! UPMC spreads their brand and puts their name on all of Pitt’s competitors buildings. Higher Ed is a business and the only ones that don’t treat it that way….are those in charge.


  62. FWIW, my sister played tennis at Pitt in late 70s (non-schollie), I just told her over the weekend that the women’s tennis program was dropped; she didn’t seem to care. (BTW, she later transferred to CMU where she immediately became their #1 player)

    Liked by 2 people

  63. well, Pitt alum Brian Backo who covered Pitt FB over the past 4 years or so for the PG is now promoted to the Steelers beat. IMO Backo provided more coverage and articles than his predecessors … (of course they were PSU and ND alums). Backo’s tweets were usually the first for Pitt breaking news … hiring, firing, commits, etc.

    His partner, Craig Myers, is still covering Pitt.


  64. Pitt really needs to drop programs, both academics and athletics, that make little sense. Focus on the programs where you can be most successful. Programs that are in future demand, dont break the bank to support, can support themselves.

    The only sports at Pitt that support themselves are football and mens basketball. I believe hockey could actually support itself as well. But the other Olympic sports each run deficits from a few hundred thousand to millions each year (I think womens basketball lost $2-3M one year).

    Focus on sports where there is regional recruiting talent, there is limited competition among schools who play the sport, the sport is a good fit for the ACC, the sport can be played in a multi-purpose venue and wont require separate facilities, the sport could generate enough revenues to offset expenses.

    Pitt’s only successful programs right now are wrestling and volleyball. Historically, those have been strong programs for Pitt. Wrestling helped by the local talent. Volleyball helped by playing in weak conferences like the Big East and ACC and had the fortune of having good coaches.

    When the Directors Cup final rankings come out in June, Pitt will probably be the worst of the 65 P-5 schools. It has far too many programs that are mediocre to bad. There is no easy or cheap way to fix some of them. Many have constraints that are beyond Pitt’s control.

    If a program (excludes football and basketball) cannot place consistently in the top half of the conference, it really should be considered for replacement.


    1. Batko’s tweet game is the stronger of the two. I also think he had more creative story ideas. His interview piece on the 3-0 sun bowl was gold

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh man, I think you underestimate Craig’s Twitter game. I like both of them but I think Craig understands both sports better … especially basketball. He’s a little more X’s and O’s like Zeise was. I also think Craig has a more genuine passion for the games. Having said that, Batko was excellent. I just didn’t think he provided much additional insight. He was good at capturing the moment and he was certainly entertaining.

        I’m in the minority I believe as I’ve generally like most of Pitt’s beat writers.

        Ray Fittipaldo … To the point.
        Paul Zeise … X’s and O’s. Not afraid to the rock the boat.
        Sam Werner … Introduced some comedy. Genuinely enjoyed the beat. Biggest learning curve.
        Craig Meyers … X’s and O’s. Very insightful.
        Brian Batko … Resident comedian and smart ass. Didn’t take it too seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. you left out Audry Snyder who had the Pitt FB beat for a very short while. She is back up in Dairyland where she belongs. When she had the PSU beat for the PG, she would actually attend the PSU board meetings and tweet the highlights on the PG sports page.

          Liked by 1 person

  65. ike – The endowment is not earmarked for athletics but the university can take out loans against it and pay it back.


  66. Sounds like a good assessment of these writers, bloggers and media types as far as I know. Kind of like Zeise but I don’t do twitter or listen all that much anymore to goofy opinions on the radio. TV’s is even worse. I get most of what I need right here. Twitter, facebook and jewelry are my kryptonite.

    BTW and no offense to Chris Peak but Reed’s Sunday morning podcasts were way way better than Chris, who again, I do have a lot of respect for. . Wish they would come back. Reed’s podcasts were more diverse and not just on one subject. . . . … …..ike


  67. Regarding the stadium in the endowment… “Never say never.“ Where there’s a will there’s a way.“ If Eicks $4 billion is the figure that is in the endowment-1% of that is $40 million… Don’t know how they have invested it… Shirley, it’s just not sitting there gathering dust…They could do the area a lot of good if they used 1%-2% a year and never touch the principal… universities and hospitals are like vacuums when it comes to money and they’re always taking more… excellent leader ship is needed to get everybody on the boat rowing in the same direction… “Ramming speed!“ Text needs a pointed to a committee to help man the rudder… Or do we have that large of an endowment just to brag about how well endowed we are?

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Enjoy reading that last one… Dictated it and damned if I am going to proofread it… Trying to get my work done and at the same time give equal time to the POV


  69. The more I look at the 2 above in the H to P… The more it reminds me of the popes hat… I don’t even see a cathedral Arch… Didn’t even notice them when I was sitting in the thing taking class…

    Just tried to download a YouTube “how to visualize $1 billion… it would not go through but a very interesting production I must say… The endowment keeps growing itself… Use some of the money to do some good in athletics… Tex, You are giving this OCS idea a life… need some leader ship to get involved and give it traction… Time to move forward with the inevitable… Time to bring back the prodigal stadium… It has been missed placed for too many years… I want to live To see my grandchildren grow into young adults and to sit in the new PITT stadium


  70. Apparently, the Pitt BoT is not very well endowed in the brains area. All of the reasons we have heard that block an OCS are just excuses. It could be done if there is some “want to”. I could list a dozen use cases for a multi-use facility if there was any doubt about the overall benefit. And money can be found to pay for the debt service, much like the Steelers and Pirates facilities, if the AD wants to fund raise and market it properly. They had no problem funding the Pete when it was built, despite all of the overruns. But there is absolutely no solution that will work if the BoT just doesn’t want to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If Pitt had to borrow $150M, the debt payments would be roughly $700,000 per year. Thats interest and principal. They could borrow from the endowment and pay her back over time. Or float a bond. No taxes, student fees or tuition increases required. No State or City or County having a say. Pitt has full control.

      Pitt makes in ticket sales about $1.6M per game. So the debt is the equivalent of half a game of tickets.

      potential uses besides football – lacrosse, soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis, tournaments, exhibitions, concerts, conventions. Pitt could host a regional NCAA tourney. The wrestling championships could have been help on campus instead of PPG. US soccer exhibitions or qualifiers. The Frozen 4.

      The NCAA wrestling tourney at PPG grossed over $2M in revenues alone. One special event per year pays for the debt.

      All these special events giving the University publicity.

      Pitt gets 100% of the cut for tickets, concessions, parking, merchandise, naming rights, sponsorship’s, licenses, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  71. this came out in the college bribery trial today …

    Adam Zagoria@AdamZagoria
    Today from the college basketball bribery trial government witness Marty Blazer said between 2010-14 he paid from several hundred to several thousand dollars to FOOTBALL players from:

    Penn St
    Notre Dame

    Dokish explained this had nothing to do with the schools but from someone from outside the schools so he can represent them.

    Just wanted you all to be prepared


  72. It will be interesting to learn what Pitt athlete Blazer paid and who led Blazer to the athlete. The last part is the part that scares me.

    Evidently, a PSU assistant coach (Larry Johnson?) set up a meeting with Blazer and a PSU LB to facilitate payment of $10,000 . The athlete and family needed money and so was going to leave school early for the NFL. The PSU coaching staff wanted him to stay for another year. Blazer wanted a future wealthy client. So payment was made. Everybody was supposed to win.

    In the end, the LB left school early as planned, was the 11th overall pick, signed with the Bills for $25 million and probably (though I don’t know) signed up with Blazer to (mis)manage his money. The LB repayed the $10,000 to Blazer. So PSU didn’t win, in that they didn’t keep the LB in school but took a big risk.

    What was the PSU assistant coach’s incentive? Was he given orders from higher up?

    I’m left wondering if the Pitt situation is similar…


    1. Well he stopped paying Pitt players in 2014 which is when Narduzzi started so that would explain the lack of four-stars…

      Liked by 3 people

  73. Pitt cant do anything right…even cheat.
    Knowing Pitt they will impose sanctions on themselves and forego bowls for the next 5 years

    During this time period, it was probably Baldwin.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. OT: We have 2/3rds of the POV golfers paid up and committed – Blazer hasn’t paid me a dime…

    Next Tuesday is the deadline for payment – if you haven’t paid me, I at least need to hear from you, and know that you are committed and won’t back out of the May 31st date.

    I’ll send one last e-mail as a reminder to those who haven’t paid – after next Tuesday, I’ll meet with the golf BoT and make a decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. To be clear, Blazer was paying players to be his client, not to go to a specific school. It will be very hard to prove any school was part of this pay for play scheme.


    1. True that Blazer was trying to obtain clients. But, as he noted in the PSU situation, he was making a payment (or multiple payments in other instances) to a PSU student at the assistant coach’s request so that the student athlete would stay in school. He traded the assistant coach’s introduction to an eventual pro athlete for payment to the player to stay in school. No doubt that he used the introduction as a start to building rapport with the student athlete to eventually obtain a client.

      The troubling part is that he was evidently known by some coaches and, at times, enlisted to make such a payment. According to Blazer, the PSU coach contacted him and he was more than happy to assist in exchange for the opportunity to get to know the kid.

      Now, it is plausible that in some instances he contacted a player directly and made payment to them directly during their final year of school to provide some spending money and close on an eventual draft pick and client… All unbeknownst to the coaches. It’s plausible, but less probable.

      What’s at stake for Blazer is a much lighter jail sentence if (and only if) he cooperates fully and truthfully. So, he may just be believable… And, their may be coaches involved. Time will tell.


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