Dear AD Heather Lyke,

I attended your Pitt “Panthers on the Prowl” event hosted by the Pitt Alumni Association Friday evening in Washington, DC.  First off let me thank you for doing this as I believe most attendees enjoyed their time there.  Please try to make it an annual event if possible.

Personally I feel you missed a great opportunity to engage fans and alumni in meaningful discussion regarding Pitt athletics and the status of the athletic department, as well as the three major sports (football, basketball and women’s volleyball) represented at the event.  The fact that Pitt ranks almost dead last in the ACC’s alumni donations to athletics should have led you to truly engaging potential donors instead of rolling out a dog and pony show.

You allotted two hours for the duration of the event, however anything meaningful at all could have been done with an egg timer given how sparse anything of substance was.  I get it – some fans want to have their picture taken with their college head coach. The personal reasoning behind that eludes me but clearly that was the apparently the main thrust of this event.

By my watch your question and answer segment – which I believe would have been the most valuable part of the evening had it actually been sincere – lasted only 15 minutes. The shortness of it was too bad really – had you chose to take questions from the attendees we would have been able to ask about the status of issues you yourself have been advertising like crazy.

For instance I would have asked about the exciting “Victory Heights” initiative rather than having the evening’s Emcee ask the HCs the insipid question of “How do your players ‘stay hungryover the offseason?” Please spare us the coach talk. The Q & As were so ridiculous that we would have gotten better answers had we consulted a Magic 8 Ball.  I’d like to know how the “Fan Committee” had any real input into making Pitt athletics more palatable to the average fan… and your Magic 8 Ball would have replied “Reply hazy, try again.”

Instead we had the emcee actually preface a question to the basketball HC, Jeff Capel, with this bon mot – “Coach, you had an incredible season in 2018!”  At that point I slid off my chair, went into the fetal position and covered my ears. Not to be too picky but an in-conference .167 winning percent  isn’t anywhere close to ‘incredible’.  Maybe next time say something like “Coach, congratulations, your first year showed real marked improvement over the 2017 season…” which would have been very true.

An especially nice touch was when you introduced a member of the Pitt’s Board of Trustees in the audience and got back an ‘impromptu’ shout out  where he commenced to slobber over the athletic department by emphatically stating ‘The Board is 100% behind your efforts‘ among other things.  That and your own “We won’t be changing the athletic teams new colors!!” were two eyebrow raising bits of info. How I wish I could have seen the pupils of your  guys’ eyes when that happened.  Not sure those statements are actually true.  I hope the BoT guy was at least a Pitt alumni and not one of the Penn State grads we have on the board.

This is Pitt’s Old Gold…

This color is found nowhere in the university’s colors

So, after the 60+ minute photo shoots we got about 15 minutes where instead of taking questions directly from those Pitt fans who actually paid good money (and who most tagged on an additional donation when registering) to be there we had a public love fest between the  emcee, yourself and our three HCs in which nary a serious question was asked or answered or any important issue discussed.

Silly me – I would have thought that in light of the last two non-winning selasons the two cash cow sports, football and basketball, just had it would have been nice to press the HCs to answer serious questions such as Coach Narduzzi, given your last two seasons what problems did you identify and what serious changes have you made to getting back to a winning program?”

I really wanted to ask what Coach Narduzzi’s Pat signal was all about last week.  But that’s fine because one of the staffers who sat down next to me schooled me by saying “It would be nice to be able to take back tweets back sometimes”. That’s OK coach – I’m sure the kid won’t be as happy at the school he’s actually going to then he would have been at Pitt.

The only real bit of info passed all evening was that the women’s volleyball team has five All-Americans on the roster – which is fantastic!  Perhaps Pat Narduzzi can get someone on his roster  that he recruited out of high school to be at least 2nd string All-ACC.  Get those two head coaches in a locked room and make our FB listen to how a sports team garners success via recruiting please.

Wait!  And that the women’s volleyball Final Four will be in Pittsburgh this coming season. Thanks for that bit of info.  How do I buy season volleyball tickets? That may be worth more than the football games are given the nine hour round trip drive.

I also feel that telling all in attendance about the fact that seven (7!) Pitt athletic teams had their highest APRs ever would have been a great touch.  Look, the average age at this event was on the plus side of 50 years old – believe it or not that age group really does care about things like student/athletes and their academics and are at the height of their earning power – we missed a great opportunity for future donations there I think.  Congrats to Pitt, especially Pat Narduzzi, for that achievement!  Can’t fault him with his off the field stuff as he’s been and done what a HC should do in that arena.

I saw the table with the new Pitt gear for sale. Where was the table to sell season tickets and/or make additional donations to the athletic department? Wasn’t that really very important to set up? Well, we’ll get another chance in 2023.

Please let me know when the next “AD for a Day” contest is to be held – I’ll be sure to enter as we POVers have some fantastic ideas.

I suppose the long video about our University you played to end the event was nice – well, at least it gave you a nice excuse to close the Q&A session so quickly since as you actually said out loud “…because the head coaches need to catch their flights“.  Seriously – how in the world could you publically state that the HCs’ leaving  the event was more important than the alumni’s being there in the first place?  

Other than that – thanks for a great time!  And Happy Mothers Day!

Best to you and yours,

A kind-of satisfied alum and fan.

P/S: Please read this article before you do that feasibility study for an on-campus stadium.  Maybe Heinz has added financial benefits that the average fan isn’t privy to.

Late addition:  One important thing I have to add to the article is that Chancellor Gallagher hadn’t been showing much interest in athletics, uniforms, etc…but when Lyke showed him the first draft of the Panther logo he didn’t like it much so he suggested changes that were incorporated to the final product such as longer face and other stuff.

 

 

167 thoughts on “An Open Letter to AD Heather Lyke

  1. Reed, you were given so many questions to ask and they didn’t even cover the basics, yuck! Would be a great idea to pluck out all the questions and list them out on a future article. Candidly, I would keep that thread always open. It’s a good one for the fan committee. Notice they call it fan committee, as in pitt only has one fan.

    Look, when you are Pitt, you need to work harder. Like a springsteen concert, if you advertise 2 hours, go 2 1/2 to let your fanbase and potential donors that you will work harder and longer than others, making them feel more important. Where were the coaches going anyway at that time of night? Let me guess a 10pm in house visit. Give me a break!

    To finish off the last thread, I noticed that cbs sports ranked the P5 coaches from 1-65. Narduzzi was 46 a 5 spot improvement from last year. Not even close to the top 50%. Pay is probably in the top 50%. There were only 3 ACC coaches with a worse ranking.

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/2019-college-football-coach-rankings-power-five-coaches-ranked-65-26/

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ranking-the-top-25-power-five-college-football-coaches-entering-the-2019-season/

    The dairy high school coach finished 11 but was the highest ranked big10, 11,12,13,14 coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good post Reed. I’m glad you went to this.

    I’m as optimistic as the next guy, and I generally like to support what the athletic department is doing when they do it right. (The uniform unveil and rebranding for example, is something the really generated a lot of buzz for the university). But this kind of thing just has me shaking my head. I 100% agree with you Reed. There is a time for rah-rah, and there is a time to engage. The way Pitt treated this event is just one of the many reasons why Pitt does indeed rank nearly dead last in alumni donations. And the saddest part about all this is, is that the questions you posed weren’t even that hard. It would have been easy for Narduzzi to to talk about the changes he’s made to the offense as a raise to bar to last year. It would have been easy for Capel to talk about how the team has shown improvement for the first time in years instead of labeling the season “as an incredible success”

    And not mentioning the APR? Huge miss. There are no two ways to slice that.

    While I’ll always be proud to be a Pitt Alum and I’ll always support the program. This kind of missed opportunity smacks of incompetence. I’m not going to 100% put this on Heather (although she is complicit did sign off on it…). I am going to 70% put this on the person Heather has in charge of the overall alumni outreach strategy, and 30% on Heather. And maybe that’s being generous. Maybe it should be more like 50/50.

    CHANGE IS NEEDED – not at the top, but in the way that our Alumni are engaged.

    Michaelangelo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice article Reed…thanks for attending. Looking forward to seeing you at the Frankcan Cup.

    Mike, I agree that there is much room for improvement regarding engagement.
    Richman is adamant that the fan committee was listened to and I believe him…I question the capacity of the athletic department to operationalize the needed changes.

    Like

  4. These kind of events are usually internet webinars that you watch when you have little to do otherwise. Nice trip to D.C. for pictures.

    Would be nice to ask for all the reasons we are not building or even studying an OCS.

    Like

  5. Reed, I’m shocked you expected more. This was a photo op period. Narduzzi acts like it’s your privilege to even be near him. Heather covers their butts so they don’t have to answer tough questions. It’s been the Pitt way forever.

    Like

    1. I know and really didn’t expect it to be much different than it was. We can but hope however.

      One thing I forgot to add is that the AD asked two questions of the audience and to raise their hands if “yes”

      First was who had been to the last alumni meet & greet 4 years ago in DC…only a few of us did.

      Second was who liked the new uniforms. I stood up to see and it was split along age lines with the older fans not responding…that kind of went over like a lead balloon. But she did follow directly with pointing to a table where new Pitt gear was being sold.

      One important thing I have to add to the article is that Chancellor Gallagher hadn’t been showing much interest in athletics, uniforms, etc…but when she showed him the first draft of the Panther logo he didn’t like it much so he suggested changes that were incorporated to the final product such as longer face and other stuff.

      So much for the idea it was taken directly from the fountain head.

      I still like it a lot (not the color but the graphic image) though and think it was by far the best on the ‘reveal’.

      Btw Deputy AD Christian Spears came over and sat with me for the Q&A part. Nice guy but I didn’t have as chance to bend his ear as he was up and gone when the closing video started.

      Pat Bostick and I had a nice conversation though. He’s always fun to talk with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bobby Dodd stadium is the oldest on campus stadium in the country. Although it does have a capacity of 55,000. So why in the world would you move two conference games off campus and not utilize the entire NFL stadium and close down the upper bowl when you have the option to stay and play on campus? Makes no sense to me. BTW, any monetary gains won’t be fully realized for over 5 years from now. The 3 bigger games do make sense though.

    Like

  7. Guys, my article was kind of tongue in cheek but I really do think that this athletic staff really misses opportunities to engage in the alumni, fans and the media.

    From what I gather from what the AD said the New York event wasn’t well attended at all.

    What I would do is invite season ticket holders to a 3-4 hour afternoon conference held in either a club room at Heinz or on campus in an auditorium. Then really engage everyone and hear concerns from the horses mouths…not filtered through a hand picked fan committee.

    For instance it would be hugely valuable to float out the issue of an OCS while examining the 360* of the issue – financial, community support, etc.

    If all one does is read message boards, blogs and Facebook you would think there is overwhelming demand for a stadium in Oakland…but I always ask Pitt fans I meet in situations like this last event, games, etc…what they think about it and the majority of responses are either stay with Heinz or build a stadium outside of Oakland if absolutely needed. I notice that when fans really think it over and discuss it everyone wishes we had one but that’s mostly it.

    There has to be solid discussion about Pitt sports if they want alumni, fan and especially donors buy in. Right now we have these meet and greets and a LOI Day event which is canned slide shows and video.

    Pitt has to do more and do it better.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Perhaps Heather is not the person to lead us out of the doldrums of Pitt Athletics.
    Then again, perhaps the BOT doesn’t want to leave said doldrums.

    Like

  9. I would have asked that BoT member to prove he wasnt a Nitter or some state appointed bureaucrat.

    Seriously, who holds these people accountable.

    If the media wont ask tough questions and fans arent allowed, how is one expected to know why I should be supporting this program.

    This forum has power since its got numbers just like season ticket holders. There were many serious questions posed by people on here the other day. How do we as fans get answers to those questions.

    Issues:
    Revenues are declining while costs are increasing. We know Pitt is revenue poor. We know that Pitt has one of the highest % subsidies among all P-5 schools. What is the plan to fix that problem?

    What is the plan to jump start donations. Pitt ranks near the bottom of the ACC and this number hasnt grown. Why is that and what is Pitt doing about it?

    Football attendance was only 34k on average last year (excluding the PSU game). Dont you see that as a problem. Why do you think it was that low? Was it the home schedule, lack of any marquee players, lack of confidence by fans in the programs direction, the mediocrity mindset, the actual venue, start times? Remember football helps pay the bills and the largest driver of revenue is ticket sales.

    Why does Pitt schedule one of the toughest OOC football schedules? Does it make sense having Whisky and TN as future opponents? What is Pitt doing about creating a long lasting home and home series with WVU? The Hoopies are a far bigger rival with the younger generations than the Nitters

    How can Pitt compete in a very dirty basketball recruiting world?

    Whats going on with Victory Heights? Tell me about that private and public support. Have their been any changes to the initial plans given initial fundraising results? What is the timetable for moving out of Fitzgerald into the new venue?

    Is there a plan to add future programs such as mens lacrosse (you just added womens and did you see Robert Morris play Virginia yesterday in the college playoffs? That should have been us), mens and womens hockey (NHL sponsored a feasibility study for you).

    Have you thought about a long term plan for Pitt football and its playing venue. What is the plan when the lease expires? What are some options for Pitt and why?

    Pitt will finish dead last in the Directors Cup this year among P-5 schools (final rankings in June). Is this where you expected Pitt to be heading into your 3rd year? What can you do to ensure Pitt’s sports programs are more competitive?

    But all the talk is about those damn colors. Most fans under 50 love the new colors. And most non-Pitt fans have nothing but good things to say abut the change. I’m glad Heather isnt apologizing to any old fart with a mustard fixation.

    Like

  10. This old fart prefers Stadium Mustard but also likes Brat Mustard, Heinz and French Spicy Brown, and Fathead’s on the South Side used to have the best mustard for pretzels (still might). Guilden’s is OK but always thought Dijon was overrated

    Liked by 1 person

  11. but seriously .. in this day and age, do you think weekly Skype meetings would do any good? Heather can have a different coach as guest and hold them throughout the late spring and summer.

    Like

    1. more engagement and conversations would be good
      like a quarterly state of the union with fans
      or some sort of town hall format
      all the questions can be pre-screened so Heather isnt caught off guard and has prepared answers
      but we need to hear the answers

      we are in the complete dark on victory heights
      we have no idea of the vision for Pitt sports…not the sanitized version supported by the BoT
      no idea on the outcome of that feasibility study by the NHL
      no idea on the plan to improve donation rates, attendance, school pride and spirit
      well, one easy way is through communication, engagement and listening
      and then ultimately doing something

      again, look at how the premier league does things
      they are world class leaders and run the most profitable sports league in the history of the world. Yes – far better than the NFL could even dream
      they dont have attendance problems
      clubs are building new stadiums

      Can a POVert name me the club that won the Premier League title today?

      Like

  12. Reed – excellent article and follow-up comments.

    I propose that Heather hire you as a consultant in the area of alumni engagement. And I’m completely serious.

    Some folks crave the photo ops and want something to take home.

    I go back to when Walt used to take questions at the end of the LOI event. To me, that was a highlight. Wanny came in and that practice stopped and no one has done it since.

    Pitt has to learn ways and means to engage their cadre of fans and in doing so, grow the number of fans.

    Maybe a group of POVers could arrange for s sit-down with Pat Bostick???

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  13. First off, it took me a long while to come up with a response I thought would be fair to the article. My first thought was it may have been a little too Reed like and critical. My point being that the forum of the event may not have been the right time and place for the grilling of the coaches and administration. After Reed’s comment during the article though, I have to say, I am in total agreement of his thoughts. It would be a great idea to ask the people who actually donate, buy season tickets and alumni’s opinions and questions to improve donations and fan support. Also how PITT can improve the game-day experience and all the inter-works of the goings on in Oakland and the higher muckety mucks and what is their real plans and directions for the PITT athletics. I believe that’s fair and I’m all for it. Just in the right setting for that type of round-table discussion…. . ..ike

    Like

  14. either a town hall format
    or some quarterly round table comprised of season ticket holders, someone from this blog and other message boards, former student athletes, students, boosters, casual fans

    no more than 12 people per group
    split into 2 groups (total of 24 inputs from different people each quarter)
    Thats 96 unique viewpoints

    think of it as focus groups
    some themes will emerge

    but bottom line, is that more info must be released to the masses
    fans are in the dark
    heather needs monthly pressers and to get all the answers in writing

    fans wont donate to a black hole

    Liked by 1 person

  15. After reading Reed’s post, I am extremely discouraged about the future of Pitt athletics. They were obviously interested in PR, not in conducting a forum where they might actually get a few new ideas.

    The comment about cutting it short so the coaches could leave tells us all we need to know. The correct statement would have been that the coaches will stay as long as there are more questions.

    I am losing faith that Heather can turn things around. And folks, quit falling for the uniform color distraction. It is a poor attempt at diversion from the real issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VoR, not saying I know this but I’m not sure if most in attendance were the right people/PITT fans for a serious discussion about the in depth problems and good things goings on at PITT. (not saying I am either) but as far as I know, that wasn’t the agenda of the get together.

      Like

  16. At this point PITT is at a low point:
    1- New colors stink.
    2- Our athletics teams are not good (except Volleyball)
    3- US News & World Report has us rated down to #70!

    Sad thing, I don’t see any improvement coming soon. Though I always have hope.

    Like

    1. volleyball and wrestling were the only programs ranked come years end
      they both have bright futures
      both also play in a 70 year old dump that doesnt seem to impact recruiting
      yet Narduzzi has all the advantages of heinz

      Mens track n field placed 4th in the ACC this weekend. They dont even have a track. Truly remarkable.

      the new colors are well liked by the vast majority of people. Pitt and Nike have focus grouped and surveyed this to death among fans and non-fans. These colors pop on TV and establish an identity. We can argue all day long on whether they got the shade of blue and yellow right (I personally believe they should have gone a shade darker on both). But Pitt is now at least noticeable and will stand out.

      We’ve been at #70 since last September and I dont expect it to change. FSU has caught up and they were ranked #150 in my day.

      Pitt is bottom 20% in BOTH Academics and Athletics in the ACC

      Its all relative though. However, Pitt’s academic rankings have historically been between 45 and 60. So there is slippage and thats not good. I expect things to get worse since other schools have stepped up their financial aid relative to Pitt.

      Pitt’s athletic rankings have always been near the bottom of all P-5 teams. Worst P-5 school in the Directors Cup.

      Do we have confidence that Heather can change that? Are we confident that Pitt’s BoT is giving her what she needs.

      Well, the budget is there to be at least far more competitive.

      However, you wont see elite results until you get elite spend and Pitt just doesnt have the revenues.

      Moreover, Pitt does not have the mindset and culture.

      Pitt is at a low point despite that feel good Coastal title.

      what is hope without a plan? A dream. So sprinkle some fairy dust on me pixies and let me dream away because Pitt has no plan. They never did.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Robert, no offense as I know logistics play a major part but do you donate, buy tickets and come to games? Are you more a part of the problem or the solution? Jus asking and again…. no offense just trying to make a point.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ike – few if any Pitt fans are part of the problem. They are the solution. If you like the way things are, say nice things, pay money for tickets and attend games, donate to athletics. If you do not, do like me. Constructively criticize and challenge them, refuse to give them any money. Become a ‘spy.’

    I dont buy the BS that I am the problem for Pitt being mediocre. I’m not the reason why Pitt cant make a profit on sports. I’m not the reason why Pitt has been in this situation for the past 40 years.

    I used to think I could help by attending bowl games, regular season games, and making donations. I used to have hope and dreams. But Pitt never had a plan.

    Where is your plan Pitt and maybe I can dream again and wishes might come true.

    I’m gonna miss this pixie
    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-pqndnq/images/stencil/500×659/products/167/8752/BS1013_a__28059.1401900026.jpg?c=2

    Like

  19. Tx, how long have you been standing on this ceremony and what good has it done? I sure don’t expect you at the games being from Texas but it’s easy to complain about the goings on without lifting a finger to help.

    Like

    1. Pitt depends on sheep. Not labeling anyone on here because we attend and donate for our own reasons. But as long as Pitt gets 35k in gate receipts each year, it will continue doing what its done for the past 40 years. And thats disappoint all of us and lose $10 Million each year on top. Thats SOP. Dont you think enough is enough.

      For Christ sake, if Tressell was in front of a group of 60 fans, you’d be running through a wall right now. He would view this forum as yet another opportunity to sell his vision, give you some tantalizing details on the plan, convince you that you are integral to the success and have you bite hook, line and sinker. But you wouldnt be a sucker because he would continue engaging you and showing you results.

      Theres a huge difference between an AD like Heather and an AD like Tressell.

      I dont think Heather ever returned from vacation

      Like

  20. what can any of us non-boosters/non politically connected fans do to help?
    I can help in someway by being critical and holding Pitt accountable through my words and pocketbook
    I’m done giving my money to Pitt
    You see what they have done with it
    We’ve slipped in the US News and we are the worst in the Directors Cup
    Good money never chases bad results

    Why spend your entertainment dollar on agonizing losses and mediocre/boring play
    The ticket value is far greater for volleyball and wrestling and I would recommend those are Pitt sports worth supporting because they have proven themselves

    I actually might cut a check to volleyball but knowing Pitt they will not step up and extend this coach from Cali. He is receiving offers now from Cali and out West. What is Pitt doing about that. Whats the plan? I wont give money without knowing the plan because otherwise I am a foolish dreamer or wisher.

    Pitt is a suckers bet right now.

    Like

  21. Ike, you seem to be a bit too accepting of the sad state of affairs that is Pitt athletics. Tex and Reed are right to be disgusted with what common cents tells all of us is a poorly run athletic dept. The meeting Reed attended was a perfect opportunity to lay out a plan, IF THERE WAS ONE!

    Like

  22. I agree with Reed’s assessment of the event 100% and in general find it absurd how many people dissect quotes from athletes and coaches when 99% of the time they say nothing of substance. That is part of why I like the POV so much. I learn much more from POV discussions like the comparison of OOC schedules among conferences than from any comments from coaches, players, or ADs.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ike, I wish I had the answer. I wish there was a quick, easy fix, for the woes our beloved University is going through. Bottomline it is not the school I went to in the early 60’s both football wise (we really didn’t play any other sport that well back then) and academically. Was it more selective? I don’t know. We had a football team in 1963 that ended up #3 and a bunch of players who became doctors, lawyers, dentist, corp. mgrs. Come to think of it, my fraternity even turned out some professionals in a couple of fields.

    Maybe we should start paying top players to come to PITT. Heck if you get caught now-a-days, it is getting to be considered normal. Academically, the Chancellor, needs to address our continued decline in rankings.

    Like

  24. Sure wouldn’t hurt getting some of the minor sports on a winning track. This looks easier to do from the outside. Make some of the Alumni happy

    Like

    1. Robert – obviously women’s volleyball is in good shape. And it appears that wrestling is moving forward. I think women’s BB will steadily improve under Coach White and at least get into the upper half of the ACC, though it will take a couple more seasons.

      Pitt couldn’t have found much better of a men’s BB Coach. Or men’s soccer coach, from the little bit I know…

      I never expect the Pitt baseball and softball teams to be consistently good. Just doesn’t make sense.

      Course a lot of fans, like on here, don’t like the Dooz, cause he’s not winning 10 games (yikes!).

      Anyway, I guess my thought is that the arrow is pointing up for some of the Pitt sports – at least the ones where I think we have a decent chance to compete…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  25. I would like to think that Heather has some plan to improve things, but we haven’t seen it. Is Victory Heights even real for the non-revenue sports? How does Pitt raise the money if they won’t even talk about it?

    Like

  26. I predict that these events next year will have a much greater attendance if Pitt football repeats as the Coastal division winner and ends the season with 9 regular season wins and a bowl victory. I also predict that TX and many others will still be complaining about the state of Pitt athletics even if my above prediction comes true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. my expectations have always been 9-11 wins, a bowl win, a final ranking
      if Pitt hits these milestones, it will have been a successful year in my eyes
      But then they need to continue doing it
      Not a flash in the pan

      Like

  27. What D1 coach who spend the off season roaming the country kissing the asses of 15, 16 and 17 year old kids and their parents, wants to take a bunch of questions critical of how they run their program? Maybe Walt did but wasn’t his time before social media gave everyone more access to information? Just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

  28. JRN, note that TX has championed the OCS here citing time and again just how advantageous it would be to Pitt FB, then he posts above @ 8:51 pm … “yet Narduzzi has all the advantages of Heinz”

    You are correct …. no matter what ‘Haters are going to Hate.’ And we have seen that WAY too often on this blog

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt and Narduzzi view Heinz as an advantage
      Many of posters on here see nothing wrong with Heinz

      Since Pitt is stuck at Heinz until the lease expires, how does Pitt sell Heinz to recruits. Its the Steelers home. Its a modern and big pro stadium. But those empty yellow seats really hurt. Yet Narduzzi doesnt want to tarp because that would mean he’s a failure at getting fans to attend the game.

      My point is that Heinz can initially wow some recruits. But they soon realize that its way too big, not intimate enough and doesnt have the campus pageantry.

      Our most successful programs play in a 70 year old dump yet somehow they are able to do well in recruiting. Because they have coaches that can sell recruits on something other than facilities. They could probably recruit even better if they had modern game day and practice venues. The football team has no excuses.

      Like

  29. Reed… regarding your comments about the general consensus you found when talking to people at the function about the quality of life at Heinz versus a New Pitt Stadium on or near campus.

    Not this one, but I’ve been to a couple of these things in the past. I don’t think the people who flock to these events exactly reflect a perfect random polling sample of the total population of Pitt Alum and fans. A bit high on the Kool Aid drinking scale.

    So I think you got to weigh that in when gauging any sentiment about a future OCS or anything else such as approval for the color yellow.

    Knowing your own convictions regarding the practicality or need for an OCS might also have a bearing on the viewpoints you get from the people you choose to engage in conversation.

    Of course, the Pitt Alums and fans posting online in what you say appears to be overwhelming support of the building of a New Pitt Stadium on or near campus are also probably not exactly a perfect random sample.

    Like

    1. You can call them fans who are “ A bit high on the Kool Aid drinking scale,” or you can call them fans who support their university because it’s their university, (not because they are worried about their university’s sports teams being the best return for their entertainment dollar…).

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Not sure if some of you missed it but I posted a comment at 7:44 last evening stating I was in agreement with Reed that Heather should hold a separate event discussing details and taking questions. I am just not sure if the itinerary included what Reed expected or even if it should have it been? Remember, just because I’m not ragging on a particular subject or coach doesn’t mean I am totally satisfied.

    Like

  31. Some older fans who attend games at Heinz are very spoiled

    They think college stadiums mean bleacher seating
    They think college stadiums mean parking 2 miles away
    They think college stadiums mean limited tailgating
    They think college stadiums mean limited concessions and restrooms
    They think college stadiums mean track around the field
    They think college stadiums mean poor scoreboard and audio
    They think college stadiums mean traffic nightmares

    They think a new Pitt stadium will be like the old Pitt stadium

    Any new Pitt stadium will be far better than Heinz. Thats what most people dont pick up on. Assuming its built and designed properly but with Pitt I have my doubts.

    The biggest gripe has always been parking and traffic. Heinz will always win that battle. But it loses every other one.

    Imagine if Heather could have told y’all in the audience that the volleyball Final 4 was being held on campus. And gave you a tidbit that the NCAA Regionals for basketball were coming back to Pittsburgh and that Pitt would host. All events that showcase campus and Pitt’s facilities. Cant happen now. Because Pitt never had a plan to make it happen.

    Pitt complains they cant spend like other schools because it doesnt have the revenues. It blames fans for not attending and blames fans for not donating. Pitt needs to look into the mirror.

    What is Pitt’s plan to significantly increase revenues.

    I’ve given them my idea yet they dismiss it and other fans mock the idea and rush to defend Pitt. Fans who think this way are actually part of the problem. Release the feasibility study. What is Pitt trying to hide? Are they afraid they wont be 100% exonerated?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who is spoiled, is it the kid that wants a Birthday present his parents absolutely cannot afford or the one that is overjoyed with whatever his parents give him?
      I would like to be a member at Oakmont or Laurel Valley, never going to happen for a retired middle class guy.
      Straw man arguments are kind of desperate.

      Like

  32. The fact is that there has been absolutely no buzz about Pitt Football for a long, long, long time and it isn’t getting any better in any substantial way. Last year was the quietest roll out I have ever seen, you wouldn’t think Pitt had a football team. There is absolutely no promotion going on. Two things have really hurt, along with the ongoing problem of being a pro city and competition with PSU, WV, ND, which will never change. The first being Narduzzi’s private practices and Pitt spoon feeding the media. The second being no marquis players since Conner, AD and Boyd, which leaves little to market.

    I don’t know what the marketing budget is but it has to be meager compared to our rivals for attention, which are many.

    Pitt has never placed a high priority on athletics other than a surge here or there in football and basketball and certainly does not have a rah rah culture to compare with other schools, where school spirit is driven in with a hammer. In some ways that sets Pitt apart and makes students more independent thinkers. Perhaps that is why there is more real debate on POV than other college sports blogs. But in most ways it is the major problem, resulting in small attendance and weak fund raising.

    Expecting Heather, or anyone for that matter to change an ingrained culture of fifty, maybe 100 years overnight is not reasonable. Pitt students and alumni are probably closer to their attitude about sports to CMU than PSU. We few fan(atic)s need to recognize the overall apathy toward Pitt sports that has set in over the decades is the greatest obstacle of all to change. An OCS with all of the other obstacles will never happen unless that apathy is overcome. To change the culture and overcome that apathy is a mighty task especially if you don’t recognize the problem.

    I think the ACC Network will help, maybe the new marketing firm will help, Reed, MM and the POV are helping. Capel and Narduzzi can help the most by winning. Gallagher and Lyke have to do the heavy lifting and set the tone if a “Major” change is ever to happen again. SOP is a mighty adversary and will not be conquered without a might effort.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Ike, you are correct that the agenda for the event wasn’t serious discussion of Pitt athletics, the role of the principals (AD, HCs, etc…) and the fans/donors. But Lyke could easily have taken five or 10 minutes to inform the attendees on serious issues. Easily.

    My point was it should have been more serious, if not right then then she should put time and real effort into scheduling and having events with that agenda.

    Again, most of the article was a send up in humor…and the event was pleasing enough for what it was – a PR evening for the AD and the HCs, hence the softball questions “from the fans” that the emcee asked.

    Again, who cares what a coach says about players “staying hungry” over the off-season? We get player’s guarantees every spring and fall camp of winning seasons and conference championships. Can you imagine how refreshing it would be if a HC or a star player said ” This team is going to struggle but I think we’ll at least win as many as we lose”

    Hell, I’d write another donation check as soon as that happened just for the honesty involved!🙂

    Here is a quote directly from the event’s original email…

    “Pitt alumni and Panther fans are invited to come participate in a question-and-answer panel discussion with the speakers listed below – and get the opportunity to have their photo taken with Coach Capel and Coach Narduzzi!”

    Note especially the “fans are invited to come participate in a question-and-answer panel discussion with the speakers .” Which means actual verbal intercourse between the coaches and fans.

    Not one question was taken from the floor nor any discussion among the coaches and attendees except for trivial stuff as the individual photos were being taken. So if that wasn’t the agenda then do what fans give and make those honest conversations with fans possible.

    Look, I pretty much knew what to expect after being at numerous Pitt football functions and alumni events. There is very low interest or excitement among Pitt fans, and alumni especially, when compared to other P5 schools.

    I went to a Maryland event like this two years ago as a guest of an alum and it was very well attended and informative. And that was even when Maryland was having troubles in its athletic dept.

    The bottom line is that Pitt should be doing every single thing they can to generate and keep fan & alumni in high gear through out the year and not just during the season. But there are some simple solutions that Pitt refuses to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed – I agree with your take, but at least for me, I can’t always decipher between the humor and the derision… 🤔

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  34. You make good points gc and the fact that the “kool aid drinkers” are absolutely accepting of any and everything that goes on at PITT is simply not true. What’s interesting is that almost everyone who attends Frans tailgates have a couple things in common. One they bought tickets and two they don’t constantly try and find fault in everything the coach and Heather do. Are those two perfect? Hell No! Do we want lots of aspects to be better. Hell Yes! And you’re right, we enjoy the heck out of each other at the tailgate and going to the games makes for a great day. After game tailgates are the cherries on top. It’s a great bang for our buck.

    To be clear, I know that not all on the POV can attend games and donate for various reasons and they all have my respect for being PITT fans and caring. My attentions were to never silence anyone’s opinions in any way shape or form. It’s what makes the POV a great place to hang out on.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hopefully behind closed doors Gallagher, Lyke, and the gang are having serious discussions on how to change things for the better. It is very hard to have the open discussions Reed is talking about in a public forum. When you represent any large institution there is a fear of negativity and bad press, that is why these events are not substantive. When you discuss issues that really matter you don’t want to get in a p!$$ing contest with members of the public.

    I think the idea of focus groups or roundtable discussions, with ground rules and without the media is a good one. But as we have discussed before, how open is Pitt Admin to hearing the truth or some version of it that does not align with their thinking?

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Gordon, it all reverts back to how the Head Coach feels about the media and the fans. When a HC has the opportunity to have the media attend and report on practices during the spring and fall camps there will be more fan interest. It is that simple.

    All you have to do is look back at what DW did with media access and see what interest it generated. Fans were very much engaged even when his teams struggled at first because he actually understood what the media and fans wanted – info about him and his players.

    He did it the right way. Instead of allowing only 15-20 minute window during warm ups and then 1 or 2 Pitt selected interviews after he opened up the first 90 minutes then closed the last 30 minutes to work on stuff he didn’t want the media to discuss.

    Plus he and EJ Borghetti let the attending media know they weren’t to discuss and explain actual play calls during the scrimmages…which was a small but important limitation. And practices were always closed during the season itself – every coach does that.

    So fans got a full 6 months of detailed coverage instead of 3-4 months during the season. And it didn’t harm the play out on the field one bit. Again, any sort of wrinkles in the offense or trick plays etc were practiced at every session anyway. Plus, the HC would sprinkle in completely closed practices on a needed basis – usually once in five session or so.

    But DW had the fans wrapped around his little finger because we learned and knew a lot about him, his staff and the players so there was a lot more excitement generated by his policy of being open with (and using) the media.

    I know some think this is a personal issue with me but it really isn’t…I just strongly believe that Narduzzi is making a big mistake especially when there is such a huge need to keep Pitt’s fans, alumni and especially donors as interested and engaged as possible.

    We all know what problems Pitt has with this. There are numerous comments above detailing them. This would be a huge step in the right direction if he modified his policy and embraced the media rather than excluding them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Totally agree that Wanny was much better at media relations. He had been a head coach and dealt with the major media before. He was also a yinzer and new how to handle high school relationships as well.

      Obviously Narduzzi is a different guy with a different personality and style. Comes off as much more defensive, and certainly didn’t have much experience with the media before. While I also don’t agree with the closed practices, he isn’t the only one to do it that way. Unfortunately Pitt needs exposure, and it is hard to get in this town, closed practices are not helping.

      I have seen some improvement in Narduzzi’s pressers this spring, but the real test will be after losses this year. Hopefully the new marketing firm is coaching him on media relations. Capel is very polished in his presentations. Hopefully Pitt Admin is paying attention and will give Narduzzi the help he needs.

      Winning helps the most though. Chuck Noll wasn’t particularly forth coming with the media, nor are a few other successful coaches. Recruiting a few elite players would make a difference as well. Shady McCoy helped take a lot of pressure off of Wanny after his lackluster start.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. First on the OCS, I don’t usually (if ever) comment on the subject, even though I find it interesting, because I’m just not sure how realistic a goal it is (or isn’t). I’m sure some see Heinz, with it’s Steelers connection, ‘major league’ venue, financial arrangements, and potential (though under-utilized) for tailgating along the river as a legitimate advantage, but I think the vast majority of Pitt fans would much prefer an OCS and it would much better facilitate future generations of Pitt fans (and better engage the campus community). I’d also love to see an excuse for bulldozing trashy real estate. But again, just not sure how realistic it is.

    So today is the big “Sy commitment day”… Personally, I think it would be a nice boost to land him given our obvious need, but my pie-in-the-sky goal would be we miss on him and instead land Ojiako. I’m sure some would want both, but I’d be happy with 3 bigs next year, Brown, Coulibaly & Ojiako, and wait for 2020 for our next quality big. If we do land Sy, then Brown, Sy & Coulibaly should make things interesting next season.

    Like

  38. part of a fans apathy is created by Pitt themselves

    events like these should be a chance by Pitt to sell their vision, provide some details on the plan and progress and to answer questions like why is 14% of your overall sports budget subsidized by the general fund. There is literally only one handful of P-5 schools with percentages this high.

    Well maybe not the elephant in the room but tell me more Heather on the new lacrosse sport, tell me about Victory Heights, tell me about those GPA’s and community service projects, tell me about mens basketball going to Italy this summer…did anyone know that?

    Those are easy rah rah questions and answers

    But we as fans also need serious roundtables to answer the filthy world of basketball recruiting and how it impacts Pitt. We need to know more about the fundraising and scope for Victory Heights. We need to know about the plan to address revenue issues. We need to know about that feasibility study that the NHL sponsored. We need to know about thoughts regarding one for a multi-purpose venue on campus. We need to know about the plan to get sports far more competitive across the board. We need to know about the plan to educate, communicate and engage fans.

    To me it shows that Pitt is ignorant, self righteous and just doesnt care.

    Yet they will be the first to blame the fans for attendance woes and pitiful donations

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TX – you make good points but just maybe you’re not speaking for all Pitt fans?

      As for me, I wish all Pitt teams well, but I just want to know what’s going on with the FB team and the 2 BB teams. And I mainly want to know what’s going on with the current players on those teams and with recruiting future players…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. I’m speaking more like a media guy, like a BoT member, like a Premier league fan

        I’m pretty sure that communication is far better at other schools. Give me a reason to support, to be excited, to trust you. Thats where Pitt fails.

        Pitt fans are generally apathetic. Pitt has sprinkled that fairy dust on them for the past 40 years.

        Like

  39. If Pitt wants fans to wake up and support them, answers to questions like these are important.

    Why isnt the media asking these questions?

    Is the BoT asking these questions?

    Who is holding Pitt accountable?

    Fans will benefit with this level of communication and engagement. They will get a sense of ownership. Thats important. Instead fans are just completely shut out. Thats how you get conspiracy theories like Heather going on vacation.

    Like

  40. But Tx, the theory was 100% wrong about the vacation. So what you’re actually saying is we simply don’t know some theories but you’re right, they are not telling us some parts, which they should. A lot of what is being said is speculation though and to say there is a lack of a vision and plan moving forward is only in your mind. I’ll tell you all this, I’m hearing Heather is a smash hit with the PITT higher ups and many alumnus.

    I would love for Narduzzi to open up the practices a little more. Be a little more approachable which I know nothing about or if it’s true or not. Apparently some people rub him the wrong way more than others, which is all on him. Not sure if he passed his congeniality class or not. Must be his hairy gorilla arms?

    Like

    1. if she does have a vision and a plan, when will we as fans begin to see it
      she is now on her 3rd year
      lowest opening day attendance since Majors 2
      worst P-5 school in overall sports
      sports still blowing a huge hole in the budget
      pitt still revenue challenged
      is the full scale victory heights really going to happen without Pitt incurring monstrous debt

      Heres this. Heather some some good ideas. But I’m not sure if she is the one that can execute the plan assuming there is a plan. Plans take money. And I havent heard of any big investment by any private or public donor.

      Anyone can be a smash when compared to Stevie.

      Like

  41. Great letter Reed!

    As for GT playing big-name opponents at Mercedes-Benz as opposed to being on-campus, the same could be done here as it has been done by the Cincinnati Bearcats.

    When the Bearcats play an opponent that can sell more tickets than their OCS holds, they play at Paul Brown Stadium home of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

    If Pitt had a 40,000 seat OCS and would host Notre Dame or West Virginia (and why not Michigan and Ohio State) that will sell far more than 40,000 tickets, you move that game to Heinz Field or the Steelers new Rooney Stadium.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. IMO, here is who the fans and therefore the media care about, it does not add up to 100% because of overlap:

    Steelers 80%
    Pens 60%
    Pirates 50%
    Pitt Football 25%
    PSU Football 25%
    Pitt Basketball 20%
    WVU Football 15%
    High School FB 15%

    I may have underestimated the Steelers and overestimated Pitt but you get the idea.
    This is general interest. If you go to who actually watches the games the number goes way down.

    In terms of media coverage the numbers would be skewed even further with Pitt Football in the low single digits. That is why marketing matters.

    Like

    1. why are the Steelers only 80%. They have been the lead story on Chanel 11 Sports this entire weekend despite the Prates winning 3 in a row in St Louis.

      Like

  43. Many years ago when Gottfiried was coach, Pitt traveled to towns like Harrisburg, York, Lancaster encouraging people to join the Golden Panthers. It was a nice affair with meals followed by the state of the program by football and basketball coaches followed by Q and A. At the conclusion, all was encouraged to become a golden panther by contributions to athletics. I remember fall camp beginning in Johnstown and all were invited to attend. We couldn’t wait to get to Johnstown and watch the team prep for the season. If you ask me, PN has isolated the team from the public which has caused the excitement for the season to wain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that was a great idea
      and I would be personally fine if the information that Pitt presented was for paying eyes only
      the answers to questions posed by many of us are only shared to the BoT or a handful of wealthy boosters
      thats part of the problem. Keeps too many fans in the dark
      Pitt can share more without disclosing state secrets

      nice revenue opportunity for Pitt. Fans starved for info would pay and these gatherings meet the need for fan engagement and offers a sense ownership in the process.

      It would have to be two way communication. Both sides would have to listen and be heard.

      I would leave media out of it and not have any coaches present.

      does Pitt need anymore revenue ideas? 🙂

      Like

  44. Well, there is nothing Pitt can do about being the 5th most followed sports team in the local area. PSU is still more popular. Why even after the scandal? Because every citizen in PA is represented by the state university so the majority of those citizens, even if they didn’t attend Penn State, identify with the football team.

    Steve Pederson recognized the importance of the local population identifying with Pitt thus his attempt to use “Pittsburgh” instead of “Pitt” and it just didn’t work out and it backfired so badly it angered the Pitt fans. However he at least tried to make Pitt the city’s team.

    But the fact is that there is very little buy-in by casual sports fan to Pitt football. And if Pitt had a NBA team Pitt would be 6th best in the eyes of the tri-state population. Look, if getting a 7 game season ticket for about $90 as we offered a few years ago didn’t entice them nothing will.

    It’s like rolling a rock up Mt. Washington to get locals without school affiliation to become serious Pitt fans so she has to concentrate on those who do have a connection…specifically alumni who should be donating money.

    Which is what we have been discussing above. A Fan Committee for the game day experience is great…but what really has to happen is that she gets the media, bloggers, fans, alumni and students to take a day for a round table discussion on the true status of Pitt football and figuring out a clear way forward.

    Can you imagine if reps from this blog, the Pitt Blather, Cardiac Hill, the PG, the Trib, alumni association, faculty, student government and some ex-players really put their minds together? Especially the POV because over the last three years we have gotten over one hundred thousand comments about Pitt football. Hell, some of the POV readers and commenters would be a great resource if the AD was truly serious about what people want and need for Pitt athletics.

    But I very much doubt that will ever happen.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Committees are the best way to guarantee a problem will never be solved. Need a leader to solve problems.

        Like

  45. Wayne, a closely regulated Pitt Booster Club would be fantastic. But…Pitt is still scared of what happened with the Golden Panthers back in the late ’70s so I wonder if they will take the chance to be affliated.

    Like

  46. Biased much, Reed? As much as the alumni event (which you are not, I might add) may have been a dog and pony show, I feel that this article was equally a waste of time and very agenda oriented.

    I understand being critical but at some point you just have to have fun and root for your school. Really, you can’t even have fun at a social gathering? The vitriol you spit at Pitt is exhausting. Yes, your parents and your childhood connect you to Pitt … but Pitt, apparently, is not ever going to live up to that nostalgic standard of your lost innocence.

    Maybe it’s time to move on from Pitt. You seem much happier doing your much needed charity work and your exemplary work with veterans. Activities that are truly to be admired, respected and actually worthy of your noble intent. I don’t think Pitt is worth it, however.

    If you’ve been following these NCAA fraud trials, one thing is clear. To win you have to cheat. So you either cheat or you don’t cheat. You either spend money to facilitate cheating or you try to win respectably without cheating … but settle for the status quo. Pitt is exactly where they want to be.

    List of champions since 1990 … You literally have to go back to 1990 and 1991 to find schools the same caliber as Pitt (Washington and Georgia Tech/Colorado) … and they had to share it. Lol. It’s been 30 years. Unless Pitt cheats … that is not realistic people. It’s just not.

    Clemson x 2
    Alabama x 6
    Ohio State x 2
    Florida State x 3
    Auburn
    Florida x 3
    Texas
    USC x 2
    LSU
    Miami (1989 too) x 2
    Oklahoma
    Tennessee
    Michigan
    Nebraska x 2
    1991 shared title University of Washington
    1990 shared title Colorado
    1990 shared title Georgia Tech

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a·lum·nus
      /əˈləmnəs/
      Learn to pronounce
      noun
      plural noun: alumni
      a graduate or former student, especially a male one, of a particular school, college, or university.

      So yes, I am an alumus but not a graduate.

      I will ask you a very simple question…when you see I have written something why do you read it?

      But you always do .

      Do you not think that the article produced good and important comments?

      Seriously, pay more attention to yourself or other things if you can’t stand what I write.

      But know this… When I wrote for the Pitt Blather is was the most read and commented on media about Pitt football. Then when I started the POV it then became the most read and commented on media…and The Blather lost almost all it’s readership.

      So, There is a reason for those things happening and I’m sure the loss of one reader will make no difference what so ever.

      My name will be on my articles and comments. When you see it look the other way

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My apologies, I did not not realize the you ever attended a class at Pitt. My bad. That was a dig I should have left out.

        I always read opposing views. I don’t have to agree with them but it is important to form a well balanced opinion … I don’t read, nor want to read, only things that cater to my interests. But, when I read opposing views I will call out agendas. You can dissent without having bias. You have clear biases that are hard to ignore.

        “But know this… When I wrote for the Pitt Blather is was the most read and commented on media about Pitt football. Then when I started the POV it then became the most read and commented on media…and The Blather lost almost all it’s readership.”

        I never questioned your readership. I questioned your agenda. I find that entire paragraph a little insulting to Chas as well.

        If you put your opinion out in a public forum, expect it to be questioned. I will not look the other way. I’ve also given money to the POV because I do value the forum. Believe it or not I do respect you.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. yes

          Dokish just banned me the other day. He was excited about this coming season for basketball, Pitt football and the Steelers. Me being the critical eye pointed out that if his excitement was seeing Pitt win 8 games, seeing Pitt miss the NIT and seeing the Steelers miss the playoffs then he should be real excited.

          Mr Thin skin took offense to it and then said I’d be a pooper at parties. I think I told him (very civilly) that I wouldnt be at any of his parties and boom…he banned me.

          I guess I should have drank the Koolaid

          Like

          1. Mr. Dokish bans a lot of people. It is a wonder people sitll follow him. Someone got banned for suggesting that Mr. Stallings perhaps was not the answer as Pitt’s basketball coach shortly after Pitt lost to the dairy basketball powerhouse:)

            Like

      1. I do agree on the cheating. To be elite, one must cheat. And Pitt doesnt play that game and thats good. I dont think anyone on here is expecting national championships. I just want Pitt to win a bowl game and get back to the NCAA tourney. If Pitt needs to cheat to do those things, then I give up.

        Like

  47. There’s a lot more buzz in Pittsburgh if their teams win (BB or FB) then there ever is for psu, but it does require that we win, otherwise we take a back seat. Why? Because there’s a lot more to spend entertainment dollars on in Pittsburgh if a team is not successful. How much buzz is there for psu basketball? Exactly.

    Same with the Pirates, most years nobody goes or cares, and they give away Pirates tickets to Pitt students to fill in some of the empty seats. When the Pirates win (IF they ever win), then people will support them, though their organization seems to be poorly run. A quick turnaround by Capel could easily make Pitt basketball the second biggest ticket in town (after the Steelers). psu & wv happen to be in regions where there is NOTHING else to do, no competition for entertainment dollars, so their deal is different.

    Like

  48. Reed, if you remember, these events were usually golf outings. They would be held at various courses and after an afternoon of golf, there would be a dinner and meet and great. I remember attending these events with a few hundred people. Not everyone golfed but you could just attend the dinner. It was a huge fundraiser for the program. Local tv would cover the event. Now you never hear of Pitt football on local news in the Harrisburg area but for when they lose. It just seems as you say there are so many missed opportunities to get people engaged….

    Like

  49. Here’s the definition of an alumni: a graduate or former student, especially a male one, of a particular school, college, or university.”

    Reed is most definitely an alumni of the University of Pittsburgh.

    Like

  50. Pitt and most large institutions instincts are to control the message. That is fine till it goes to far. When it stifles any creativity and doesn’t allow for opposing viewpoints it affects the outcome negatively.
    While there are positives for closed practices, there are the negatives of less publicity and therefore less interest.

    I am sure Pitt was not thrilled to learn that X would like to go Pro after this year. They could not control that message. By the way, every kid would love to go Pro as soon as possible, who wouldn’t want to make megabucks doing what they are now doing for free. ( Yeah I know they are getting an education)

    By the way X is great, but he has no three point shot, not much of a pull up jumper, and really hasn’t shown he can pass that well. Plus getting to the hoop just may be more difficult in the NBA.

    Pitt showed how much they hate losing control of the message when they fired Wanny. While I don’t agree with TT’s characterization of Reed’s opinion, I do agree that the NCAA is a dirty place and there is much evidence that many if not most winners have cheated. Just not sure I ever see Pitt going there and that is ok with me. How much does it affect our recruiting, obviously somewhat but who really knows?

    It does give reasonable cover for recent results in football and basketball, but in no way explains why we are at the bottom in most of are other sports.

    Like

    1. Sorry for the typos, a little frustrated today by this weather. Pittsburgh trying to set more yearly records for rainfall and gloomy skies.

      Liked by 1 person

  51. Hey gc, I have one of those goofy echo’s, you know Alexa. Pretty cool for songs but I like my music much louder. Anyways. I asked her for the 7 day forecast and after tomorrow, everyday she explained would have intermittent clouds. I asked her what intermittent clouds means and she said. Mostly sunny with a chance of clouds. Apparently she’s program for WPA with her negative weather outlook. Why not say mostly sunny. Anyways I found that funny. I’m easily entertained.

    Like

  52. How can anyone talk about Pitt should be cheating, when there are so many legitimate things that they could do but aren’t doing? Heck, if they wanted to cheat, just give each recruit $100,000 and skip all the other stuff. Play at a half full Heinz because the players won’t mind as they cash their checks. This cheating stuff is total nonsense, and I wouldn’t want Pitt to win if they had to cheat to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Here is a suggestion for the administration from a dedicated Pitt fan: Why don’t we offer Nick Saban or Dabo Swinney $20 million a year to coach the Pitt football team. They say that everyone has a price, so if that is not enough, give one his price. We would have instant credibility with recruits, there would be a definite buzz in the media, even lukewarm fans would likely show up to pack the stadium, and there would be a fairly decent chance of achieving more success in the near future. Okay, it’s a tongue-in-cheek suggestion and would be easily dismissed by anyone with fiscal responsibilities at the university.

    But, in my opinion, the hurdles to building an on-campus-stadium are orders of magnitude greater than stealing Saban or Swinney. Financially, logistically, politically. And, even the most ardent supporters of an OCS do not believe that it has a high likelihood of increasing attendance or improving the W-L record. History shows that the last on-campus-stadium at Pitt did not bring those benefits. So why would the administration want to spend what I would assume to be millions of dollars to conduct a thorough feasibility study on the idea?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because it wouldn’t be just a football stadium. The venue would help drive revenues and be homes to multiple programs.

      The product on the field determines attendance. Coaching and recruiting determines the wins. Although I could make a case that recruiting would be marginally helped. And Pitt could probably achieve an extra half win per season since it’s not a neutral field.

      A study provides the facts and removes opinion.

      There is no immediate need and Pitt would rather react when the lease expires. Hence Crickets.

      Like

  54. Saban could never win at PITT. It’s takes back door $$ in a poke and under the table monies. He would choke laughing on his southern bourbon and coke if he was ever approached with an even super outrageous offer. This just in……. he wins because he coaches for a team that cheats their butts off. << The good old boys.

    Like

  55. Khadim Sy?

    In fact, Capel really does need THIS one. Don’t think Pitt is in every coveted BIG Man’s final THREE.

    Not to mention a final three where you happen to be the sole ACC Team.

    Again fingers crossed.

    Like

  56. TX… you know the simplest thing that could be done to IMPACT the discussion regarding an OCS?

    A scientific polling of Pitt Alumni where the results would be made public.

    If one has been done, I missed it. And obviously didn’t get called.

    Like

    1. Everyone would prefer an OCS, that is not the question. The question is how many dollars would each Alum and Friend commit.

      Like

      1. Ask them if they would approve a % increase in their property or sales taxes? Remember the beloved Steelers new stadium was turned down in a referendum. Easy to say you want something if you have no skin in the game.

        Like

        1. did Pittsburgh voters vote out the politicians who defied the referendum? I ask because I wasnt there. So if the citizens didnt approve taxes to pay for it, who did? I apologize for my ignorance since I dont know the back story.

          but speaking on something that I do know plenty about, any university venue would be paid via fundraising, debt, upfront monies for license fees, sponsorships and naming rights. Thats how college stadiums get built. But sometimes tuition and student fees are increased to support the endeavor and those would be the taxes. I vote NO if that would even be contemplated.

          Like

          1. So PA taxpayers contributed 53 million to build the Pete, after whatever they paid for Heinz and PNC Park. So no, at least in PA venues are not paid for by the means you list.

            https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2002/11/25/Special-Report/Petersen-Events-Center-University-Of-Pittsburgh.aspx

            This is what everyone forgets about why we play at Heinz. You don’t just have to convince Pitt, but also the City, the County and the State, to make anything happen.

            The “Back Story” is the most important part of any Pitt OCS discussion, but everyone prefers to talk about it in a vacuum that does not exist.

            Like

    2. this is what a feasibility study looks like and covers. Not as long as the Mueller report but you get the drift

      Like

  57. I think 90% would support it
    But that % drops once you start discussing parking, traffic, cost, location, etc

    Its also difficult to frame it. If its just a football specific stadium, I wouldn’t support it either

    Thats why maybe the better question is would you support a feasibility study. I bet you get darn near 100%.

    But there is no incentive for Pitt. They would need to be serious about doing it because these studies cost millions.

    That would then raise an immediate red flag with the Stadium Authority and the Steelers. Things would get political very fast. Politicians and neighborhood groups would begin a ‘not in my backyard’ campaign. Professors would start getting anxious all over again. You can see how quickly and easily what kind of circus can happen.

    Then the findings of the study would need to be publicly released with all the architect renderings (the inevitable comparisons with Heinz will happen immediately and it wont be pretty). The toothpaste will now be out of the tube. Pitt could be placed in a position to actually do something…study says its feasible and the renderings wow the public.

    But a study would at the very least show that Pitt is being proactive and would show that Pitt recognizes the implications once the Heinz lease expires.

    Right now Pitt’s answer is that we’ll deal with it in 12 years.

    Like

  58. LOL Fran! I just asked her. She said PITT is looking good. Oh no wait, that was Big Dan72. She said, hmmm I don’t know that one. 🙂 But she/it told me the Pirates play tonite against Arizona and the game starts at 9:35 EST.

    Like

  59. Had hoped to attend the function in DC, but couldn’t make it. Thanks for attending and giving us a rundown on it, Reed. About how many people were there, btw?

    Not surprised at all by the format, although the irrational exuberance of the emcee regarding the 2018 MBB season was astonishing to read. One would think that even Jeff Capel would be embarrassed by such a representation.

    Aside from yourself, were there any members of the media present? Perhaps they saw you had infiltrated the event and changed the format of the Q&A session – that was a joke. Kinda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. About 50 I’d say… And it was a fun time and people enjoyed themselves.

      One of the reasons I wrote the tongue in cheek article that way was because if you are only going to reach out once or twice a year it should have more substance..if the AD had created other venues and opportunities for real fan and alumni give and take then I would have just said it was a nice time.

      But imo it was a real lost opportunity.

      When have we ever really seen PN interact with the fans? He stopped having the coaches show at the restaurant and now that Pitt built the required ACC studio that’s where future Coaches Shows will be done (according to the AD) so again – no real interactions with fans.

      I do think that especially now after the last two seasons (division champs aside its been a disappointing two seasons) he really needs to get fans and alumni involved. Because another mediocre non-winning season are going to raise more doubts about the program under his leadership. Especially given the big salary he’s pulling down.

      Again, a fan committee for the game day experience is nice but Pitt needs to look at all possible ways to get people behind the program and to really open their wallets.

      Like

    1. appreciate all those links
      wonder if any feasibility study would have the balz to recommend taxpayer funding
      Pitt is a state related school
      I never considered state or local taxes…I’ve lived in Texas for too long
      But the Rangers baseball team is getting a new retractable roof stadium in Arlington supported by a quarter percent sales tax I believe
      They need an enclosed stadium. You cant play outside games from June 1 to September 1. Way too hot. Even the evening starts at 7PM have starting temps over 100 degrees sometimes. And by the time the game is over, the temps are a comfortable 90.
      The heat just sucks the energy out of you

      Like

  60. understood now. Plan B
    Tap into an existing 1% surcharge already being levied
    and then depend on State handouts

    I didnt realize that the Pete was subsidized by $50M by the state. Thats almost half the cost.

    Funny thing is if Pitt could find a way to run a sports program at breakeven, they would have $120M sitting in the bank for a new MPEC (multi purpose events center) in 12 years

    Like

  61. Via Twitter Christina Spears said “The Pitt Network is real and connected.” Heather thought it was an incredible event.

    Like

    1. That’s Christian Spears – the Deputy AD who sat with me. I’m sure he loved it…he seemed cheerful enough.

      Did he explain just how it is connected? Are we missing something?

      Like

  62. BTW Tossing, I just looked at my old transcripts. I had 66 credits when I left Pitt to enlist. Got an Associate’s and two Baccalaureate degrees elsewhere. So, yeah, I went to Pitt.

    Now – back to sports…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reed, most of the guys that follow things closely seem to put Sy close to the level of Brown. NOT exactly a program changer, but if he’s a better rebounder than Brown, his skill set is of greater value to us. My guess is we do not land him, I sat ECU due to his past… Most think 2020 will be there year we break through. I personally hope we add one more rebounder, whether it’s Sy or someone else I really don’t care.

      Like

  63. Gee ..an athlete not committing when he says he will. Sy has one of the dirtiest AAU promoters ever. Pitt surely cannot make him an offer he can’t refuse. At this point he’s playing one school against the others. Miss State is know for its huge $$ payouts. Know it was Pitt several hours ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one immediately capable of playing minutes at the four or five spot. Toney will have to play the four again and Pitt is going to be extremely undersized and thin on the front line next season.

      No JuCo or grad transfers brought in by this staff either, which is very puzzling.

      Another losing season for sure in 2019-20. What will all these recruits who Capel is building relationships with think about going to program that will be coming off four consecutive losing seasons?

      Like

    2. Three of the four are 3* recruits out of high school or prep school.

      The forth is a 2* JUCO shooting guard who shot 28% from the 3 point line last season.

      Like

  64. It’s a good class Reed but they need a big man or two.. I think there is one left but he’s not looking good for PITT. My man Timberlake is the big program changer left.

    Like

    1. Pitt’s chances of landing Timberlake have to be low with better programs and cheating programs out there as better options. Capel better make changes to this staff if this keeps up.

      Like

  65. think of them as 3 stars
    solid and fill needs
    but i dont think any program changers
    none of them got offers from Elon or Holy Cross though

    Like

  66. Now Dr. Roy Chipman played the game! He got us started and then poof, compliance university got on board and the talent started to go elsewhere. Let Capel be Capel. The reason all the big time head coaches make $3.5M per year is so they can give a couple hundred k out in matriculation bonuses. You just don’t say those things out loud or on the phone. These handlers see coaches plenty on the recruiting trail to facilitate the brown bag exchange.

    Play the game. I am good with that, seriously. There seem to be many stuck on here about the student athlete instead of the athlete student. When we start calling it what it is, versus what we want it to be in our dreams, we will begin to compete. Pitt doesn’t need to take out an advertisement but they sure could do it a lot better than they are now. Wake up!

    Voice, this is why Pitt has been stuck in a nearly 40 year slump. I am not fine with this.

    danh – good info brother. Mathematics always comes into play. The fact that Capel was involved with a handler tells me the strings might be loosening a little bit, i hope. We don’t have to be SMU like, but we do need to be a little more competitive.

    Like

    1. with Pitt’s luck, the FBI already has a spy on campus. And Heather made the call.

      when Pitt starts landing top 100 players, the Nitters on the BoT will be calling their friends in the Justice Department

      we’ll see an OCS before we see a top 50 basketball recruit

      Like

Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s