The Week in Review 2/23/2020

Monday, Feb 17th…

Our ACC champion Women’s Volleyball team continues to reel in the talent

Grade:  A

Not sports related per-se, but it was tweeted by a football coach.  Lets never forget our roots people.  Ain’t nothing like it in the world, and all Dairy Farmers and Hoopies are cowed when they walk through its doors.

Tweet Grade and Commons Room Grade:  A+

Have no idea how the team did, and since they didn’t tweet about the team I’d suspect they didn’t do well. But the individual grade for these two is an A.

Some more rah-rah from the football coaching staff, but I’ll take it.  A.

It’s gymnastics senior week, so giving these three their due.  Thanks for being Pitt Panthers.

 

A’s all around for the seniors.

And for those of you questioning Pitt’s non-con in the Narduzzi era…

Do I grade this an A because it make’s Pitt’s record look better or do I grade this a D because of the dumb-a$$ schedule that made Pitt look worse.  In ten years nobody will know who we played and our record will be there for all to see, so “D” it is.  And remember folks, football schedules are set several years out so some of not most of this is on our boys Scottie and Steve.

Tuesday, Feb 18th

Pitt announced the blue-gold game date

The game hasn’t been played yet so…

Grade:  I (incomplete)

See previous post.  Note the preponderance of Big 10 teams…

Two ways to look at this

  1. The ‘Duzz ain’t gettin’ it done
  2.  The ‘Duzz is doing more with less

Both statements are true, but I’m in a good mood tonight, so I’ll focus on #2.  The ‘Duzz has the third or fourth best record in the ACC over the last five years.  Imagine what would happen if Pitt stopped playing by the recruiting rules, and imagine how pissed off the Florida State and Miami fanbases have to be right now.  Grade:  B+

Pitt Men’s BB gets blown out by FSU 67-82, but Jeff Capel makes his now famous “dumpster fire” comment.

Grade:  Game D, Comment A+

Throwing this in for all you engineers and physicists out there.  Me?  I took rocks for jocks, but picked up enough to break into a wry smile.

Thanks to the curve, I got an A.

This young lady did something good last week:

Grade:  A

Wednesday, February 19th

So did these:

They may not all make the team, but I’m giving them all an A anyway.

Thursday, February 20th

Rich and Tracy Maniskas donated $325,000 to victory heights.  Pitt Athletics needs more donors like this.  Grade:  A.

Pitt Women’s BB lost, but it was closer.  Dayshanette Harris flashed.

Grade:  C+

Interesting graph.  Try to find Pitt (hint the offense is well above the midpoint but he defense is just left of center).  Not sure I agree…

Grade:  C – and to be clear I’m grading the idiots who made this graph.

Oh yea, also a minor headline about the basketball and football programs broke on Thursday…

Peak’s tongue-in-cheek reaction is the right one, IMO.  99% of Pitt fans agree that Pitt got away with a slap on the wrist and Heather was able to use the info to save Pitt seven figures on Stallings’ buyout.  Internal Grade (given the context):  B+.  External Grade (given that Pitt still gets a black eye from the news):  D.

Friday, February 21st

I had some extra time so I audited a phys ed class.  No grade awarded…yet.

This is apparently a big deal, so an “A” for these two

Pitt Men’s BB beat EMU

…but only by 1, so “B”.

This guy gets an A though

Tough one for Pitt’s senior gymnasts.  They always have 13-9 to fall back on though.

Grade:  C+

Saturday, February 22nd

#10 Pitt Wrestling beat #7 Virginia Tech at the Pete.

A+++.  I hate the Hokies.

Pitt Baseball dominated EMU

Grade:  A

Pitt Men’s Basketball came up just short against UVA.  If there were ever a moral victory on the season, this was it.

This guy gave a speech.

Grade:  A

Pitt Softball lost a squeaker to UMASS (Pretty sure this was in the Whipple contract though…)

Grade:  C-

But bounced back against Towson

Grade:  B (Because daggone it you better beat Towson)

Pitt swimming and diving finished 9th out of 12 in the ACC championship meet.  Here are all the team scores.

Team Scoring

1. University of Virginia 1492.5
2. North Carolina State University 1333
3. University of Louisville 1105.5
4. University of North Carolina 839
5. University of Notre Dame 784
6. Duke University 675.5
7. Florida State University 555
8. Virginia Tech 469
9. Georgia Tech 407.5
10. University of Pittsburgh 359
11. University of Miami (Florida) 298
12. Boston College 164

On the bright side, we more than doubled Boston College’s score, and we finally beat Miami in something.  On the down side we have a loooong way to go to be competitive here.  Hats off to all the individual performances and effort, but just want to keep things real.

Grade:  D.

Sunday, February 23rd

Pitt Women’s basketball got blown out by Louisville.  Grade:  D

Pitt Baseball swept EMU.  And thank goodness they did, because I sure didn’t want to end on that D.

Grade:  B for the game (we should be better than that against the MAC), but A for the sweep, never an easy feat, no matter what the level of competition.

Overall grade for the week:  Probably would have been a  C+ except for the dark cloud of Kevin Stallings’ misdeeds hanging over the fanbase.  Even though it’s a slap on the wrist, and will have little to no effect on revenue sports, it’s never a good look.  I’m hanging a C- on the week and looking forward to turning the page.

Hail to Pitt everyone

Michaelangelo Monteleone

68 thoughts on “The Week in Review 2/23/2020

  1. Well, as far as non con, most of those teams above us play rivalry games every year. Ga/Ga Tech, Clemson,USC, Fla St/ Florida, Miami/Fla. In fact, I’m surprised some of those teams aren’t higher, not that I’d question those numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice job, MM.

    BTW, the Pitt Women’s BB team had a bunch of Girl Scouts at the Pete today. They do a really nice job of engaging with the fans and trying to build the fan base. Both before and after today’s game, there were nice tributes to the lone graduating senior — Aysia Bugg.

    (Also, the Women’s team has miles to go, but as I posted earlier, in today’s game we started 4 Freshmen while the ranked Louisville team started 4 Seniors. )

    Go Pitt

    Like

  3. It’s hard to assess the full impact of the NCAA violations on future recruiting. Competitors will no doubt use the 3 year probation to recruit against Pitt. Some really good individual and team performances this week were offset by these violations. I must give Pitt a D this week.

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  4. Any time both your football and basketball programs are placed on probation, the week is nothing more than an F. Because that is all people will see and hear. And despite having an AD whose background is legal and compliance. To cheat in a minor way, to get caught, and for it to not produce more wins, just shows how bumbling bad Pitt is. Frankly an F doesn’t do the week justice.

    Tex

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  5. And he’s back…

    MM really pleased that you are giving recognition to all Pitt athletes that represent our school.

    Long overdue and a great step towards improving the sports culture at Pitt.

    A rising tide lifts all boats.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Heather may have used all of her compliance skills to save scholarships or avoid post season participation bans. We don’t know for sure so it is hard to hold her accountable for this. The utter stupidity of these infractions is on the head coaches who were in charge at the time. Did they really need extra assist coaches to hold signs?

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  7. Tex…
    I have at times felt you can be a bit critical. But I’m with you here bud. How in God’s name can you get put on probation, with so little success to show for it…and you can bet your ars schools will use this against Pitt in recruiting…

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    1. Pitt was put on probation because it turned itself in to get out from paying Stallings $7 million. It was genius.

      Schools can try all they want to use this against Pitt in recruiting, but it won’t do much good. No one even remembers the news from last week.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Pitt got very little from it in FB and especially BB because it is the least minor of violations, In fact, the only way something like this is exposed is when it is self-reported. AND you POVers have to get this thru your heads why it was self-reported

      Liked by 1 person

  8. a few observations …

    — Pitt has played one OOC P5 each year except 2006-7 (Mich St & UVa) and 2016-7 (PSU & Ok St.) It didn’t play any in 2005, 2010 or 2013 but did play ND which apparently is not considered a P5 — Pitt has almost always played them while the ACC have been forced to play them over the past 6 years.

    — Everyone take a good look at the 4/5 star recruits graphic shown above …. and note how it is skewed geographically. This is no coincidence.

    — This past week feels like a D- but since Heather kicked Stallings and his layers butt, I will go with a C-.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MM
    Thanks for the weekly updates. They are a great read.

    Pitt’s violation are a big nothing burger. Ridiculous rules. Won’t have an impact on either team.

    Narduzzi will get better recruits if he puts up better season ending records. Period. He better freaking do it this coming season.

    Looks like all the new strength coaches can still play. Am I mistaken or does the S&C staff have more guys?

    Narduzzi needs to change the format of the spring game so it is at least a little interesting. Do the draft thing except for the OL.

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  10. M-Angelo, why not take an actual average of the grades as they were given. This would be in addition to the overall weekly grade you assign?

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  11. Are we really certain that this gets us out of paying lots of money to Stallings? I keep reading that in posts—but, I didn’t see it any official statement.

    pmdH2P

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    1. Same here. His buyout was neverndisclosed but at the time it was ten million per media sources. Word was pitt paid around 7. So were the level two violations worth it? Bad press and damage to the brand is priceless.

      The bigger issue is that all this happened under the watch of an AD who was supposed to be good at compliance. Who’s watching the watchwoman?

      And it was reported that heather drove stallings to cheat given the bad relationship. Still no excuse but you can’t make this stuff up.

      And is Narduzzi still going to use closed practices to cover up other cheating going on?

      I wouldn’t gloss over even minor violations self reported or not. Losing the moral high ground is also priceless.

      Still no press release from heather and Pitt? At least Narduzzi put out an apology.

      Tex

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  12. I asked the same question pmd as there is no proof that is the case here. But, I think it’s a very real possibility. So what makes sense to me is that instead of mishandling these violations, I deep down think everything was handled perfectly. There must have been an agreement with the caveat of a gag order in place. The first we heard of it, the NCAA had already handed down the punishments with no mention about the settlement or the violations. My wild guess is that Stallings received a partial buyout but nothing close to the full amount?

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    1. Pitt handled cheating perfectly. Ike – that sounds on the surface ridiculous.

      If you cheat, cheat big and get results. Pitt cheated Minor, got ‘caught’ and got nothin to show for it.

      Tex

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  13. My guess is Pitt paid Stallings a portion of the $9.5M .. but consider this

    About 2 weeks after Stallings firing, his lawyers came out guns ablazing, telling everyone that there would be no negotiated settlement … that Pitt will pay all of the $9,5M owed. We have heard nothing about since.

    There is a behavioral clause in all contracts that if the employee commits violations then the employer can impose fines or sanctions, which includes dismissal. Well guess what? This is certainly cause for a smaller payout.

    Now if we don’t hear soon from Stallings’ camp that he indeed received all the money originally due, then probably ne is not getting it. Why would his lawyers be so bravado then but not now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because it is VERY standard that when such settlement agreements are entered into, there is non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses contained in them. You will likely never know the truth about what he was paid. Kinda like did Jamie leave in his own or was he asked politely to go. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. There is a reason we haven’t heard a word out of Stallings and his “people” or Heather and PITT. Yet Narduzzi and Capel have somewhat addressed questions concerning the punishments.

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  15. Tex ….. really??

    “And it was reported that heather drove stallings to cheat given the bad relationship”

    “Losing the moral high ground is also priceless.” I suppose not self-reporting it would be the ‘moral high ground’

    It’s amazing how you far you reach to throw shade on the AD

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    1. It was reported by media. If true, it goes down as hilarious in my book.

      Please don’t start defending a compliance guru who doesn’t know compliance. She had one job and she failed at it. Her legal degree and compliance background is trash. This happened under her watch. Again, who is watching her?

      Nobody.

      Tex

      Like

  16. BTW Michaelangelo, another fantastic article! Love the week in review as it must take up a lot of your time piecing it together. Kudos and very much appreciated.

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  17. More proof that ESPN has it in for Pitt. Especially bball. News cycle is generally 24-48 hours, right.
    Pitt reported the violations at Noon, Thursday. 5 days (120 hours) later, ESPN still has Pitt’s probation
    story as one of their 7 Headlines. This is with all the upsets in the Top 5 on Saturday. Just wow.

    https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/

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    1. You don’t release on Thursday. Public relations and communications 101. Is anyone competent like a Syracuse grad in the Pitt administration? Obviously not.

      Tex.

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  18. Just another PITT event where the media and others tell on themselves. But the slobbering over this is a lot over the top, imo. Round and Round we go. Lead singer is a Pittsburgh native.

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  19. I would imagine that Stallings and Pitt signed a non-disclosure agreement for the buyout. Pitt didn’t use the violations to negotiate down. Come on folks, put the Perry Mason briefcases down. Stallings didn’t cooperate with the NCAA, that is why he got the 3 year show cause.

    NCAA violations come in four forms with Level 1 violations being the worst and level 4 being in the who cares category. Basketball was deemed level 1 for the director of operations and the head coach. That is why they got a show cause for 3 years. To “Don’t Tex and Drive’s’ point, Bruce Pearl got a show cause and he is doing just fine.

    Narduzzi was not too smart for agreeing to a level 2 violation. To me, his conduct was level 3 at max. Unfortunately, that follows him around. BBall, who cares about those coaches.

    The sad thing again is that our compliance department advised the bball coach of the violations and the coach said, whoooopie! Our AD said “you better change this or I am telling on you”. He didn’t change and she ran to Indy. Shows the lack of respect that the coaches have for her, but now realize she is going to tell on you for not being perfect. Good grief! Minor issue turned into something bigger.

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    1. Huff — I presume you have inside info that Pitt’s coaches do not respect Heather Lyke (otherwise I can’t believe you would type that). So which coaches disrespect Heather the most? Just curious since I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Stallings for sure was warned to stop the practice and didnt do it. He challenged her and instead of handling it internally, she went to the ncaa. He showed no respect to the AD. Not 100% sure on Narduzzi and whether she went to him and told him to stop.

        My comment was only about the coaches in question, not ALL coaches, although i suspect that the Mcconnell might have something to say if given the chance.

        Like

        1. Huff — thank you for the clarification.

          And on McConnell, while she seemed like a no-brained hire, her ineffectiveness at Pitt rivals Stallings. In spite of her impeccable credentials, she could not recruit ACC-level players except for a couple of locals. And worse yet, the best players she did get transferred out after one season. Suzie’s demeanor on the sideline — which I thought was an act for the crowd — told you all you needed to know about why players left, IMHO.

          The difference in the level of recruits from Suzie to Coach White is striking. And, BTW, in response to a question I asked her, Heather told me that she encouraged Suzie to use the full fifteen scholarships that the women’s team is allowed — which still didn’t allow Suzie to bring in ACC-level players…

          Go Pitt.

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Tickets ‘starting’ at $45. I assume you all just got the same email I did.

    On certain home FB games, tickets start at $16 (upper deck endzone)

    Like

    1. Upper deck end zone or future tarping area. $16 dollar tickets and maybe 5k fans is $80k per game. Over six games that’s under $500k. Advertisements on that section could generate millions. Does Pitt run financials on anything?

      Tex

      Like

  21. Well Huff the Third, I think we disagree here once again. Although I have no proof concerning the buyout/self reporting debate I’m getting a stronger feeling that Heather may have had a plan. I assume you do not have any solid proof to the contrary? One of the problems and it makes me go Hmmm is that the basketball dude actually turned around and ratted out Narduzzi. This reeks of bitterness. (I think his name was Cage) or something like that. Why would a work peer do something like that unless he was on a sinking ship and terribly upset? Which he was. It adds up to me. Until it is disclosed what Stallings ended up with, we may never know the truth.

    Since you are constantly barking at Heather’s heels imo I find your opinion a little biased. Just like I’m constantly called a Kool-Aid drinker. Maybe the truth comes out and maybe it doesn’t? Either way, I just can’t find the angst over Narduzzi having a staff member throw footballs and hold up a sign for the scout team. In fact, I don’t even consider it cheating. It’s stoopid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is stupid and Narduzzi knew it was wrong. If he was gonna cheat, cheat big and win big. But no. Cheat little, get caught, and have no results for it. Typical Pitt.

      Tex

      Like

  22. Time to stop laying this whole mess on Heather. She didn’t break the rules and people like Tex are upset that she didn’t go around with a pooper scooper for these big boys. As I said before, Pitt could have ended up with some BB scholarship restrictions given the show cause order. Maybe Heather should get some credit for a change.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She was hired to prevent scandals. Now two of Pitts programs. The only ones that make Pitt money. Are on three year probations. Don’t you see the hypocrisy and irony in all this????

      Tex

      Like

  23. Tex you know what happens when you ASS-U-ME. No one but HCPN knows if he intentionally and knowingly violated the petty rule at issue. Seems to me its a 50-50 chance he had no idea that it was a violation, and frankly I think many coaches would not know that you have to be on the coaching staff to hold a sign in practice. Like the wise man Alan Iverson once said , , , , , “it’s practice man, not a game, not a game, it’s practice man, not a game, practice!!”

    Honestly, throwing anyone shade let alone an AD who was almost 100% likely to have not even been at the practice in which this happened is really an enormous stretch. There are so many better reasons to throw shade.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The entire athletic department has been in shade for over 40 years. You think the shade that I throw matters. It’s a dark and deep hole that Pitt sports is in. Pitt has made it their crypt. Time y’all stop wasting your money on mediocrity and incompetence. There are only three sports programs at Pitt worth supporting right now. And I wouldn’t give a penny from the sidewalk to Victory Heights. High school projects in Texas are more bold. I jest not.

      Tex

      Like

  24. Your disdain for Heather is beneath you Tex and no, I don’t see the hypocrisy. If anyone is being a hypocrite it’s you. You proclaim that PITT should have hired a liar (Tressell) who was under oath to a grand jury when he lied. Yeah, that’s a great idea.You’re still hurt your guy didn’t get hired…. Let’s move on..

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    1. I would have no problem cheating.

      Pitt does so they hired heather. And then it turns out she was sleeping on the job.

      Minor violations or not. All people will see and hear is that both football and basketball got three years.

      And the sad thing is that Pitt got nothing to show for it but bad press and brand damage which is incalculable.

      Tex

      Like

  25. My concern, and I’m not sure if anyone talked about it, is what happens if a program again does something stupid while we are on probation. I mean, if the Duzz did something that dumb, and that minor once, it sure seems he could do it again, right?? Then what? I don’t feel as good about this as some of you, remember, it’s Pitt, and we do have a history of screwing the pooch. What if it’s a minor ooppps thing? It can happen.

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  26. Double secret probation. This just in – Nick Saban has hired Urban Myer as a non-coaching assistant for 12 million a year. He will not coach or even hold signs or touch a ball. Fake news. Seriously does anyone not believe this is the most violated rule and I just dont think this lies on Heather at all – it began with Barnes/Stalling. MIght be a little power play with Nard and Heather. Nothing burger.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. you better look out Duzz! Word on the street is that as soon as the FBI finishes its probe of the biggies paying recruits tens of thousands, they’re coming after you. Just one more play card from one of your QCs and you will be rooming with Sandusky

    Liked by 1 person

  28. in the last 30 days, Skippy has made as many 3s as you and I have. However, he just might be a key tomorrow night vs Cuse’s zone.

    for senior night, both Hamilton and Chukwuka will be honored. Chuk has another year of eligibility but it won’t be here

    Capel said that Horton has been playing better than the other guards in practice. I sure hope so.

    I guess I would be content right now if Pitt could win 2 more games and finish a game above .500. Cuse at home, and NCS and GT away … plus ACC Tourney. Also fine with them skipping CBI

    Liked by 1 person

  29. while Pitt has traveled to North Hills, Gateway, Bethel Park and the soccer field near Station Square for its spring game, Michigan in the past 3 years has been to Italy, France and So Africa. But for obvious reasons, the UM team will likely stay home this year and play in front of 75k

    Like

  30. I’m really kinda surprised at the non reaction on future violations. It’s like “ Oh, it’s a nothing burger”. They are on PROBATION, abet for ridiculous reasons. If this was the Nitters or UNC most would be pointing fingers. The fact some programs got less for far more serious stuff should be of concern. Probation violations have consequences. And remember, the Delts got kicked out of school. Didn’t end well. 3 year for THAT stuff. That’s nuts.

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  31. ^^ JoeK, I’m not that worried about future violations although the thought did cross my mind. I just don’t think PITT did that much cheating in the first place, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to stay out of trouble in the future. Nothing like getting into trouble and learning a lesson to straighten up. Take it from me.

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  32. JoeK, who are the Delts?

    as far as the 3 year probation, my guess that Heather agreed that Pitt would mind its Ps and Qs as long as Stallings was given the same amount of probation / show-cause.

    I agree that we may never know how much Pitt ended up paying Stallings but I can’t emphasize the fact enough that since this was self-reported and was a minor violation, this is not high on the NCAA’s list of worries.

    and BTW, I have been following PantherLair for more than a decade, and I never remember Chris Peak being so sarcastic as we was in his podcast …. not even close. As Tex proclaimed, he was drunk on Koolaid, and the reason for that was he knew what right perspective was

    Like

  33. This is Pitt’s “Day of Giving.”
    Please support the University of Pittsburgh. 👍

    (Pitt — The University that you either love or love to hate! 😊)

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  34. Dr. Mrs. JoeKnew just got back from Oakland. She wanted to give her gift in person. Met Chancellor Gallagher, unsure what’s to call him. I said Your Highness, and got the look from her in return.
    Ike, what ticks me off is the infractions were so ticky tacky to begin with there was no way they were worth 3 yrs., and unplanned, unintentional, stupid stuff happens, as we who have lived long enough full well know.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. @Voice – Pitt was in no way never, triple dog dirt ever in jeopardy of giving up any scholarships. In the landscape of self-reporting and UNC and Syracuse and Miami and go down the laundry list of NCAA concerns, this is NOT one of them. This is like putting peanut butter on a bagel as an impermissible benefit at the breakfast table. The AD gets no bonus for keeping us out of major jeopardy on this one, sorry.

    In my opinion, she should have handled it internally. She fired the coach, disliked him so bad that she got him a show cause. If Capel bolts when Schiffscheffski retires, this MAY come back to bite her for how she treated a coach as in throw them under a bus, you know like what happens here when you against popular opinion. She may need two consulting firms and a couple of misfires on handling a hiring decision before she gets a new coach on board. It’s a BAD look for the AD across the board professionally. All views expressed in the last paragraph are mine.

    It’s like litigation. When you are on the defense side of things, you tell your client that cases such as these settle for $1M, when in reality you know the case will settle for $250k. Case settles for $250k and your client thinks you did a great job. In reality, a great job would have been a settlement of $100k. It’s puffery. The problem is that our administration is so inept that they can’t tell the truth from puffery. This whole event is puffery,except Pitt looked bad as we streamed across the espn top story line for a few days…..

    Like

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