Pitt Football to Begin Phased Return to Practice in June 8

Per the Pitt SID

PITTSBURGH—In alignment with the University of Pittsburgh’s overall planning process, the Pitt Athletic Department will welcome football student-athletes back to campus on June 8 for a phased return to voluntary offseason activities, Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced today.

The Panthers’ offseason model, which concludes with an anticipated August training camp, was formed using guidance from University health experts, as well as local, national and international health agencies.

Upon return, each student-athlete will undergo a period of quarantine, which serves as the initial phase of the Panthers’ offseason model. Those student-athletes who are medically cleared may then participate in the next phase of workout sessions supervised by Pitt’s strength and training staff (limited to a maximum of 10 student-athletes).

Throughout each offseason phase, the following protocols will be implemented and strictly observed:

  • Substantial education for all coaches and student-athletes on Pitt’s safety protocols and their responsibility for maintaining them
  • A testing protocol developed with input from infectious disease experts and other medical professionals
  • Significantly enhanced cleaning protocols for all athletic facilities
  • Mandatory daily screening questionnaire and temperature check for student-athletes and staff
  • Utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize exposure and potential virus spread
  • Social distancing guidelines for meetings and workouts, as well as strategic use of smaller groups for strength and conditioning sessions
  • Contact tracing course completion by all athletics training staff members

“Preparation for the safe return of our student-athletes, beginning with football on June 8, has been a comprehensive team effort,” Lyke said. “Our athletic department has worked diligently with University leadership and medical experts using one guiding principle: the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff. Our current climate dictates that we stay vigilant and flexible in response to fluid circumstances. However, thanks to the efforts of many outstanding medical professionals, we are confident in our campus return plan.”

“Our football program is incredibly fortunate to have world-class medical experts and resources at our immediate disposal,” Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi said. “We are taking their guidance and advice every step of the way for every activity we’ll engage in this offseason and beyond.”

The Pitt football program’s last team workout took place on March 6, which marked the third of its 15 scheduled spring practice sessions. However, the balance of spring football drills were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pitt Athletics will utilize a staggered and phased return to offseason participation for each of its 19 intercollegiate programs. Like football, the other teams will progress through various phases of advancing exposure to training, teammate interaction and sport participation. Return times for the Panthers’ other student-athletes will be announced at a later date.

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Noah Biglow, Defensive Gigolo

Pat Narduzzi and co flipped a commit from Iowa State today.  Noah Biglow is a 6’0″, 170 lb cornerback from the Tampa area.  He’d been omitted to Iowa State for about a month and a half before flipping his commitment today.  I for one respect his decision.  I’m sure my counterpart in Ames, Iowa does not.

Continue reading “Noah Biglow, Defensive Gigolo”

Who the F*** is Jeremy Dar-Low?

Who the F*** is Jeremy Dar-Low?

I want to start this off clean.  I’m in sales.  And if you are in sales and you’ve been around for a while you tend to have an inherent distrust of marketers and “brand” people.  Sales is where the rubber meets the road.  If you’ve got a good product it sells, marketing be damned.  I you’ve got a bad product (or it’s overpriced), no amount of marketing (now called “activation”), and no amount of branding (No matter how clever or authentic it is) is going to make that pig move.

So forgive me if I am a little skeptical going into this, even if, yes, on the surface I get the concept of Pitt Football hiring a brand consultant to help it’s young men develop a coherent personal brand strategy.

The good news is that a number of Pitt players do have a good product.  Jaylen Twyman is an All-American.  Good product.  Pitt’s defensive line combined to be top-10 in sacks.  Good product.  Patrick Jones is poised to be a first round draft pick if he lives up to his potential this year.  Good product.  Paris Ford and Damar Hamlin are arguably the best safety tandem in the country.  Good product.  Jimmy Morrissey is a former walk-on turned all-conference player.  Good product.

So yea, there is some talent to work with, but the question, remains, is this Darlow guy legit?  The world is full of fly-by-night marketers who ride on in and take your money without actually adding value.

And so, as a 20 year veteran of corporate america, who currently holds a position in a fortune 500 company that is roughly the same in responsibility as Darlow’s Director-level corporate credential, I’m going to give you my assessment. Continue reading “Who the F*** is Jeremy Dar-Low?”

Pay Chris Beatty Whatever the Heck he Wants

Pay Chris Beatty Whatever the Heck he Wants

Pitt secured yet another verbal from Virginia today, near-four-star running back Malik Newton.  That’s four commits from Virginia this year for Beatty, and more than 20% off the 2021 recruiting class.

Newton is a coveted 5.7 – three star, which is just a tenth of a point less than a four-star ranking.  He joins OL Terrence Enos and DE Nahki Johnson as one of the three 5.7+’s in Pitt’s 2021 class.  He’s the 8th ranked prospect in Virginia and the 18th ranked running back in the country.  Not a bad pickup for an offense that loves to pass the ball (although you have to admit Pitt didn’t exactly have any bell-cow types in the running back room last year).


Continue reading “Pay Chris Beatty Whatever the Heck he Wants”