By Reed Kohberger

 

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them.

-Hamlet, William Shakespeare

 

You POV’ers have had some great discussions going on about Pitt football and most recently, about whether football could, or should, be played in the 2020 season. That last part is creating some strange and almost unbelievable stances being taken on the subject across this nation of ours.

Let me throw my two cents in if you will.

As any long time reader of the Pitt POV, or of the PITT Blather before I started the POV, well knows that I believe in the amateur aspects of college sports. Now I do so without blinders on – I fully realized that college football in particular isn’t the same animal it was back when I went to Pitt in the mid-‘70s. It has changed in ways that I don’t particular like or agree with, but that’s life when now the almighty dollar calls the shots.

With the uncertainty around the Corona-19 virus, its impacts and questions regarding when it will be safe to resume extremely close contact sports like football there are also hundreds of ideas and suggestions on how to do, well, practically anything pertaining to it. I think we can all agree that there is no clear answer at this point regardless of what political, religious or tribal beliefs you hold – there just isn’t.

So what is my take on the 2020 season? Here goes…with the reminder that Universities and Colleges are instituted and exist to educate and to conduct research. That is the bottom line – anything else is great to have but nowhere in Pitt’s or most probably any other university mission statements does the word “football” or even “athletics” appear. Here is our favorite school’s statement:

The University’s mission is to:

  • provide high-quality undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields, with emphasis upon those of special benefit to the citizens of Pennsylvania;
  • offer superior graduate programs in the arts and sciences and the professions that respond to the needs of Pennsylvania, as well as to the broader needs of the nation and the world;
  • engage in research, artistic, and scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge and creative endeavor;
  • cooperate with industrial and governmental institutions to transfer knowledge in science, technology, and health care;
  • offer continuing education programs adapted to the personal enrichment, professional upgrading, and career advancement interests and needs of adult Pennsylvanians; and
  • make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the University in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to social, intellectual, and economic development in the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Let’s keep those points in mind when we take true and hard looks at what is important for the University of Pittsburgh, its students, alumni and fans.

First let’s make one thing abundantly clear – not playing football would certainly financially impact a university but it would absolutely not bankrupt any Division I schools. It may well force other sports programs at the school into lingering or substantial changes, but it will not bring any university as a whole to a screeching halt on a permanent basis.

Let’s also dispel the negative myth that football players are at Pitt to just play football – that is far from true as recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) stats list Pitt as tied for 11th place with a 988 rating. Along with that Pitt’s current football graduation rate stands at 78% – well above the 47% average of other football programs but also almost as high as Pitt’s overall student body’s 81% rate.

So –Pitt and many, many other universities certainly do value education for athletes as well as the general students. Which, in now coming around to whether the 2020 season should or could be played, is the basis for my suggestions on what to do if I had a magic wand.

For me the idea of athletes playing football when the rest of the universities’ restrict their students to off-campus learning is ludicrous and violently rife with pure greed. I understand that college football fans want to follow their school’s programs and watch the games and I know universities dearly want the football revenue but doing it when not allowing regular students on campus is akin to conducting ‘sport’ in the Roman Coliseum where practically no one in the stands gave a crap about who was down on the field running for their lives from hungry lions. They just wanted to see the blood and violence.

I honestly would not shriek and pull out my hair if we had to miss college ball for a year – or if the season was delayed and consisted only of in-conference games. Eight games in late November, December and January would be feasible if could be done safely I believe.

However let’s look at this from the student/athletes points of view if indeed C-19 is still a viable, even if lessened, threat come this fall semester. I say give these players a firm non-punitive option of sitting out a full year of football while keeping their scholarship for that 2020 school year. The key concept there is ‘without punishment’.

Doing so would keep the athletes in academics and working toward their degrees. This way the student/athletes need not be housed, fed, trained, insured, etc…at the universities’ cost. They would have no ties to the team and program until the next fall semester and the football season (and the ramp-up training to it).

This would be followed by the NCAA mandating that the universities’ athletic departments honor the same scholarships athletes who decide to sit out held into the next football season also.

Of course the NCAA would have to increase the number of allowed scholarships from 85 to maybe 100 or more for some years to make up roster players for those kids who chose to sit out. The NCAA would also have to suspend the “5 to play 4” rule (which allows five years of eligibility) for a period of years also – but they can do that with a stroke of a pen.

In doing the above (again, if things don’t normalize by fall) it would allow the schools to still take some kids out of high school on scholarship yet not punish any existing student/athlete who decides to sit out. It would in a way be a modification of a redshirt year without the player having to be actively involved in the program.

Are those crazy thoughts? Well, what we are living through – and may be for some time – is pretty crazy in itself. We are modifying our ways of life on what seems like a daily basis and constantly have to balance behaviors in a risk/reward scenario. These options for the football programs offer a real and doable set of choices.

Most importantly they allow the student/athletes (and their families) to make hard decisions based on safety and health issues without the fear that the student/athlete could be out of football all together solely at the whim of the athletic department just because the player chose a personal way forward for their time in the university’s athletic program

P/S: I think about you guys a lot and have very fond memories of our conversations on the POV and at tailgates, games, golf outing, etc. With that I dearly want each and every one of you to remain safe and strong for a fruitful, long life. Please take care of yourselves, your families and you fellow citizens.

 

117 thoughts on “To Play or Not to Play

  1. A well-thought-out proposal, Reed. Seems to me the issues are fairly straight-forward if every school plays or every school cancels the season. What gets very complicated in a hurry is when some do and some don’t. You leave opponents with home games to refund unless they can scramble to sub another school. You eat 85 scholarships for a year — $4 or 5M? Do you pay your coaches? If not, can they be pilfered by a playing school? I would assume you would not share conference payouts if you chose not to play a season. Athletic Departments will have some weird high stakes decisions to make over the next few months. Going to be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Commander — Good to see you putting pen to paper for the POV cause. And your essay makes sense, though I must say I see nothing wrong with having the athletics teams function, if it can be done reasonably safely, regardless of whether there are other students on campus. I say bring on campus whichever departments or functions can be safely accommodated.

    I view athletics as a big part of the “practical” learning that occurs during college for any student lucky enough to be on a team…

    Hail to Pitt!

    Like

    1. I agree with you, John. If the teams can be on campus in July and August before the fall semester starts without impacting non-athlete areas like housing, food service, etc., they can be on campus while the student body takes classes remotely. We are fooling ourselves if we think these players are hunkered down in their parents house avoiding all contact with their friends otherwise.

      Having said that, I can envision a hybrid scenario where students are welcomed back to campus but all classes are also streamed for those unwilling to expose themselves to the virus. In which case the football team can have their camp/season with certain precautions, effective or not.

      Like

  3. But here’s the rub ….. Reed, if Pitt FB goes .500 or less in the next 2 full seasons but the APR rate stays > 985 … guess what?

    College presidents are now hired mainly because of their money raising abilities as opposed to their academic acumen.

    But nonetheless, glad that you made an appearance on this Memorial Day weekend to remind us that there are many people still doing many great things who are not in it for the money

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also believe that students need to be on campus for any athletics to happen. And I do believe pitt will have some but not all students on campus.

    What concerns me is contagion. The virus has only infected 5-15 percent of the population. It thrives in areas of dense population. Thats Oakland for you. Although these young kids and healthy athletes may be ok, I do worry about the spread to professors, coaches and anyone else supporting the university.

    And it can spread fast.

    Pitt should have a solid yet adaptable plan. But what about the other schools. And will they readily enforce and fully execute health protocol.

    Tex

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s great to hear from you Reed! This certainly will be an unpredictable, interesting year! And on this Memorial Day, I want to thank you and all our veterans and active military people for serving our country! Stay safe and H2P!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “It is foolish and wrong to morn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Gen. George Patton.

    From what I have read to date young people have a .5% to 1% chance of becoming a victim of this virus while BigB ‘s risk is considerably higher- obese, hypertension and diabetes but I have taken care of my lungs. With that said, I choose will live my life based on the premise there may never be a cure for this particular virus while hoping some type of helpful vaccine is discovered. Flu vaccines are “ hit and miss.” I choose to move forward, not recklessly, not in fear of the unknown but Faith in He I who cannot see. I will take my chances. It’s how I have lives my life.

    Time for the young people who are at very low to fully move on with their lives. Odds are on their side.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. LOL from the Lair…someone posted an Instagram of our TE Krull at a pool in Lake of the Ozarks accompanied by a video showing NO social distancing with the caption “hope he gets tested for Covid”
    The next poster replied “no worries, our tight ends cant catch anything “

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Flatten the Fear!

    Only boomers could murder Pitt’s best returning squad in a generation under the guise of “public health”

    Boomer World ™️ gets “safer” everyday!!!

    Like

  9. Reed

    I agree, can’t have a season unless students are back on campus.

    I too worry about coaches, professors, staff that are more susceptible to the virus.

    Europe’s reopening will tell us a lot. I believe soccer is again being played or soon will be played in some countries. Fingers crossed.

    Like

  10. Well said Commander…and Happy Memorial Day to all.
    Biggie, good tune…I liked the line “I never learned nothing by not taking risks”
    Trick is, dont be TOO risky.

    What day is the POV birthday? Pretty sure it’s in June?

    Like

  11. I just saw on the news that the home of the ACC and where 4 conference teams are located, North Carolina, just has its biggest one day spike of 1107 C19 cases this weekend. But I guess, not to worry ….. most will survive

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    1. My daughter lives in NC and said the increase is due to increased testing they have been doing. If you don’t test people, how do you know how many are infected ( and not showing symptoms)? They are the group that is dangerous- spreading it without even knowing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks all. When we discuss current infection rates among groups of people we are doing it with full restrictive requirements in place…not with those requirements lifted. The death and infection totals would be very damned high if we never put safety requirements in place.

    As far as taking risks I’ve done so also, especially during my career in the Coast Guard. However, those risks taken (by myself and other first responders) were in service to saving other citizen’s lives not just so that we could go to a bar, attend a sporting event, etc for our own pleasures. They were insular risks without fear of infecting other’s health.

    Anyway, here’s fingers crossed that this won’t be a big issue in August when programs start their football training camp. Sports are an important part of our American way of life and employ millions of citizens so they are important but risk/reward has to be clearly defined for them to move toward opening up again IMO.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Reed as usual somes it up as well as anyone.

    “I think we can all agree that there is no clear answer at this point regardless of what political, religious or tribal beliefs you hold – there just isn’t”

    I would add scientific beliefs.

    I think it all depends on what happens in June and July as the masks come off and people start to congregate.

    Is a Pitt Fan named hoopiehead an oxymoron?

    Like

  14. Michigan Pres. Mark Schlissel tells
    @WSJ
    UM won’t have a football season this fall unless all students back on campus for classes & he has “some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics [anywhere], at least in the fall.”

    Like

  15. If surviving this pandemic is job one then everybody under the age of 30 can roll the dice today, ignoring social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, etc. A youngster’s chance of dying from COVID-19 is slim to none. Let’s go herd immunity full steam ahead.
    Problem is, a bunch of bad 💩potentially comes along with a COVID-19 infection irrespective of one’s age. If you look at the data, “morbidity” trumps “mortality” big time regarding the risks implicated in getting infected if you’re younger. The idea that “if I get sick, I get sick, I’ll get over it” is a pretty cavalier attitude to assume if you look at the data.
    So here we are, a little over 2 months after America’s first reported COVID-19 confirmed death. A million & a half sick, 100,000 dead, but do this math, of those confirmed cases, look at the # of “recovered” cases. My question, why aren’t there over a million people or more now “recovered”? The reason is because if you’re unlucky enough to contract this virus, it can kick the 💩 out you & leave you with lingering symptoms for many weeks. This potential increases with age & pre existing health complications.
    I’d love to be watching college football in four months but with the haphazard mindset that millions of Americans are demonstrating during this process of reopening our Country, I anticipate an amplified infection curve in our future that will make this first one look small by comparison. I sure hope I’m wrong.
    If I’m right though, then this football season is dead on the vine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dr. Tom — I have a relative going through a long tough fight with Covid-19 — off the ventilator now but still trying to get out of ICU…
      Another relative has died.

      Like

  16. While in the Navy overseas I paid little attention to sports or even the Presidential election that year. If that happens again in sports this fall, so be it.

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  17. Reed — I liked the intro to your article – making good use of your Shakespearean background! 😊

    My guess is that this “season,” such as it is, will end up being a quintessential example of Pitt fans suffering “…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…”

    Go Pitt.

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    1. I’m thinking campus is the best place for the average, young adult to be right now.

      They won’t be around the house with aging parents/grandparents. And they will get the virus and have it run its course before they come home again.

      The only thing needed is a capable health care system at the university which for Pitt is of course stellar.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Bernie, Fran, and Reed brought up the topic of risks we are willing to take. Interpreting comments made here, I’m sure we are all over the place. I’m curious where folks would currently place themselves with risks they are willing to take regarding the Covid-19 virus. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being doing everything you would normally do pre-virus to 1 being I want to remain sequestered at home and wish everyone else would also, I would be a 7. I am in the vulnerable age bracket at 68. Most days I would be an 8 but then I read an article of the pain a person or family go through with a virus death and I drop back to a 6. But on average today I would be a 7. If today was game day, I would be very tempted to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also in the high-risk group being over 70 with heart disease…

      Riskiest things I’ve been doing is going to Lowes and Home Depot — and stops at gas stations…

      I think the way to go is to assume everyone outside of your household is contagious and act accordingly… Of course, being retired, I have that option.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  19. Seems a bit odd to me that in any of the vaccine articles I’ve been reading there’s no mention of Pitt’s efforts. Is Pitt intentionally keeping a low profile, or are we just not making progress?

    I just read where there are now over 200 vaccine efforts going on. You read where one company or school publishes that their vaccine was just shown to work on monkeys. I thought Pitt had showed that weeks ago? Maybe I’m wrong about that…maybe it was mice…

    Anyway, has anyone heard anything about how things are going with Pitt’s vaccine efforts?

    Still hoping! Go Pitt!

    Like

    1. Been thinking the same thing, MM. I wonder if Pitt is unwilling to do the human challenge method of intentionally exposing participants to the virus to get timely results? I could see them being opposed to that.

      Like

  20. I’m a bit of an introvert to begin with so my style of living hasn’t been all that affected. Our daughter stopped over yesterday for a few hours but no hugs. On the other hand is our oldest son who hosted a small party yesterday with zero masks in use. He asked me if we wanted to come over and I said no, at first he was offended and then said “oh I forgot about covid-19” so that is where we are at in this world. Everyone needs to take an inventory of their health and make decisions that may affect themselves and their families they come into contact with.

    Nice piece Reed and thanks..

    If the season started tomorrow I wouldn’t be there.

    Didn’t make it to one single game last year but still bought season tickets again this year. My wife is going to let me have it if I spent more money on tickets with not going to the games again. I have a dilemma on my hands here. I thought and was told life gets less complicated when you get older and retire? BS! Plus, I’m not that old. (64) and it only looks like I’m 44……. well at least that is what I see in the mirror.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow – great video by a great man.

      Thanks for sharing such a powerful message.

      Thank you too Reed for serving this great country and writing enlightening articles on the POV and Blather.

      H2P!

      EE

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Reed: thank you for your service; and thanks for this article. Regarding the risk of being in the USCG, and our daily risks with Covid, there is a huge difference:
    You and you compatriots trained night and day to reduce your mission risks to the absolute minimum. The only risk reduction the population in general does, is a little reading and (possibly) wearing a flimsy mask.

    The risk we take by too-early re-opening is akin to taking Hoopiehead on a USCG ‘copter tomorrow night, and having him jump into 10 foot seas on a rescue mission.

    As Annie indicated above, we really have no idea at this point how many are carrying and spreading the virus, and hence what the risk is to reopening.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. uh, we have SOME idea how many are carrying and some good data about the idea of risk

    could be better information and more of it but to say “we really have no idea at this point” is far from truth

    if we continue to safeguard the older staff as much as possible, let’s get the universities back with all under age 30 which should be nearly all the undergrad and let the rest do what they must to avoid

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  23. After reading Reed’s article, I have some thoughts on the Covid-19 dilemma: First, only 1% of FB players make it in the pros, so there should be NO consideration given among universities as to hurting the players’ chances of an NFL future. Second, I’m not sure why there is a connection concerning whether or not the students must be on campus. Actually, the players are probably safer if they are not. Maybe the players are more at risk by staying home (see Krull story above). Perhaps Michigan can’t win without 100,000 people in the stands.

    Third, there are contracts and timing issues to consider, so arbitrarily cancelling all or parts of the season could be a mess to clean up. Fourth, there are ways to make sure the players and coaches are protected, such as giving them plasma, testing for antibodies and doing standard Covid testing everyday.

    Generally, players and coaches could be kept on campus and isolated from the general public for a few months, which would further protect them. As new treatments, or even a vaccine, are found over the Fall, students will filter back in, and players can be treated and the risk will be even further reduced. Lastly, any player not wanting to take the chance should be given another year of eligibility with the number of scholarships increased according to the number not playing.

    There should be no financial consideration given as to the impact on the college from any of these playing options. Like everyone else, colleges should tap into their endowments or reserves and feel the pain like the rest of us. We are constantly hearing how the isolation of being kept inside is hurting the mental well being of people, especially the elderly. Watching sports on TV again is one more step that could help return life to normalcy and improve mental health for people that are isolated such as in nursing homes without visitors.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Right you are VoR.. Live sports >> greater than silly reality shows. They can take their dancing with the stars, the bachelor BS and the crappy American idol. Give me live sports or give me….. a beer. Keep that last part between us….

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    1. Zoom Zoom Zoom………… better than nothing…………. I’m not above anything. Live bowling would work for me as well. Which brings this to mind. Wouldn’t watching fat guys bowling be better than watching idiots try to sing on national tv? Seriously, I would rather watch a bocci ball tournament.

      Like

  25. Reed, I join the others who are grateful for your service to our country. Today is the day to remember all those who served and especially those who gave their lives to protect our country. As we enjoy our cookouts today we should pause and raise our glass in a toast to the fallen warriors who have kept us free…

    Like

  26. First, thank you Reed, and anyone else here, for your selfless service throughout the years.

    Best I can tell, we are still 4 to 5 months away from having enough tests available to be able to test people daily.

    It’s not just athletes and college employees that will need tested daily, but an entire countries workforce.

    We just don’t have that amount of tests available yet for daily regular use.

    As far as the fall school year, I feel that keeping people, who are at risk of a severe or lethal response to this virus, away from those carrying it, should be the first priority.

    That may entail older professors staying home and teaching remotely while students are on campus. And every class offered will have to have virtual access for high risk students.

    Until working covid19 antibodies are readily available, it is irresponsible to allow high risk people to encounter covid carriers.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They both need to be careful and most importantly the players need to understand how their irresponsible and selfish actions can kill.

        Tex wading in water.

        Like

    1. What are u cookin up today Ike? I’ve got a pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. BBQ sauce on the side. And none of that coleslaw crap.

      Tex the Texan traditionalist.

      Like

  27. Filet mignon steaks and bbq wings with hasslesback baked potatoes. Turned out great…. Is it any wonder why I’ve put on a few lbs or two? Haven’t made pork shoulder yet this year butt << get it, you made me hungry for some pulled pork Tex. Thought you would have made some BEEF bbq. Isn’t barbecuing pork in Texas illegal down there? Get yourself a Rec Tec pellet grill, can’t beat it. Agreed, cole slaw for the weak and sauce on the side. I could go for a pulled pork sammich but no room today….

    Like

  28. on this day in 1959, the Pirates’ Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings only to lose in the 13th. Arguably, the best game ever pitched

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Here are the Top 10 CFB HC hires in 2015 per Athlon Sports (story linked below) … and how they turned out:

    Jim Harbaugh, Mich: 3rd highest paid HC at $7.5M+ but still hasn’t beaten rival OSU
    2..Gary Anderson, Ore St: left an 11-win 2014 Wisconsin team to a 7-23 record at OSU before he quit mid-season
    Tom Herman, Houston: did well enough to get hired at Texas where he hasn’t improved anything despite having every advantage known to mankind
    Chad Morris, SMU: went 14-22 before being hired at Arkansas (?) where he went 4-18 before getting fired
    Lance Leipold, Buffalo: still at Buffalo with a 31-32 record (but did have a 10-win season in 2018)
    Jim McIlwain, Florida: despite a 10-win season to start off, averaged 7 wins in 3 years which is not good enough at UF; now HC at CMU
    Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
    Mike Riley, Nebraska: 19-19 at UN before being axed
    Paul Christ, Wisc: sub .500 at Pitt to averaging 10+ wins at UW (arguably the best hire in2015)
    Mike Bobo, Colorado State: went 28-35 at CSU before being dismissed

    you can all make you own judgments here, but remember, these are what was thought as the best hires of 2015. I can’t find that there were any more P5 hires in 2015 except for David Beaty at Kansas who went 6-42

    https://athlonsports.com/college-football/grading-college-footballs-head-coach-hires-2015

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good stuff wbb, yet we still hear every year about the one or two coaches that beat the odds and why can’t Pitt…? Plus most of those coaches didn’t have the heavy lift that is Pitt.

      I think Narduzzi has us all looking forward to a good season which hasn’t happened in a long time. The Canada year kind of came out of the blue. When was the last time there was this much anticipation of good things happening. Just a shame that it may not happen.

      Recruiting does seem to be improving so down the road is looking pretty good as well. Not having the overhead of an OCS is actually an advantage this year. Coaching staff is more stable than it has been for quite a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. right now, Narduzzi has an overall record of 36-29 and an ACC record of 24-16. My guess is that he is the only P5 coach with a better conference winning percentage (60%) than OOC win percentage (48%).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Bear in mind he plays in the weakest P5 division and has cuse as a cross rival. Need to look at it both ways.

        The tough ooc is more than offset by the Coastal and cuse. And Pitt still can’t beat who they need to beat to get a good bowl.

        Yet we blame the fans or question the fans for being critical like they are some Nitter or hoopie troll.

        The truth really isn’t that difficult to see unless you’re purposely blind. Or drunk on Koolaid.

        Tex – vinegar won’t rot your teeth or mind

        Like

  31. Good point Bill…Im in the easier ooc schedules for the short term camp.
    Almost an extra win a year just maintaining the 60% rate.
    I did that using my abacus…😎

    Liked by 2 people

  32. And it’s heathers Job to make the ooc easier. Again, why is pitt playing Tennessee? Does nothing for pitt except results in a loss and gives media a chance to say how lousy the ACC coastal is. Heinz will still be half empty but heather gets to honor majors at halftime and give away orange fantas. Vol fans love the flavor choice.

    I agree with madden on this
    “Jeff Capel is a stinking coward. Heather Lyke is a stinking coward,” Madden says. “It’s one thing to not play Duquesne because you think they are beneath you. But Duquesne isn’t beneath Pitt, currently. And Morgan State is beneath Duquesne. They are yellow cowards and they are liars, too. Pitt Athletics has zero integrity whatsoever.”

    Tex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a guess but don’t you think Narduzzi has a say in the OOC at this point? In any case I have been saying for a while playing Tenn. and WV in the same year is ridiculous. One tough P-5 is plenty each year.
      Especially when you can get FLST, Clemson, ND, Louisville etc. in any given year.
      Never going to have a 10 win season with that kind of schedule.

      There must be something else going on with the Duquesnr deal, just doesn’t make sense.

      Like

      1. If he has a say, heather isn’t listening or he is as stupid as his boss. Both are bad looks

        Wins are more important than strength of schedule in football given all the bowl tie ins based on ranking and position. SOS and quality wins only matters for the 5-6 schools jockeying for the 4 playoff spots

        It’s a personal thing with Capel. Somebody wronged him in some way. This is payback. Childish and selfish if you ask me.

        Tex

        Like

    2. I must agree with TEX here as I could see no logical reason for scheduling Tennessee. The only thing I can think of is Pitt may be able to cash in bigger bucks when playing their game at Tennessee than they would other wise with some MAC opponent.

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      1. Maybe jrn but you don’t schedule for money unless it’s a close rival otherwise you schedule for recruiting or more importantly a WIN!

        Fran have I ever told you my lynyrd skynyrd story? Had free seats and other than the band and their roadies the only people in the Civic Arena were the three of us sitting in the floor seats by the sound board. My youngest sister, a friend and me listening and watching their warmup and sound check. With their security manager Gene Odom. << Ronnie Van Zants childhood best friend, whom my sister somehow had become good friends with. Here is a long video with him that explains a lot of what happened with the band. Interesting if you’re into the band. Otherwise just pass on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Come on, Tex. That’s pretty strong criticism of Capel. There will be a point in the future when Pitt again schedules Duquesne, but right now getting back to the NCAA Tournament is most important. Rivalry games don’t always produce the desired result, which means the emotions run high and Pitt could lose to an inferior Duquesne team. It’s a bit ironic that you criticize the football OOC scheduling but can’t cut Capel a break for wanting to lock in a win and get back to the tournament.

    Like

  34. Pitt has no reason to fear the dukes and quality opponents and tough schedules matter in basketball unlike football. The tourney seeding is based on quality wins and sos. In football it’s all about wins…period. Unless you are vying for the four playoff spots.

    This is something personal with Capel. Because on the surface, it makes no sense and Pitts explanation is garbage.

    It’s the city’s game and it should be played.

    Tex who ain’t changin his mind on this

    Like

  35. I 100% agree with the lightening up of the OOC schedule out of one side of my mouth but on the other side I’m wondering when PITT will be able to play a team such WVU or Tennessee and not be shaking like little chickens at the mere thought and thinking it’s a sure loss? If not now when….. of course it just make any sense to play Tennessee so that’s plain dumb. WVU is revenue so I see that.

    Capel obviously has a problem with Dambrot. That’s the only reasoning I can see behind this situation. VoR makes a good point as well… We can’t keep crying wolf if we want anyone to believe us. Complaining about each and everything PITT closes peoples ears.

    ike, Tex second dad and friend.

    Like

  36. Pitt gives fans plenty to complain about. Maybe they should work on that first. Hiring better leaders is a good start. Unless they plan on finding ‘better’ fans. They already gave me a degree so I’m family whether they like it or not. Their mistake or mine?

    Tex

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  37. If not scheduling Duquesne is something personal with Capel, then so be it. Capel is our team’s coach and we should defer to his judgment on this. It could be something that must be kept private that would make sense even to Tex if we knew about it. I don’t get this obsession with Duquesne, which for many years no one even cared about. I can think of many things to criticize Pitt about, but ragging on Capel for not scheduling Duquesne isn’t one of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is the city’s game. You don’t cancel it for selfish and childish reasons. Because Capel has some grudge. Pitt has no good explanation. If heather was such a goddess AD as nearly everyone thinks, she should have told Capel to go pound sand. But she’s as complicit as him. And that is inexcusable. I’m done on this matter but you really have to question leadership or you are sheep. Most on here are 🐑

      Tex who loves a good raw lamp chop with fave beans and Chianti.

      Like

  38. Since when should Pitt care about what the City thinks? Reed or one of our other insiders once mentioned that Pitt can’t get the building permits it needs, and they are still waiting on approval for the Bigelow Blvd upgrades. And let’s not hold our collective breathes until the City approves siting for a new MPC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitt should care about fans, history, tradition, what’s right. Even when the city craps on them. Pitt is better than the city. But it doesn’t show. Leadership has failed on this one.

      Tex

      Like

    2. You don’t need city approval for land you already own. It helps if the city had a policy for no pedos and Nitters. Pittsburgh just isn’t progressive enough and pitt doesn’t demand it. Again, sheep instead of panthers.

      Tex

      Like

    3. Imbecile head psu Pedudo wants to shut down Walnut Street for pedestrian use only but gives PITT the shaft every chance he gets despite being a PITT BOT member. How twisted is that? Hope his bicycle built for two gets run off the road on his way to Gayville.. << which is an actual neighborhood in gbg.

      Like

  39. As noted by a few posters already, season ticket holders can buy extra tickets for the Notre Dame game before they go to the public. If anyone wants tickets at face value let me know. I’ll get them to you, no extra charge. ike210@comcast.net

    Like

  40. I completely agree with your comments Reed. These past 2 months I have pretty much refrained from following Pitt sports on a daily or weekly basis. There are more pressing things to follow. Being here in SEC country I know the SEC will do everything possible to have a football season, the health of the college student-athletes be damned. While sports is a nice addition to the college experience, it is not a necessary one! As it stands now the most impressive accomplishment I would prefer Pitt to accomplish this fall is an approved vaccine for the Coronavirus!

    Like

  41. If a Pitt coach wants to play a lighter game, I fully support him or her. (Remember how important the Director’s Cup is! 😊)

    Coach Capel will have what, seven new players season? And there aren’t that many lighter OCC games available any more where you have a chance to get guys playing time.

    I like playing Duquesne, but I’ll trust Coach Capel on this one. 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I checked, and Coach Capel will only have Six new players to get on the floor, counting transfer Horton…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  42. Ike, I think making Walnut pedestrian only is a great idea. I’ve been to many cities that have converted streets that way and they are awesome places with sidewalk cafes, nightclubs, shopping, street vendors and other entertainent.

    There are very few places in the Pittsburgh area that could accomodate this change. You need adequate parking and ways to get in and out.

    I would love to see a street in Downtown or Oakland where this could be done. They tried Bigelow a number of years ago, but couldn’t solve the traffic problems.

    Unfortunately Pittsburgh doesn’t lend itself to many areas like this. Penn Avenue and the cultural district would be pretty cool with a pedestrian only area. Especially now when outdoor dining is an important option, but always cool.

    By the way, how does Peduto give Pitt the shaft? I must have missed something.

    Like

    1. How cool would SouthSide be if they could make a few blocks of Carson Street was pedestrian only. Again no easy way to get the traffic to flow around the area. Same thing with Lawrenceville, to bad the streets are to narrow with no reasonable options.

      Like

  43. gc, so I see I hit a nerve. I 1000% agree about Walnut Street. Our daughter lived on Walnut just a few blocks up. It’s a great idea. My point is, solve the traffic problems with Bigelow and shut that road down. Now they are going to spend millions to make it a little nicer. PITT needs green space and Peduto is not only the mayor of Pittsburgh but he’s also on the BOT of PITT. He needs to consider more of what he is charge of and not his neighborhood and his silly bike lanes. He’s a disaster.

    More to your point is that PITT can’t get a single proposal approved, between city council and UPMC, another entity I find offensive, despite the fact the same daughter works for them. UPMC and Peduto do nothing for U of PITT.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Sorry Ike but I like the bike lanes too. I do most of my riding on the Trails which are fantastic around Pittsburgh, but young people love the bike lanes. If you want Pittsburgh to be a young vibrant city you need them and all cities are adding them where they can.

    It is pretty cool on a Sunday morning to ride around the Downtown on the bike lanes, but I’m too old to ride them when there is traffic.

    The more people you can get riding bikes to work, means less traffic, everyone benefits.

    Like

  45. Somewhere I saw where the Pitt women’s basketball team had an overall GPA of over 3.4. Said it was the highest GPA the women’s team has ever had… Not bad, ladies!

    Also, Coach White and staff are in the running for a top 50 player — like in her final 5… Good luck Coach White!

    But the best is going to be watching the development of this team. We just struggled thru a season where they started 4 freshmen. Now we will probably be starting 3 or 4 sophomores and one or two freshman…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Football and both basketball programs kicking butt in the classroom and model citizens in public. The BoT should be thrilled but we know those hypocrites will want a coach fired for not winning big despite restrictions.

      Like

  46. For me, the only thing good about the Pitt-Duquesne game was watching Mossie Murphy lead Duquesne cheers in the aisle of the stands and Tiger Paul leading Pitt cheers on the basketball floor. I don’t remember many games being competitive. I especially disliked playing Duquesne at the Civic Arena or the PPG Paints arena. The condensation on the basketball court from the ice under it created a constant game interruption to wipe it off but even more so a threat of serious injury to the players slipping and falling. So unless it is a home and home arrangement, no thanks.

    Like

  47. Ike: it does not surprise me that Gordon likes closing streets for breezy sidewalk cafes, bike lanes etc. His political views are as clear as the nose on my face. Let me fill milenials social and economic justice warriors and others of like mindset on two things 1) These issues are political and have no place on here like Gordon’s obsessive screaming about the corona virus though at least this article opens that up and 2) several years ago the Mayor did a survey of usage of bike lanes. He shut it down after 45 minutes as only 3 bicyclists used the whole lane they shut down for people like Gordon on Forbes Avenue while bumper to bumper traffic existed in the vehicle lanes tying traffic for blocks and blocks making people late for work, court etc but Gordon felt good as his ilk no what is best for all of us. For some reason when I was in town last week not one of the rent a bikes was being used.. Gordon clearly doesn’t have to go downtown. Get a grip Gordon, this is not Europe (thank god) or authoritarian China where they love bikes and closed narrow streets, And what this has to do with open or not is beyond my pea sized brain.
    As to the thought expressed once on this site that seniors like myself should not be able to attend games I would note this would be Unconstitutional Age Discrimination. The SCOTUS recently ruled that “Hey Boomer” was evidence of age discrimination. I am 65 YOA, had flu and penmonia simultaneously last year during a 5 day trial, 6 months later I had esophaglatitus (spelling? I don’t have the iek spelling app yet), it is a serious bacterial infection of the esophagus leading to a week in the hospital, and now cancer. I have bought and paid for my tickets. The choice of whether to attend or not is mine. I will pay attention to policies in place at the stadium, whether they are enforced and my then present condition relative to my immune system versus the risk which includes my health, the weather on the date of the game, the opponent etc. I can weigh those and decide whether to attend. I can then give away or sell MY tickets. I will not be ruled by the nervous nellies who wish to dictate all our decisions. I personally believe between our governor and his directors and the Pitt admin they lean strongly to no fans at this point.. Aside- Governor Wolfe you stated that fans would not attend Steeler games unless they (you) felt safe ie and that would not be until there was a vaccination. The 1917-18 Spanish flu never had a vaccine and life went back to the way it was. Bring on the football, we are adults and can decide based on the factors as partialy listed above.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t initiate the subject. Why are my opinions political, but yours are not?
      I worked in town for a number of years and traffic has always been a disaster.
      I certainly agree that you should be allowed to attend any event you want.

      Like

    2. I will be back for Notre Dame. I’ll wear a mask unless I’m drinking. So I probably won’t ever wear a mask. I’m catholic so I love beating them. I used to yell our Mother, I f’ed her. I know I’ll burn in Hell for that. I don’t really care.

      Tex

      Like

    1. from the Trib ….

      17 minutes ago
      Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi continued to bolster his 2021 class of verbal commits Tuesday night when running back Malik Newton of Norfolk, Va., pledged to enroll next year. Newton made his commitment on Instagram live.

      Newton, ranked a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, is the second running back in Pitt’s class — Rodney Hammond of Booker T. Washington High School also is from Norfolk — and the 13th senior to commit to the Panthers.

      With 20 seniors on the roster this season, Pitt’s 2021 recruiting class might be the most important in Narduzzi’s 5 1/2 years on the job.

      Newton, 6-foot, 220 pounds, chose Pitt over 18 offers, including Clemson, Louisville, Penn State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Virginia Tech. He visited Penn State twice, according to Rivals.com.

      Newton is the No. 2 running back in Virginia and No. 18 in the nation, according to Rivals.

      Like

  48. Right rkb and I agree, it’s up to the individual. I didn’t mean to come down on gc as I’m all for him expressing his own opinion. gc, I know you’re a good guy and I respect you and your thoughts. To each their own.. I love what my old buddy said years ago….. I’m not a bystander but a stand-byer. That’s the mode I’m in right now! We shall see. My POV buddies are more of the draw than a PITT football game right now. I can watch PITT football on the TV but I can’t express my love to all my tailgate friends sitting at home…

    ike…. in the stand byer mode………

    Like

      1. I like bike lanes too Gordon. Can’t comment on them in Pittsburgh, it they are damn helpful and used a lot in Atlanta. What I HATE are bikers who take up half the road and don’t try to get to the side to let cars go by. Happens frequently on my commute… when I had a commute

        Like

  49. Looks like we beat Liberty and Old Dominion for Malik Newton, though a few other schools were supposedly in the hunt…😊

    Newton’s body reminds me of Sibley — heavy in the thighs, one of those low-center-of-gravity guys. Newton shows hints of a “move” or two, but didn’t really need them in HS (as is so often the case…).

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  50. IF, Coach Capel has a beef with Dambrot, how about using that as added motivation to beat Duquesne’s a$$e$ instead of blocking the game?

    Like

    1. Exactly. Crush the dukes. You got a problem with someone, take it out on them on a game. Just prissy what Capel is doing. Did he grow up in a suburb?

      Tex I didn’t.

      Like

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