Rebuild Pitt’s Front Porch?

Here is a great and thought provoking piece by our own Tex…

When I bought a home eight years ago one of the things that caught my attention were the 20 foot Roman pillars of the front porch. No other home in the neighborhood had them. They were unique and those tall white pillars drew me right in.

Colleges also have front porches. They are called sports programs and specifically football. The quality of the porch helps a school stand out among its peers. It helps create a unique character and identity. It helps attract the top percent of student applicants. Moreover it is a sense of pride for fans and alumni. It’s a way to connect and engage across generations.

Chancellor Gallagher has spoken publicly about the need for a good Pitt front porch. He understands the porch is often the first thing seen by people. It’s often how one perceives the school and if your porch isn’t attractive, few will even bother to knock on the door.

I appreciate his understanding but I do question whether anyone at the university has a good knowledge of construction. With any porch, it begins with a budget and then design and blue prints. You receive bids and then you select the contractor. You hope your contractor successfully builds your porch on time and on budget and in the end you will have something you’re proud of, can enjoy and share with others.

Historically, Pitt has neglected that front porch. It’s sports programs have been ignored while the real money was spent on the interior rooms of the house. Pitt doesn’t have the biggest house on the block. It’s enrollment is half of most big state schools. The house is located on a very small parcel of land. And it’s quite old.

Pitt doesn’t really have the money to do extensive renovations. Its revenues are one of the lowest among P5 schools. It’s athletic donations are near the bottom of ACC schools.

It’s been four years since Chancellor Gallagher announced the initiative to renovate that front porch. So where do we stand today?  More importantly, does anyone understand what was proposed to be delivered?

A porch gives a school its identity. What is Pitts identity?  To me it’s an urban school that excels in the medical and scientific disciplines. You’ll find those rooms inside the house. But you need to walk onto the porch and open the front door first. Has Pitt’s porch become more attractive over the past four years?

Making a porch attractive is more than just putting on a new coat of blue and gold paint. It goes beyond just making it visually appealing. You also need to think about functional design. Is it a good place to hang out, entertain and relax?

I still think there is more work to be performed on that porch. Today it’s an average porch in an elite neighborhood. I hope Chancellor Gallagher is sincere in his desire to make continual improvements and is not shy about spending the necessary money.

Pitt truly has some beautiful rooms inside this old house but the porch is key to attract people and to convince them to stay.

Where it all starts…

P/S: If you want a painful reminder of the “Front Porch” promises then read this article…have your barf bag ready though – Reed.

124 thoughts on “Rebuild Pitt’s Front Porch?

  1. Oh the irony! Gallagher talks about the front porch and the importance of athletics. Then he includes the AD who would make Pitt athletics even more of a laughingstock than it already was due to the actions of the previous AD. The he bolts after less than 2 years.

    At the time of that press conference, Pitt athletics was recognized nationally for its men’s basketball, and it was the principle reason for the ACC invite. Then in a few years, it was all gone.

    I’m not sure about this front porch image. When I think of Alabama, I don’t think of a great academic institution. And are any of you aware that Gonzaga, which has been #1 in basketball all year, is actually rated in the Top 100 in the US News & World Report rankings (#80)? IMO, it’s much ado about nothing.

    It’s perfectly alright to strive to improve its image, but Pitt can never compete for athletic superiority in many sports just like it can’t compete with the Ivies and many other private schools for academic superiority.

    There is nothing wrong for being well recognized for its medical and scientific community

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AND OH BY THE WAY .. thru all of the turmoil of Pitt athletics of much of the previous decade, Pitt is currently ranked 58th in US News Rankings. That’s actually an improvement of #68 which is was a couple of years ago.

      I believe the rankings have hovered in the 50s and the 60s for the past several years. Funny it didn’t drop after the BB team didn’t win an ACC game 3 years ago …. or when it had to hire 3 different football coaches in a 2 year period about 10 years ago.

      There is nothing wrong with being Yale, Harvard …. or Vanderbilt (the worst FB program in the SEC)

      Liked by 3 people

    2. formerlywwb, a few thoughts to consider. Part of a school’s ratings has to do with history and location. PITT has the history . It dates back to the 1910’s to 1930’s in sports, and the 1950’s to 1960’s in academics. We were ranked in the 40’s academically when I was there in the early 60’s A bunch of newer schools from California and the upsurge of schools in the South have moved ahead of us. What happened?

      The Rust Belt set in, PITT financial problems, and a lower emphasis in athletics. All of which contributed to our national academic ranking to fall to the low 60’s – 70’s .
      They recently changed the criteria for rankings and we are now in the lower 50’s. I think PITT being in the ACC has helped our ranking. More kids from the Metro NYC area are interested in applying.

      Gonzaga in Spokane is a good example of what National attention does for a school. A cozy small local Jesuit college turning out engineers, teachers, lawyers, whatever; has enjoyed a upsurge in admissions. I bet its academic rankings have gone up since it’s basketball program went National about 20 years ago.

      So yea, a National brand in a so called major sport improves your status. Funny thing the AD who first spoke of the front porch, Scott Barnes, is from Spokane.

      Tex, maybe we need to consider so called “minor sports” at a University part of the education, college experience, personal growth of the students involved. Maybe sometime you have a losing record but the kids gain.

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      1. I’m a big advocate of minor sports. They are the only ones I support financially at Pitt because they are successful…see soccer, volleyball and wrestling.

        And of course I’d support hockey as a new sport.

        My issue is not with them being subsidized or having losing records. My issue is with the vast majority of sports at Pitt being so bad. Pitt isn’t competitive in most minor sports in the ACC.

        Although victory Heights has been earmarked, pitt still has two buildings over 70 years old that serve as home to several programs.

        I just think pitt is disingenuous when they talk of the front porch.

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      2. I was in Boston just after Flutie left BC. After the Miami game the applications to BC went up over a 1,000 percent.
        It made it much harder to get in. That made it a better school.

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    3. Gallagher is not up to the job. He is weak. I know firsthand how he has handled major decisions and they are poor.
      He has zero accountability to anyone and acts like it to many stakeholders.

      I would not look for him to add any insight or improvement for any team.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pitt’s front porch matches their budget.

    “ Pitt doesn’t really have the money to do extensive renovations. Its revenues are one of the lowest among P5 schools. It’s athletic donations are near the bottom of ACC schools.”

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  3. Fear of the front porch being talked about more than the interior of the house has struck worry into school administrators. Doing unnecessary renovations to show everyone in the neighborhood that you care has been the school’s biggest downfall.

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  4. Report is out that Nate Peterman has signed a one year contract extension with the Raiders worth up to $2.775 million. The Pitt front porch has certainly turned into gold for this young man.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. When you compare Pitt’s overall fundraising resulting in a large endowment with the results of the Athletic Department results it is pretty evident the majority of Pitt constituents could care less about the front porch.

    The Front Porch comment was made in an effort to better the results of Pitt Athletic Fundraising which has been poor to say the least.

    We could have the chicken vs. egg argument, Is fund raising poor because sports are bad or sports are bad because fund raising is poor? It really doesn’t matter, the end results are the same.

    Pitt grads and the Pittsburgh community at large do not support Pitt athletics at a high percentage and the majority of either group could care less.

    I would also say the whole front porch argument is daft. Right down Forbes Ave. is a perfect example, CMU, a much more highly thought of University, with no Division 1 sports.

    Should Pitt’s Administration attempt to change the culture to be more like PSU, tOSU, Clemson, Alabama or other football factories etc? How much of an impact could they have?

    Pitt’s main draw these days are the Health Professions. While a top twenty football or basketball program would make us Fanatics happy it would do little to change the overall status of the University.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. One more thing, Pitt is largely a Post-Graduate operation, and gets tremendous results in Grantsmanship.
      These folks don’t have any special loyalty to Pitt, most having started at other Universities. A great athletic department would have absolutely no impact on who goes to Pitt’s Medical School.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Gordon have to disagree. Sports success in football and basketball would in fact make PITT more attractive to prospective faculty, and students.

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      1. I agree there would be a marginal difference. certainly not opposed to it. Just trying to point out that most do not think it is essential.

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        1. It’s done a lot to help Penn State become a national draw for high school students here in Houston. Winning big on the field and court strengthens the foundation of the front porch. Pitt got the hype and interest during Jamie’s golden Era. I know. I worked as a college prep counselor at a highly ranked Houston high school.

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      2. That’s a hard disagree on faculty. I can’t understand how this would have any effect on faculty. I have no stats to back this whatsoever, but I just can’t see it. In fact, I would venture a guess that they wouldn’t want to deal with the bs that might come with an Alabama. Feel free to obliterate me.

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  6. in the latest US News Rankings — Alabama is 143rd, Elon is 88th

    https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities

    BUT GET THIS ….. in 2015, Alabama was ranked 88th (and now is 143rd)

    excerpt from link below: Among all national universities: UA dropped from #86 to #88; Auburn dropped from #91 to #103

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/us-news-2015-rankings-ua-top-university-in-alabama/1618488

    So Chancellor Gallagher and Tex can stop all of this front porch nonsense …. NOW!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Might be an example where their porch hurt them to some extent academically and that’s exactly what many BoT members might think could happen to Pitt.

      But what have student applications done since then? Quality of applicant? Donations? Brand equity?

      I believe the overall alabama brand is more valuable than ever despite the decline in academic rankings.

      I might just do away with the half naked women handing out beers.

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    2. That’s because most of these 4* & 5* athletes at Alabama, etc. don’t go to class and a lot of them don’t graduate. Why study biology when you are going to the NFL?

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  7. You had to link that article with porch promises didnt you Reed 🤠

    I think pitt has a modest yet respectable front porch with Granny handing out lemonade and cookies. It might be a bit small and old for the neighborhood (ACC) but I think most Pitt fans don’t mind.

    It will never be large and attractive with bikini clad women handing out beers and free tickets to a football game like the elite schools.

    I guess it all comes down to what if anything would we make as a home improvement on that front porch. Pitts new colors and trim (script) is a nice update. But what significant changes would you like to see?

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  8. Tex, love the passion and your dedication to the vision you hold for the university. Reed thanks for linking the Barnes hire press release. I remembered that fairly well. Promises, promises. Turned out to be a bunch of political lip service to appease the base. With that being said one quote of significance comes to mind,,” If PITT can cure polio it sure can find a way to win 10 football games!” Randy Jule(sp?) I think the front porch still has the structure and stability to withstand a few 9-10 win seasons. Maybe that will change the way we look at our front porch in a big way. Over the past 35 plus years PITT has been projecting re-runs of the movie “Ground-hog day” onto that porch for us to watch over and over and

    PITT doesn’t seem to care about fans short of asking for money. Does Duzz make you feel like you are part of the PITT team. That should be part of his job description, Reed is an ambassador for the university FB program and gave his time, effort and money to promote PITT FB to it’s POV fan-base. How did that work out for Reed, a true fan, who does a helluva job uniting the PITT fandom to the team.

    I requested a refund for last years seasons tickets and they only returned part of it..oh well. Who wants to give a lot of money to help the cause- I don’t. They sit on $4,000,000,000.00 endowment. They pay FB/BB coaches $4,000,000 and $3,000,000. Fans/alumni see that…. no reason to give when I can help those individuals/organizations around me in need or take care of my own family with my resources.

    The older I get the more my attitude changes towards sport probably, a combination of realism mixed with cynicism. And those questions about are now coming to mind-How much longer will I be here ? How do I want to commit those remaining heart-beats to activities I enjoy? What good causes need supported with the fruits of my labors??? Deep questions and attitude adjustments that will happen when you are pushing 70 Tex and guaranteed if PITT keeps projecting “ground hog Day” onto that front porch for the next 20-30 years. 10 wins is a good start for the re-modeling job.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Some possibly relative humor: On a episode of Two and a Half Men, Charlie’s mother said she just had her butt hole bleached because, “There is more to curb appeal than the front door”.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Those Roman pillars did get my attention from the street. It stands out along our stretch of road. Very custom and unique. You don’t find many colonials in Texas.

        So how can pitt stand out and get noticed?

        I noticed Pitt back in 1976 and then again during the Marino days.

        My like and following of pitt football from an early age was a (not the) deciding factor in choosing Pitt over Penn State.

        A front porch that fits the neighborhood does help attract quality applicants and can be used to connect alumni to the university.

        Pitt is missing out on that critical connection.

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  10. I might be the only Pitt fan who feels that our athletics does absolutely nothing as far as Pitt’s quality of HS applicants or quality of education one receives while at Pitt. The CMU comparison is a good point.

    But Pitt probably won’t ever adjust their athletic stance (D1 or bust to stay a ‘big’ school) because they are afraid of perceptions. Here is a bit from a 2019 article that ranked the Top 100 biggest endowments.

    University of Pittsburgh — $3.71 Billion
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Endowment: $4,200,206,000
    Undergraduate Tuition: $32,052 per year
    Average Full Professor Salary: $149,345
    Annual Research Expenditures: $939,706,000

    Located on prime land a mere three miles from downtown Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, the 45th–best university in the world, is well known for its highly ranked School of Medicine, School of Education, and Swanson School of Engineering. Perhaps most famously, it was where Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in the 1950s. Originally, founded in 1787, it was not until Wesley Posvar took over as chancellor that Pitt established itself financially. From 1967 to 1991, Posvar not only increased the university’s budget, he tripled the endowment. University of Pittsburgh’s current endowment is $4.2 billion.

    Check out some of University of Pittsburgh’s other rankings:

    Ranks #14 for Largest Research Expenditures
    Ranked the #45 University in the World

    That endowment size is not linked to sports success in any way. Quite the opposite IMO – by the time Posvar had left Pitt he had eliminated a large debt the university had – I believe that was done mostly in the 1980’s .

    Then Nordenberg ramped up the $$ donor campaign to add $2 billion to what was a modest endowment before the drive started. He was at Pitt from ’95 – 2014 so athletics – at least football – sucked then also.

    I know I’m old school but Pitt football has gone beyond the fun times when you could actually go to a game and enjoy it. Heaven forbid if one claps when an opponent makes an amazing play – now you get harassed for that by other fans as it is devolving into some sort of obsessional grasp where being a fan is an expected total ‘with us or against us’ stance.

    But Pitt will keep doing exactly what it has done over the last 35 or so years – pretend to care enough about athletics to keep the status quo even if that status quo is mediocracy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree.

      Thats why you see the new coat of fresh blue and gold paint. The new exterior trim (pitt script). The plan to replace Fitzgerald (back porch) with a modern 3500 seat venue. Pitts sharing of pro facilities.

      It does enough so that the front porch isn’t condemned due to delapidation.

      But it also fails to significantly renovate and adjust not only the look but the functionality/design to accommodate an ever changing sports world and to better fit into their new ACC neighborhood.

      I’ve always felt that Pitt has a real solid MAC porch.

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    2. At least we Nordenberg valued big time athletics and despite his sneering sidekick Pitt was ranked twice in football while he was here and for a few fleeting weeks #1 in men’s hoops. Gallagher is a ghost.

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  11. I do some part time work for Georgia Tech. Pitt and GT have very similar characteristics. In town, very good academics, history in academics and sports.

    What GT has done different is that they have kept their athletic facilities up to date although they are limited in size. I guess I am still angry about Pitt Stadium and that Pitt did not see its potential as a multiuse facility for students and alumni.

    Also it does not help that the city sees no need for mass transit in Oakland.

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  12. Reed, what I think you may not understand is it is no longer 1973 when it comes to rebuilding a program. In fact, just 20 years ago or so, Nebraska and Tennessee would be in anyone’s Top 10 for football programs. And even now, the funding and the following is still there …. Nebraska sells out consistently, last year Tennessee drew 92,000 for an OOC game with BYU … yet they continue to falter. Check out their recent records.

    There is just such a divide between the few haves and the many have-nots …. and entry into the haves these days is nearly impossible. Yes, there are teams that have some impressive runs, but they are all short-term. Less than 10 years ago, South Carolina had a top program; they just hired their 4th coach since then. In 2013, FSU won a national title; they haven’t had a winning record since 2017 when they were 7-6. Auburn lost to FSU in that 2013 title game; they just hired their 3rd coach since then. I can go on and on.

    These programs do not ‘pretend to care’ about their programs. They are trying like hell … spending $$$, hiring/firing, cheating …. you name it. And they all have many more assets than Pitt does for being successful

    This is why I keep imploring people here to look what is happening in college football these days, not just Pitt. It makes it much more digestible

    Liked by 7 people

    1. So please scoff and tell me why not: All the money thrown at Big 5 schools hasn’t been bestowed equally. Some have gotten much richer and lavish money on coaches and facilities, ESPN loves the same schools being their brand carrier, the college football playoff open to a handful of the same schools reaping recruiting benefits by… Being regulars in the CFP.

      Conference commissioners hate equity.

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  13. I still think spending money on the front porch is money well spent. Provides a good return.

    But it goes beyond cosmetic changes and lip service. It comes down to design and layout.

    Does this porch fit into the ACC neighborhood?

    Is Pitt competing in the right sports?

    Does the porch help connect fans and alumni to the university?

    I still think Pitt has work to do on that front porch.

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  14. Speaking of cosmetic changes, the wrestling team unveils new singlets tonight…
    Yep, black with a gray panther head.
    Maybe Heather leaves the bunker tonight to model one…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Consistency does not equal quality. If so, Narduzzi’s record of 6 or 7 wins every year is quality, lol.

      Alternative uniforms = $$$ which Pitt lacks. Keep them coming. A new one every year.

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      1. It is quality. Narduzzi excels at mediocrity. Quality has nothing to do with excellence. Quality is consistently achieving the standard. The standard at Pitt is mediocrity. I’m defining quality as an engineer would. Or as Elon musk.

        Alternative uniforms damage the brand. The gain in merchandise sales is far offset by the loss in brand equity. Pitt would have been better off to go with black and gold…the city colors. Gray has no place.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Alternative uniforms don’t hurt WVU, Oregon, MD, UNC, Miami, Etc. I would bet 80% or higher power 5 teams have alternate unis. Doesn’t hurt the brand at all. It is just a fun alternative to wear once in a while. Everyone knows that’s what it is. No moron is turning on a game and thinking, “WTF, Miami changed their colors to black.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Disagree Tex. I like the gray. I like alternative uniforms. I also like the dark blue helmets. That is the helmet color the football team wore when I was in school. I hate the new funky blue and yellow colors which so many people rave about. Tex, PITT needs to reestablish a brand before worrying damaging it.

          Also we need to win more then spend later. I would like to add more minor sports for the kids to have fun. Support club teams. Lets get a full outdoor track. Make sure the indoor track at Fitzgerald is open to the students. We need to add sports if money can be found.

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  15. Tex – thank you for the posting and I appreciate you helping provide content.
    Enjoyed it – a good, cogent argument.

    Not questions for you specificially, but trather the larger group and hopefully from an bjective, fact-based perspective:

    What is the benchmark for building an attractive front and how long does that take?
    Are there any highly comparable examples where a school has extinguished athletic success multiple times, only to decide later ot rebuild?
    The schools that have done it better and faster had what factors in their favor that Pitt does not, either by circumstance or choice?
    Are the schools that have done it have house befitting placement on Millionaire’s Row or a Potemkin Village?

    Final thought – I like Ike.

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  16. Front porch upgrade…

    Get the arena and sports performance complex built – new home for volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics with training and sports medicine in the same building.
    Get the indoor track built – can be used by multiple teams and for local events also.

    That gets Pitt neglected sports complexes and programs up to speed.

    Just as important, build the new student rec center that will connect the lower and upper campuses for the students.

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    1. I agree. That will all help. Pitt still needs an outdoor track and field first though.

      But the porch for pitt, like it or not, is Heinz field. Heinz is not Pitt. I don’t care how much Pitt tries to cover up the Steelers stuff.

      And the north side is not Oakland.

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  17. The Pitt Va game tomorrow will be on ESPN. Their following 6 games if played will be on the ACC Network. Only their last ACC game against Clemson is set to be on RSN.

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  18. You pay for what you get … want a top 5 program pay top 5 money for a coach … they’ll come knocking if you have the cash out … some strive for top 25 or top 15 … have to spend like a top 25 or 15 team then. Show me the money and you’ll get what you pay for. You won’t be a stepping stone school with that cash either. We can talk front porch ad nauseam but all that means is money. Want big white pillars, you’re going to have to pay for the upgrade over the awning you currently have. Great coaching may get you some spikes but it’s not sustainable like good old fashioned cash. Gotta spend money to make money … that’s when you start seeing the returns at the gate and in the stores and attendance … it all goes hand in hand. We can complain about coaches and AD’s all we want but it ultimately comes down to the budget they get to play with.

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    1. I agree on the budget.
      However, I also believe that Heather and Narduzzi are paid to help enhance Pitt in the media and help get fans.
      The coach is pathetic and Heather is somewhere parts unknown.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You do make a good point. You need greeters at that front porch. Just God help us that heather is dressed in blue but knowing her it would be banana yellow or coal gray. Narduzzi would be in a dunce hat. Unfortunately, Capel is hanging out on the back porch cooking good smelling ribs.

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          1. That witch gives us fans more tricks than treats. I’d avoid that porch come Halloween.

            But at least the Pitt porch doesn’t have critters living underneath. My first trip to morganhole I saw plenty of raised porches with small farm animals milling about in the dirt below.

            The sight disturbed me.

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            1. Most of the Wvcc so-called students, are academic refugees from Pittsburgh.

              So they must take down to Morganhole, their trailer court pets. That’s what raised porches
              are for down there. Outhouses are in the rear.

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  19. One of the problems with the “front porch” is that it is not even connected to the house! Agree or disagree, but having your face of the university sport – football play off campus in a NFL stadium does nothing for the university setting.

    Those big schools you mentioned like UT, Nebraska, throw in PSU and on and on have an identity shared via their on campus stadium.
    I can’t help but think that, while basketball (for a period) benefitted from the razing of Pitt Stadium, it set back football. They could have alternately sunk the tens of millions of dollars into renovating the stadium or building a new multi-sport venue. I would imagine this was an option at the time but the AD wanted to tout a shiny new object and sold everyone on it. The Pete is a terrific building, but could be so much more.

    I also realize that having an association with the Steelers has its upsides as well and may be a strong draw for recruits.

    Old subject with open wounds, but relevant to this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Another good point. Pitts porch is like the lemonade stand in the front yard along the street. Except Pitt is selling ketchup.

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    1. PoD – Appropriate and visually accurate.

      Tex – I enjoyed the article – thanks for your passion on this subject. Leadership and systems – both being good together can lead to greatness. One good and one bad leads to mediocrity. Both being mediocre leads to bad.

      Wisconsin has a really good system, set-up by Pittsburgh native Barry Alvarez who adds a mediocre coach to present to a good program year in and year out.

      EE who wants to take his system to Oakland and hire a good coach – I’ll settle for half of HL’s salary the first 3 years – after that let the market pricing define my pay.

      H2P!

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      1. Can still smell those piss troughs. We had them at the Wexford Star-lite Drive-In theatre too !

        Should have got one for man cave !

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  21. Let’s give credit that Narduzzi had a good recruiting class including transfers. Add them to the group coming back and they should field a good team next year. But of course the other ACC teams will also have a big group coming back. Have they increased the scholarship total to accommodate the COVID year returnees?

    Has anyone heard whether the Big O has found a buyer?

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    1. Big O is no more dude. We had a burial ceremony the other month. Being turned into some
      goofy Tofu and other plant based, non-greasy, non-French Fry, non-Dog/kielbasa, non-200
      beer variety, non-24 hour…..hipster semblance of a restaurant.

      Pitt fumbled the ball on this as well….no reason now at all….to go up to Oakland to drown
      yourself in Gravy/Cheese/Ketchup Fries and in import… after another heart rendering Pitt
      loss at Heinz Pickle Jar.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh and Reed, someone (or maybe many?) should email that front porch article to the Chancellor, Heather and others in the AD who are responsible. Maybe include some editorial comments!!

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  23. Here is a question for Pitt fans – first some background.

    Back in 2013 I wrote an article about what it took for Pitt to be selected for that last ACC slot during the conference expansion. Common thought among Pitt fans was all Pitt (and AD Steve Pederson) had to do was “pick up the phone”.

    I think fans believed that because the day after Pitt applied to the ACC they were accepted.

    Nothing is further from the truth. Pitt had months of hard lobbying to do by both Nordenberg and by SP to make sure that acceptance was guaranteed if that Pitt application was made (heard this from two different BoT members at the time). The truth was that SYR was already targeted but it was a close run race between the Big East’s Pitt and Louisville for that last slot.

    SYR was taken because of the TV market. Pitt was finally selected on the academics and research programs basis because Louisville was not highly ranked in those areas like Pitt was (and still is) at the time. But from what I was told it was a 50-50 chance until Pitt finally did get the nod from the ACC to formally apply. Pitt would never had applied for inclusion had not the ACC given us that green light. Of course Louisville got an invite in ’14 after Maryland decamped for the B10.

    So – question is this – would your interest in Pitt athletics be as strong as it had been if Pitt was not offered by the ACC but was in the AAC and thus not in a P5 conference? I’m not talking about dropping down to D2 but over to the AAC.

    We have seen non-P5 schools populate the Top 25 at seasons’ end every year so would that hurt shift or help football and BB in long-term success? In FB we are usually ranked in the 40s or 50s (middle of the pack or a bit higher) at year end right along with both P5 and non-P5 schools.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story I have heard most often about the ACC offer is that we should thank Gene DiFilippo, the then-BC AD, who vetoed inclusion of UConn at the time. PItt was the next choice. Have never heard the Louisville sotry, but then I don’t have media credentials at Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That would have been catastrophic for Pitt football….as it has been for Uconn football. They have left
      the AAC and become an independent for football.

      Can you imagine how small the crowds at Heinz would be for Pitt vs Tulane, Pitt vs East Carolina, Pitt vs Tulsa, Pitt vs Memphis, Pitt vs SMU. And more importantly none of these games/matchups would
      be televised on a regional, let alone a National basis. Pitt football would become much more
      irrelevant than it is now.

      Meanwhile Uconn was so disappointed in the AAC, has rejoined the BigEast for bball and
      become an Independent for football.

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    3. I’d have the same enthusiasm if Pitt was in the AAC for football. Likely would win 8 games a year but I’m sure the OOC would be even tougher to attract fans. That scheduling would keep Pitt as an 8-win team in a weaker conference. Hoops would be u watchable with those AAC teams coming to The Pete.

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      1. “Under Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh had established itself as a national power in men’s basketball, so the Tobacco Road contingent didn’t argue. Calls were made and invitations were accepted.”

        Sounds like all Cyanide Steve did was answer the phone….

        Like

  24. My interest in Pitt FB and BB would be the same regardless of what league we were in. If we were in the MAC, I’d still live and die with the Fightin’ Panthers…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. The Last ACC invite of that expansion year.

    It was between Pitt & Uconn. And it had not much to do with Pitt’s lobbying apparently.

    It had ALL to do with Boston College insisting that UConn not be invited, as BC wanted New England
    all to themselves. And BC suggested Pitt get an invite, rather than UConn.

    There are several news articles I could link to verify this. But my links and for that matter my posts
    that have links…..generally are not posted.

    We’ve been all over this story several times in the past either on here or the Blather.

    Like

  26. BC surely did PITT a solid in regard to our ACC membership. I’m glad we’re in that conference, but if you’re not in a Power-5 the AAC is the next best thing IMO. CIN, HOU, MEM and TEM play good football.

    Like

    1. Special K, CIN, HOU, MEM, and TEM are all want a be’s. Of course they would jump at any Power-5 invite. Thank the lord we made it in the ACC. Frankly, Rutgers should have gotten the invite before PITT for the market presence they bring. Though we are a better fit for the ACC profile than either UCONN or Rutgers. However, we haven’t earned our membership place by winning enough. That’s why Louisville is now a member.

      Like

  27. The difference is roughly $25 million per year. Pitt receives around $30 million each year from the ACC plus additional monies from the network.

    In all likelihood, pitt would not be able to pursue victory Heights, would not have made renovations to the ball fields or the Pete, and may have been forced to eliminate programs.

    I do think Pitt would have eventually gotten in much like Louisville. I will never say a bad thing about BC.

    Like

    1. After re-reading the Boston Globe article about how this all went down. Boston College, as well as the ACC were very concerned that Pitt would be lured into the Big 12 and give that conf access to the Northeast market for tv and also recruiting.

      And if one remembers Big 12 overtures were made to Pitt….well before they were made to WVcc.

      So had we not got the ACC bid….we would have been playing the Sooners and Longhorns
      and who knows WVcc might have come along and we’d still have a real rivalry game.

      Like

      1. Pitt is a better fit in the ACC.

        But I do wish the ACC would move to a regional format for divisions like a north and south. And then allow two crossovers each year.

        So maybe a future northern conference like BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Cincy, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.

        Like

  28. I finished reading “The Extra Point” by former Pitt kicker Sean Conley

    Good read – made me laugh, made me tear up and made me think. The three things everyone should do every day, per Jimmy V.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Homecoming King and Homecoming Queen: The University of Pittsburgh has decided to get rid of the words king and queen due to the fact that they are outdated words. Instead, Pitt will award the homecoming king and queen the “Spirt of Pitt” award. Umm, no thanks!

    Like

  30. Speaking of king and queens:

    The No. 15 Pitt wrestling team fell 23-12 against ACC foe, No. 14, North Carolina, Friday night in Pittsburgh on Pitt’s Senior Night. The dual meet saw the Panthers win four of 10 individual bouts. With the loss, Pitt drops to 3-3, 1-3 ACC while North Carolina improves to 3-2, 2-2 ACC on the year.

    The team is losing recruiting battles in it’s own backyard and sits near the bottom of the ACC standings.

    Hopefully just a moment in time and not a trend.

    Like

  31. The band… a big reason why we have enjoyed college ball… this group is highly skilled- always a pre-season Top 5 ranking…

    Like

  32. Well, my info was apparently in error…or my memory is completely shot. 50/50 chance which is correct.

    The push from Pitt prior to acceptance is true however. There was a lot work to be done before the ACC offered that last spot.

    Bb thread will go up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure that Pitts basketball success helped.

      And of course Pitts academic chops but now that doesn’t matter as much given Louisville’s admittance.

      If I recall correctly, pitt did make facility upgrades to sweeten their attractiveness to the ACC.

      Moreover, Pitts TV market is much larger than either Louisville or UConns.

      I’d love to see Pitt in a Northern division. Northern schools have a different style of front porch than southern ones.

      Like

  33. I don’t know if the problem is on my end, but I don’t see the Game Thread and the last comment I can see was posted 4 hours ago. Have I lost my WordPress connection?

    Like

    1. Hey, Farmers, hope you are well.

      I didn’t get the UVA game thread either… Doesn’t even show up if I do a WordPress search for it…

      Like

  34. High performing athletic performance and national recognition pays off more than anyone on here has posted.

    When your football team is highly ranked and playing in championships, the application rate increases across all domains, not just undergraduate. Second, when the application numbers increase your selection pool becomes more competitive. Many here don’t understand how revenue works in higher ed. Typically there are three revenue producing buckets with respect to tuition.

    Example Alert – In-State tuition has a set charge, let”s say 15k per year. Out of state tuition is double in-state, so having a national presence in sports makes marketing so much easier. The critical third bucket is international students. When you have a nationally recognized football team and show a great experience on tv, the brand expands internationally. Those international students pay triple the instate tuition. There is an upcharge in housing and dining as well, so that is how you generate more revenue that Pitt misses by not having a national brand of excellence.There is your front porch. There are your facts.

    It is not about school rankings are those are manipulated purposefully. Most schools hire folks to study the rankings and then make changes to curriculums to get more rating points. It doesn’t mean they are the best schools or have the best professors or researchers.

    The argument that kids won’t come for graduate or professional degrees is mostly inaccurate. Some will come here without a thought of athletics. Some. Many matriculate to the big front porch programs for precisely that reason, but why? Think about the logistics of this for one minute and let it resonate. As you get higher degrees, the number of schools offering those degrees, shrinks. So you now have a supply chain(students), searching for limited capacity. Most kids in graduate and professional degree programs came from small, private colleges and want to experience big time, front porch athletics, because they haven’t yet had that experience. They want to associate with winners that also have academic programs that support their course of profession. That is how it works, rightfully or wrongfully. It’s a whole new student engagement. They want to be part of something big. That is their mentality. If they can get the athletic experience combined with the academic portion, it’s a homerun. There’s so much more behind the scenes for a different day.

    Having a golf game at southern highlands in Las Vegas in about an hour.

    Like

    1. Hope you drive straight and putt well. I’ve found that a shot or two of bourbon is a cure to eliminate my slice and do no worse than putt twice.

      Like

      1. Jameson shots at 7am. Starts the day killing anything that shouldn’t be in your system or going into your system.

        Vegas is looking very very open for business. For giggles and reminiscing, we went to old vegas last night around 1am. OMG, what a dumpster fire. Worse than a Kevin Stallings coached team. Starting to have third and fourth thougthts on the people we will leave this country too. Not to be negative to the early 20’s folks. What a mess. Assuming we lost bball today. Golfing and had a blast. Sunny and 70.

        Like

  35. You need to go to work for the other censors, like Facep o o p, Twitter or how about Pravda.

    Did you actually take the oath of the Military and not understand it.

    Like

  36. Right you are gc, pretty obvious this fake doesn’t want the rest of us to have the POV up and running to read. Reed, just ban and delete posters like this. (forever) I saw this coming a mile away. BTW, not real sure what you mean “opinionated posts”

    Like

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