Half truth – half satire…😎
You all know that after I handed the reins of the Pitt POV over to Mike in mid-fall of 2019 I pretty much distanced myself from both the POV and Pitt football for the next 12-14 months or so…and in doing that didn’t pay hardly any attention to Pitt football or the program.
I’d visit on here every so often, make a few comments, but not really on any regular basis and very sparingly. So when Pitt was put on probation for three years by the NCAA I actually didn’t know that happened. It wasn’t until just lately when a regular commenter has mention the sanctions that I looked into the infringement details. I was surprised by something I read…
Both the basketball and the football head coaches had committed Level II violations of NCAA regulations and they were not as minor as some assume. Those Level II violations are deemed “Significant” so not to be winked at.
Each guy did pretty much the same thing in having more staff coaches and staff assistants then to interact with and coach the student/athletes at formal practices are allowed by the NCAA .
Stallings actually cheated on a more regular basis and jumped through some hoops to do it, pun intended, and therefore had a rather serious NCAA “Show-Cause” order levied. Not only did he lie to the Pitt admin about his doings he even deleted video footage showing the violations.
He supposedly ‘retired’ after this but quite possibly no other school would dare touch because of the “Show-Cause” in effect… or maybe because he plain sucked as a HC. But that’s basketball and at this point in Pitt’s basketball history it is a lot of “Who cares?” and I don’t much.
When looking at football head coach Pat Narduzzi’s infraction (I was going to say ‘offense’ but since he has no concept of that I decided on a different word) something caught my eye and brought a bit to mind personally. Highlighted it below:
In addition, football coach Pat Narduzzi was found to have been present at a football practice when three former quality control staff members performed coaching duties, which also exceeded the number of permissible coaches. The violation went undetected in part because the football program used a system to play music when outside parties were present at practice, triggering the quality control staffers to stay clear of the student-athletes.
Narduzzi was handed a show-cause order that will withhold him from two days of team practice in August.
Huh, not only did Narduzzi allow the violation(s) to happen before getting found out he actually put into place a mechanism to avoid being caught prior to being busted. When ‘outsiders’ were at practice the loudspeaker music went on and he had used his spycraft training to get the his staffers to drift away from the players until the coast was clear. This way he must have felt there was no chance at getting caught by anyone. It’s a perfect plan!
The NCAA points to one instance but obviously this was done commonly enough for him to institute a fail safe (not really) plan of evasion into effect. Well, we knew he isn’t all that great at pre-game planning and half-time planning and now we know he’s not so great at planning much of anything, in any situation. Is anyone really surprised?
I believe this happened right before the 2017 season – so the trauma of being dragged before the NCAA Tribunal and having his hand held over open flame until he confessed most probably was the cause of our 5-7 season that year.
A few years back I was offered, and accepted, a chance to watch a bit more of a football practice than allowed for by the usual media time limits. This was because I had to drive a nine hour road trip to attend them so couldn’t get to many practices per season and Pitt cut me a break. So after the local media/bloggers were escorted out of the practice field house I was able to enter and then had an extra 30 minutes or so to look and see the team and staff in action. I truly appreciated that and wrote a well-received article about what I saw.
But I’ve always I wondered about the fact that when I first walked into the practice the loudspeaker music started blaring, then it shut off every time I went into the men’s room, only to be cranked up again as soon as I opened the bathroom door. Go out for a smoke – no music; come back in – Casey Kasum is playing the Top 40s .
What was strange is that Narduzzi had the same song played over and over again for me.
That $5,000 fine of the football program imposed by the NCAA probably offset two years of Pitt alumni donations, those being so poor, but even with that our Athletic Director gave the coach a raise in salary.
All the above is nothing that more than many other schools and head coaches have done over the years. Pitt is not alone in this by any means. Not only was it wrong to do but the actual rule-breaking was done in a shabby fashion. You’d think that if it was important enough to risk being caught and have punishment levied one would take the time and effort to design a better and safer way to cheat. As it was the grand plans were to just twist a dial on the stereo volume but… well, again – is anyone surprised?
Might have been better to just scream “Code Royal Blue and Mustard Yellow in the end zone !! Code Royal Blue and Mustard Yellow in the end zone!!”