Hey! Wait a Minute…

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.

Nothing to see here – move on!

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 .

I hate that song

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!!”

176 thoughts on “Hey! Wait a Minute…

  1. Reed, these violations seem like small, petty offenses to me, which is why I am so irritated about it. Why sully the name of the university, and earn the label “cheater” over such ridiculous actions that can’t really add much value to the competitive advantage. Clearly they were planned in advance, as you have accurately seen first hand and explained with the early warning alarms.

    I can maybe see where Stallings was in panic mode, but Narduzzi was in the midst of a long term contract when he crapped on the university’s good name. Maybe there was some behind the scenes discipline imposed, but it can’t be undone from a public relations standpoint.


  2. Yeah, with all that extra coaching from former quality control guys, how in the world did we not finish in the top ten?

    Makes you wonder how Alabama gets away with having all those non-coaching assistant coaches…

    Commander Reed really loading up on the Duzz these days… The Commander really getting back into top POV form!

    BTW, I still like ike!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Reed’s right though, Richman. And as he stated, he only just realized that we were sanctioned. It is as bad today as it was when it happened. I don’t condone cheating, but if you’re going to do it, there should be a tangible benefit. Idiots.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To have all those staffers involved meant it must have been common knowledge at least in the athletic dept, and maybe more broadly on campus. The level of stupidity here is off the charts.


  4. If you cheat, cheat big and cover your tracks.

    But Pitt cheats small and is sloppy

    I’m more upset that heather threw Capel under the bus for criticizing the refs in order to avoid a $10k fine


  5. Richman, every time we talk about Pitt football over the last 40 years it is a tempting thing to revise what actually happened.

    But, please tell me what I described Narduzzi doing as ‘revisionist’? What I wrote he did was all reported in the media, not contested by Narduzzi at the time and true. Did you miss the first line of the article? Do you deny anything I quoted or any of the rather dumbass actions he took to evade being found cheating?

    I didn’t revise a thing. You’re offended because I didn’t just read what happened and shrug my shoulders like you and other Pitt fans do.

    The gist of the story was his ineptitude in hiding his breaking the rules and the fact that he did it with his eyes wide open. Two things that are, to any normal person, a bit disconcerting.

    Playing loud music when the bad guys show up…c’mon Rich, it had to have been hilarious to watch his staff’s eyes when he laid that plan out for them… I can just see it – every staffer looking at each other then one of them says:

    “Well, OK coach, but don’t you think it would be easier to just not do this?”

    “No, do it the way I planned! Besides, who is ever going to figure this out? The NCAA is so dumb they won’t for sure”

    Best part is you just know there was zero value added to the team with all this. Worse then Spanky and our Gang.


    1. Reed, you were right. Revisionist was the wrong word. I should’ve just stuck with useless. This happened several years ago. If you’re going to cheat do a better job. We couldn’t even cheat right. I just didn’t think this need to be brought up again.


    2. Reed, you were right. I use the wrong word. Revisionist was incorrect. Useless was correct however. There was no need to bring this old news app. It appears that we couldn’t even cheat right.


  6. While I think much of the Pitt and Narduzzi bashing is over the top, while old news this bash is justified and why I don’t like the double secret practices which lead to the not double secret probation.

    This was more like the Keystone Cops than the Little Rascals.

    Made no sense whatsoever and does show a lack of coaching acumen, similar to our QB running to the sideline on every play. While that one doesn’t break any rules it is certainly a questionable practice.

    The infraction barely fits into Level II since it didn’t have anything to do with a financial or recruiting advantage and it is hard to say it even gave some type of competitive advantage so what was the point? Really stupid stuff and makes you realize how inept the NCAA is when they punish this but allow all of the other more egregious violations like UNC not requiring classes to go unpunished. Or have absolutely no impact on the shoe manufactures, the AAU and their “dirty” deals. They even backed off the PSU punishments.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pitt brought these allegations to light to get out of paying the full Stallings buyout, correct? Pitt found cause and went with it. Where Pitt was weak is bringing football into it. SOP so afraid of the NCAA so let’s lay all of our cards down so the association thinks we are such good kids.

    Extra coaches at practice? What a joke when parking it down.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Heather was trying to avoid paying that huge buyout. But she probably also knew what Narduzzi was doing. I mean how could she not unless she was a complete idiot. This was cheating done in the open.

      Stallings probably also knew what was going on at football practice. He probably threatened to blow Narduzzi in. Heather was forced to find the cheating she already knew and tacitly approved.


  8. Off topic, I spent the weekend in Cleveland, just for something to do. I was really impressed.
    Lot’s to see and do. They have transitioned a rust belt city, probably better than Pittsburgh.
    Wouldn’t want to be there in the winter, although it is flat so driving probably somewhat easier
    in the ice and snow.

    The Cleveland Clinic Campus is amazing, they have the advantage of lot’s of space.

    Their West Side Market is spectacular, wish we had something like that in Pittsburgh, reminded me of the one on the Northside that I went to as a kid.

    No reason to go back but It is only two hours away and had never been, I’m guessing most Pittsburghers haven’t either except for the odd football game.


  9. Pitt football doesn’t have to cheat to win 7 games and lose their bowl.

    Pitt basketball doesn’t have to cheat to lose 26 straight ACC games over two seasons.

    And isnt Pitts AD some guru of compliance. How could this even happen under her watch?


  10. So let me get this straight.

    Instead of paying off some desperately needed five star quarterback, Narduzzi instead decides to have unpaid grad assistants help coach a bunch of two star recruits coveted by Elon.

    That plan makes so much sense.


  11. These violations are a joke and so is the NCAA. Pitt should have never reported or accepted punishment. Do what UNC did, lawyer up until the NCAA caves. The elite schools do much worse and laugh at the NCAA.

    These violations and many much much worse are widespread. Trying to bash Narduzzi over this is comical. I give him credit for doing it. He needs to up his game.


    1. You are right. Pitt should have lawyered up. Played hard ball. But heather caved in. Just like she did with Capel. Capel didn’t deserve that for speaking the truth.


  12. I agree that the actions of Narduzzi and Stallings were stupid and never should occur.

    Lost in the yearly brew-ha-ha over Narduzzi salary is a non-discussed matter with Stallings, Why? Because his name was not in the tax report. That means Stallings received an amount between $0.00 and $462,015 (the last $ amount on Pitt’s Right to Know top 25 non-officer disclosure).

    It is not like Pitt doesn’t disclose severance payments. Susie McConnell-Serio made the RtK listing with $490K. Shawn Watson made Schedule J with $954K in severance. Some guy named David Thaw (listed as a professor) received $1.958M in severance which is approximately the same amount that Stallings received as severance in the prior tax return. (Note: the amounts listed are only for severance and does not include any salary, bonus/incentives or T&B that are included in schedule J. The RtK listing is only w-2 wages/1099 paid.)

    Bearing in mind that Stallings / Pitt severance may still be in litigation, my opinion is that Stallings settled for the approximately $1.950M he received in the prior year tax return.

    In wrapping up, some good may have have come out of the black eye Pitt received.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ll probably never know. Any settlement outside of court will likely remain private. I’m not sure if this would have qualified for public disclosure.

      Stallings had his lawyers playing hard ball from what I heard. He wanted everything that was owed. I doubt he got it all but I’m thinking he got far more than the $2 million.

      Pitt did not want to go to court with a jury or even go in front of a judge. Stallings had every incentive. And frankly he had leverage despite his level 2 cheating.

      I think he was able to buy beachfront property at OBX with the settlement. Heather can only rent a home when she vacations there.

      All this just shows and proves that Pitt doesn’t know how to run a business. Good luck trying with a compliance person in charge and former government bureaucrat.


  13. Pitt has to “cheat” more IMO … football also self reported I believe and Stallings denied it thus the more severe penalty. could be wrong.


  14. I’m more interested in what Heather knew and when she knew it. Was she in on this all along, or was she totally surprised? It seems pretty widespread since both Narduzzi and Capel were doing it. Think of how many athletic dept. staff knew about this, and with the alarm system set up clearly knew it was breaking the rules. I wonder who they were warning against with that alarm system in place… NCAA investigators?

    Reed, do you have any sense of whether the AD was caught by surprise with this, and did the Chancellor order Heather to report it?


  15. So Notre Dame got one year probation for recruiting violations this year. Here’s the kicker, they punished the high school and the player for Brian Kelly and an assistants actions.

    “Notre Dame can not recruit any prospects from this high school in Seattle, and their recruitment of this specific prospect has been terminated.”

    How messed up is that. The kid did nothing wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Per Reed’s note, this is old news we’ve discussed. It wasn’t even a big deal. Stallings got hit with the biggest penalty. The actual university barely got anything because it was a rogue act that did not impact the program meaningfully (cheat better). Stallings tried going out guns-a-blazing to sink the entire ship but didn’t realize Pitt football already had self reported their infractions which left Stallings with his pants down. Now, when Pitt was trying to get out of the buyout, did they find Duzz’s infractions and tell him to self report it so they could catch Stallings and get out of the buyout … that’s the bigger and more interesting story here. Stallings tried ratting out football but Heather already headed that off leaving Stallings as the bad guy … That’s the more fun storyline to explore here.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. But when did Heather find this all out? Was she culpable in the football rule breaking?


    1. I’m thinking she knew about Narduzzi all along. Stallings also knew she knew. So how could pitt use cheating to fire one coach and deny his severance and not the other. Funny thing is Heather probably didn’t know about basketball. That’s why I think Stallings got more of his buyout than you think. He used that knowledge and her complicity as leverage.


      1. Part of the deal, was the Pirates had to get rid of all their catchers…leaving only Stalling’s son on the roster. LOL


  18. This whole thing is so lame. Given the amount of cheating going on in college athletics for us to even get a wrist slap this is ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. How miserable can I be if I’m willing to provide them both with a one way ticket out of town at no cost?

        I’m even willing to personally drive Narduzzi back to Youngstown.

        I love Pitt and not incompetent and lazy people bringing Pitt down. Pitt will be around long after those two unless they destroy it. Both are capable of setting the program back decades. So I’ll give them that.


    1. We have a tie-in now with the Aussie school for kangaroo punters.

      Going to need good punters as long as Charmin is dialing up the 3 yard pass plays on 3rd and 8.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. And if you look at the 2022 class from Pa, it’s a very good year for the eastern part of the state. Penn state will clean up. Pitt will struggle to piece together a good class. But that’s on them for not developing the pipelines to philly metro.


  20. Does the roster go back to 85 for this season or did I dream that?
    (Don’t go there…haha.)


  21. All this fuss over an extra ball-boy at practice. Desperation setting in? Good to see Richman posting. Sorry I missed you last weekend Rich.

    Not one mention of anything good that happened over the past 6 or 7 years. Winning the Coastal, beating the #1 team in the nation and eventual national champs on the road. All the zeal to besmirch Narduzzi is really getting tired, turn the page.

    (side note) Love coach Bates but I remember when he was hired, not much love from the besmirch-ers. Some of us cool kats knew he would be really good.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think it was four extra coaches. And they obviously didn’t help. So why have bothered?

      The bigger thing is what did heather know and when

      And then why did Narduzzi believe he needed to cheat and cheat in this way

      And why would he disrespect his boss after getting extended. So I think she knew and approved.

      Stallings forced her hand. Called her bluff. He’s not the idiot people make him out to be.


    1. Aw shucks……Nard didn’t credit for the Turnover Basketball dunking on a 6 foot hoop sideline game like Manny Diaz did for the Turnover Chain.

      It’s so Thug U.


    2. Just imagine how many teams would have scored over 60 points on Pitt if Chryst was the coach in 2016. He defenses would have been worse because his recruiting was pitiful there. His top defensive recruit was a lineman who followed Paul to Wisconsin and racked up 1 tackle total in his Badger’s career.

      Believe me, Chryst leaving was a blessing. There were no more sanctions being levied on PSU for Pauline to steal guys of the caliber of Boyd and DoJo.


      1. Why it was a crime to get rid of Wanny then. It was a one time opportunity to really build up the program. Instead Pitt gave itself the death penalty.
        BC had instability in the hockey program in the early 90’s. BU got every kid in New England for 5 years and won a national championship. Pitt had a real chance to fight back to a good program and refused.
        That is on the administration.


  22. Yeah no big deal winning the coastal? You answer your own questions about PITT football history when you don’t give credit where and when it is due, just move the goal posts again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are any goal posts in any stadium set in concrete Ike?

      Therefore they are moveable objects.

      And I’ll move them as I damn well please.


    1. Yes, but that yardage is offset by all the minus yardage carries he had getting to your neighborhood.

      Speaking of Hall, one might remember that I was the first writer in any media to single him out and do a feature on him as a real talent back in 2015’s fall camp. Another player Chryst gifted to PN… along with Jordan Whitehead, Quadree Henderson, Brightwell, etc.


      1. Don’t know why Hall refuse to learn to block? Reed, was the Hall article on Chaz’s Blog? I don’t recall it.


        1. Yeah – I can’t find hardly any of my articles I wrote on the Pitt Blather anymore. I actually thought he’d produce more than Ollison but it took Hall sometime.


  23. Reed mentioned that the Narduzzi cheating episode occurred right before the 5-7 season. This means that Narduzzi’s contract was extended by Heather AFTER the NCAA violations occurred. No wonder Stallings thought he could get away with it, and he probably did take home the entire buyout!

    This also suggests that Heather knew about it at the time. If the administration knew, it could perhaps be a higher level violation. And maybe she bought Narduzzi’s silence with a contract extension.


    1. Wow. That timing is even worse. Because I was thinking why cheat and hide it after being extended. And not like the cheating was secret anyway. It was out in the open behind those locked gates. I’m pretty sure heather knew. So there is a coverup. And that’s always worse than the crime.

      Stallings had some very good lawyers who play a better game of hardball than Pitt. And I’m sure Stallings knew what Narduzzi was doing and he knew heather knew.

      So how could pitt use cheating to fire Stallings and void his buyout when pitt knew about Narduzzi cheating and did nothing until their hand was forced

      I think bozik would make a better AD at this point.


  24. Some readers on here cherrypick stuff in the article to bitch about. If you actually read the opening sentence you’d realize this is a tongue-in-cheek look at what transpired. I don’t wring my hands over the transgressions PN made, as I said “All the above is nothing that more than many other schools and head coaches have done over the years”.

    I just think it is rather hilarious he put a 6th grade level plan in play to try to not get caught. If a Pitt fan can’t look at that and laugh then blow the kool-aid out of your nose before you repeat your mantra that this guy can do no wrong.


    1. I think it’s disturbing that heather knew what narduzzi was doing and still extended him

      And Stallings knew and used this as leverage during his buyout negotiations and final settlement.


  25. How many wins did Chryst have at Pitt? The entire century went downhill once Pitt burned the Walt Harris bridge … As we’ve seen since he departed Pitt, Jeff Long is a disgraced program killer. Wanny only peaked when he was pressured to let Cavanaugh go and he immediately regressed the following season much like Duzz did post-Canada. Walt was the ride and die that Pitt should have hung it’s hat on. Innovative offenses. He could recruit QB’s and WR’s and always had decent DC’s … you had to live with his offensive idiosyncrasies but he was least forward thinking. Ahhh … good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’d regress too….if Tiny was involved.

      Oh yea, Walt was great, goes from Orange Bowl to Tidy Bowl in a game. Loses in the bowl game
      with Larry Fitzgerald and Rod Rutherford to a middling Virginia team.

      The obvious killer moment was forcing Wanny out, even though he was beholden to Tiny !


  26. It won’t be an erector set stadium anymore. They will be downsizing to improve the fan and viewing experience so say goodbye to 107 strong. Probably end up around 90. That’s still a big stadium.

    So what are Pitts plans to rightsize Heinz? 🦗


  27. It is all about wins and losses. Paul Chryst was a .500 coach at Pitt. He was and is one of the best OC in college football but I’d rather have Narduzzi. PN is slightly better at .553. You can bring Chryst back to Pitt and he will still be a .500 coach.
    Whoever said Pitt’s downfall was firing Mike Gottfried was correct. His winning percentage is better than any coach since Sherril at .600.
    Narduzzi isn’t horrible even though it is posted on here over and over and over everyday day, 24/7, 365 dats a year by the same person 😆. Narduzzi is what most college programs have. A slightly better than average coach.
    That being said, Pitt can maintain slightly better than average with about any new hire. At this point, unless PN catches lightning in a bottle this year and wins 9 or 10 games, Pitt should move on. Honestly, they will almost have to because a 6 or 7 win season will lose what fans are left. They will need to generate some excitement.


    1. So you admit he’s mediocre. Why is he paid well above mediocre then?

      Pay him for what he’s worth unless you truly believe his ceiling isn’t 8 wins.

      Pick an answer: In business, mediocre performers who are paid even at fair market are:

      A: Extended and given a raise
      B: placed on a PIP
      C: demoted and reassigned
      D: fired

      Pick one please

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Where I work it is A. Fortunately there are very few mediocre performers and good teams carry the slackers.


  28. Tex – He’s paid about the same salary as his rankings would dictate. Lol. When you compare Duzz’s salary to other coaches you forget you’re looking at tax records vs. base salaries. Once you factor in bonuses and everything, he’s about 40.

    I don’t get why you think he’s overpaid or why you care. I’ve never understood the obsession with salary. You get paid what the market says you’re worth. Duzz gets paid what about what a coach with his experience and record would get paid.

    If you want a top 25 team, Pitt has to spend top 25 money and not just on the coaches. It has to invest in athletics at an elite level and the commitment is just not there.

    Until Pitt makes that commitment, Pitt is what they are. Yes, it’s frustrating that they don’t peak once in a while and become a top 25 team but as all the modern coaches before Duzz have proven, it’s not a problem unique to Duzz. Regardless of who is coaching, Pitt being a top 25 team is a challenge.

    I mean, have you guys noticed the consistency year over year and coach over coach? They’re all the same. You just like some more than other based on aesthetics and personality but they all have done about the same. Lol.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He is overpaid. Every source that compares salaries says he’s anywhere between top 20 and top 30. Until you show me a source that says what you say.

      And he’s not a top 40 performer based on power index, rpi or any other system. And his record speaks for itself.

      So he is overpaid and a poor return on investment

      I care even though I’m not a tax payer or a student, they pay for his bloated salary, because I know Pitt can’t afford to be this stupid in how it doles out coin. Speaking as a former business owner. It’s an ethical thing for me.

      And it’s my alma mater and right now I am embarrassed by their financial mismanagement and rationale behind their moves. So it’s also very hypocritical. And that’s one of my personal commandments. It’s borderline lying because most people know what they’re saying and doing.


    2. Maryland and Rutgers were broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. That’s why they joined the big ten. I think their subsidies were at least 40 percent. That’s about $40 million in losses each year that they balanced with account transfers…aka raiding the general fund.

      They receive nearly $20 million more than Pitt each year driven by that big ten check. They are both now in a better financial position than Pitt.


  29. $5M is nothing in big time college athletics lol. It’s an odd hill to stand on especially when you have no contribution to it … and you don’t address the rest of my comment.

    And you’re right, he’s cracked the top 25 so we should expect to see top 25 results but that hasn’t been the case until now.


    But, It’s not a Duzz problem … every coach at Pitt performs like Duzz does … it’s a Pitt problem. You know that. I know that. Most posters realize that. Complaining about Duzz is like complaining about your mom’s meatloaf. When she serves roast beef tomorrow, you’re still going to complain.

    Below is actual investment … $149M … not crying over 5 freaking million dollars … $5M is not much in the entertainment industry and despite all of Pitt’s shortfalls they have enough revenue to cover that salary with ease.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt is revenue poor

      Pitt has one of the highest subsidies among all P5 schools

      Pitt has a revenue problem. Too many yellow seats. Not enough boosters. Not enough supporters. 19 programs and only one makes money

      Pitt cant even find more than $9 million in donations for a $250 million project. That’s a good way to go BK.

      And Pitt has some outstanding coaches who only make around $300k. And they have delivered. Their programs are now nationally relevant and approaching elite status. We talked about them all last spring.


    2. But I’ll show my mom my recipe and how to make a good meatloaf. Then I don’t complain anymore. And my mom won’t take offense. She’ll listen and try something different.

      Narduzzi doesn’t listen. He only uses old and washed up OC’s and the 1950’s schemes they run.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. This is part 3

    I do believe pitt can and should do a better job at recruiting. When only 30 percent of your class is rated 5.7 and above, pitt continues to fall behind in the Coastal. So Narduzzi needs better recruiters particularly on the offense side. The recruiting budget is there.

    Then it comes down to the OC which is the articles solution. But will pitt pay for one. Will narduzzi allow the spotlight to shine on someone else? Does he understand that offense wins games.

    And of course scheme. I’m personally a big fan of the RPO.

    But heather never placed Narduzzi on a pip. Never demanded he shakeup his staff. It’s on her. Oh she did evidently talk to him about those nasty penalties when she came out of her basement hiding.


  31. Pitt has access to a close to a top 25 endowment. They can borrow against it if they really wanted to. I don’t want to hear about earmarks or anything else either … if they wanted to, they could dig into it and make some significant changes.

    Pitt does not want to emphasize athletics, however. MD just invested $149M and they’re cash poor too. They have Under Armour help but not $149M of it. You can find money when you need it … winners always do. It’s just like the cap in the NFL … you’re in cap hell until you’re not. You can always get creative and work your way out of it. Pitt lacks creativity and fortitude to do it.

    But, that’s not Heather or Duzz or Capel or any other coach … that’s Pitt. The BoT, the Admin, the Chancellor, the Syndicate … whoever you want to blame … but it’s a Pitt bureaucracy issue … our history says as much. When you replace coaches and AD’s and Chancellor’s and you get the same results year over year and decade of decade, that’s a systematic problem … wasting your time complaining about coaches is just that … a waste of time.

    Like I said, you can complain about Duzz but ultimately, it’s just the program aesthetic you’re annoyed with. He gets the same results as his predecessors. That’s undeniable.

    History says the next coach will not be better … maybe prettier … I thought Walt was shinier and nicer … but it’s still a Ford Focus engine running the car.

    Regarding scheme, I 1000% agree. We should have been RPO since Fraud came on board. The pro-style offense is archaic and even dying in the pro’s. Fraud set us back a football generation with his failure and exodus here. Pitt immediately made it a priority to go back to a pro-style offense. Even stalwarts like Alabama are moving away from a traditional pro-style. If Saban can budge, we can.

    Part of the issue I think is the WPIAL. I don’t think the league has RPO heavy offenses like they do in CA, TX and FL. Pro-style fits the recruiting area a little bit better. I could be wrong though. Others can probably speak to that better than I can being in VA. Down here it’s RPO, spread or triple option. None of the local schools run pro-style.

    I can’t believe we still run the offense we do, though. Let’s move into the 21st century already. We’re already 20% of the way to the 22nd century.

    But, that’s just aesthetic not the real problem. The Ivory Tower is the real problem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt could have found money for a MPC. Because 99 percent of pitt sports fans are football fans. Nobody is going to give money to wrestling, gymnastics or volleyball despite their success. It’s concerned Gallagher enough to say that victory Heights could be a mortgage on Pitts future. If you really believe that chancellor, then why is pitt still pursuing this project. Using debt to go into more debt. Real smart.


  32. Some coaches excel after their extension. Wanny was a good example. Everyone knew his ceiling wasn’t 6 wins

    Walt wasn’t given one because everyone knew Walt’s ceiling was 8. Although with a bigger budget, he would have gone through it. Needed a good DC and special teams coach though.

    Heather extended Narduzzi most likely to coverup what she knew about his cheating…I mean because she probably thought he could bust through that 8 win ceiling. So she’s paying him like a ten win coach. How much longer can she wait? Fans have higher expectations now. When those expectations aren’t met, fans stop attending games and donating.

    She is passively managing him. She needs to start barking and giving him ultimatums. Just might not be in her nature. And Gallagher is plain clueless and the BoT doesn’t care enough.


  33. Tex – You’re projecting. Literally every coach since the 80’s has had a very similar ceiling. Our records show it. Wanny definitely had the highest ceiling and he hit it but it was also in a very weak post VT/Miami Big East … and he was trending back towards the mean, too.

    This is a systematic problem with Pitt. It’s not a coaching issue. Or an AD issue. Or a Chancellor issue. At the highest levels, Pitt does not care.

    1 2021 ACC
    2 2020 ACC 6 5 0 .545 5 5 0 .500 1.54 -1.19 21 Pat Narduzzi (6-5)
    3 2019 ACC 8 5 0 .615 4 4 0 .500 0.60 0.52 Pat Narduzzi (8-5) Quick Lane Bowl-W
    4 2018 ACC 7 7 0 .500 6 2 0 .750 5.70 6.55 24 Pat Narduzzi (7-7) Sun Bowl-L
    5 2017 ACC 5 7 0 .417 3 5 0 .375 1.21 4.13 Pat Narduzzi (5-7)
    6 2016 ACC 8 5 0 .615 5 3 0 .625 8.12 3.51 22 Pat Narduzzi (8-5) Pinstripe Bowl-L
    7 2015 ACC 8 5 0 .615 6 2 0 .750 6.32 3.78 23 Pat Narduzzi (8-5) Military Bowl-L
    8 2014 ACC 6 7 0 .462 4 4 0 .500 2.74 0.97 Joe Rudolph (0-1), Paul Chryst (6-6) Armed Forces Bowl-L
    9 2013 ACC 7 6 0 .538 3 5 0 .375 3.72 3.49 Paul Chryst (7-6) Little Caesars Bowl-W
    10 2012 Big East 6 7 0 .462 3 4 0 .429 2.05 -0.64 Paul Chryst (6-7) BBVA Compass Bowl-L
    11 2011 Big East 6 7 0 .462 4 3 0 .571 1.09 1.17 Todd Graham (6-6), Keith Patterson (0-1) BBVA Compass Bowl-L
    12 2010 Big East 8 5 0 .615 5 2 0 .714 7.40 1.25 15 15 Dave Wannstedt (7-5), Phil Bennett (1-0) BBVA Compass Bowl-W
    13 2009 Big East 10 3 0 .769 5 2 0 .714 12.75 1.98 8 15 Dave Wannstedt (10-3) Meineke Car Care Bowl-W
    14 2008 Big East 9 4 0 .692 5 2 0 .714 8.87 3.17 25 17 Dave Wannstedt (9-4) Sun Bowl-L
    15 2007 Big East 5 7 0 .417 3 4 0 .429 1.64 2.81 Dave Wannstedt (5-7)
    16 2006 Big East 6 6 0 .500 2 5 0 .286 4.57 1.23 Dave Wannstedt (6-6)
    17 2005 Big East 5 6 0 .455 4 3 0 .571 0.97 0.24 23 23 Dave Wannstedt (5-6)
    18 2004 Big East 8 4 0 .667 4 2 0 .667 2.96 -1.54 19 25 Walt Harris (8-4) Fiesta Bowl-L
    19 2003 Big East 8 5 0 .615 5 2 0 .714 6.10 1.33 10 9 Walt Harris (8-5) Continental Tire Bowl-L
    20 2002 Big East 9 4 0 .692 5 2 0 .714 9.99 2.45 17 19 Walt Harris (9-4) Insight Bowl-W
    Rk Year Conf W L T Pct W L T Pct SRS SOS AP Pre AP High AP Post Coach(es) Bowl Notes
    21 2001 Big East 7 5 0 .583 4 3 0 .571 6.31 2.97 Walt Harris (7-5) Tangerine Bowl II-W
    22 2000 Big East 7 5 0 .583 4 3 0 .571 5.68 1.93 Walt Harris (7-5) Insight Bowl-L
    23 1999 Big East 5 6 0 .455 2 5 0 .286 1.27 1.09 Walt Harris (5-6)
    24 1998 Big East 2 9 0 .182 0 7 0 .000 -8.74 0.54 Walt Harris (2-9)
    25 1997 Big East 6 6 0 .500 4 3 0 .571 -5.48 -3.57 Walt Harris (6-6) Liberty Bowl-L
    26 1996 Big East 4 7 0 .364 3 4 0 .429 -3.94 4.33 Johnny Majors (4-7)
    27 1995 Big East 2 9 0 .182 0 7 0 .000 -5.73 4.09 Johnny Majors (2-9)
    28 1994 Big East 3 8 0 .273 2 5 0 .286 -3.72 1.74 Johnny Majors (3-8)
    29 1993 Big East 3 8 0 .273 2 5 0 .286 -6.56 6.35 Johnny Majors (3-8)
    30 1992 Big East 3 9 0 .250 1 3 0 .250 -8.64 0.70 Paul Hackett (3-8), Sal Sunseri (0-1)
    31 1991 Big East 6 5 0 .545 3 2 0 .600 4.42 3.42 12 Paul Hackett (6-5)
    32 1990 Ind 3 7 1 .318 2.22 4.40 18 13 Paul Hackett (3-7-1)
    33 1989 Ind 8 3 1 .708 7.74 1.90 20 7 17 Mike Gottfried (7-3-1), Paul Hackett (1-0) Sun Bowl-W
    34 1988 Ind 6 5 0 .545 8.88 4.60 16 Mike Gottfried (6-5)
    35 1987 Ind 8 4 0 .667 8.11 2.19 16 Mike Gottfried (8-4) Bluebonnet Bowl-L
    36 1986 Ind 5 5 1 .500 7.09 5.37 Mike Gottfried (5-5-1) record adjusted to 6-4-1 by NCAA
    37 1985 Ind 5 5 1 .500 4.38 3.29 Foge Fazio (5-5-1)
    38 1984 Ind 3 7 1 .318 -0.25 6.03 3 3 Foge Fazio (3-7-1)
    39 1983 Ind 8 3 1 .708 12.64 5.22 15 18 Foge Fazio (8-3-1) Fiesta Bowl-L
    40 1982 Ind 9 3 0 .750 17.30 6.97 1 1 10 Foge Fazio (9-3) Cotton Bowl-L

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Coaching hasn’t been the best, Walt Harris and Wanny in 2009 pushed it to the limits, but it’s Pitt. It’s institutional. Been true at Pitt since Jock Sutherland left except for a sliver of time in the 70s and early 80s. Great comment


    2. Really good data. Wait, it’s not. No RPI or FPI. Can’t rank coaches w/out using them. Actually. it is very interesting.


    3. And to follow up your excellent comment I’ve attached the AP polls since 1936. Pitt got off to a fast start coming in at #2 in 1936 and #1 in 1937. After that, rankings were very hard to come by. Micheloson had ranked teams in 1955, 56, 59 (the forgotten Pitt team) and 1963. It took JMI three years to land in the top 20 (1975) followed by #1 1976, #8 1977, #7 1979, #2 1980, #4 1981, #10 1982. #18 in 1983, #17 1989, then three move rankings in 2002, 2004, 2009.

      Just winning a bowl game would have probably put Pitt in the AP poll in 1978, 1987, 2003, and 2008.



      1. The decade of 2010 – 2019 is even more depressing when you consider that since 1950, Pitt has had ranked teams in every decade except the 1990s and the 2010s. Does this set off any alarm bells with our languid AD?

        And consider that the 2010’s (2013 or whenever Pitt settled up with the Big East the revenues have never been higher.

        Tex is right. Poor management of finances, lack of vision and will, and spineless administrators have let this fester.

        And please don’t tell us Pitt needs Narduzzi, Lyke, or Gallagher – a confederacy of mediocrity proving the longevity of the Peter Principle.


        1. The decade of mediocrity- 2010 to 2019


          Only one other decade without being ranked

          That says a lot


  34. So if Pitt doesn’t care and the root is the BoT, what can be done. I’ve proposed ideas on organizational structure changes. Not sure how they would ever get implemented since too many benefit from the current structure.

    I think a simple solution is to find a young OC who runs the RPO.

    Then find a bunch of young assistants on offense and pay them well. They recruit like crazy. Then prove you have a fun and entertaining offense on the field. Four stars come flocking like geese on my pond.

    Continue with a bau approach on D.

    And the AD needs to be far more hands on. And holding coaches accountable. And very demanding but fair. Pitt doesn’t have that person now.


    1. Tex, I’ve been on three Boards of Directors. They are a self serving group getting $$ for their services and cover each other’s butts like you can’t believe.

      During The Stache firing I went to the UPitt web site and printed out their backgrounds and alma maters. I sent it to Charles and Peake to post. Next week that site disappeared like it was never there! Still hasn’t returned

      You have a better chance of winning Powerball with 1 two dollar ticket than restructuring the BOT!


      1. I agree. I first started researching the bios and backgrounds of bot members. Saw that many were Nitters. Those bios went away in a few months after the crap hit the fan. Now you can’t find any background info unless you really dig. And I have. I do notice far less Nitters on the BoT now. But you need to be a bulldog to find it. I never shy away from a fight. Most give up. I totally understand what you’re saying.


    2. And the chancellor. I wasn’t a fan of Nordenberg but if he had had the cash Gallagher and Lyke have, he would have done so much more than they even think about doing.


  35. Tex – I don’t disagree but I think you end up with the same ceiling, unfortunately. That’s the problem. We have 30 years of data that shows it doesn’t matter who is running things, what offenses are run, or who is even in charge. It’s a lost cause because Pitt is just not committed to long term excellence. I, personally, can find players and story lines from season to season to keep me going. I enjoy following Pitt players in the pro’s … but I get not everyone can accept that. But the reality is that this is bigger than Duzz. As much as we complain about him, he’s a carbon copy record wise of everyone before him. Wanny raised expectations and got fired. Lol. Dixon raised expectations and they took away money for his assistants. It’s systematic. The data says so. Like I said, the young OC and more exciting offense is just aesthetics. It might shine up the program a bit but I’m willing to bet we’ll see the same results. I’d much rather watch a fun team win 8 games like the Canada or Walt offenses than a conservative waltz to 8 wins. I’m right there with you … But, I don’t think you’ll see any change in the W’s.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Whipple said the offense is ahead of the defense. That should send shivers down your spine.


    1. I can see that. As a relative newbie to Pitt sports, I have not bought into the ingrained mental state of long time fans that Pitt never improves but our opponents do it yearly and better.

      Maybe I will start writing articles about what’s happening at our P5 opponents.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. For recruiting it’s all relative to ACC coastal schools. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

        That’s why I always compare what percentage of the class is rated 5.7 and above. Pitt falls behind when it doesn’t hit the 40 percent mark.

        Miami and North Carolina are killing it. Georgia Tech is also doing well. And Virginia Tech will be back in short time. That’s four schools that recruit better than Pitt. Pitt only beats out two schools consistently.

        Pitt doesn’t run any unique schemes or systems. Pitt doesn’t have great coaches who develop raw under valued talent.

        I don’t see how pitt expects to win with these recruiting results and staff.

        And then play Tennessee in Knoxville.


  36. When I was at Pitt in the early 60s, Pitt was trying like crazy to get into the Ivy league. That examples where their mind set is located. Any Pitt alumni on the PSU Board or the Pittsburgh City Council? We need to get Pitt people in seats of power.


    1. Nothing but scrubs from scrub conferences other than the kid from TT. Only problem with him, is he’s a tweener and Pitt has an abundance of them and only so many positions.

      Still hasn’t recruited a true PG or a true Center. So lots of tweeners for 2 positions and barely anyone
      legit for PG, Center or PF.


    1. 22 of 24 board members are now Pitt alumni

      Gov. Tom Wolf is not, so who is the other?


      1. The other 12 then are all appointed by various bureaucrats and state related organizations since Pitt is a state related institution.

        I don’t know why pitt just doesnt go private. It receives very little money from the state now to subsidize their $2 billion operating budget.

        People appointed by bureaucrats with no pitt connections scares the hell out of me.

        Passion and pride are two of the most important attributes to have. It determines attitude, ethics and performance.

        You really can’t be passionate about Pitt unless you have a connection. What connection does a Nitter have to Pitt.


    2. Thomas Richards was formally nominated as the new chair of the Pitt Board of Trustees at the Governance and Nominating Committee meeting on June 5. Richards, who has been serving as chairperson-elect for the past year, will be voted on by the whole board and sworn in at its June 26 meeting.

      Congratulations Tom !


        1. Because he’s an influencer. It’s nice to have a guy with a pitt Econ degree, a former ceo of a major business, and a former elite athlete lead the BoT. He’s damn near perfect.


  37. Pitt would have been in the AP Top 25 at season’s end in both 2015 and ’16 but blew both bowl games.

    We were ranked #22 and #23 before losing to Northwestern and Navy respectively


    1. With Chryst players and Canada. And Pitt hasn’t come close since. That’s why I think the direction of the program is down. It’s not even stable mediocrity.

      And stability is a word that is often used and misused. Yes some foundation of stability is needed. But how stable is football when you change out coordinators every two years. How stable are things when you have transfers on the line every year. How stable is the ooc schedule without consistency and a plan. How stable is football when your department loses money every year?

      Stability demands context.


      1. The Navy game was Chubs Chaney, not Canada. And you could understand why Narduzzi would get visibily irritated with him as he lacked play-calling instincts. But a really bad look by Narduzzi when he did. Im sure other coaches saw that.


    2. Impossible to have stopped that Navy option with Chryst’s awful, slow defensive players versus one of Navy’s best QBs ever. The Northwestern game was bad, but so was Aston slipping and Pitt not going up 10-0.

      Then those pure, bookworm Northwestern players who people idolize took out Nate and James with cheap shots. Then the tight end Pitted and dropped a TD in the end zone that would have tied it. Bad times all around in New York.

      Hey, that’s Pitt. The BoT was A-OK losing those games to those fine academic institutions. I wonder if research was discussed in the press boxes?

      Liked by 1 person

  38. The composition of the BoT is nothing like it was just a decade ago. There really has been a push to appoint Pitt graduates. Now I don’t know if these current members have an appreciation of sports or more than a lip service understanding of the front porch. But we don’t have the Nitter excuse anymore. The chairperson actually lettered in Pitt basketball. If he can’t exert some influence in treating athletics as a business with a goal of excellence, nobody can.


      1. Hopefully he will make a very good advocate for the front porch and will begin treating sports like a business instead of a non profit.

        Pitt grad check
        Pitt athlete check
        Business person check

        What more can you ask for


  39. Chryst’s “awful, slow defensive players” who gave up 600 yards rushing to Navy.

    Avonte Maddox
    Lafayette Pitts
    Ryan Lewis
    Jordan Whitehead

    Hint. It wasn’t the players.


    1. Didn’t help that Tom Salem was our emergency OC for that game. I remember some head-scratching offense “execution”…

      Go Pitt.


  40. Except for Whitehead, everyone else on that short list was verbally abused on a daily bases. If anything, Narduzzi was heavily blamed for playing those guys. After they made the NFL, then the changing of the goal-posts changed to ….. Narduzzi can’t coach NFL type players. It’s a joke.

    Also the non-truths accusing coaches and PITT personal is embarrassing to read on the POV.

    Plus all these numbers being floated around here is nothing but confusing and has nothing to do with Narduzzi.

    BTW, this Blog started out with many good talking points. One of them was that PITT didn’t pay enough to their coaches. LOL! 180 degrees later and yet another change in goalposts positioning we find PITT pays way way too much?

    The original PITT/Narduzzi coaches staff has almost completely changed so what’s this inaccurate accusation that Heather and PITT hasn’t paid any attention to that detail?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Pitt was cheap. That’s a fact. Even Chryst didn’t have the budget he needed. Now Pitt has the fourth highest football budget in the entire ACC. You can’t use the pitt is cheap excuse anymore. And that was a legitimate excuse.

      So what are the real excuses now why Narduzzi can’t win more than 8 games. There aren’t many if any besides he’s just not a good enough coach. I will concede the ooc schedule.

      Stupid to be playing Tennessee. That’s on heather. Yes, she could have gotten out of it but chose not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The conference may have something to say about that. The ACC and the SEC want interconference games as it helps with keeping some rivalry games – Lousiville/UK, UGA/GT, Noles/Gators. Pitt/UZT may not be a natural one like those, but it has a Majors link, which makes it cool for Pitt fans – particularly those who will go and get to see the Vols run through the T, etc.

        Heather ought to keep her powder dry with the conference and use it wisely. Maybe this one she could use it on, but maybe there are better uses. I’m not sure that it worth harping on….over and over…like the beat of a drum.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. How does 100 percent changeover of staff provide program stability?

      It doesn’t.

      Narduzzi is just a poor evaluator of assistants.

      He either doesn’t know what he wants

      Has personality conflicts

      Micro manages them

      Is fearful they will outshine him

      Doesn’t really care about schemes and how they coach or recruit

      Sets them all up to fail.


        1. Narduzzi doesn’t have a coaching tree. His assistants leave because they were fired or Narduzzi didn’t want them to outshine him. See Canada.

          Narduzzi doesn’t develop his staff.

          Pitt gets all these washed up guys that were previously fired because Narduzzi wants it that way. Heather needs to step in and stop this practice.


    3. “All these numbers….” Don’t let the facts and groundless generalizations bite you. Occam’s razor doesn’t apply here. Pitt did pay too little to head coaches. Pitt overpays Narduzzi and Capel and still underpays assistants.

      So pulling numbers related to Narduzzi’s program having nothing to do with him? ……. (edited) And ask Heather to pay you.


  41. There is no way to measure budget against budget. Clemson, for instance, doesn’t classify all its ridiculous spending under football. I am sure others schools do the same. I doubt Pitt is 4th. They all play games with reporting.


  42. I understand the games in reporting. But nobody from Pitt is saying that budget is an excuse. Only a few fans.

    Narduzzi is making double what paul made. And inflation hasn’t gone up over 200 percent in a mere seven years. And the ACC check only increased by 50 percent.

    Attendance still the same. Donations flat. So pitt is finding the money. Money they don’t have. They borrow it. Technically it’s called transferring monies.

    But pitt sure isn’t cheap. They don’t spend clemson money but they don’t have to for the Coastal, the easiest division in all P5 where every school has now won a participation trophy.


    1. Budget is only an excuse if you compare Pitt to schools like Penn State because there is no comparison. Pitt should be better in football than they are. Agreed. Narduzzi should have been fired last year. At a minimum, Whipple fired. It didn’t happen so we wait and see what happens this year which based on history is a max 7 win season. If they again keep Narduzzi after 7 wins I may become a WVU and Penn State fan. 🤮


      1. Lol – but you are right, Pitt should be winning more games in FB than they are. Mediocrity is accepted at the highest levels of Pitt leadership.

        Michigan fans demanded changes when their FB program was swimming in mediocrity with Brady Hoke and RichRod. Harbaugh is better than mediocrity – his seat is hot because of two things -> tOSU losses and a seat at the playoff table.

        I’m having a hard time finding 7 wins on the Pitt 2021 schedule.

        EE who is not happy with the current state of Pitt FB

        Liked by 1 person

  43. Read the Trib article on paid athletes. Does anyone here think that this won’t launch a whole new world of cheating? Think of how athletes like Dorsett got their cars. Money gets funneled to parties who pay for things and then it ends up with the player.

    I think schools like Clemson, or Miami, would have no qualms promising money to recruits (saying they can get them a lucrative promotional agreement for their brand) and then funneling money through these paid endorsers who will engage players and make up worthless videos and marketing schemes as a reason for putting big cash payments in their pocket.

    If half the players on the team end up with these types of branding agreements, then one wonders if promises were made at the time of recruitment. A 5 star recruit could be paid any amount by a marketing firm to license his name and brand, and the team could determine just how much to offer him (in other words, how bad do they want that recruit).


  44. Only the most marketable players will end up with some money. Those that have twitter feeds and funny tic tocs and YouTube videos. Those most social media savvy and have some game.

    But this will create locker room problems. This creates more inequity than ever before.

    For instance, let’s say sackseri was some cool dude. Everyone just loves him like ju ju. But he’s more interested in promoting himself than team. He’s taking in the coin but not getting it done on the field. Let’s say I’m his 300 pound left tackle. I just might take a few plays off. Just sayin.


  45. Tex, I agree with you about the dissension in the locker room. But every incoming 4 or 5 star recruit believes he is destined for immortality. So many will take money to license their brand and get their face on UTube with the goal of selling jerseys. And the thing is, they won’t know who else on the team got money or if it was more than they got.

    My point is that some colleges will figure out how to use this as a tactic to juice up their recruiting. It will pit one player against another, untraceable money will flow, and will totally destroy the college game. They should be going the other way- force those top high school players to opt for some minor league system or play for the standard scholarship package that all players get. And then shut up and play…


  46. Heck, Tex… your comment from 954am…you could have a job on ESPN College GameDay with that gushing optimism for VT’s future. I don’t see it. Beamer was a special guy and did great things for the program. His AD was Jim Weaver, who is also gone. There is no reason to believe – othan than Kirk Herbstreit’s crush on the program – to suggest “they will be back”.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Paying the players will have negligible changes to the current model. If anything it will keep kids at a school longer and help reduce transfers. Easier to stay if you have a side hustle.

    Seriously though … colleges are paying kids already. This evens the playing field a bit. Schools that don’t have the booster money can rely on business sponsors to make up the equity gap. If Pitt ever decides to commit to athletics this could be a huge boon in an urban center like Pittsburgh.

    It’s also just fair. The free education argument is lame. Not everyone playing sports goes to school for the education. The value of a college education is as low as it has been in decades anyways. When I hire, I don’t even look at education any longer. I’ve seen zero relevance to performance in my 20 years of Federal IT Sales.

    Some kids just want to play football or basketball and the NCAA has created a racket under the pseudonym amateur to be a farm system for the pro-leagues. The only choice they have is to play collegiately. Basketball has a few more options but they don’t give you the same exposure.

    Yes, a lot do want the education. I get that … but a lot don’t either. So, paying a kid who doesn’t value an education in education makes no sense.

    Talk to people who play college sports … doesn’t matter what division either. They’ll tell you 75% (I’m sure an exaggeration but it lends credence to how it’s weighted) of the kids on the team think they can make it as a pro. I hired a former JMU football player a few years ago and he tells us stories all the time. The delusion is real. The coaches feed it. The families feed it. The inner circle’s feed it. I also work with a former NFL RB, who won a ring with the Giants and the cash he got in college was crazy and he’ll tell you the same thing. Everyone thought they’d play in the NFL.

    What should happen is that you let the kids get agents and have them negotiate contracts with the school. Whether it be tuition, books, room and board, side cash, whatever. The contract then can bind them to staying in school x amount of years so they can’t bolt for the pro’s early or transfer. Smart kids with leverage will have outs for coaching changes and first round grades etc. Smart schools will have outs for themselves as well.

    I’ve railed agains the current NLI’s in the past and how it’s hypocritical to tell a kid to live up to the contract they signed … something signed without legal representation or the ability to modify. Nothing irks me more more than the “no one shows loyalty” mantra anymore. Loyalty is a two way street and the schools are worse at loyalty than the kids. The lies told on the recruiting trail are asinine and I’ve heard it from enough former athletes to believe it. Schools hook you then you’re trapped.

    On a team of 25, 11 are former collegiate athletes. Ranging from football to lacrosse to soccer to swimming to synchronized swimming (OSU national champ) to wrestling. I’ve heard a lot of stories from people I trust to know that it’s not a level playing field.

    I straight up tell my employees that they should never be loyal to a company. The company will never return that loyalty. Especially publicly traded companies. You can be loyal to me but my loyalty only goes so far. If I’m told to fire you, I’m firing you. All of your loyalty to me at that point won’t mean anything. I always tell them the best thing they can do is interview every year. One, it keeps your interview skills sharp. Two, you learn your fair market value. Once you know what you’re worth on the street, you have leverage. You can make an educated decision to stay. Hopefully, myself and the company treats you the way you want to be treated and you stay but don’t mistake that for loyalty. Do what’s best for you and your family. Always. People appreciate honesty and it probably sneakily gets me some loyalty but every 1:1 I have I remind them of it.

    People don’t like change. Change can have a negative connotation. Sometimes change is needed though. We’re 20% into the 21st century and college athletics is running off a model created in the 50’s.

    It could hurt Pitt. Pitt is not vested enough currently to make a strong case to be included if the P5 breaks free from the NCAA and creates a super conference. Pitt will be on the bubble and a last 4 in or last 4 out situation. But, that’s on Pitt. The market will dictate where they end up. You have to spend money to make money …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tossing, many good points. I too agree the players should get paid but where do you draw the line?
      I know you don’t buy the free education argument but until there is a legit minor league for football, free education is a perk whether a kid realizes it or not. The kid that makes it into the NFL is indeed the minority. I guarantee you the kids that don’t make the NFL, that are out looking for jobs, realize they would be screwed without that degree. It is a foot in the door and certainly required for management in most larger corporations. A degree is still super important in the work force whether that is fair or not is another conversation. You are correct, it does not determine performance, but it gives you a base to get the job in the first place.
      Another huge perk is the nutrition, life skills (credit to Pitt), academic support, athletic training and medical care they receive. It is all deserved but those are very expensive investments into those young men. Most players that make the NFL would never have a shot without the physical and mental development they receive at college. Especially the lower star kids.
      I totally agree on the loyalty subject. Coaches get away with murder and the kids always get screwed. The NFL should ban hiring any coach that’s previous college team got sanctions. Pete Caroll (sp?) comes to mind. Scumball.
      So the players do get perks in return for making the university tons of money. I do think they deserve some additional payment, especially for likeness but here’s the problem. The NCAA is incapable of common sense and universities are greedy, they will both screw it up.


    2. …and kudos to you you for teaching employees about lack of loyalty in the work place. You can be compensated more and shown appreciation by an employer, but make no mistake, the bottom line determines your fate. No loyalty involved.


  48. Well said tossing. I agree on several of your points. Disagree on a few others. I’m a big believer in the 50’s model but I also hate the sanctioned cheating, unlevel playing field, special treatment for athletes and sheer hypocrisy and greed

    I welcome the schism. If Pitt does get an invite it will not be due to heather. They would be a last 4 in. And they will need that MPC.

    But I’m fine with playing Rutgers, BC and Syracuse in a true scholar athlete league of amateurs.


  49. Tex – I like it too but that doesn’t make it right. There is too much money, greed and corruption for that model to be sustainable still. The way I see it is that free agency was supposed to be the end of professional sports and it wasn’t. The same thing will happen here. There will be a paradigm shift and then the market will settle. The sport will change a bit but not so much that you won’t recognize college football. It will bring more money into the sport. Colleges will be able to operate like professional teams. They’ll find new ways to generate revenue and the sport will probably grow. Agreed on Pitt.


  50. In this country, no one is guaranteed an NFL contract or a free college education. Players should take what they get and be thankful, or go dig a ditch somewhere. Most people would love to have those options, and no one is being forced. Colleges should say this is what we offer. If you don’t want it go take a hike.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voice…I agree…the players can take a hike or if the fans don’t like the pay for play- the fan can take a hike….there’s so much else to do in this big beautiful world and so little time remaining…..

      Liked by 2 people

  51. I know next to nothing about European Cup Soccer, but from the show Ted Lasso (great show!), I learned that there are different league tiers and teams that finish last get “Relegated” to the next tier down. I assume then that the champion from the lower tier league gets moved up to the better division. This would appear to be a good model for college football in general, but I could see Pitt BOT doing just enough to stay in the second tier league and can’t imagine them supporting the effort it would take to get and stay in the most elite league.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. It’s one thing to reward a kid for use of their likeness. A totally different thing to actually start pay-to-play.

    What comes next? Of course, what else… a call to UNIONIZE!

    This would certainly be followed by threats to strike, then actual strikes, which would lead to “Walk-ons” taking the field as replacement players and reminding everybody of the true meaning of what it is to be a “student athlete.”

    On second thought, maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

    Liked by 4 people

  53. The problem is that the NCAA has hijacked the minor league system and they’ve conditioned us on amateurism and student athlete and free education. All of that is a farce, however, at the highest levels of athletics. We’ve also been conditioned to think that the NCAA has any real power when in reality the power is with college presidents. The current system is designed to operate as a professional league without paying the product on the field although it is the University’s larges revenue producer. Side note … UPMC is Pitt’s bell cow and a big reason why Pitt doesn’t “need” elite athletics. If football doesn’t generate money for Bama, what does? Nothing.

    What would most likely happen is the top 30 teams would probably band together for an upper tier. The 30 most marketable teams that would actually make money off of a professional minor league. The rest would be left to fall into a similar conference system that we already have with athletes now given the ability to make money.

    Olympic sports would probably die off in the upper tier (why spend money on non-revenue producing sports) but that would drive up talent in the sub-division for non basketball and non football athletes.

    The sports paradigm would definitely shift but it’s been moving this way the last 20 years. We’ve had several conference raiding periods this century already. The next thing to happen is for the upper tier’d schools to cut bait with the schools not holding their own.

    I say 30 schools because most professional leagues have ended up on about 30 teams. Seems like the upper limits of sustainability.


  54. Pitt just ranks poorly on several factors. And it’s squeezed between penn state and Ohio state. Penn state could deliver the northeast. You wouldn’t need Pitt.

    Penn State would be like Arsenal in the Premier League.

    Pitt would be like Norwich City


  55. The problem with college sports is that they want to imitate the professionals as to the level of play, which would supposedly produce similar levels of interest and revenue. So they increase the number of coaches and add off season practice time, weight lifting and other things that begin to mimic the professional game.

    They don’t understand that competition (and revenue) would flourish in the college game if they would just make it fair and have a common standard for everyone. It’s hard to see how Alabama playing Alcorn State is good for the sport, unless college rules made it easier (and cheaper) for Alcorn to compete on a level playing field.

    Paying college players over guilt that they commit so much of their time can be easily remedied by the NCAA cutting back hours. How about no summer practice (until Fall camp) so that players can get a summer job? This would be more valuable experience for the 98% of players who will never sniff an NFL or NBA contract.

    If the NFL is unhappy with the developed skills of the players they are getting, then they can form a developmental league for those who don’t want the college experience. Clearly, this whole issue of paying college players is about making money for the colleges while giving a few crumbs to the players as the solution.


  56. Pitt is never mentioned in these discussions except that they were once mighty and elite for about a ten year stretch.


    I can see this day coming. I don’t think we’ll have the concept of promotion and relegation although I do like the mechanics.

    And yes much like the premier league today, there are really only about 6 teams with a chance to win the title each year. And it’s always pretty much the same 6. But that doesn’t hurt ratings or revenues. It makes a better product.


    1. I hope 15 or 16 teams form its own super conference. I rarely watch any of those teams play anyway.

      Those teams would still want to stay in their respective conferences for hoops, so if they are allowed those super teams still need to hold tight at 85 scholarships. No way can they have 110 on scholarship and gobble up the talent and have their cake too playing hoops in the NCAA tourney.

      Liked by 2 people

  57. These schools would comprise my 30


    Texas A&M

    Florida state

    South Carolina
    North Carolina
    Virginia Tech

    Ohio state
    Penn state
    Notre Dame

    For the Midwest, there are several big ten teams that would get the nod over Pitt during expansion. Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Indiana, and the oddball Missouri.


  58. The NFL needs a minor league that they fund, period. They are too greedy and have colleges funding their minor league now. There is no incentive for them to change.
    The only way a super league happens is if each NFL team partners with a college and the players are semi-pro. The NFL team helps with funding.
    In my model, Pitt is ahead of the game with shared Steeler facilities, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are absolutely right, NRS. And the colleges keep falling for it. There are 8-10 power hungry universities pushing for more exposure and bigger budgets, some coached by ex-NFL coaches, who think it is their ticket back to the big show. When athletic departments. start to run the universities, and turn college players into professionals, the end is in sight.


  59. I think Pitt has trouble making a top 60 league. Currently 65 P5 schools. Pitt would be on the bubble. Last four in or first four out. Right there with Kansas State, Rutgers, Washington State, Vandy, Oregon St, Wake, Northwestern … 4 of those 8 would get in (Pitt included) and 4 would be left out. I think Pitt has a clear advantage over Kansas St, Oregon st and Vandy … but I don’t see a clear advantage anywhere else. Wake, Washington State and Pitt would battle it out for the last spot I would suspect. That’s an ugly fight. Haha.


    1. Yep. And Pitt has nobody to blame but themselves. Pitt could have been a national power. They could have become elite. They blew it.


  60. It’s a sad day if Syracuse football gets invited over Pitt.

    I know Syracuse. Gods armpit.


  61. JoeL – That’s what I mean about the college’s not caring about the athletes. It’s a racket and we’ve been conditioned to think “but free education” …


Comments are closed.