POV: Sunday Podcast; May 21, 2017

POV: Sunday Podcast; May 21, 2017

The image below was first found on a Facebook thread…

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http://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2017/05/01/pitt-players-got-drafted-players-signed-undrafted-free-agents/

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/09/01/uc-players-get-largest-stipend-in-ncaa-football.html

http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/2015-16-cbs-sports-fbs-college-football-cost-of-attendance-database/

 

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POV: A Call Out and Request to Our Veterans

POV: A Call Out and Request to Our Veterans

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Back in April I mentioned that I was requested to and did an hour-long video and audio interview with a representative of The Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and I want any and all of our Veterans out there to know about it and have to opportunity to do one themselves. 

After mine was completed I immediately signed up to be a trained Veteran’s Interviewer and have been conducting some since then. Now I want you.

In a nut shell the Library of Congress (LoC’s) website says this:

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

This is actually misleading as the project wants ALL veterans stories whether they served in a time of war or not.  But in all honestly if you look at what the LoC is calling ‘war’ periods it encompasses all of our modern history. You do not need to have been in theater – anywhere and however you served is what they want.

Please watch this video and, if you can see through the tears, get in touch with me.

Continue reading “POV: A Call Out and Request to Our Veterans”

POV Lunchtime Reading Library; 5/20/17

POV Lunchtime Reading Library; 5/20/17

Here’s a piece from Sports Illustrated about our (almost) hometown hero Jame Conner and his fight against cancer. From its SI Vault dated September 14 2016

“He (Conner) refuses to name a favorite, but one has earned special attention: a plaque from a team of Navy SEALs. The inscription opens by imploring Conner to never quit. He flicks at his 2014 ACC player of the year trophy on the desk. “This,” he says of the plaque, “is better than any of that.”

A few hours later, in the hospital room of Ian Malesiewski, Conner turns over his left arm, where he has had the rest of the inscription from the SEALs tattooed. He reads it to Ian, who was wrestling in the Greco-Roman nationals on June 3 when he fell to the mat forehead-first and fractured his C4 vertebra. “Persevere and thrive on adversity,” Conner says. “Strive to always be physically harder and mentally stronger than your opposition. If knocked down, get back up. Every time. Draw on every remaining ounce of strength to accomplish your life’s mission. You are never out of the fight.”

Please read on friends – it’s a story we Pitt fans know well but I’m sure never get tired of reviewing for many reasons – especially for lessons learned for our own lives.

Here is a great Sporting News piece about our 2009 freshman phenom Dion Lewis  – written before his 2010 sophomore season started:

“… The uncommon combination of aphorisms is fitting because out of the weight room  comes Dion Lewis, perhaps the most uncommon player in college football. No other player packs so much skill—and wallop—into such a small package. He’s 5-8 with shoes on and is listed at 195 pounds, but from the looks of him that would be true only if he stashed bricks in his pockets.

Yet when Lewis, a sophomore who will turn 20 this month, first walked into Pitt’s weight room a year and a half ago, he already could bench-press 360 pounds and squat 500. That he wields so much power in such a little body leads his friends, family, teammates and coaches to come up with colorful descriptions of him. Among those suitable for  publication: He can squat a house, he’s a horse, he’s a bowling hall, he’s a nightmare.

Here’s another: He’s a Heisman Trophy candidate…”

If we remember Dion Lewis left right after the 2010 season when he was eligible to declare for the NFL draft because he had spent a year in Prep School in New Jersey prior to enrolling at Pitt.  Here are his two season stats totals – especially impressive is his 30 rushing TDs in two years – on pace to top Dorsett’s record at the time.

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Hope you enjoy these two articles which look not so far into the past.  I’ll try to do this once a week of so, on Friday’s maybe, to get you all primed up to skip out of work early, go get a beer or three and talk Pitt football with your friends.

The Pitt POV on Head Coaches’ Salaries

We have discussed extensively on the this site  about Pat Narduzzi’s tenure so far and what might happen if any of the bigger, richer schools come knocking on his door.  I have been consistent in saying that I highly doubt Pitt would match any $3.5 to $5.0M dollar per year offers he may get.

Why do I believe that?  Because Pitt does not pay the higher salary rates to head coaches in any sport – we just don’t and that fact has been bolstered by the revealing of Narduzzi’s 2016 salary through IRS documents as reported by the Post-Gazette.

“Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi made $1.83 million in total compensation in 2016, according to federal tax documents released by the university Friday.

Narduzzi’s inclusion on Pitt’s IRS Form 990 was his first since being hired by the school in December 2014. The university’s most recent form covers a time period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Of Narduzzi’s total salary, $1.31 million came from base compensation, with an additional $450,000 coming from bonus and incentive compensation. His salary is slightly higher than that of former coach Paul Chryst in his final year at the school, a span in which he earned $1.7 million from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015″.

We know that back in 2015 Narduzzi was given a re-written contract with an extension until 2021 and a pay raise. I can assure you that it wasn’t a big raise but it bumped him up a bit. An extension was done basically to raise the buy-out clause money which is what a competing school would have to compensate Pitt for if they hire Narduzzi away from the university.

Anyone ever wonder why Pitt never hires new head coaches who haven’t been HC’s at even middling to bigger schools?  Simple – it is because we won’t pay the buy-out money to do so.  Getting Walt Harris from the QB coach position at OSU didn’t have a buy-out, it cost us just salary for Wannstedt as he was not a college HC and then getting Coordinators Chryst and Narduzzi avoided any buy-out costs also.

Continue reading “The Pitt POV on Head Coaches’ Salaries”

Bookser’s Arresting Officer’s Report

“On May 14, 2017, at approximately 0050 hours I, Officer Terry Childs, unit 3-13, was sitting on Semple Street before Forbes Avenue observing traffic.

I was sitting in a marked patrol vehicle, 1240, when I could hear an engine revving and then the sound of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed coming from behind me. I looked into my passenger side view mirror and observed an SUV traveling on Semple Street approaching my position. I started to turn my headlights on when the vehicle ran the stop sign at Semple Street and Forbes Avenue, turning right onto Forbes Avenue. I got behind the vehicle with emergency lights on notifying UPPD dispatch that I was attempting to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was traveling in a careless and reckless manner with no regard for the public or other vehicles. The vehicle then quickly turned left onto the 100 block of Meyran Avenue before crashing into the Loeffler Building, 121 Meyran Avenue. The vehicle was a tan Ford Explorer with PA registration GTX 5678, owned by Amy Bookser.

Continue reading “Bookser’s Arresting Officer’s Report”

Bookser and What Happens Next.

Bookser and What Happens Next.

Our starting offensive Right Guard rsJR Alex Bookser, who Pitt was heavily depending on to help steady a rebuilding offensive line, was arrested and charged on Sunday morning with a multitude of criminal actions resulting from being drunk as seen here:

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That is a handful; a DUI is bad enough but the other actions show just what more terrible judgement he used after he got behind the wheel in an impaired state. The video of him being ordered out of the car and then of him on the ground with guns pointed at him is embarrassing for him to have lived through, just as it is hard for his family, friends and fans to watch I’m sure.

But perhaps the worse thing with all this is that he’s not a 1st time offender when it comes to alcohol abuse and getting arrested for it.  He ran that route back in 2015 with these charges below and note that as his birthday was March 2nd, 1996 he was more than two years under the legal age of 21 in that case:

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So what do we think needs to and should be done in his case as far as discipline and/or punishment awarded?  Those decisions will be done by the hands of the head football coach Pat Narduzzi, the Pitt Athletic Director Heather Lyke and if needed the Chancellor of the University.

That is if the powers to be feel it should be handled completely outside the regular Student Conduct system run by the Student Affairs council.  BTW – the Code of Conduct addresses alcohol in the housing (Page 18 of this Pub) and not a whole lot more but this next issue – that of personal responsibility and of other students in an emergency situation.

Continue reading “Bookser and What Happens Next.”

2017’s WRs & TEs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

2017’s WRs & TEs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

(This is the second of a longer series looking at our individual positions that need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions. We will not factor in true freshman at this point as we have no idea what they can and cannot do).

We have covered the other two skill positions on the offense in previous article; the QBs here and the RBs here.  To refresh memories based on the production lost in those positions and what I think we have in the replacements on the roster I awarded the QB position a “downgrade” and the RBs a “draw“.

The “draw” for losing James Conner needed some explaining but again, it is the production we may, and in my mind will, get from the rest that was the basis for that.

Let’s move onto the last of the skilled positions in the WRs unit. I always wonder if the offensive linemen take exception at that “skill player” label the passers, rushers and receivers get.  Any old OL guys out there care to chip in on that?

Our losses were not great in this unit by any means, mainly because our supposed primary receiver (coming out of fall camp) rsSR Dontez Ford broke his collar-bone in the game against North Carolina.  He returned later in the year and did surprisingly well in ending up our 4th leading receiver over-all.

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He will be missed, albeit not by much. But given his smaller role in the offense over the years he did produce exceedingly well for us with his career 46 catches for 843 yards and 5 TDs at a 18.3 YPC average.

Continue reading “2017’s WRs & TEs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”