Fine Progress Off the Field

A while ago on the Pitt Blather I wrote a three-day series detailing behind the scenes of the college football recruiting game and how it pertained to Pitt football.  It is pretty eye-opening when you realize just how much work goes into a process where the results are mostly driven by unseen forces.

Which means however you parse the complex makeup of a HS player at that point in his young life and then try to project what he’ll be like in college,  the main determining factor lies in what is between his ears.

Something that every college football fan will agree with is the premise the talent and character are the two most important aspects of a recruit’s ability to segue from HS to college ball and succeed in moving forward in his college days… and not just on the field.

Talent, taken in this sense, is pretty much physical. You can lump skills in with that also as that also rests in the body of the recruit.  Character is generated from between his ears and in his heart and is perhaps the defining need in the long run.  We want our players to have a lot of both character and talent of course, but one without the other never works out in the long run.

Continue reading “Fine Progress Off the Field”

Friday FB Bits & Pieces; July 15th

Twenty three days until the start of the 2016 season’s fall camp to be held at the beautiful Southside football facilities we share with the PGH Steelers – and that the recruits love to go to for that reason.450px-upmcsportsperformancecomplex4

We need to start getting serious about football now.  Three weeks and a few wake ups and things start getting nervous-making and here’s one reason why.

Yesterday Chris Peak of Rivals/Trib-Review had another of his good and detailed podcasts.  He starts of by talking about a poll he put up on Rivals regarding “Who is the Best QB in Post-Walt Harris Era” (which I can’t find on his message boards).

Peak then discussed the biggest problem facing Pitt’s 2016 season bar none IMO; QB depth.  I have been harping on this since the day Chad Voytik went public with the news of his decision to transfer. Now with 23 days left until camp starts the staff hasn’t done anything to rectify it but move a player, rsSR now-QB Manny Stocker, over to the QB2 spot.

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I Better Study My Pitt Basketball…

Well, if I’m going to be providing some basketball content on The Pitt POV then I need to cram some BB study in quick-like.  To help with that, and to familiarize some readers to the details of the basketball  program, here are some things to get started with.

We have a new BB coach! Yeah Us!!

Kevin Stallings was hired away from SEC’s Vanderbilt University in AD Scott Barnes’ first big personnel move.  Like it or not – he didn’t have the best track record there.  The Vandys had four sub-20 win seasons in the last decade and averaged  only 20.9 wins per year… barely meeting the 20 win benchmark that defines a ‘good’ season.

But he’s  our guy now, bought and paid for.  Kevin StallingsAs soon as he’s finished Part II of his anger management course I’ll try to get an interview with him.  Just kidding!

I think our new Athletic Director went out on a bit of a limb to hire Stallings .  Even though the general consensus among fans, at least from what I can tell and remember I’m new at the BB coverage, is that Jamie Dixon had run his course at Pitt.  We were what we were and it wasn’t champions.

I did follow that story line a bit back when the chatter about Pitt changing coaches was on the Internets and it seemed to me that signs pointed to Dixon being gone no matter what the Pitt administration or the fans wanted.  It was more like Jamie Dixon was washing his hands of the Pitt job rather than the reverse.

Many fans were not happy with the Stallings hire.  I have no real opinion on it yet but I do wonder if he is a stop-gap measure by Pitt until there is enough money in the BB budget to go after someone that would be a better fit.  Pitt is spending big money on the FB program.

Salaries are the highest they have ever been in that sport and we are pumping money into brick and mortar facilities, both in FB and with major investments in the ‘minor’ sports infrastructures.

I don’t know for sure but looking back on Barnes’ long-term plans news he released last week it does makes me wonder.

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Keep Your Ears Open and Lead, Dammit!

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Well, it has got to be a bit longer than that…

Up on the soapbox…

We citizens deserve a pat on the back for making and keeping this nation great – and don’t kid yourself or get fooled by others – this is a still great and good place where opportunities are open for people of all types.  We have our flaws and some are bigger and more serious than others and we need to keep working on those, but when the rubber meets the road the US  leads in ways that can’t always be measured.

That said, on our birthday I ask us all to keep an eye on what we as individuals can do to help others and make things better on a small scale. We don’t have to invent new things or donate huge monies to make positive impacts – sometimes it is as easy as picking up a phone and calling an old friend or acting on whatever opportunity to help another person shows up.

Down off the soap box…

I want to talk about leadership and how things can go well with good leaders, and break bad with poor ones. The thin line that separates the good and bad leaders is sometimes hinged on being able to listen, with ears truly open, to something like a single phone call that comes from out of the blue.

We see small efforts (as mentioned above) being able to impact bigger problems and here is an example of how that happened  in the real-life business world in New York city as well as in Pitt football in Oakland.

Continue reading “Keep Your Ears Open and Lead, Dammit!”