Friday, December 20, 2013

Shai McKenzie to Virginia Tech

Pitt lost another local prospect today, making it 8 of the top 10 if you look at Rivals ratings, as Washington, PA RB Shai McKenzie chose Virginia Tech over Pitt.

89 comments:

  1. I thought we'd get the big 4 and whiffed on all but Bookser.

    McKenzie saw the writing on the wall w/ Chris James.

    Henry was dumb enough to believe Gibson.

    I heard Nicholson wasn't that great and very overrated.

    Oh well - sour grapes I suppose.

    We want to be Stanford both academically and in FB - let's see what we can do - nothing else to say I guess other than our staff really can't recruit much.

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    1. Hey Zatiti,
      I'm 3-1. Only got Bookser wrong.
      But, if you recall, I said Pitt will get Kamara only because Engram was recruiting him.

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    2. I like PITTs chances on landing Kamara on that fact alone. Engram is a good recruiter / coach. Can't beat NFL experience.

      Delete
  2. Pitt football is what it is, an incredibly mediocre program.

    Chris, what really needs to be done to turn the program around? New AD, new head coach, what? Overall, seems like there is little energy around the program. No buzz, nada.

    You can’t blame these kids for not wanting to go to a school, which for all of their lifetime, has been sub-par at best.

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  3. Not a surprise. It's been pretty clear all along that VaTech was going to be his first choice.

    Also not a big loss... UNLESS he decides to make the switch to linebacker.

    PittofDreams

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  4. Listen, if Shai thinks he should be the only RB recruited this year his head in the sand. I have no problem with Pitt offering other RBs. It would be nice to have Shai but the tough losses our Henry & MN in my opinion

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  5. I think rather than try to figure out why most of these WPIAL players didn't choose Pitt - the question that begs asking is since James, Bookser and Grimm had offers everywhere (and Boyd last year for that matter) - why did THEY want to go to Pitt?

    That's what we have to figure out.

    My guess would be that Chryst seemingly can recruit O-Linemen and Grimm and Bookser were local...

    Based on our body of work, James and Boyd are the head scratchers...

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    Replies
    1. Pretty easy to figure out.
      It's the coaches. Will those coaches put these "elite" players in the position to get to the NFL. Oline coach and WR coach are good.

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    2. Chris, a while ago, it sounded like you were having a dialog with him and told us he was looking to leave town. Just out of curiosity, when did you learn that VT was his choice? Today...or a while ago?

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    3. He and a lot of the top local recruits talked all year that they weren't particularly fond of going to Pitt.

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  6. Nobody - not even Alabama - gets all of their local guys. The difference between the elite schools and Pitt is that the elite schools replace their misses with equally talented non-local recruits. Pitt replaces their misses with huge, gaping holes.

    It's unreal to think that Pitt missed on 8 of the top 10 WPIAL recruits this year, considering that if not for the Penn State sanctions last year, they also would have lost Dorian Johnson and Tyler Boyd in addition to Robert Foster.

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  7. In two years we will be discussing a new coach and staff....who will it be?
    Without AD next year, our defense will be eaten alive. This is a staff who can't see the forest for the trees.

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  8. Chris, who is left that we should get excited about? How many more recruits do we need to fill out this year's squad? Thanks.

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  9. The players that Pitt have lost is not the issue. That can be rationalized away.... James for MacKenzie, Gateway kids don't pan out, Henry looked very ordinary in the WPIAL Championship game, etc... What can not be ignored is the staff in general both in game management and recruiting. There needs to be changes to the staff in order to move forward. That is a must. SP is not shy about getting involved when it comes to changes. I expect they will talk about it soon.

    Now, let me state something that will be unpopular to the locals. I believe that the 4 Star players in the area are generally overrated, but that's not to excuse losing players to other schools. Even if they don't play to a 4 star level, they can be solid players in the program. Perception is very Important to future classes.

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  10. If true, McKenzie should feel a sense of insecurity about being recruited with other backs.

    He simply is not a great back. A good back, yes. But not great.

    Brian Davis... now that's another story.

    PittofDreams

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  11. whatever. dont care anymore

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  12. After what has transpired at Pitt since Wanny got fired, + their record over the last 20 to 30 years, why should we assume that these guys would even consider Pitt? If we start to win, then these guys will look at Pitt as more than the hometown team. Of course, having coaches that are recognized as good recruiters and winners would also help. Happy Holidays to all and H2P!

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  13. At least this should put to rest the ridiculous notion that playing at Heinz Field is such a GREAT ATTRACTION to recruits.

    Obviously, Winovich, Henry, Nicholson and McKenzie weren’t all that impressed.

    PittofDreams

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  14. Henry's parents and MacKenzie generally feel disrespected. They both feel they weren't getting enough love. How dare they offer Dravon so late? How dare they recruit more than one running back? Issues with the Pitt staff and the locals (with the exception of DW) goes back to the days of Walt Harris. Nothing new here...

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    1. The staff didn't return Henry's calls for a month. That's a fact.

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    2. Chris - Meaning that they had lost interest in Henry or that they were slack?

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    3. And that's shocking considering the Quip pipeline and the fact that LaSalla is at PITT.

      Chris - how many more recruits can PITT bring on this year. They have 17 seniors leaving.

      VAYinser

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    4. They definitely didn't lose interest in him. Their methods are poor. Multiple times over the past two years there have been miscommunication problems between the staff and the prospects.

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    5. Chris, if what you you are saying is true about the staff didn't return his call for over a month, that is sickening. PC loves to hold players accountable, pc himself needs to be held accountable.

      Your right, there has been a lot of his communication from PC and the staff. Lets not forget him sending out a offer with the Big East logo when we were in the ACC.

      PCs next job will be as a OC

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  15. And the beat goes on . . .

    Missing on 8 of the top 10 WPIAL recruits this year is extremely hard to do. Speaks of incompetence in the coaching staff and their recruiting philosophy and actions

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  16. I believe what you say is true Chris. In that case the recruiting coordinator and some other members of the staff need to go. No excuse for not receiving a phone call back. I think it was a big mistake not hiring Todd Orlando as DC. He was the perfect choice. A Pittsburgh native and Wisconsin grad that is a good recruiter and had Florida connections. Chryst needs to be held accountable for this and the rest of the staffs shortcomings.

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  17. Guys - here's the bottom of the bottom line which has been reiterated by Chris and everyone else.

    The Pitt administration is ok with a mediocre FB team - they really are - the problem is that as Pitt fans of which we all are, we're not content with this.

    Pitt looks at it like - ok, as long as the players don't get into trouble - at least a LOT of it - see the SI magazine article which must have rankled a ton of Pitt people - anything above .500 is a bonus.

    We're getting tons of $ from the ACC that's going straight into the coffers and if the fans want a great FB stafff - increase their donations!

    And that's the AD's primary function and he sucks at it.

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    1. Exactly right. .6-7 wins and a bowl game is great for pitt. Recruit low risk players that will hopefully pitt out of the papers. 85% of schools emplore
      this model.

      Fact is, graham would have won here with time but wasn't given the resources $$$$$ to make it happen.

      PC is a yes man who was looking for a HC offer..Why do you think it took so long for him to het a HC offer? Jes a dumbass SOB. Hes building his resume and I cometely understamd it

      Delete
  18. True Chris,
    Zach Challingsworth didn't know he had a Pitt offer last year.

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  19. Now some good news, twitter is reporting the Strength and Conditioning coach has been fired.

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    Replies
    1. You mean the Yoga Instructor.
      That was due to all the injuries. Just like what happened in NCState.

      Delete
  20. Just a comment on the recruiting problems in BB. The 2014 class IMO is awful. This team is highly overrated they are the mirror image of the 2011-2012 team too small and no offense skilled players. As they have each year Zanna and Patterson will likely disappear. Without Adams I think the NIT is a long shot. The future looks bleak.
    Duke recruited 4 five stars for 2014.

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    1. I agree with you 100%. People have been complaining why Pitt isn't ranked in the top 25 after beating 1 mediocre team and 9 little sisters of the poor..
      The incoming class is weak. Cam Wright looks like a runaway train. Awful. Zanna disappeared in almost half the Big East games last year and now he is starting at center.

      The football team is mediocre and I feel the basketball team has flattened out.

      I lay all the blame on the Athletic Director. I can't wait till Nordenberg leaves and hopefully the new Chancellor gets rid of Smiley

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  21. Wait til you see this QB from Bowling Green. He really wanted to go to Pitt and they didn't return his calls or calls from McDevitt's coach. DW had an open line to Coach Weachter not this staff. McD has put out some pretty good talent as of late but our staff has no interest. Go figure...

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    1. Wait until he sees Aaron Donald!!

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    2. Anon,

      Check the timeline on Matt Johnson from Bowling Green.

      He committed to the Falcons in late June, 2010. That came a month after Gary Nova had given his commitment to Wannstedt and Pitt.

      That means the Pitt coach that supposedly failed to call him back was either Wannstedt (prior to being let go after the 2010 season ended) or Todd Graham (if Johnson was still attempting to solicit interest from Pitt after Wanny was fired).

      Delete
  22. what mckenzie said is dumb v tech has 2 RB commits they had them before he signed so he goes to a school that allready has 2 RB becuse pitt has 2 RB commits also please

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  23. that is just plain stupid you pck one man and say relay all call to me after that call them. they must have there head up there ass

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  24. Ho-hum… another over-rated WPIAL prospect goes elsewhere. As someone smarter than me most eloquently put… "Where did fielding a WPIAL All-Star team get Wannstedt?"

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    1. 3-4 more wins a year than Chryst?

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    2. Yeah… and how many Big East championships?

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    3. And a tie for first place in the conference.

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    4. A "tie" for first place… after 6 years. Maybe if Miami or VTech were in the conference it would be impressive.

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    5. Chris - Believe both DW and PC have almost the same record through two years.

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    6. Wannstedt proved he could be a head coach so it was assumed he eventually would turn things around. Chryst is more of a question mark.

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    7. Chris,

      Wanny never proved to me that he could be a Head Coach. A HORRIBLE In-Game Coach who struggled to make a decision when the pressure was on. It was painful to watch.

      The fact is... he got lucky with his persistence in recruiting LeSean McCoy. Take away McCoy... NO victory at Notre Dame... NO Upset in Morgantown... NO contract extension.

      If Wannstedt is the barometer we're going to continue using when it comes to rating Pitt Head Coaches... man, the standard is set really low.

      PittofDreams

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    8. He was the NFL coach of the year and coached some playoff teams. That's more than most head coaches have ever accomplished and certainly more than Chryst has done so far.

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  25. If this is true, maybe Chryst is finally growing a pair. Now if he cleans out all the dead wood with the defensive coaches and coordinator . . .

    Andrew Taglianetti ‏@Andrew_Tags 2h

    Rumors Todd Rice is no longer head strength coach at Pitt. Hallelujah. He was incompetent

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    1. What took 2 years? He should have never hired him in the first place.

      I hope Chryst does what you say and cleans House!

      Delete
  26. Orlando or Elko for DC. House gone or he can use his video skills to study special teams and be the new special teams coordinator.

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    1. Elko is my cousin and ill tell you right now pitt has no chance.

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    2. Anony 7:33 - Unless House decides to quit on his own. He's the DC next year. That change is not going to happen.

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  27. cris dokish sir Tags said the pitt strength coach was incompetent henry does not get called back for a month house is hired as a DC and cant coach cant recruit chryst is a bad side line coach the same as wanny was once the ball is kicked off pitt is a joke cant you talk to the outher sports writters n town and put pressure on pitt to to do the right thing and get things in order cant you help us

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  28. If Pederson was being honest, the money from the ACC is going to the Olympic sports which have been short-changed on funding for quite a while.

    I don't recommend making donations to Pitt athletics until a new AD and a chancellor who understands the importance of football are hired.

    Giving money makes you a co-enabler of gross mediocrity. I used to donate, but I stopped.

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    Replies
    1. Tony, I've heard that is already occurring. Alumnus aren't donating for that very reason. Quite concerning if you ask me.

      I refuse to donate until he is gone. I haven't and won't.

      Delete
  29. Chris,

    Is the "jury in" for you in RE: the Chryst regime? Have you seen enough, and are you ready to start calling for a change? Sounds like it, a little.

    I'm almost there (too?), I really expected to see players making more progress, as measured by many fewer mistakes that obviously result from bad coaching: guys running around not knowing where they were supposed to be, killer special teams gaffes by the dozens, etc. No real passion on the sidelines. Hiring cronies as assistants (without explanation or justification) instead of guys who can & will recruit the players they need to win.

    I see a guy coaching in college, despite every fiber of his being & personality says this guy either belongs in the NFL or never higher than a coordinator.

    I guess the real question is, has the Administration seen enough too? Does HCPC start next year on the hot seat? Surely the goal can't be to go 6-6 (at best) every year and barely squeak into some POS bowl in a city we fans don't want to visit.

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  30. Don't think it is true. Rice is still shown on the website as S & C coach. Also, the football scoop has nothing to report on their S & C website. Looks like this is just a rumor.

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  31. chris i ask some one who should know if house is a good DC or if he should be replaced this some one would not say.
    but to me chris that is a answer if he thought house was good he would just say yes he is.
    but the fact he said nothing means he thinks he should be replaced.
    do you agree with that logic please answer and let me know

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  32. I find the timing of the Todd Rice thing interesting.
    I hope he is not considered the scape goat for this past week of recruiting to calm down the Pitt fans. I hope there are more firings to come.
    I mean for Chryst to fire before Christmas!!!
    Was it a diversion from this pathetic week or month in recruiting!! smh

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  33. Werner reported he resigned... I have never heard one good thing about Rice so probably a good thing.. The S&T is very important as they basically run the show the entire summer as the only coach that cane be around in their workouts etc... It is important and under rated at times...

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  34. Funny, the Post mentions Herbert from Arkansas as a possible S & C hire. According to the Strength Scoop, Herbert just dinged a 3 year contract extension for 300,000 per year. I don 't think Pitt oats their coordinators that much let alone a strength coach. It also shows 3 Million as the budget for assistants.

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  35. Good article by Gorman in today's Trib today. He mentions the perception of Pitt among WPIAL players. I agree with him in that some of Pitt's best players over the last decade have been western PA products. Look, I find it discouraging that Pitt has missed out on so many kids. I question why House was recruiting these guys when it appears that Engram is by far our best recruiter. It's going to be an interesting two months. Let's see if any guys change their commitments to Pitt on LOI day.

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  36. Chris, so we missed 8 out of 10 from WPIAL... how are we doing in the rest of the state? I assume not good.

    I am not surprised at all with where the program is. As a coach, you really are only as good as your staff and this staff is piss poor. Fraud was able to get a decent staff and make sure they were paid so I do not buy the idea that money is the reason the staff sucks. This is all on HCPC and his decisions. The guy is not a builder and a leader. He is an offensive coordinator that belongs in the booth. Bring back an ex player as coach and surround with a great staff..

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  37. The bottom line that I take from this recruiting class is we are getting solid offensive line road graders. We all know that has been a huge weakness. Our RBS are very solid in this class and if we don't whiff on the QB situation we should be alright with Votyk as QB for the next two years. Perspective!

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    1. Sounds like the 6-9 wins I predicted from the beginning.

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    2. If PC puts up 8 wins a year with players that don't cause big PR issues to the school he'll be here forever.

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    3. Chryst will never get more than 7 wins in the regular season based on what he is recruiting and who he has as coaches on the defensive side of the ball. The offense should be fine, but football has 3 phases of the game and Pitt is a failure in special teams and defense at the moment.

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    4. If I remember right, didn't Harris and his agent speak the truth and say Pitt's not a top program? That and the desires of the AD (Long) is what pushed him out.

      My thinking is PC and the AD wouldn't makes those mistakes again.

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    5. Please. If Chryst is winning 7 and 8 games five years into his tenure, he's history. That's how Pitt rolls. Hell, that's how everybody in college football rolls these days.

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    6. If PC wins consistently, most likely he'd be hired away by another, better school.

      Now if Pitt gets a new AD, anything can happen.

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    7. "Tell that to Walt Harris"

      Not sure you're reading this correctly. The Harris situation and what's going on today is much different. Pitt is making money on their athletic progams now with the membership to the ACC. Back in the Harris days we were scraping by. Winning on a high level based on the weak competition was expected. Now the competition is higher so the expectations are not as great. The BOT's are happy because they are now rubbing elbows with their "own kind" and the school is making more money. Everyone's happy as long as Chryst wins 7-8 games a year, goes to a bowl game and the kids graduate and stay out of trouble. That's it.

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    8. You're living in a dream world. Pitt will not keep Chryst if he is only churning on 7 or 8 wins a year.

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    9. Dream world? Don't be surprised Chris. How much proof do you need that the administration really doesn't care about winning at a high level???? And after the coaching change disasters, everyone will be gun shy about making a move. If he wins 7-8 games a year, wins a bowl game and the kids stay out of trouble and graduate, it will be a long tme before they pull the trigger again. The bottom will have to fall out before that happens. We will have to wait and see who's right.

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    10. I'd be happy with 8 win in the regular seasons at this point.
      Pederson is kidding himself if Pitt can do better than that based upon budget and facilities.
      Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. For Pederson to think Pitt can win more than 8 games without significant increase in budget, etc, well that is the definintion of insanity.

      Delete
  38. They got rid of Todd Rice.

    I've been saying it since he got hired that he is worthless and that the biggest loss when the Stache was let go was Buddy Morris.

    Now if Pitt can get Buddy, or at least someone with his philosophy, then you can count on improvement at the line of scrimmage and more wins.

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  39. Many posts continuing to complain about the program or asking for PC, or the DC, or the other assistant coaches to be fired because a couple kids decided they didn't want to go to Pitt. So if you want change, he's some suggestions that might actually do something vs. whining like babies:

    1. Follow PSU alumni's efforts and identify and work to get pro-sports people added to the Board of Trustee's. This would eventually lead to impacts on who serves as the Chancellor, AD, etc.

    2. If you have millions of dollars, start using that to build the football program as you'd like to see it. The top schools in college football for the most part have the backing of many big-time, big-money boosters.

    3. If you don't have millions, work harder or start networking with millionaires so you can implement point 2.

    4. Contact Pitt Athletics and ask if you can volunteer to help them out. I'm sure there's plenty of administrative work that needs done which would free up the coaches and others to focus their limited time and money on more urgent matters.

    5. Don't just get season tickets, get 10 season tickets and find others to do this as well. Then make sure all attend every Pitt home game to make the atmosphere dynamic.

    Or, maybe you can just continue throwing insults at them on message boards...

    Sorry to burst some bubbles but Pitt, both academically and athletically, is a heck of a lot closer to a Purdue or Indiana than they are to a Standard or Michigan.

    So in that light, I feel PC and crew are doing a great job. While they're far from perfect, which is what many of you seem to expect, their positives thus far outweigh the negatives.

    This will be the second class of 25 or so players with an overall ranking in the 30-40's. Those classes, along with the transfers, should continue building a strong team. Have they made questionable decisions? Sure, but nobody makes the right decision every time. Overall, PC is doing the right things for a program the stature of Pitt.

    Welcome to reality folks.

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    1. Why don't you just limit you posts to one item - have the alumni take over the entire program period. That's what your suggesting.

      Delete
    2. Clark Kellogg sits on the Board at OSU and Adam Taliafarro does the same at PSU. They make sure there is a commitment to athletics and let everyone else figure out the academics.

      Also, those universities pay their big name graduates big money after their college careers are through. They take care of their own which is a plus for a young recruit. Don't quote me here but I think Eddie George is pulling in about $200k from university payroll to be an alumni representative. Archie Griffin receives slightly more. There are others. What does Pitt do? NADA! Unless you call Pat Bostick hiring taking care of your own. Why doesn't Pitt hire Mark May as an alumni liaison for a couple hundred k per year? When you show recruits that your university takes care of you once you are gone, that goes a long way. Our administration has it bass ackwards.

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    3. Golly gee, why do you think that happens? Is it maybe because Ohio State and Penn State fill their stadiums with 100,000+ fans each week, with rather expensive ticket prices to boot?

      Meanwhile, it's debatable whether or not Pitt draws 40,000 to a game, and that's with tickets that are dirt cheap.

      Do the math.
      Ohio State fans and Penn State fans, to name your examples, are the ones taking care of their own.

      Pitt athletics takes $10 million from the general fund to keep the budget balanced. Money that can and should be used to pay faculty, give actual students scholarships, reduce tuition, and keep academic departments running. Should Pitt take another $10 million from the fund just to give to Mark May, who already has a bunch of money? Or a player who couldn't grasp the life-after-football concept?

      Yeah, that makes sense.

      Some of you here are anxiously waiting for the day Nordenberg retires. Be REAL careful what you wish for. Gordon Gee isn't walking through that door.

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  40. Kent, agree wholeheartedly which leads to the question ... why did they fire Wanny after a 3 year record of 27 and 12?

    I thought the idea was to advance to the next 'level'

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. I loved DW passion for Pitt and he was by far the best recruiter of the last run of coaches.

    But his game management skills were not good but the thing that did him in was the bad PR due to player arrest/issues.

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    1. That player arrest story in SI was a blip on the radar. The school knew Wannstedt's quick hook to get rid of players who screwed up. He kept good players who screwed up, as do all college coaches. What did Wannstedt in was the amount of respect people at the university had for him over Pederson and Steve didn't like that one bit. Nordy failed the school and fans by letting Steve fire Dave. The perception of Pitt football would be so much better had the Stache been given the chance to stay.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous 5:29 - the Wannstedt firing was one of the biggest mistakes that the Pitt athletic department ever made - just another example of Pederson's complete incompetence.

      I had never thought of it the way that you said referring to Pederson's ego and that he was playing 2nd fiddle to DW but, I bet that played a large part of it.

      The arrests didn't help his cause certainly but, in order to try and win, you have to take a chance on some of these kids.

      We lost a great recruiting class when they let him go and ever since, it's been a disaster.

      I hated the Haygood hire - loved Graham....WRONG and wanted Crystobal....WRONG so what do I know.

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    3. Anony 5:29 - You raise good points, but without the bad PR issues I don't see DW being fired.

      Delete
    4. You guys really think all that?
      How does Jamie Dixon still have a job, given that he is the far more respected coach?

      Everybody loves a conspiracy theory, I suppose.....

      Delete

  42. To their credit... Hurriquake and the poster formerly known as "Joe D" were all over Rice early on.

    ********
    Hurriquake September 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Ego or not Buddy is one of the best. WAAAAY better than the current S&C coach Todd Rice.

    They approach S&C in completely different ways, and Buddy's is better for football. There shouldn't even be any discussion on this topic. Pitt looks soft. They never looked soft with Buddy in charge of S&C.

    You know who else looked soft? BC and UNC when Todd Rice was running their programs.

    ********
    Joe D September 25, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Hurriquake,
    Was it you that called Todd Rice the "yoga instructor".
    But I do agree Todd Rice is not a good S&C. He was suppose to be about conditioning. Quite frankly, 4th qtr, Pitt looked tired.

    PittofDreams

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    1. Thank you.

      I've been talking about Todd Rice's incompetence as an S&C coach since he was hired. Joe D, to his credit, agreed with me.

      S&C is a science and thus has many ways to go about it. Each sport requires a different approach, and Buddy understands this. Todd Rice does not, and had almost a one size fits all approach.

      One size does NOT fit all in S&C.

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