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May 20, 2015

Uni Watch: MS Paint Edition

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 7:18 am

Oh, come on people. It isn’t even Memorial Day and we have already cycled through Pitt-PSU should play every year talk. Casually dismissed the Backyard Brawl. There is no more issue about bringing back the script Pitt. Expansiopocolypse is a dead subject. And now we are going to push through uniform alterations? Not having the usual tropes to make it through the summer doldrums are not useful for content.

I can’t — I can’t do this. I won’t be a party to trying to see how we can really squeeze two months worth of babble on the fictional concept of getting an on-stadium campus.

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May 19, 2015

Don’t get me wrong, last night was great and this is a good cause if you have some extra Jack to spread around. One thing I feel is that if we donate the money will be well used.  As said before, he’s working it and has been since his hire.  The links are nice also.  A piece about our own Center Alex Officer and the Rimington list is at the end of this article.

Dear Reed,Thank you for joining us at the “On the Prowl” Tour. It was an incredible experience for me to meet so many people who love Pitt. Check out the photos from last night. Since becoming head football coach in December, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous passion, energy, and dedication of the Pitt family.  With the enthusiastic support of fans like you, I am confident that our outstanding momentum will continue. During the event, we mentioned a few ways that you can directly support Pitt and our football program:

  • GET INVOLVED – Pitt Alumni Clubs, which are active throughout the country, give Panther fans many great opportunities to network with one another. LEARN MORE
  • COME HOME – Come back to Pittsburgh, visit campus, and help us fill Heinz Field. BUY GAME TICKETS
  • CELEBRATE HOMECOMING – We are offering a $10 discount for the Homecoming game against ACC rival Virginia on Saturday, October 10, 2015.GET DISCOUNT
  • MAKE PITT STRONGER – We are currently upgrading our locker room, team rooms, and constructing a new student-athlete lounge in the Duratz Athletic Complex so that we can provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes and ensure we are able to attract top recruits. Please consider supporting this project. GIVE NOW

We appreciate your continued support, and we hope to see you this fall at Heinz Field. Together, we will show the entire country why PITT IS IT!

Hail to Pitt!

Pat Narduzzi
Head Football Coach

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You have to say one thing about our new Head Coach; he knows how to work a room.

PITT hosted a Pat Narduzzi Alumni Meet and Greet evening in Washington DC last night and approximately 220 PITT Alumni and fans showed up for the festivities.

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(Note: here is a late addition of all the photos taken by the PITT media department of the event – pretty interesting and try to play “Where’s Reed”  Hint: I’m taller than everyone else.  Look at photos #26, 46, 55 and 56.

It was a nice evening and was intended as an avenue for PITT to re-awaken the alumni – athletic department connections. There is really no telling how well that went over, I’m sure PITT will contact the attendees later to further the money side of the equation. It was very well produced, people were happy to be there, and Narduzzi used his oversized image and personality to get a good and excited feeling going with everyone to take home when they left at 8:00.

The plan was set up like this.  Schedule the evening in late May when DC is starting to really heat up so that in addition to the high temperatures you also get the springtime mugginess that permeates DC.  Then, arrange to have most of the event outdoors; the check-in line (with a five minute wait),  two  tables with PITT advertisements and information publications, a table of PITT shirts and hats for sale and two other tables with the ‘light appetizers’ which were actually substantial and well presented.

The only thing missing was the Red Cross station where one could get intravenously re-hydrated due to sweating every drop of water out of your body. A lot of the attendees parked outside of DC and took the Metro in and that four block walk on hot concrete was a killer.  It was nice later in the evening though and no matter how talented Narduzzi is he really can’t control the weather.

But honestly, the place was well arranged and attractive and because PITT rented out a smaller conference room at the most famous and expensive hotel in DC, The Willard, space was at a premium so they adapted well to the size allotted.

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May 16, 2015

PITT’S 2015 SEASON-OPENING GAME WITH YSU TO KICK OFF AT 1 P.M.
The Panthers are already slated for two ESPN national telecasts.

PITTSBURGH—Pat Narduzzi will make his Pitt head coaching debut when the Panthers host Youngstown State on Sept. 5 at 1 p.m.

The opening kickoff time was announced by the Pitt Athletic Department today. The 2015 season marks the 126th in school history.

Narduzzi has multiple ties to YSU and the city of Youngstown. His father, the late Bill Narduzzi, was the Penguins’ head coach from 1975-85 and was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Pat was an all-state performer at Youngstown’s Ursuline High School, leading the Irish to the Steel Valley championship and Ohio state playoffs as a senior in 1984. He was a starting linebacker under his father as a freshman at Youngstown State in 1985 before transferring to Rhode Island, where he was a three-year starter for the Rams from 1987-89.

Youngstown State will also have a new coach on the sideline when it visits Heinz Field. Bo Pelini, who spent the past seven years as head coach at Nebraska, was named head coach of the Penguins in December.

In addition to the season-opening start time, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Pitt’s Oct. 29 home game with North Carolina will be an ESPN Thursday night national telecast and kick off at 7 p.m. The Panthers’ Nov. 27 game with Miami at Heinz Field has been earmarked for either an ABC or ESPN telecast. The kickoff time for the game with the Hurricanes is TBA.

Narduzzi enters his first season at Pitt with 17 returning starters at his disposal, including All-America running back James Conner, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, and dynamic wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

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May 15, 2015

Closer to the Script?

Filed under: Admin,Football,Media — Reed @ 8:46 am

Here is a chance to vote on which “Football Shirt” you want to see for 2015. I guess this means which shirt they will give away at the home games or something.

PITT T-Shirt

But in the spirit of our recent discussions about logos and branding I thought you all might like to do this:

Football Shirt Poll Site

 

May 14, 2015

Admin in Amelia Island

Filed under: Academics,Admin,Athletic Department — Chas @ 11:41 am

The ACC Spring meetings are wrapping up. Nothing accomplished of real note. Lots of talk. Lots of coaches expressing opinions on rule changes. The administrative and conference stuff isn’t what fans and media want anyways. On that front, this is simply a chance to talk to masses of coaches and ADs.

Nothing concrete. Just opinions. The conferences and coaches may state their preferences for certain changes, but they will not actually do anything right now. They will have the NCAA enact the rules and changes. That gives them cover over unpopular things and items that have unintended consequences later.

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May 13, 2015

Once more, there is loud talk from coaches, administrator and conferences of eliminating the Graduate Transfer as we know it.

Start with the basics. Graduate Transfer Exception (or Waiver):

The graduate exception is a version of the one-time transfer exception. It is for student-athletes who cannot use the normal one-time transfer exception because they play one of the sports that are not permitted to use the exception.

The student-athlete must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree;
The student-athlete meets the other requirements of the one-time transfer exception;
The student-athlete must have at least one season of competition left; and
The student-athlete’s previous school did not renew his or her athletic scholarship or offer an athletic scholarship for the following academic year.

The requirement that the scholarship be cancelled or not renewed is generally not an issue. The scholarship does not need to be cancelled before the transfer or be the reason for the transfer. Because the one-time transfer exception requires you to get a release, what will happen with your scholarship is generally just an administrative detail.

The Graduate Transfer Waiver is often conflated with the exception because they are so similar. There is one key difference.

The graduate transfer waiver is now typically used by athletes who have previous transferred once before and so cannot use the one-time transfer exception (even as a graduate student).

A letter from the previous school saying it does not object to the student-athlete being eligible;

Documentation that the student-athlete has been accepted into a specific graduate degree program;

Documentation about whether that degree program is offered by the previous school;
A student-athlete statement including the reasons for the transfer; and

A statement from the previous institution about the student-athlete’s status on the team.

[Emphasis added.]

Unlike regular transfers, there is no requirement to sit out a year after transferring. The player is eligible to play right away. That is the big bonus for both the player and the school to where he transfers.

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May 12, 2015

(Taken from the original as linked, see endnote.)

All-Draft teams for five top college football programs

By Mike Huguenin

After breaking down how conferences and major college programs have fared in recent NFL drafts, CFB 24/7 set out to answer a more hypothetical question: Which five schools would field the best 22-player starting lineups using only draft picks from the past?

A few ground rules for this top five:

1.  To make the list, a player had to have entered the NFL as a draft pick — no undrafted free agents or guys who played in the NFL before the draft began. (We bent the rules a bit on three guys who began their careers in the AFL.)

2.  All things being equal, we gave more value to a middle- or late-round pick who hit it big. It’s possible that a fourth-round pick, for instance, shows up on our list instead of a first-rounder. First-rounders are supposedto pan out, whereas teams hope a fourth-rounder produces. But don’t fret: The majority of players who made our list were indeed first-rounders.

3.  We picked an actual starting 22, which means some Hall of Famers did not make our list.

Four of the five teams we’ve selected probably won’t be a surprise. Three of the five are long-time powers, and one is a relative newcomer to the scene (17 of the 22 players selected were drafted in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s). The other, while it hasn’t been nationally relevant in a while, has pumped out numerous stud players, and definitely belongs.

A lot of big-name programs didn’t make the cut. We discuss them at the end; for the most part, they fell short — frankly, way, way short — at one key position.

Here is our top five.  Feel free to disagree — and we know you will.

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May 11, 2015

They Keep Rolling In

Filed under: Coaches,Players,Uncategorized — Reed @ 9:01 am

There is a palatable sense of excitement surrounding the hire of Narduzzi and his staff and with the way Narduzzi and the PITT admin have used the social media, new technology and good old fashioned flesh pressing to make that happen. This is making the ramp-up to August and the beginning of fall camp where personnel issues will shake out and then onto the actual season, a time when our collective hopes and wishes may start to come true.  However…

Maybe it is because we have not much else to talk about or maybe it is because this staff keeps adding players we don’t expect to see onto the roster but there has been a lot of talk about Narduzzi’s ‘recruiting expertise’ and his ‘desire’ on here and the message boards.

The things I’m hear most often are that “this staff knows talent” and “this staff wants to win right away.” I get the win right away concept with him, although someone has yet to show me a HC who didn’t want to win right away. But I’m shaky on those other attributes we are attributing to him.

The real kicker is this. How do we know that “this staff knows talent” when every kid they have brought on board the roster by themselves so far has either been listed as 3*s or below or are regurgitations from others teams?

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May 9, 2015

PITT vs Iowa @ 8:00 PM

Filed under: Football,Media,Opponent(s) — Reed @ 7:58 am

The Iowa game mentioned below is the second of three consecutive away games in the months of September and early October.  The teams in the first two of those three games; Akron (5-7 in ’14), Iowa (7-6) and then  Virginia Tech (7-6)  accounted for two of our seven losses last season.  This will be, to me anyway, a benchmark for Narduzzi.  If he isn’t 3-1 or at the very least 2-2 after the first four games it will be very disappointing… even if three of those games are away.

Narduzzi is working with 17 returning starters, less any starter changes he makes in fall camp, so that has to work in his favor. Plus he is the best defensive mind ever to coach in college football.

PITT’S GAME AT IOWA TO KICK AT 8 P.M.

    PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team’s Sept. 19 game at Iowa will kick off at 8 p.m. (ET), and be televised by the Big Ten Network, it was announced today.

This is the first kickoff time announced for the Panthers’ 2015 schedule. Additional start times will be announced once television arrangements have been confirmed.  Pitt and Iowa have played six prior times and the series is tied, 3-3. The Hawkeyes rallied for a 24-20 win at Heinz Field last year.

Season tickets and mini-plans for the 2015 Pitt football season are now on sale. Call the Pitt Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT (7488) or log on to PittsburghPanthers.com. First-year head coach Pat Narduzzi will have 17 returning starters at his disposal this fall, including All-America running back James Conner, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, and dynamic wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

For the latest Pitt football news, follow the Panthers on Twitter and Instagram at @GoPittFootball.

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May 7, 2015

Newkirk’s Knee

Filed under: Basketball,Injury,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 12:15 pm

Josh Newkirk had knee surgery last week.

Pitt guard Josh Newkirk, who averaged 5.9 points and was second on the team with 93 assists last season, is expected to be out four to six months after having surgery to correct damage in his left knee, coach Jamie Dixon said Wednesday.

Team physician Dr. Bryson Lesniak performed the surgery last week. It involved repairing Newkirk’s lateral meniscus and a micro fracture on the outside part of his knee.

“We expect Josh to make a full recovery and rejoin his teammates for the upcoming 2015-16 season,” Dixon said. “He’ll start summer school on Monday. The surgery was a success, and we know that Josh will work hard during the rehabilitation period.”

I remain continually amazed at the ability of the Pitt athletic department to keep information so tight.

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Let’s Go See Narduzzi in DC

Filed under: Alumni,Coaches,Fans,Football — Reed @ 9:19 am

My fellow PITT Fans,

I just registered for a spot at this Washington, DC ‘meet up’ with Narduzzi and staff in DC.  Who else would you like to go, drink beer and ask the hard questions?  Should be a blast and it is free.  This should be a great time and maybe small enough that we can actually bullshit with some PITT people who we can get drunk and pry secrets out of about the program.  Here is the detailed info:

WASHINGTON, DC

Monday, May 18 – (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)

Occidental Grill & Seafood – The Willard Atrium & Courtyard, 1475 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 2000045

Metro Rail Line: Blue, Orange, Red, Silver Lines to ” Metro Center Station”.

It is on a Monday night so parking in that area might not be too bad – here are some local garages.  It may be easier is to drive to a Metro Station and take the rail line to “Metro Center Metro Station” and walk the three blocks to the Willard Hotel.  The easiest for us MD PITT fans in the eastern side of MD is to drive to the New Carrollton Station and take the Orange Line straight into Metro Center.

The Occidental Grill and Seafood is one of the nicest restaurant/Bar in DC so business casual or PITT gear is required I guess.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS MAY 13;  Call “Sue” at 412-624-4658 ASAP to reserve a spot – you can add one guest name also.

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May 5, 2015

As early as December — barely a month into the college basketball season — the stats were already damning the college basketball season as likely to be one of the slowest. Sure enough, it came to pass.

Everyone has their favorite reasons. Lack of skill by incoming players — which goes in several directions. To the pernicious effect of AAU basketball in this era and all the societal blame that follows.  Or that it necessitates coaches of those particular teams to slow the game down to give them a better chance to compete.

The increased emphasis on defense, coupled with the rising trend of statistical analysis and film scouting to have players in better position. Correlated with that is the use of offensive efficiency which values the possessions and slows things down on the offensive end as well.

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May 4, 2015

Grad Transfers Galore

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:28 am

After adding some perimeter help for the 2015-16 season in Sterling Smith, Coach Jamie Dixon and Pitt basketball grabbed some frontline help. Rafael Maia is a Brazilian-born forward who played at Brown the last three years. Like Smith, Maia is a graduate transfer and eligible to play the upcoming season.

He’s 6-9 and averaged 9.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last year. He brings good size inside and will be looked to to help on defense and rebounding more than anything else.

Maia had Southern Cal and Nebraska pursuing him, but decided on Pitt after his visit to USC and without taking a trip to Nebraska.

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May 2, 2015

Clemmings Draft Info

Filed under: Football,Players — Reed @ 5:08 pm

CLEMMINGS SELECTED BY MINNESOTA IN NFL DRAFT’S FOURTH ROUND

PITTSBURGH—Pitt offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings was selected in the NFL Draft’s fourth round on Saturday by the Minnesota Vikings.

Clemmings was the 110th overall pick in the draft. Initially projected as a first-round prospect, he fell to the fourth round after being recently diagnosed with a foot stress fracture.

With his selection, Pitt has now had at least one player chosen in 14 of the last 16 drafts. Clemmings is the first Pitt player in 25 years to be drafted by Minnesota. Defensive back Alonzo Hampton was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 1990.

A relative newcomer to the game, Clemmings played only two seasons of high school football at New Jersey’s Paterson Catholic. At Pitt, he began his career as a defensive end before moving to offensive tackle prior to his junior season.
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