April 7, 2007

The general rule when you have to give bad news to the public and media, it is best to do so on a Friday afternoon, when less people are paying attention. If you can time it for a holiday weekend, even better.

Safe to say, the Pitt Athletic Department knew that the news of moving the Navy-Pitt game to mid-week would be poorly received. They didn’t break the news until late afternoon on Friday. Not just a normal Friday. Good Friday of Easter weekend. A good time to get out some bad news as it can slip past a lot of people a lot easier. No chance for any additional comment on the news from Pitt’s AD or Coach Wannstedt except the notes in the media release. No matter how they spin it as a good thing, they knew it wouldn’t be received as such by the fans. The timing of the release is the giveaway.

Kevin Gorman in his blog wonders if Pitt agreed to the Wednesday night game because the only other choice from the Mouse Monopoly would be on Friday night — something Pitt and AD Long stressed they would never agree to do. Interesting point, and totally believable. You have to remember, Pitt only has a little bit of leeway when it comes to when the games get played. The Big East and ESPN have a lot more say considering they are the rights holder.

I don’t know. I do know that this is why for all the attention and exposure the Big East and Pitt gets from ESPN in basketball, the football side is treated as programming filler. It’s why I’m not particularly wild about Pitt and the Big East’s TV contract.

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