February 1, 2010

Yet No One Is On Record

Filed under: Internet,Media,Rumors — Chas @ 4:16 pm

I’ve decided to be bemused with the insane rumors from the weekend through today.

The funny thing to me is how this spread from some bad message board material and specious, unsourced internet writings. Kept getting picked up and enough people were hearing something to wonder if there was something to it.

Now it gets doused in a bath of logic and reason. Yet if you want to play the game, no one is actually on record of saying anything one way or another — which allows it to fester and keep going.

The biggest refutation on the Big 11 side came from the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein.

Bottom line, a source at the conference reiterated to the Tribune on Monday that the Big Ten will adhere to the timetable it laid out in December: a 12-to-18 month period of analysis. The league will then determine whether it wants to expand and, if so, how many schools it will invite to the party.

Unnamed source, but still no formal statement. But that refutation spread as truth (and for the record I believe it but not because of an unnamed source at the Big 11).

Another popular source was ZagsBlog actually getting a “Pitt spokesman” on the record — something local beat writers couldn’t do.

Internet reports that Pittsburgh is moving to the Big 10 from the Big East are “100 percent’ false, according to multiple sources within the Pittsburgh athletic department.

“There is no announcement to make because there is nothing happening,” said Pitt spokesman Mike Gladysz.

Well, that’s neat except that Mr. Gladysz is not an employee of Pitt’s athletic department. Oh, he works in the area. He is employed by ISP Sports Network as an editor of the Pitt monthly “Panther Eyes.” At least that is what his profile says.

Oh, and that KC Star blog post  that wrote:

Speculation is heating up all over the Internet that Pitt has accepted an offer to join the Big Ten Conference.

Here is what popped up on, normally a pretty reliable outlet, just a few hours ago…

[Emphasis added]

Well, that bit has been scrubbed and now he, uh, updated it to say he was just posting the speculation on the internet. Nothing else. No. Of course not.

And the fun keeps coming.

[UPDATE, 5:30: Adam Zagoria has changed his post to delete the attribution to Mr. Gladysz, without indicating he ever wrote it that way. Good to see that responsible journalism hard at work.

UPDATE, 2/2/10, 9:00 AM: Interesting. Now it is back. to the original way written.]

Let’s get something straight: Mike Gladysz is not a reliable source. He lived in my dorm freshman year, wrote for the Pitt News (rather poorly, IMO), and has at best been out of college for 9 months. What are the chances he’s got the inside scoop on this potential deal, especially given that he doesn’t work for the department?

However, the fact of the matter is, if the athletic department told all of its athletes, there is a 0% chance this would not have already been leaked all over the internet. Thus, for the time being, I highly doubt there is any impending move.

Comment by towerb 02.01.10 @ 4:36 pm

Well if it happens we’d have better TV coverage. It seems at times that ABC and ESPN are part of the Big Ten Network.

Comment by shadyforpresident 02.01.10 @ 4:37 pm

You know what, I really don’t care, it’s not like the university actually cares about the fans or alumni. If that was the case there would be a DI football playoff, we would actually have games played at 3pm every Saturday, not at noon.

It’s about the money and only the money. Pitt will do whatever is best for its own financial self interests, it’s simply the world we live in today.

Comment by Marco 02.01.10 @ 5:52 pm

Per Bob Pompiani(spelling?) from KDKA, citing his numerous sources at Pitt, the rumors are just that, rumors. None of this is true, there is no imminent news conference coming later this week.

Comment by dugdog 02.01.10 @ 6:51 pm

I find it interesting that the Penn State blogs were the first to vehemently refute the rumors. For instance… link to

I guess they really don’t want Pitt in the Big Ten or something.

Comment by Lee in Altoona 02.01.10 @ 8:27 pm

Eh, don’t be too harsh on the black shoes guys. The Expansion talk was brewing on there all week before this “story” “broke.” In addition, a lot of the other Big Ten schools seem to think they’d need Penn State’s ‘permission’ to invite Pitt or at least look to the PSU fanbase reaction to tell if they should feel good or bad about the “invite.”

I’ve got a few friends on the Track and Field team; they’ve told me the meeting did occur but it was more of an athletes-only pep rally to congratulate the fall sports teams and drum up enthusiasm for the spring sports.

Comment by slingstone 02.02.10 @ 3:32 am

Like it or not, the Pitt message board people deserve the ridicule from PSU and others for adding one and one and getting 5. Maybe the only others who deserve more ridicule is the other publications that would publish a story based solely on message board material, innuendos and rumors, and not havinng anything close to confirmation by anyone related to the administration or either conference.

Message boards can be fun .. but aren’t you glad that we have here a forum here where we can express our opinions that are mostly supported by facts, and know that when someone bases something on knowing a friend of a friend, we do not go overboard with speculation.

I believe Chas deserves much credit for this in keeping things in proper perspective.

Comment by wbb 02.02.10 @ 8:07 am

Well expressed, as usual, wbb. Enough of the speculation, please. Now let us move on to SIGNING DAY and its expected rumors. Fasten your seat belts fans. George from Columbus.

Comment by rev. george mehaffey 02.02.10 @ 9:29 am

Nobody but nobody deserves ridicule. And anybody that believes otherwise needs to get off their high horse and look at themselves in a mirror. Ridicule is the last resort of a small mind that has nothing to at all to contribute. Ridicule worse that speculation.

Unfortunately, a lot of the forums degenerate into nothing but ridicule and personal attacks. And yes, Chas has done a great job of steering this forum away from this.

Who’s to judge when opinions “are mostly supported by facts” and fit to post. If everybody confirmed their postings the message boards and forums would dry up and disappear. Everybody has the right to express themselves as long as they are not slandering someone.

Personally I like to know what the rumors are and who is saying what, as long as it involves Pitt.

If you don’t like what is being discussed you have the option of tuning out and tuning back in when the topics shift more to your liking.

Comment by shadyforpresident 02.02.10 @ 10:40 am

My opinion is that John Swofford is still trying to undermine the Big East and planted those rumors to booby trap signing day.

Comment by KeyboardKev 02.02.10 @ 11:56 am

Interesting coincidence reported on NBE today, Pitt has offered a frosh (I believe) forward from Chicago. This is an area where Pitt has not traditionally been involved with recruiting players from. The timing couldn’t have come at a better time for all of those spreading Pitt to the Big Ten rumors.

Comment by PITTapotamus 02.02.10 @ 12:00 pm

Shady, facts are documented data like Gibbs is in a slump based on his 22% (or whatever) shooting percentage, thus, we need more Gilbert to get more minutes and to work the ball inside.

Rumors are I have a firend who knows an insider who told him that this is going to happen. But it’s not only that, it’s all the people that seemingly bought into what was being said without any logic, such as:

1) why in the heck would they tell the athletes about this (especially) an entire week in advance?

2) why would the B10 pull the string so quickly after they publicly announced they would take 12-18 months to inverstigate?

3) why would anybody put so much belief into something when absolutely NO source from the administration or either conference would confirm?

4) why would the announcement come from Pitt and not from the B10?

Since the message boards are anonymous bloggers, just like here, for all we know, this could have evn been started by non-Pitt people. The ridicule is that so many Pitt people, and others, just seemed to totally buy into this.

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong … maybe there will be an announcement on Thursday …. but I’m certainly not going to believe in something that is 100% based on anonymous bloggers with absolutely no reliable, valid confirmation.

Comment by wbb 02.02.10 @ 12:03 pm

Thanks, wbb for some common sense. As I said in my post under the previous thread, I was with a bunch of Pitt Alumni for the game in Tampa on Sunday and none of this Big 11 rumor made sense to anyone.

I’d much rather talk about Gibbs, Brown, and the others, especially since the WVU game has taken on even greater importance with the loss to USF. I’m far more concerned about tommorrow night than 1-3 years from now.

Hail to PITT!

Comment by TampaT 02.02.10 @ 12:32 pm

Gibbs is in a slump is an undeniable fact but the conclusion that Brown should start is your opinion, and if someone disagrees with the conclusion doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the fact or clueless. It just means that they have a different idea as how to address that fact.
btw I agree Brown should start, but that is just our opinion not fact, and might attempt to justify it differently by pointing out a different fact, that Robinson has been ineffective lately, which again doesn’t mean I’m ignoring Gibbs slump or clueless.

Comment by shadyforpresident 02.02.10 @ 1:42 pm

I should probably have said that it is an opinion based on fact which is very different than an opinion based solely on rumor.

Again, an example of the former is that since Gibbs is not shooting well, Brown shoud et more touches … and of course, we already have a prime example of the latter.

Comment by wbb 02.02.10 @ 2:31 pm

I heard Pitt might jump to the Big 10 this week. Any truth to that?

Comment by Spanky 02.02.10 @ 5:19 pm

no, the announcement is Thursday or Friday .. the jump is in 2012

Comment by wbb 02.02.10 @ 5:47 pm

I heard it’s now the ACC because we miss beating BC and Virginia Tech in football, and it’s turning into a conference we can dominate in basketball. Look for an announcement on Feb. 29.

Comment by TampaT 02.02.10 @ 5:53 pm

Feb 29th? I’ll mark it down. Be nice to see VT in the Big 10.

Comment by Spanky 02.02.10 @ 6:47 pm

[…] Those Pitt to the Big Ten rumors? Total bunk. […]

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