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July 27, 2012

A few links/stories not directly related to Pitt but putting out there.

Northwestern has been Under Armour-ized. It’s not good. It’s not Maryland bad, but in the Big 10 it is radical.

Want to see how a lot of teams will probably (or should) schedule in the ACC when they go to a 9 game schedule? Virginia Tech is a good example.

The 2015 Akron game that was listed on Tech’s website under future schedules has been canceled.

The Hokies’ nonconference schedule in the next few years looks like this:

2013: vs. Alabama in Atlanta, vs. Marshall, vs. Western Carolina

2014: vs. William and Mary, at Ohio State, vs. Western Michigan

2015: vs. Furman, vs. Ohio State, vs. East Carolina

2016: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Liberty, at East Carolina

By being pushed back, the East Carolina series would have one more home-and-home cycle in 2017 and ’18.

The Hokies also are scheduled for a trip to Wisconsin in 2017 to satisfy that home-and-home agreement…

Every year has one marquee non-con. VT relies a little heavy on local 1-AA foes for an extreme patsy for my tastes. The third game isn’t bad. Especially with the always dangerous ECU team out there.

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“Authority to Act”

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Media,Opponent(s) — Reed @ 10:04 am

Can we please put to rest the asinine argument that the NCAA somehow over stepped its authority to levy sanctions against Penn State for PSU’s actions during Sandusky’s period of committing child abuse and for their role in covering that up?

We have read time and again in the past five days from people who don’t agree with what happened that Mark Emmert and the NCAA boards circumvented established NCAA bylaws when they determined that PSU was responsible and thus punishable in regards to the findings of the PSU commissioned and accepted Freeh Report.  It is complete misdirection by Penn State apologists and by others who fear that the same type actions could be levied against their schools for similar infractions.

May I suggest these people go to the source itself to see just how the NCAA arrived at their decision making and for what basis they had in doing so?  I believe that the most vocal protesters of the NCAA’s actions in this case don’t want to read or discuss what is found there for fear they would lose a public platform to try to keep Penn State’s reputation, such as it is now, intact.

If anyone has a computer and two working fingers one can find the NCAA’s Constitutional References that PSU did not comply with in this case and how that non-compliance was used as a basis for NCAA sanctions.  These are listed under the NCAA’s “Authority to Act” explaination.  Thus is the meat behind this statement from Emmert at his press conference before he announced the sanctions on Monday:

Our Constitution and bylaws make it perfectly clear that the Association exists not simply to promote fair play on the field, but to insist that athletics programs provide positive moral models for our students, enhance the integrity of higher education, and promote the values of civility, honesty and responsibility.  The sanctions we are imposing are based upon these most fundamental principles of the NCAA.

With these intentions in mind, the Executive Committee, the Division I Board and I have agreed to the following sanctions…

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Blame The NIT

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 9:59 am

Still no Pitt basketball schedule. Most of the hold-up has been presumed to be because of the quest to find a halfway decent team to play at home after Pitt foolishly counted on playing in the SEC/Big East challenge. It also seems that the Preseason NIT hasn’t quite figured out the way they want to set things.

The other holdup is the preseason NIT, a four-game event. Pitt will play two of the following teams at the Petersen Events Center: Robert Morris, Fordham and Lehigh.

Given Pitt’s annual series with Robert Morris, I am guessing event organizers will do everything they can to make sure RMU is one of those teams to play the Panthers.

If the other team is Lehigh, the Panthers will be in for a tough game. Lehigh upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament in March and returns its best player – C.J. McCollum, who decided to return to school rather than enter his name in the NBA draft.

If Lehigh is the opponent it could end up being one of the most important games of the year. Teams in the preseason NIT have to go 2-0 in pool play to advance to the semifinal round at Madison Square Garden.

Should Pitt be upset, the Panthers would not get to play two of the following three BCS opponents (Michigan, Kansas State and Virginia) at the Garden and instead would have to settle for two more games against mid-major or low-major teams at the Petersen Events Center.

That could be disastrous for Pitt. It would be entirely possible then that the Panthers would not play one BCS conference opponent in non-conference play.

Yes, it’s a risk for Pitt to play Lehigh, but given the rest of their non-con it seems worth it. Pitt will need bumps to its non-con and Lehigh — beyond simply the games at MSG — would help. Just something to add to the urgency.

ESPN.com’s college basketball side of things has been doing conference looks for the past week or so. The Big East came in for its look.

In the best-case/worst case scenarios there is the one reason to worry.

Pittsburgh

Best-case scenario: It’s time for the Panthers to reboot after an uncharacteristically bad season. The good news? The No. 4-ranked center in the class of 2012, New Zealand-born Steven Adams, has been enlisted in the cause, as has No. 4-ranked point guard James Robinson, both of whom should be ready to contribute right away. Point guard Tray Woodall is back and healthy, while Talib Zanna and Dante Taylor form a fearsome offensive rebounding force — the one redeeming aspect of Pitt’s 2012 season. This team may not compete for the Big East title, but with all this talent, a return to the normalcy of the NCAA tournament is well within reach.

Worst-case scenario: The Panthers have incoming talent, sure, but freshmen are rarely great defenders out of the box, and what the Panthers need is defense: They finished ranked just No. 151 the country in defensive efficiency last season. If Pitt doesn’t guard someone, its fans may have to swallow a foundation-building transition year, which is a polite way of saying a bad one.

The defense is not something that we’ve thought about/discussed too much. Ashton Gibbs was not a good defensive player, yes. But all the defensive problems cannot be pinned on him (or Nasir Robinson). We don’t know how well Trey Zeigler plays defense at this level. None of the returning players were consistent on defense. There’s hope based on the CBI that Zanna is “getting it” on the defense. But, we just don’t know for sure.

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