September 27, 2012

Mason’s Next Step

Filed under: Football,Players — Chas @ 2:44 pm

“It was an accomplishment. It was a step,” he said. “But it’s not my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal is to be out there doing what I used to do: starting and playing a full game. I’m not giving up this fight.”

Dan Mason, on getting live snaps in the win over Gardner-Webb.

Football is a violent, at times ugly sport. At no time was that more evident than two years ago when Dan Mason went to make a stop during the Miami-Pitt game. Routine game action that went horribly awry.

Mason’s right leg stuck in the turf, and he suffered a dislocated knee, tears to the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and damage to the peroneal nerve. Pitt trainer Rob Blanc said it was one of the worst injuries he has seen in 25 years at the school.

“I was worried that he was never going to walk again,” Blanc said.

Mason has worked hard, non-stop since then to get back to football.

Over the spring practices, he was an inspirational story that suggested the possibility that he could come all the way back to be on the two-deep in the fall. Reality, however, appeared in training camp. He did not crack the first or second-teams. Mason could have finished his degree on the scholarship. Still be an amazing story to come back as far as he did. Lead the team out of the tunnel every game.

But he’s not done. He’s not satisfied.

the football program at PSU had brought in $70 million in revenue annually (note the past tense – but they will likely stil bring in much more than Pitt). It is close to $110m at Texas … college FB is BIG business

Comment by wbb 09.28.12 @ 1:09 pm

@ pghFred,your quote, “Getting to the next level shouldn’t be a factor since 90% of these guys won’t ever sniff an NFL training camp. Most are just kids using football to get an education.”

I strongly disagree with your 1st statement. In considering why Mason should remain on scholarship for a 5th season or not, whether he has the potential to play in the NFL should definitely be “a factor” in the decision making process.

Making that leap to the next level can have life altering implications for those talented enough to do it. “IF” Dan Mason still had that potential, it would be unfair, IMO, to pull the rug out from under him and destroy that ambition by NOT giving him the 5th year of opportunity to improve his stock by his play next season prior to 2014 year’s NFL draft.

With his particular injury, that potential NOW is non-existent. However, what remains as another valid consideration, is the second point in your quote, and that I do agree with. An athletic scholarship being utilized as a way to a means to obtain an education at the university level.

Now if that goal has been accomplished by Dan at the conclusion of this academic year, then his scholarship has served it’s intended function.

As an example of knowing when to move on, just look at what Bostick is currently doing with his life and career. He opted out of his 5th year of eligibility because he had completed his career and decided to move on. I think it would have been in the team’s best interest to still have him in there as a competing QB for his final year of eligibility, but he decided otherwise.

The “individual” makes that type of decision of “what is best for him”, all the time. Dion Lewis did that when he jumped to the NFL two years ago after his junior year. Good for him, not so good for the Pitt football team.

Thats the way it is, life goes on. Look how Graham came on when that opportunity opened up for him accordingly. Life is funny like that.

Dan Mason will be just fine, irrespective of if he stays on the Pitt football team for one more year or not, just as long as he gets a fair shake and is permitted to complete his degree under scholarship, thats important. In the larger scheme of things however, whether he puts one more year into his football career, or not, will have very little impact on what he will make of himself for the rest of his life. This young man is a proven winner, somebody for the Pitt Faithful to be proud of. He doesn’t need a charitable 5th year scholarship extended to him, if his educational goals have be obtained, as a token of appreciation to his commitment and sacrifice to the program.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.28.12 @ 2:05 pm

How are we out of scholarships after losing two recruiting classes?

Comment by Chuck Morris 09.28.12 @ 2:07 pm

Dr. Tom – I do agree that if Mason will graduate after this season and does NOT have a chance at the next level, then Pitt’s responsibility to him is complete.

Comment by pghFred 09.28.12 @ 2:11 pm

Chuck… what??
it’s a numbers thing….
Pitt has 16 available scholarships…
currently 17 verbals plus Savage making total of 18 needed…
then add Foster and Johnson… so 20 needed…

leads to… who are the 4 who will be asked to leave? could be more.

Comment by Joe D 09.28.12 @ 3:12 pm

The bidding continues…this isn’t about a guy who came in and gave something less than 100%, this is about a guy who gave that and more.

Wonder how many of you guys would get your degree in 4 years with so much time spent in surgery and rehab?

Sorry guys, none of this passes the smell test.

Comment by sfpitt 09.28.12 @ 4:06 pm


Who do you recommend Pitt cut…. list at least 4 names…. some people are saying 8 will be cut.

Comment by Joe D 09.28.12 @ 5:30 pm

SFPitt – again, I said that if Mason didn’t get the opportunity to get his credits needed to graduate in his four years because of the injury then I believe he should be allowed that chance.

But how many times on here have we read, when it supports other arguments, that these are one year scholarships and should be used as such.

I don’t actually buy into that as I think they should be all four-year block scholarships but the fact that PITT allows each recruit and then player to have a full fours years is a big selling point for those recruits and thier parents.

So – give him that opportunity and then, because he’s been a positive role model offer him a position on the staff or behind the scenes to keep him in the program. He’d be a great Ass’t Grad staffer for the defense.

Look, I’m not demanding this happen but explaining my point that it could and I’ll be perfectly fine if the staff either does it or doesn’t do it. But IMO Mason should be one of the names that are looked at if this class needs to grow by another recruit especially because at this point in the recruiting season those scholarships are usually given to the higher ranked recruits.

Comment by Reed 09.28.12 @ 5:55 pm

There have been a host of justifications for telling Dan Mason to get on with his life’s work on his own dime. Yours is but one.
Most have really centered on his marginal contribution on the field and as best I can gather that goes from not going to be playing at the next level to not being on the two deep chart.
We k ow that 95% aren’t going to the next level and mason is one injury away from being on the two deep chart.
So neither of those ostensible arguments passes mild scrutiny.
The real reason is the scholarship it opens up.
I won’t get into how remote the possibility is that this one scholarship will be the difference maker in Pitt’s football fortunes. And I won’t address who I get to exit because I want my savior to be the next scholarship I offer because whoever we get ain’t gonna be that savior.
I am talking character…rewarding those who shod be rewarded and I am not going to bs the one to tell Dan Mason that his dream is over. I am going to give him every last chance possible because I don’t leave wounded warriors out in the field alone.
You could do your thesis on what Pitt has done wrong in football over the last 50 years….
But, when you sacrifice lime Dan Mason has, the least and I mean least you can do is give him his last chance.
If Pitt is to become a factory, then I have news for you. It won’t work. Others with more money and more grads and their own stadiums will outspend you, out cheat you and out slime you. You will be in over your heads. Trust me…I graduated from such a place.
Don’t do it because it us morally wrong.
One friggen scholarship for one year will buy you more for a century than one season from one unproven player.
That is my point.

Comment by SFPitt 09.28.12 @ 8:17 pm

Guess who I think is an idealistic bleeding heart?

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.28.12 @ 9:33 pm

And for those in search of an open scholarship (sic): be patient, grades aren’t in, discontent for lack of PT is growing and several players with suspensions in their past or medical redshirts after spending time at other schools have storm clouds brewing above their heads.
The next group of 18-20 year olds over the number of 60 to stay completely intact will be the first.
Hats off to Homer Bailey too.

Comment by SFPitt 09.28.12 @ 9:49 pm

Dr. Tom.
Funny. Most people think I am a heartless prick.
I have fired dozens of people. Most of them deserved it. Stealing, cheating, etc…
My heart doesn’t bleed but the stench is a bit much.

Comment by SFPitt 09.28.12 @ 9:53 pm

SFPitt – I understand that POV also. As I said I won’t criticize the staff one bit if they retain Mason in 2013.

But as to the ‘dream’ – Mason is physically the best he’ll be now – that knee injury has healed and the nerve damage won’t. This is the season for his dream to come true, not next year when he’ll have more and better competition fort playing time.

Comment by Reed 09.30.12 @ 11:14 am

I hope Dan gets to next year. If he does, you’ll get your answer on his progress or lack thereof.
If he doesn’t because Pitt gives him walking papers, then you’ll get your wish, Dan will have given his all for a place that didn’t reciprocate and IMO Pitt we be lesser for it.
I’m betting on him and Pitt to win.

Comment by SFPitt 10.02.12 @ 1:39 am

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