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December 7, 2012

Chryst Staying: Do We Care Why?

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 12:14 am

I’m only now home and with some time to sit down and post on what is old news: Pitt will have the same coach from the regular season coach the team in Birmingham. Something that is actually unique for the program.

The buzz last night and at the start of the morning was that it looked like Chryst wasn’t leaving Pitt. The message he and his assistants were getting out to the 2013 recruits was much more forceful than it would be if he was even torn on the idea. By comparison, Louisville Coach Charlie Strong told his players that he was deciding about what was best for his family before deciding to stay with the Cards.

Still, it was his alma mater. It was his home state. There are a lot of reasons he could change his mind. And, frankly, until there was something more tangible, the possibility he could decide to go back to Madison would be hanging over everything.

Enter Wisconsin AD and interim HC Barry Alvarez in a press conference today.

Question: Barry, you know how popular Paul Chryst is around here, and his name is going to be out there until proven otherwise. Is he a viable option to be the next head coach here?

Alvarez: I asked some very good friends of mine to help Paul get that job. I think Paul has already come out and said that he’s committed to Pitt. I think he should be committed to Pitt. I wouldn’t think it would be right for him to leave after one year. I wouldn’t feel right, and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to hire him back after I asked someone to do me a favor and help him get that job.

So Paul’s going to stay at Pitt.

And there was much rejoicing.

The relief from Pitt fans was tangible. The praise for Barry Alvarez was sung.

The one thing that nags at me — just a little — is it really that simple?

Is it simply that Barry Alvarez didn’t want to try and persuade Chryst to go back on his word to Pitt and the incoming recruits? That he didn’t want to betray the trust of old (and rich) friends to whom he sang the praises of Chryst?

There’s a lot of reason to believe it. After all, Alvarez has a history of not only shooting straight, but not shutting up. So that he reveals more than others. Way back in 2010 when before Nebraska was brought into the Big 10, you had all the Big 10 honchos and the member schools power players denying any active searching for a 12th member and expanding the conference. But along comes Barry Alvarez to just share plenty. And when he said the Big 10 wasn’t doing any expansion in 2011, it was accurate.

In a business where everyone lies. Everyone spins. Alvarez seems the exception. Old school as a former coach that transitioned to the athletic director. Blunt and honest with people. Secure in his position and beloved by the fans and the school so he has no real reason to be afraid of the politics.


Maybe Chryst simply turned him down, and Alvarez was the one spinning. Chryst doesn’t seem to care too much about a lot of the politics, but a large part of Alvarez’s job is dealing with the politics. Fans don’t take it well when a top choice says no to them. Hurts their psyche to think others don’t perceive their program’s job to be the jewel that it obviously is. Since Chryst does owe Alvarez a little, it wouldn’t be much skin off of Chryst’s back to let Alvarez put it out there that Wisconsin wasn’t going to pursue him.

If you read a lot more of the press conference you can pick up quite a bit of how self-aggrandizing, cocky and arrogant Alvarez can be. (Which might help to explain why he hand-picked Bielema to be his successor.)  Heck, his statement on Chryst can easily be read as, “I could have brought Chryst here if I wanted, but I’m such a good and honorable guy — which you should all know — I deigned it just and wise to leave Chryst in Pittsburgh.”

Maybe it was a bit of ass-covering because Alvarez — in his position at Wisconsin — realized it just didn’t make financial sense to hire Chryst. Consider that the salary he would have to offer Chryst would be at around $2 million per year. Then there is the $6 million buyout. So just to keep the numbers simple (and not worry about present values versus future values of the money) pretend the contract would be for 6 years. That $2 million annual salary is actually a $3 million cost. Chryst has a lot of promise as a coach, but he is not worth $3 million per year.

Chryst’s popularity with the fans and even the players would make trying to put forth the fiscal prudent argument difficult. Especially in light of Bret Bielema taking shots at Wisconsin for not paying his assistants.

Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter. I’m still basking in the sense of relief. The joy of knowing I won’t have to get all worked up over another coaching search for this year. And more importantly, the smallest sense of stability starting to return to the football program. Actually seeing a signing day class with the same coach who initially recruited the kids.

here is what i dont get if something is true
it cant be a bad thing to say it.
so when you say penn state sucks penn state sucks
it is ok becuse penn state sucks.
hail to PITT.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.07.12 @ 4:13 pm

Well now Penn State sucks has new meaning.

Comment by TX Panther 12.07.12 @ 4:16 pm

LMAO, ya really.

I can see myself in the parking lot with a couple
Anchor Steams in me as some Penn St fans walk by…

“Penn State sucks, eh, if ya know what I mean, eh??? Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk”!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 12.07.12 @ 4:23 pm

@Bruce F

unless the MSU AD was referring to PITT & Cuse, that is. lol

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 4:36 pm

I’m surprised nobody has yet quoted Steve P on the PSU contract: “When other people are trying to get to the same result, it’s pretty easy,” Pederson said. RIP Joe Pa.

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 12.07.12 @ 4:36 pm

After a win at PSU, I asked a vendor if he had a Penn State sucks T-shirt.
He said no but he could carve it on my chest and he started to come over the counter at me.
Fortunately my drunken buddies pulled me away and we all staggered back to my van.
The good old days.

Comment by frank MD 12.07.12 @ 4:38 pm

Somebody will have to make a statue of SAndusky and bring it to the main lot closest to Heinz Field,

Then hang a sign on it.

reading naturally,

Penn State sucks !

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 4:41 pm

info for you all a vist on 12/17/12 DT JC
Abens Cajuste 6 foot 3 305 pounds

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.07.12 @ 4:42 pm

Enjoy the banter my fellow Blathers. Hope the basketball team wins this Saturday and the experience impresses the hell out of the football recruits in attendance. Have a good weekend y’all. I’ll be checking back Monday.

Comment by TX Panther 12.07.12 @ 4:50 pm

Who else is recruiting him Frankie?

Good to see an additional 2 PITT/Pee Wee State games

It would be nice …eventually….to see the game moved to the last game of the season, like it always was.
So the taunting and hate of both fan bases can be built upon thru out the whole season. Leading up to the game, which was always played around
Thanksgiving Friday or Sat.

As all the big rival games are the last game of the season, OSU/Mich, UF/FSU, GT/UGA, Kansas/Wvcc

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 4:57 pm

Really if the Big 10 grabs Ga Tech and North Carolina, so what. Hello Cincy and UCONN. Its a wash. Maybe not for the all important TV viewership, but frankly I don’t care about that. I’d rather see Cincy at Heinz than NC and I seem to recall a pretty good BB rivalry between UCONN and Pitt.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.07.12 @ 5:08 pm

Alvarez revealed that the B10 expansion of Maryland and Butgers was in response to the threat that PSU might be leaving the B10 for the ACC.

Comment by spindler's spirit 12.07.12 @ 5:44 pm

I have some pretty good connections at State Penn and I have heard that PSU to the ACC rumor for about a week now. As I’ve said before, Maryland will find out how expensive it is to tote the other teams (girls BB, wrestling, gymnastices etc) to Iowa, come home then to Michigan and on and on. PSU could save a bundle by moving to the ACC.

They are our ONLY rival as far as I have ever been concern. Attended my first game in 1962 and did not miss one until 1982.

Comment by Dan 72 12.07.12 @ 6:01 pm

EMel Abens is a soft verbal to illinois
but he has 2 vists besides pitt he is looking around but to ansewer you abought 12 schools
like AZ AZS Baylor to many to list
but we are his last vist i like that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.07.12 @ 6:03 pm

Fortunately the B10 needs only two more teams to get to 16. What two areas are left that will give them enough TV/cable money to make up for the distribution to two more teams?

Maybe GT (second in fans to GA) but splitting NC and VA I doubt.

Comment by frank MD 12.07.12 @ 6:08 pm

EMel here is one we might pick up aregeros turner
a RB who is a soft verbel to cinci.
he had offers from illinois tenn purdue wasnington
and there coach butch jones is gone.
he is from AKRON a 3 star.
and i think we could use a RB.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.07.12 @ 6:27 pm

Penn State to the ACC would be fantastic. I don’t think it will happen but wow, it would renew our rivalry with them across the board in all sports.

It would also put Buttgers on a cold isolated island that would be very hard to overcome.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 12.07.12 @ 6:49 pm

Interesting Dan72

I’ve heard some stuff emanating from Creepy Valley as well.

The money issue is moot, as if Ped State came into the ACC, along with ND, “All Broadwell” as we say now, would be about the same as the Little 11 after all the negotiations with our lord & master ESPN (ie. daddy sugar bucks).

And with ND, PITT, Ped State, BC, Cuse, Miami, GT and all the other somewhat smaller TV markets, a ACC network could be launched a lot easier now, than previously when it mostly smaller southern tv markets. And that increases the TV revenue even that much more.

Also I’m hearing PSU might want a clean do over or restart if you like in the ACC after they come off probation. And they’re not real happy how the Little 11 “piled on” after the NCAA penalties

Also they don’t really have a school that considers them “The Rival” (lol while now MD & RU will hope to become that “Rival”, but that’s gonna always be a one-sided thing as it won’t be felt on the PSU side) and they haven’t liked being treated as a step-child all these years. PLUS, lightweights MD AND Buttgers are being placed in their conf, which means those recruiting territories that were dominated by the Nitters all these years, being the only Big 10 team that recruited there, will now HAVE TO BE SHARED.

So as you can see, there was some sentiment out there in Creepy Valley, BEFORE the Little 11 penalties and BEFORE MD & RU into the L1G and BEFORE ND to the ACC, now that that has all happened, it just adds that much more fuel to the fire, so to speak.

So it’s back to normal now on the Blather, we can talk about Expansionapocolypse again. 🙂

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 6:50 pm

Good stuff, Frankie,

Since your our recruiting guru, how many scholies do we have left to offer?

The RB from Akron sounds enticing, is he a bulldozer type like Shell or a gamebreaker/scatback like Ray Ray ?

We need the later type imo.

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 6:53 pm

Interesting talk out of penn st. Doubt if they make the jump,but it does make a ton of sense. The big whatever ismtrying to appease penn st with lowly Maryland and Rutgers. My guess is that it isn’t going over we’ll. PITT and SU were likely preferred by penn st.

My guess is the Swoffard is wheeling and dealing on possible penn st defection. Dangling ACC network, natural rival (PITT) , less travel, and surer route to national championship. The only problem… That 24 M payout from BIG whatever. If big daddy (ESPN) and agree to renegotiate a deal for a 16 team ACC with Penn St then this will get interesting.

All of the Cards are in ESPN’s hands. Will get interesting in the next 2-3 years when those scholarship losses kick in and the Big whatever continues to treat penn st like red headed step child

Comment by PITT fan in Atlanta 12.07.12 @ 7:17 pm

They were worried about PSU leaving all that money? LOL.

No one is leaving the Big Ten. Too much money. Too much prestige.

Comment by Chris 12.07.12 @ 8:16 pm

Yea well the money issue would be null & void with both ND & PSU in the ACC. Heck it might be null & void with just ND “all broadwell”

And the ACC is a more prestigious conference Academic wise. So that issue is a moot point right now.

And sports wise, for ALL sports the ACC is better.

The only prestige PSU gets is that of a step-child and now worse.

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 8:22 pm

The only question is…would the ACC want a program serving a 4 year probation with ALL that baggage.

Next time I see Swofford in Charlotte I’ll ask. lol

Comment by Emel 12.07.12 @ 8:26 pm

Cant wait for the PSU series to begin again it was the 2nd biggest travesty from JoePa, The 2018 game will be my sons 21st bday so that should be an interesting day

Comment by toga toga toga 12.07.12 @ 8:26 pm

GT to the Big Ten! What a joke. No one in GA or Atlanta cares. They forever sealed their fate by leaving the SEC just when it was set to soar. BTN will eventually have to face the dilution of its brand. I’ll take UCONN right now in place of GT.
UCONN to the Bug ten makes more sense.
PSU will come if ND does and vice versa. If that happens first, no one in their right mind would leave the ACC.
PSU is never, repeat, NEVER going to take the Big Ten away from OSU and UofM. Never. For God’s sake, PSU has lost about 80% of their games against those two. In hoops, PSU has lost something like 15 straight to OSU! How pathetic is that?!
They will always be second rate occupants.
In the ACC however, they won’t have that problem.
Time will tell but I bring PSU and ND in with an offer no one can refuse!

Comment by SFPitt 12.07.12 @ 8:33 pm

It would make the ACC one of the power conferences if Penn State and ND joined. I think the only way you get either is if you get both. Not to add to the conspiracy theory, but the timing of Penn State increasing their annual games with Pitt could have more to it than meets the eye.

Comment by Floyd 12.07.12 @ 8:58 pm

This Alverez press conference ticked me off. Apparently Chryst was approached by Alverez to gauge interest as it was explained to me by the big ten network. Chryst could have had the job I was told which led me to ask so Chryst turned them down. Quickly I was told he didn’t turn it down since it was not formally offered to him.

Then Alverez gives this press conference to make it sound like it was his idea.

Alverez said they also turned away a school from the big 10 for acedemic reasons and expansion was to appease Penn St.

Comment by Freebird 12.07.12 @ 9:58 pm

EMel as far as scholies go my thought is we
are going to go over the 25 limt i think we will take 30 commits and fit then in some how.
cinci took 28 last year.
and the RB is a fast one .

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.07.12 @ 10:21 pm

Penn State for so many years was the standard bearer for eastern football. Since joining the Big Ten they’ be been treated as a outsider. When Joe PA suggested adding Pitt or Syracuse, they blew him off. Penn State wanted one or two eastern teams in the conference. Other than a larger payout, I think the ACC would be a better fit for them. Do I think they make the jump? No, but I would love to see them in the conference as Pitt.

Comment by Justinian 12.07.12 @ 10:24 pm

First game I go to at Beaver stadium, I am making a full size paterno zombie replica that I will have dance during zombie nation until then end, when a panther alienesque creature bursts out of his chest and puts him back in the grave… So what if I have to pony up for 2 seats, worth it.

Comment by Benzene 12.08.12 @ 2:32 am

Not sure GA Tech will join B1G Conference, but Clemson might. Dan Radacovich, a PA boy, resigned as AD at Tech in late October and joined Clemson. Radacovich was in favor of moving Tech out of ACC.
Dan was instrumental in screwing up Tech’s football season tickets seats requiring “donations” to reserve seats in Bobby Dodd stadium. Given that Tech has the same proble that Pitt has filling seats, the season ticketholders didn’t take kindly to their AD.

Tech is still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Dan, maybe Steve should apply. On second thought, I wouldn’t wish Steve on my second alma mater. But… HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 12.08.12 @ 8:11 am

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