March 12, 2013

Maybe One More Commit

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:35 am

Waaaayyyyy back in July, it seemed Pitt was going to take a commit from Jamel Artis. A long wingman out of Baltimore. 3-star but with potential and scouting reports that suggested he was the kind of player who Coach Jamie Dixon has developed in the past.

Then Pitt got the commit from Mike Young to go with Josh Newkirk, and it seemed Pitt backed off. No extra scholarships and all. Artis never verbaled, but also didn’t commit anywhere else. There seemed to be a lot of interest and desire from Artis, but Pitt seemed to be holding back. Even after two more scholarships opened up with transfers.

Then yesterday things changed. Maybe.

The 24/7 Pitt recruiting site, Panther 24/7, began tweeting and posting (subscription only) that Artis was a full verbal to Pitt. Curiously, no other recruiting site corroborated the news. Usually after one site gets the news first, the others get their confirmation and the news is out there. That didn’t happen.

It still hasn’t. Both and do not have Artis listed on their commit pages. It took several hours before 24/7 added Artis to their commit page.

So much as it has been it seems Artis wants to be a Panther, but Pitt may still not be ready to take him.

sfpitt, you are on a roll tonight – very funny!

USF-SH game was just a horribly played game, but fortunate it went to OT so both teams could get into the 40s. Felt like watching a PSU-IL game from a couple of years ago – friggin ugly!

Comment by Gopitt33 03.12.13 @ 8:28 pm

Pederson and the ACC.

As if the owner of the restaurant came up to you and said, “I know you’re eating hamburger”, but would you like to come and eat lobster and filet for the rest of your life.

Ok, Pederson said “yes”. How he gets credit for “steering and navigating the ship” is total crap.

The ACC had no other choices. Before Louisville, the ACC was still hanging on to sports and academics for their choices.

There were only really a couple. Pitt, Syracuse, UCONN, and really, that’s about it.

BC cancelled UCONN. Pitt and Syracuse left.

Comment by Dan 03.12.13 @ 8:28 pm

**ps** Don’t sell Pitt so short. Allthough Defilippo or whatever his name is gave the kibosh, there were a lot of ACC people polling for Pitt to be in there instead of UCONN.

Yes, he had the hatchet, but Pitt still stood on it’s own merits too many.

Comment by Dan 03.12.13 @ 8:30 pm

Pens are getting a lesson in humility tonight from a superior Bruin team.

Comment by Dan 72 03.12.13 @ 8:39 pm

PS – Glad to see ImmaMan, Jon and Jeff, all of Pedersona kids and relatives have checked in. Nice time for a first appearance Jon and Jeff!

Have their been 2 worse Pitt Public Relations disiasters than Smizek and Pederson?

Comment by Dan 72 03.12.13 @ 8:44 pm

First of all Pitt Stadium should not have been torn down. It had remarkable sight lines and the arguement was made that it was the reason for poor attendence. Attendence at Heinz field hasn’t been any better. Winning Football takes care of those issues. New seats, restrooms, refreshment areas could have been updated. It would have been easier to find space for a basketball facility than for a football stadium. The reality is that Pitt needed both. It shouldn’t have been an “Either Or” decision.

Without a doubt, having the Pete has been great for Pitt basketball. Unfortunately this is all water under the dam and for better or worse, Pitt will be playing football at Heinz Field.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 8:46 pm

The Bruins are getting a lesson in humility from a superior Pens team.

Comment by Denny 03.12.13 @ 8:56 pm

Cancel that lesson in humlility. Great comeback by the Pens!

While I am not thrilled by the Pederson (relatives)lovers making up their own facts, I am thrilled that we moved off the topic of Khem Birch.

Thank you SF PItt for bringing actual facts to the table. If you really knew all the politics you would vomit. It was a classic Pitt Cluster F… Pitt Stadium was torn down and the Pete almost did not get built. Guess who was right in the middle of all the screwups?

Comment by Dan 72 03.12.13 @ 9:13 pm

The only thing the Zoo has is the matching T-Shirts. The Fieldhouse was more rocking. Pitt stadium was great place for college kids to watch a game. Everyone standing on a bleacher then a couple of your friends came down and somehow you squeezed them in.

Comment by DCPinPGH 03.12.13 @ 10:23 pm

How were the sight lines at Pitt stadium better than Heinz field? It was a bowl stadium with a track around the field which made the seats a mile from the field. That place was an embarrassment. That is a fact.

Comment by notrocketscience 03.12.13 @ 10:25 pm

No surprises in day 1.

Comment by panther94 03.12.13 @ 10:34 pm

Pederson handling of Wanny and insisting on being Pittsburgh alone makes that article a travesty. I was only in Pitt stadium once, it was college atmosphere but it wasn’t like being at Michigan State or Ohio State, it was just a college football game so Heinz is no big deal. Entering the ACC looking like GT and playing like Wake won’t get us anywhere. Every ACC team has a unique look-FSU, Clemson, UNC, etc all are recognizable on tv-is Pitt? No and that is on SP.

Comment by John 03.12.13 @ 10:58 pm

I’m not related to Steve Pederson, but I have met him. He & I spoke for almost an hour at an alumni function, me a complete stranger, when the hoops team was in Denver for March Madness a few years back. I don’t know many people who’d be that gracious.

Regardless, despite it being a hoops game, we spoke mostly about his goal (and my dream) to resume the Pitt-PSU football game as soon as a certain stubborn (and turn out, child-rape enabler) was out of the way.

The fact that he’s done that, to me, makes up for a lot of other things.

As to Pitt Stadium, it was obsolete for a lot of the same reasons as Ebbets Field in Brooklyn: it was built in the era before cars became king. There was little to no parking, and the old trolley tracks to give fans an alternative mode of transportation were ripped up decades ago.

Pitt Stadium was fine if you were a student living on campus, but their tix are almost freebies. For the big-paying customers (alumni for example), Pitt Stadium was a pain in the neck.

Hand to heart & heart to God, do you really think Pitt Stadium was superior in ANY way to Heinz Field? There’s parking, freeway access, seats with backs, plenty of bathrooms, a place to get out of the rain. Natural grass (minimizes injuries). Versus, we could still be trying to attract picky blue-chippers to that dump (actually it was a dump in the 80s, it’d be condemned by now).

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.13.13 @ 12:29 am

Don’t understand Pederson when it comes to marketing and the Pitt script. Other teams such as the Steelers and Penguins are always looking for ways to bring in more revenue with throw back uniforms, Even if it was only once in a while why would you not have a script uniform game once a year just to sell merchandise. Pederson is either a idiot or Pitt athletics is loaded with money and could care less. They cry poor mouth when it comes to hiring football coaches. If Pitt offers a marketing degree, maybe they should require Pederson to take some classes.

Comment by Wayne 03.13.13 @ 6:02 am

Stevie’s new goal should be getting PSU into the ACC. If that happens I will never say a bad word about him (not to say I won’t give constructive criticism though.)

Comment by Benzene 03.13.13 @ 6:19 am

The one thing, I think, most contributors on this blog can agree on it that Steve Pederson is a very polarizing individual. Doesn’t seem that many people are without strong opinions, one way or the other on his AD performance.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.13.13 @ 6:38 am

Here’s a story I heard about the Script from somebody who might know, dunno if it’s true.

We live out west, but try to fly back to SWPA every fall to catch two football games on consecutive weekends. While at the Pitt Shop “stocking up” on Pitt gear, I asked the store manager why they didn’t have a single item with the Script from the 70s-80s (they had an older script, kinda italicized, before my time there).

Anyhoo, she told me that, believe it or not, somewhere along the line the Steelers had obtained rights to the Script brand. Just to be sure she didn’l misspeak, I rephrased the Q several times and got the same answer. She said that’s why you can buy Scripts stuff on-line and at Heinz Field but not at University owned stores.

Has anybody else ever heard that? It could be true, because sure as the dawn The Pitt Shop didn’t carry Script gear last time we were there.

Dunno if that’s true or not. But if not, it could explain why we don’t wear throwbacks.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.13.13 @ 7:39 am

Oops, I meant if that story (Steelers owning rights to the Script) are TRUE, it could explain why Pitt doesn’t wear throwbacks.

Frankly, I don’t know why the Steelers would buy it. And if they did, why they don’t try to force Pitt to wear throwbacks (to make it more marketable and hence more valuable).

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.13.13 @ 7:43 am

Pitt already does sell throwback Pitt Script merchandise — and they are selling it like crazy without resorting to the gimmick of alternate uniforms. Go to the team store, and if you can find any of their Script stuff in something besides a Small or Medium you are in luck.

Comment by JCE 03.13.13 @ 7:44 am

Imma — they had Script stuff at the store in the Pete last time I was there. I believe that is the “offical” team store.

Comment by JCE 03.13.13 @ 7:47 am

Listen .. Steve Pederson’s 1st stint as AD may have well been the best job ever done by a Pitt AD.

And the same can be said about Johnny Majors’ 1st stint.

But both of the above 2nd stints stank to high heaven

Comment by wbb 03.13.13 @ 8:27 am

@Imma man. I’ve heard that story many times, with a slightly different slant.

A department within the university actually owns the Pitt script logo.

Like the university press, or education or something like that?? Maybe they didn’t want the notebooks to say Pitt, wanted Univ. of Pgh on them.

Actually have heard that one a lot.

And people will end that story with, “that’s why they don’t have the script”.

Which to that, I say, that is one phone call from the chancellor to the dept. head. Done deal.

I work in a pretty big company. If another department has something, that will benefit the whole company, it’s a non-issue.

So, I never bought into that one allthough hearing it repeated often.

Comment by Dan 03.13.13 @ 8:39 am

I was at a basketball game at the Pete a few weeks back. Lots of script for sale, and stocked up on some myself.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 03.13.13 @ 10:47 am

wbb — too early to use past tense on Pederson’s second stint. Also, you don’t like the ACC move? Or that was done despite him?

Comment by JCE 03.13.13 @ 12:49 pm

If I’m not mistaken, the athletic department actually owns the Pitt script-that’s why you see on sale at the official team store at the Pete, which is run by the athletic department (and by extension, the Sideline Stores at Heinz Field). The Pitt Shop is run by the university which may be why you don’t see it there.

Comment by Pitt90 03.13.13 @ 12:50 pm

There’s a number of factual errors in this fluff piece by this John Harris of the Trib.
Stevie Cornhole must have promised court box seats for 5 years to the Pete to write it.

#1“If it wasn’t for Steve Pederson, Pitt’s not in the ACC,” said former shoe executive and Trafford native Sonny Vaccaro.

Quoting this stmt as if it’s fact. Which it most certainly isn’t. Gene DeFillipo of BC had more influence than Cornhole Stevie, as the ACC was poised to pick UCONN INSTEAD OF PITT, until BC stepped in. So where does Stevie come in, the ACC wanted UCONN, they were just coming off their 3rd National Championship in Men’s basketball, their women’s team is 1000 times better than Pitt’s and their football team had just been to a BCS Bowl. Vaccaro’s stmt. makes no sense whatsover other than being made by someone who’s made deals with Pederson regarding sports equipment and him trying to elevate his status.

#2 Without the benefit of a top-20 football team, Pitt, on the strength of men’s basketball, secured a deal with Nike in 2009 while also gaining membership in the ACC. Pitt’s football team finished 10-3 in 2009 for its first 10-win season in 28 years.

Pitt finished just outside the Top 20 in 2008 at 9-4 and finished at #15 in 2009. And was in the middle of the best 3 year run in Pitt football in over 30 years.

#3 “Without basketball, Pitt would be like Connecticut — no place to go,” Vaccaro said. “Pitt would be going to the Catholic 7.”

Again this stmt makes no sense whatsoever, as we all know PITT had an offer from the Big 12 before the ACC offer. Vaccaro is getting or has become senile obviously.

#4 Pederson’s magic touch enabled Pitt to evolve into one of the elite college basketball programs in the country.

I’ve got news for you Mr. John Harris, while Pitt has a very good basketball program nobody around the nation considers us an “elite program”.
We are not mentioned in the same breath as the Duke’s, the Kansas’s, the Uconn’s, the UNC’s.
And for good reason, we’ve been to …..count it.
one (1) Elite Eight game since 2001 and two (2) Elite games since 1974. That is not an elite program John Harris.

What Stevie Cornholes magic touch did do, was make sure PITT didn’t capitalize on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A Penn State program in total disarray, and without their supposed sainted coach fir the first time in 50 years.
That opportunity will never present itself again. At least not in our lifetimes. Now that is some magic touch isn’t it. Bad magic for sure.

#6 Department of Education statistics reported the Panthers were the 14th most profitable program in college basketball in 2009-10. The program netted $7.1 million. While it’s all nice & good we netted some millions in basketball we all know thru all the hundreds of sports articles written since all this conference reshuffling has taken place, that it is FOOTBALL, not basketball that drives over 80%-90% of a universities given revenue. While again it is nice we were 14th according to Harris in basketball revenue, he conviently omits Pitt’s ranking in OVERALL REVENUE. But ok let’s stay with basketball only for a moment since John Harris made this a big part of this article. I mean how could he not if he’s defending a guy who wrecked the football program. Whoops looks like John Harris cherry picked some more figures here to make things look better for SP. He chose the 2009-2010 season. Ok but let’s look at 2010-2011 season. Pitt basketball that year made a profit of $6,392,827, a little less but of course Harris picked the year Pitt made our only run to the Elite 8 since 1974. Pitt’s profit in 2010-2011 was less than that of Northwestern and NC State’s. Not exactly two powerhouse programs especially Northwestern.

Now getting back to Football Revenue which John Harris most conviently omitted.
In the 2009-2010 season Pitt made a football profit of $5,072,304 which was $10,000,000 less than West Virginia.

In the 2010-2011 season Pitt made a football profit of..,…drum roll please……ZERO
While L-Ville made a profit of over $10 Million and WVU made over $5 Million. Even USF made over $4 million and Syracuse over $3 million.

Now you understand why Mr. John Harris ONLY reported basketball revenue in writing this piece of trash fluff piece on Pederson being such a good AD.

Oh and btw can’t wait to see the non-revenue for football the past two seasons where attendance was far far less than the 2009-2010 season.

Comment by EMel 03.13.13 @ 4:48 pm

In another 15 years, Heinz will look a lot like old Pitt stadium.

Will Pitt be happy playing in an off campus dump? A dump with ugly yellow seats, a sea of asphalt surrounding an architecturally boring stadium, a location where I can’t point out to friends and family where I used to attend class or live or hang out as I stroll down the streets.

What special connection do I have with the North Shore?

Why should Pitt share a sterile pro stadium?

Pitt basketball doesn’t play at the Consol. The basketball program doesn’t need that large of a venue. Why should Pitt football continue playing at Heinz when an OCS is a viable option?

An option that can help improve the game day experience, help preserve traditions and create new ones, help enhance the special bond between university and the Oakland neighborhood, provide Pitt with a new symbol to increase its brand equity, provide fans, students and alumni with a place we all can call our home.

Cost can be overcome. Transportation effectively addressed. Land acquisition obtained.

Get off the sidelines and into the game. Support the cause. Volunteer your time. Believe in the dream and make it become a reality.


Comment by TX Panther 03.16.13 @ 3:30 pm

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