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.

Nice, but we need a big man, even a project.

Still don’t understand why Gilbert left. Practicing against Adams would have made him better faster. Unless he was just godawful, he should have stayed.

Oh well.

Comment by gc 03.12.13 @ 8:57 am

just what we need .. another 6’5 small forward. Means once again, that someone will be playing out of position

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 9:11 am

At this time of year, why do I worry about next year?;)

With Moore, Patterson and Ziegler all entering their senoir year, a 6’7″-210# wing is a nice pick-up. I do hope he is willing to add some weight and play some PF.
I still hope that there is a good JUCO (or willing D1) center on Pitt’s RADAR screen.

Comment by xfmrman 03.12.13 @ 9:27 am

gc, Gilbert left because he wanted to play with his brother. His brother wasn’t going to play at Pitt.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.12.13 @ 9:40 am

u actually believe that story? then why would he stick around all summer and fall and leave beginning of season, i think that was just an excuse for him to leave

Comment by mike 03.12.13 @ 10:10 am

I think it was more than just wanting to play with his brother. I think Gilbert was unhappy about being red-shirted and facing the prospect of being a back-up to Adams. It’s unfortunate because, I thought he had a lot of potential. Gilbert was pretty decent defensively and he had a wide wingspan. Getting a big guy is an urgent need, but you still need a guy who can play effectively at this level.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 10:20 am

From what we saw of him, I think he could have played a lot over the next three years. He either didn’t have confidence in himself or patience to develop his game. In any case he appears to have made a mistake if he wanted to have a shot at the pros. If he didn’t have those aspirations, he’ll be a big man on a small campus.

Comment by gc 03.12.13 @ 10:40 am

When you look at what Jamie did for Gray and McGee, you have to believe Gilbert could have been a contender. Most guys will benefit with a little patience. Flacco’s one of the few that made the right choice to leave.

Comment by gc 03.12.13 @ 10:47 am

And hopefully Savage made the right choice to leave too…twice.

Comment by Iron Duke 03.12.13 @ 11:21 am

speaking of transfers ……… MWC Defensive Player of the Year: Khem Birch

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 11:31 am

Jamie interview on ESPN Podcast basketball page.

Comment by Frank MD 03.12.13 @ 11:44 am

I believe that story. I’m sure the redshirt thing played a bit in it. But he transferred to the really small school where his brother was. If he wanted playing time and wanted to be legit, I’m sure he could have transferred to some bigger programs that need help ASAP. I think it shows he was never going to be a big time player at Pitt. Nothing wrong with passing up big time hoops for less stress and to play with your brother.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.12.13 @ 12:15 pm

I think Gilbert could and would have developed into a good center for Pitt. Sometimes it’s more, the father’s expectations than anything else. I know his father wanted his other son, to also play at Pitt. Hey, Pitt didn’t offer Brad Wannamaker’s twin brother. They only have so many scholarships to give and they have to be objective about wheather or not a player can play at this level.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 12:28 pm

Interesting to speculate about what impact Birch would have had on this year’s team. Can’t believe Jamie would go eleven deep. Moore probably backs up at shooting guard and Johnson never sees the floor.

Zanna and Taylor probably see fewer minutes. Who knows.

Comment by gc 03.12.13 @ 12:38 pm

Big problem now, there aren’t just a whole lot of players available now, that aren’t signed with another school.

Unless someone decommits or someone just falls into our laps, not a whole lot of options out there.

If Artis is indeed 6-7, 210, looks like he has some ups and can handle the ball, apparently a good passer as well and HE WOULD BE EXCITED to be at PITT. That last thing is sometimes the intangible most ppl don’t factor in.

Let’s let him commit. Patterson & Moore will both be seniors next year, we can maybe redshirt him next year and he might be the heir apparent at the 3.

And we would still have 1 scholie left. If a 6-10 or 6-11 kid just happens to fall out of a tree.

Comment by EMel 03.12.13 @ 12:40 pm

one thing if Birch stayed .. Pitt would have led the NCAA in blocked shots

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 12:51 pm

Birch’s offensive stats

7.8 ppg 6.2 rpg

Not exactly overpowering.

While it would be enticing to see what Kiwi Steve & him would have looked like defensively with KS at the 5 and him at the 4, the lack of production offensively is basically similar to what happened when Zanna went into his funk.

Zanna 9.7 ppg 6.1 rpg

The only benefit I would see was if Birch played the 5 and that freed up Kiwi Steve to play the 4, which is his natural position. As Kiwi Steve has a better face up game than Birch, of course we haven’t seen much of it, since he’s buried in the paint like a lumbering, slow footed, nonathletic 7 footer.

That is the only advantage I see if Birch would have stayed, playing him at the 5 and Kiwi Steve at the 4.

Comment by EMel 03.12.13 @ 12:54 pm

Birch’s defensive stats: 59 blocks

in 1/2 year (2nd semester)

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 1:02 pm

My guess is Gilbert decided to leave because it was agreed Adams would stay another year. If Adams stays, Gilbert is only a back up C, with very limited minutes until he’s a Junior, at least, with no redshirt left. Its just a better opportunity for him to go play with his borther on a squad he’ll get starters minutes for 3 yrs.

Comment by PantherP 03.12.13 @ 1:09 pm

Screw Khem Birch… can we stop talking about his no heart having, punk a$$!! He didn’t want to be at Pitt so good riddance. He was starting and averaging 15 minutes at the 5, but cried about not wanting to be a 5.

Next thing people will be longing for Jaylen Bond again and the 3 & 3 he put up for Texas this year…

Comment by Pitt89 03.12.13 @ 1:15 pm

Adams is a Center not a 4.. This Artis is motivated and skilled..

Comment by 63 Team 03.12.13 @ 1:17 pm

EMel good observation. Adams is the protype NBA big mobile forward.
With Birch at the 5 Adams would be an impossible matchup for anyone playing in college now.
Adams is quick enough (Kevin Garrnett said he has the quickest feet for a big man since he came into the league) to play man to man (can hit the 3 pt.) and play wing at zone.
With Adams and Birch on the same floor both of their point and rebound totals would likely have doubled as freshman.
Comapring Zanna to either one offensively or defensively is a major stretch. After next year If we put our dislike for Birch’s departure from Pitt aside any objective apprasail of Adams, Bircch, and Zanna comes down to this. Zanna will be in Europe, maybe, and both Adams and Birch will be looking at an NBA career.

Comment by pittisit 03.12.13 @ 2:21 pm

Birch didn’t want to be here. Maybe he’s happy as a clam at UNLV, but I doubt it. He was a malcontent, and you are better off not having him around. I think he missed being a star, he didn’t want to play center, and he liked being courted. He would have been playing the 4 spot this year against better competiton in a MUCH higher profile league. Yes, he has a lot of talent and he’s a good shot blocker, but how much better would he have really made Pitt? I think, not much.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 2:22 pm

Birch is not an NBA player. His offense is very limited put up almost identical numbers to Zanna in lesser conference. In fact Birch did not start the last game or two for UNLV. Birch also lacks strength.

Comment by steve 03.12.13 @ 2:34 pm

Pittisit,Zanna will make the NBA,his numbers are actually better than Adams and Birch and Kehm is playing against softies out west.How many times did either of them get 19 boards in one game?I think you underate Talib,but don’t put him behind a quitter crybaby like Birch please.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.12.13 @ 2:36 pm

Perhaps he did not want to be here because of the problems with last years team. There was nothing positive about last years team.
What if’s are terrible, but this what if was close.
Birsch or Adams are no ordinary big-men. In my opinion there is no more gifted big man in college basketball than Adams. With some experience and self-realization Adams can be the first dominant big man in college since the 3 point arc made the game a guards game.
Athletically Birch is also unique with less skills than Adams but few physical limitations.
Both players are far superior than any other player on Pitt’s roster. With the exception or addition of a growing master ballhandler (Robinson).
Consider; inside Adams, Birch, with Robinson at point – final four next year. 7′, 6’10”, NBA level athletes and a potential NBA level PG.
More points would be scored and few teams would score over 50 or 60 (at most) against that lineup.

Comment by pittisit 03.12.13 @ 2:42 pm

Pittisit,You keep blaming us for Birch’s renig,he plays soft in soft conference and couldn’t cut it here,because he is too much of a wous.Zanna would have started ahead of him and despite your delusions,I don’t think he would have made any major diference here.Taking time to consider what we would be with him in our lineup is moronic because he obviously didn’t fit here and blaming us for his withdrawl is unfair.I prefer to compete with the guys who had the guts to stick around through the tough times.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.12.13 @ 2:56 pm

I think Pitt would be a Top 10 team with Birch. Woodall, Robinson and company could definitely overplay the guards with Adams and Birch underneath swatting away the shots.

Also, I don’t think Birch knew what he wanted …. he was a naive 18 year old who put his trust in the wrong people.

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 3:25 pm

Listening to Smizek on the Fan today..he says Pitt may win 1 or 2 games in the NCAA and hopes we only win 1 in the BET so we can rest up.

Now I am really psyched for the tourneys.

What a Pitt hater he is, especially for an alum.
Glad he kept my record of not agreeing with him since the Buccos rehired Danny Murtaugh, in tact!

What an asshole…

Comment by Dan 72 03.12.13 @ 3:47 pm

wbb, yeah I think you’re right about his being naive and easily manipulated. Unfortunately he put more trust in his “handlers” than in his coach. A lot of these “AAU hangers on” think they know more than the people who get paid to coach. Jamie Dixon knows more about basketball and what it takes for a player to develop.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 3:53 pm

Unlike Bob Smizik, I hope that they win more than one game in the Big East Tournament. It is Pitt’s very last Big East Tourney in Madison Square Garden. The Pitt players don’t need that much rest. They are a very deep team that plays all ten guys. In the NCAA tournament you get a day off between the 1st and 2nd games and the a week before the next.

Comment by Justinian 03.12.13 @ 4:02 pm

Dan 72, Yes smiz is a total jerk but no dumber than the idiot in the trib this morning spending a whole page telling us how wonderful Pederson is as an AD.What a bunch of crap.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.12.13 @ 4:03 pm

Comment by xfmrman 03.12.13 @ 4:19 pm

Dixon,Sonny Vacaro,and Pederson all are quoted saying how wonderful Pitt’s shoe contract is.Funny don’t each of them get a kickback out of the deal.I hardly think it serves as any testimony to the brilliance of Pederson.What it shows is how corrupt college athletics are,when idiots like Vacaro and Pederson can make big money and maintain moron status simultaneously.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.12.13 @ 4:22 pm

Spirit – I almost threw up my breakfast reading the Pederson article deifying him as a man who made a few (FEW???) mistakes but overall has led Pitt Sports to Greatness.

If I made a mistake (name any of his) with half the ramifications of his least costly mistake, I would be fired and perp walked out of my office with a police escort.

I find his arrogance inexcusable and the fact that he is always in our face sitting behind the Pitt bench in a $1000+ suit and tie pretending to be “everyman”, just throws gas on the fire.

No love lost here and I will NEVER forgive him for tearing down Pitt Stadium without putting up a new one on campus! Have yet to attend a game at the Pete for just that reason.

I was going to not make a prediction on either tournament and was going to be happy just to see Pitt compete and do the best they can in each but… that Smiz-ass has shared his views that Pitt is a year away (he always says thatwhich is about as high a compliment as he will ever give Pitt)I think Pitt makes the BET finals and gives Louisville a hell of a game.

I think Pitt goes in the NCAA’s as a 5 seed and makes it to the final 8. at a minimum!

Comment by Dan 72 03.12.13 @ 4:27 pm

There are 3 games today that could help Pitt’s RPI.

(294)Bethune-Cookman (-5.5) over (307)Coppin State
(121)Mount St. Mary’s (+3.5) over (180)LIU-Brooklyn
(198)DePaul (+3) (107)Rutgers

Comment by xfmrman 03.12.13 @ 4:33 pm

Jamie would never start Birch at the 4. Not with his lack of offense

Comment by TonyC 03.12.13 @ 4:43 pm

I’m no fan of Pederson, but the one thing he did right was upgrade us to the Pete by ridding us of Pitt Stadium.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 03.12.13 @ 5:24 pm

Dan 72, that story about Pederson in the trib this morning was a total fraud. He quotes Vaccaro as saying that it is Pederson who is the reason that Pitt is in the ACC and UConn is on the outside looking in …. when in fact, it was the BC AD DeFelippo who was the main reason for that. That author of the article, Harris, makes Ron Cook look like Mark Twain.

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 5:38 pm

A-holes are in super abundance this time of year.
Smizik: WTF does he know about basketball
Tom Crean: Pope of A-holes and since he married into a family of A-holes, his children have a birthright to his throne.
Pederson: raised money? Ask the track team about that:
Gotlieb: Gotlieb is Yiddish for A-hole
Kellog: my old classmate forgets how he underachieved in
college. And the pros.
wRONg Cook: a face made for radio, a dim wit and a surly
disposition is no way to go thru life.
Stephen Smith: has he ever made sense?
I have to go vomit now.

Comment by SFPitt 03.12.13 @ 5:42 pm

SFPitt, you forgot Dickie “won’t shut the fuck up” V.

Comment by wbb 03.12.13 @ 6:12 pm

I happen to think Pederson’s pros outweigh his cons.

Pitt Stadium was a dump that had outlived its useful life, and had to go. People get nostalgic over stadiums, but sometimes they’re hopelessly obsolete. Would Pitt be ranked in hoops playing in Fitzgerald Fieldhouse? Not just no, but hell no. Sure they could play at the Consol Center, but why is that any different than the football team?

Would you still be clamoring for Forbes Field instead of PNC Park? Have you been to “iconic” Wrigley Field lately? It’s a dump. Think the Yankees miss their old stadium?

Problem with Pitt Stadium, unless you tear down a bunch of homes or businesses, there’s literally no room to build it. Fact of life. Which are some of the same reasons why there’s no “New” Fenway Park or “New” Wrigley Field (except Oakland is more dense).

My (only) two big knocks against Stevie-P: Getting rid of the Script (stupid brand killing) and replacing it with the Chipmunk logo (what the hell is a Dinocat?) logo, and hiring Heywood to replace Wanny.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.12.13 @ 7:11 pm

Finally some sanity on this forum, courtesy of Imma Man! Has Pedersen been perfect? Absolutely not. But ALL of our facilities have improved under his watch. The basketball team has become nationally prominent (not just relevant). People just can’t get over the Script or Pitt Stadium. As a 2010 alum, I can say the Pete was a singular college experience. Don’t think Pitt stadium could have held its own compared to being in the Zoo.

Comment by Jon 03.12.13 @ 7:30 pm

@ Imma Man!… I agree with you totally. For all the crap Pederson gets on this blog you would think he beats his wife and kicks his dog. He hasn’t always made the right decisions, but the good he has done far outweighs the bad.

While I don’t really like the Dinocat either, I thought when Pitt made a change it was needed. The old unis looked just that, old. In order to attract the attention of the younger generation (recruits, students) an update was in order. Having said that, I would love to see throwback unis on special occasions, if only so it would give people one less thing to complain about.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 03.12.13 @ 7:33 pm

My bad.
First team All American A-hole. “Dick” Vitale. Jack of all asses, master of none.

Comment by SFPitt 03.12.13 @ 7:45 pm

This USF/Seton Hall game is brutal. USF winning by 8 with 3 minutes left…..and they’ve only scored 37 points.

Comment by KeyboardKev 03.12.13 @ 7:46 pm

@Imma – don’t forget, the athletic department was getting 0 to little dollars out of the script merchandise sales. Stevie needed to raise money, so a logo copyrighted to the athletic department was the way to go. Script sales still benefit the entire university, not the athletic department alone…not that I think there’s anything wrong with that.

Comment by KeyboardKev 03.12.13 @ 7:48 pm

Not to change the subject, but the end if this USF-Hall game, now in OT, is getting interesting.

Comment by Lou 03.12.13 @ 8:01 pm

Those of you who think Pederson has done a good job are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

SP was bit responsible for the Events Center. He was a part of the team, but the majority of the money came from the state…the vast majority.

SP was however, part of the huge cost over runs that spawned lawsuits and damaged Pitt’s reputation with the PA Dept of General Services.
Buildings are not Snickers bars. They aren’t assembly line cars either. Instead, they are uniquely designed and subject to serious design and engineering studies ($$$$). Changes in design, means changes in engineering which means changes in cost. The term “value engineering” is code for scaling back a project. Optimally, it occurs before a shovel breaks dirt.
The opposite of that are the dreaded design changes during the construction phase. These are inherently expensive, but the mire dramatic, the more the cost over runs.
SP dramatically changed the design during construction and this lead to huge over runs that almost doubled the price!!
This started an avalanche of tension between DGS, the design team, the contractor and Pitt. Pitt didn’t pay for the building: taxpayers did.
Go in an area where you have zero competence and insist on changes you don’t have to pay for and you will piss off a lot of people.
The net impact of SP’s intrusion AFTER construction had begun was huge cost overruns, nearly a decade of costly lawsuits and the complete erosion of Pitt’s credibility with the paying entity…the Comminwealth of PA.
argue politics if you like, but Pederson is a four letter word with them..would Corbett or Rendel escape criticism fir fiscal insanity?
Next, the Olympic complex critical break actually came under Long, not Pederson. The roadblock was the housing authority of the city of Pittsburgh which owned the land and want budging. Again, argue politics if you like, but the break didn’t come until the authority, under pressure from the Mayors office agreed to sell the land to Pitt.
Now, I know this is Pittsburgh and time is measured differently here, but the Events Center was well over a decade ago….and while the lawsuits remain, other schools (like Akron –which has far better facilities than Pitt and dud win a mens soccer title) have far better facilities.
Pederson is a lousy fundraiser. Because he doesn’t raise funds.
I won’t get into the bizarre and humiliating experience with wannstadt Haywood and Graham…
Pitt was low end fund raising in the Big East. They will enter the ACC at the bottom of that important barometer.
College sports are a business. Would you have him run a business? If so, retain bankruptcy counsel now!

Comment by SFPitt 03.12.13 @ 8:19 pm

South Florida deserved to lose on uniforms alone.

Comment by Dan 03.12.13 @ 8:24 pm

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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