July 27, 2013

Random Link Clearance

Filed under: Conference,Money — Chas @ 9:36 am

Okay, time for links I just found interesting. Some related to Pitt. Some just about college football generally. Some of it stuff to put in the back of your mind for later:

Mike Morgan, a former Panther O-lineman is now the headcoach at Plum High School. He had been on Terry Smith’s staff at Gateway. He’s got work to do.

Morgan faces a major rebuilding job. Plum, which plays in the WPIAL’s ultra-competitive Class AAAA Southeastern Conference, has not won a game in nearly two years. The Mustangs will enter the season on a 16-game losing streak. Their previous win came against Kittanning in the second game of the 2011 season. A season ago, the Mustangs scored only 69 points and lost all but one of their games by at least 28 points.

Yeesh. Good luck, dude.

All this Division 4 talk has other conferences worried. The American is going to push for inclusion and — in every sense of the word I’d say — damn the cost.

The American Athletic Conference will likely push for inclusion if the power conferences break into a subdivision or so-called “Division 4,” commissioner Mike Aresco told

Aresco said he will expound on this topic at the conference’s media days in Newport, R.I., early next week, and he wants to know the parameters of a subdivision before discussing further with his presidents.

But on the surface, Aresco believes the American would fit certain criteria such as market size and long-term viability on the field.

“We want to compete at the highest level,” Aresco said.

Meanwhile at the conference with programs not good enough (or with enough of a media market) to make it to the American — that would be Conference USA — Southern Miss Coach Todd Monken was refreshingly blunt with his perspective.

“I would propose to [the power conferences] this: If you want to split off, let’s just do it that way, but you play each other, and you don’t get to play us then,” Monken said.

“Go ahead. See how you like that. See how you like the NFL rule and play each other every week. Coaches will be like ‘Whoa, hold on, wait a second now.'”

“Go ahead and do your deal — you guys split all the pie — but don’t go playing anyone else. You just play each other every week. Just have a nice NFL crossover where you play each other. Then when you fire up a nice 7-5, and you’re at a pretty good place and they fire you, they won’t be real excited about it, because you won’t have those games that they’ve been able to win. Plain and simple.”

“Some of those teams that get bowl eligible when they go 2-6 in their league and they go 6-6. Well, you’ll be 2-10, or 3-9, and it won’t feel so damn salty.”

Monken said the he also understands that the smaller schools offer themselves in a gambit.

“Schools at our level, until we get done prostituting ourselves are never going to really see those teams to come play you [at their home field],” he said.

Just read the whole thing. Rarely do you get to see a coach go off this honestly.

Sticking with the D4 conversation a little longer. The devil is in the details and it may not be as exclusive as first perceived.

This is impossible to answer right now. The Big 5 are likely to form a new tier — perhaps Division 4 or a “super division” — that creates an elite division of athletics still under the auspicious of the NCAA. Think of a scenario where a total of 12 to 15 conferences — about 150 schools — end up in this new subset of Division I.

The key difference will be in governance structure and greater rule flexibility. The Big 5 want change so their ability to pass legislation, especially to provide more for their student athletes, isn’t impeded by schools on radically different financial planes.

Think of a governance structure filled more with athletic directors and faculty instead of the current presidential-led Executive Committee. And the schools may end up with a structure similar fashion to the United Nations, where the “security counsel,” namely the Big 5, have final veto power after hearing from all parties.

A hypothetical: The Big 5 want a rule that they can provide training table for all their athletes year round. The Atlantic 10, which is under the same umbrella, says that it can’t afford that. The rules still passes and the A-10 simply doesn’t have to implement it.

Interesting. It means that it won’t be a confederation of simply football powers or even 1-A football schools. It will be key D1 conferences. Regardless of whether they are football schools. That’s good news for the Big East, A-10 and others. It makes sense. It’s not like the power 5 conferences want to close off those patsy 1-AA and bad 1-A games.

But what about the NCAA? Will the overall structure and the nearly 200 other programs classified as D1 just let this happen?


“I didn’t take issue with any of the general statements that were made by the commissioners,” Emmert said Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Indianapolis Star. “I thought they were helpful and good contributions to the debate.”

The NCAA’s leadership — the executive committee and the D-I Board — will meet Aug. 8 in Indianapolis and begin discussing models for a drastically different way to govern the 348 schools in the association’s top division. Emmert said he expects significant changes to how the NCAA operates to be adopted within the next year.

At issue is the ability of the richest athletic programs — which attract the massive television rights fees — to set policy without the smaller D-I programs stopping them because of financial concerns.

“There’s one thing that virtually everybody in Division I has in common right now, and that is they don’t like the governance model,” Emmert said. “Now, there’s not agreement on what the new model should be. But there’s very little support for continuing things in the governing process the way they are today.”

Within the past week, Emmert sent a letter to all D-I presidents, athletic directors, commissioners, faculty athletic representatatives and senior woman administrators asking them to save the dates of Jan. 16 and 17 for “an important milestone in which your participation is crucial.” The meeting will be held at the same time as the NCAA’s annual convention in San Diego.

In the letter, Emmert called the “first-time Division I Governance Dialogue” a “critical meeting” that will cover “virtually every aspect of how Division I operates.”

“There’s a need to recognize there are Division I schools with $5 million athletic budgets and $155 million athletic budgets, and trying to find a model that fits all of them is the enormous challenge right now,” Emmert said.

Welcome to change.

for myself i say stop all the changes no new rules no new any thing keep every thing as it is play football and basketball and stop every thing before it is all screwed up.
things have been fine for years and years enough all ready stop.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.27.13 @ 10:57 am

someone at Southern Miss better enroll Monken in CoachSpeak 101 …. honesty and frankness must not be tolerated when there are big paydays to be had

(frankness is a word, isn’t it?)

Comment by wbb 07.27.13 @ 11:27 am

Trying to mix two cultures (large and small budget D1) is a re pie for failure. It simply will not work as the resources and concerns are different. The large budget conferences are less restrained financially and are will to spend more of what they have. The small budget conferences are in constant threat of insolvency and thus will always take a more conservative approach.
I agree with the southern miss coach. The Big 5 simply should cometely break off but we all know this will not happen. They don’t want the liability (Anti-trust etc) associated with it. Easier to stay with the NCAA that had already fought those battles.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 07.27.13 @ 11:35 am

I proposed this idea over a year ago, but took it further into bball. Problem with bball is that the ncaa has more control there. It’s the ncaa tournament!

The smaller conferences can hamstring the larger ones in perception quite quickly. The new division could not sell a national championship game between two 8-4 teams, unless those two teams went through a playoff. Welcome to playoff expansion fellas. When the divisions split, the playoff format will go to 8-12 teams within a year.

Quick query : how many schollies are left for this class? Is there room for Bookser, Henry, Fields, McKenzie and Nicholsen? 1/2 of them? Will be an interesting next couple of months. Paul Chryst needs to be close to pulling the offers due to number games.

With regard to splitting off, it is going to happen. The NCAA is viewed as a joke amongst the large institutions.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.27.13 @ 4:12 pm

DHuff – we can go up to 24/25 with Rippy’s departure, so we have more than enough.

Comment by Reed 07.27.13 @ 6:01 pm

Reed, incorrect.
Per Chris of Rivals.
17 scholarships available for 2014 officially.
Also, 82 of 85 scholarships currently utilized meaning either they give 3 to walkon/transfers currently on the roster
or increase 2014 class to 20.
Anything above 20 say means more cuts/kicked off team coming.
I really don’t see any cuts.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.27.13 @ 6:17 pm

Pitts taking a full class of 25. Expect more transfers etc. pitt has 16 commits and 9 spots available. Pitt is considered the favorite for juwann winfree, and marquese dudley-gordon, brother of shane gordon, and alex bookser. They are in henrys top 4, nicholsons top 12, qadree ollisons top 5, chris james top 5, cj leggetts top 2, mckenzies top list, ricky walkers top 5 as well as some other top recruits who im probably forgetting.

Ill be honest, i would be just as happy if pitt got dudley-gordon as i would be if they got henry or nicholson.

link to

Comment by Pk 07.27.13 @ 7:28 pm

Of course, id be happier if they got a couple of them 😉

Comment by Pk 07.27.13 @ 7:29 pm

if they just get bookser and stop i could live with that.
any outhers would be cream on top.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.27.13 @ 10:06 pm

I was watching Winfree’s junior tape the other day. I liked what I saw. Know he’s a four star on most sites. Would be a nice get for the Panthers.

Comment by Mailman 07.27.13 @ 11:55 pm

@ PK, Where is this “interest for Pitt” coming from on Marquese Dudley-Gordon? Even the Rivals link that you posted doesn’t even list Pitt as an offering school. Do you have some inside information, or is this just personal speculation because he is Shane’s brother?

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.28.13 @ 8:28 am

BTW, all of these others are legit Pitt prospects, so I think your post is mostly accurate if your feel that I’m criticizing your post.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.28.13 @ 8:30 am

Regarding the decision making processes for all of these higher end recruits, it will be essential that Pitt “shows up” for all of their games this season. By that I mean, even though the national media has demonstrated already that there are very low expectations for Pitt this season, game day debacles like last year’s YSU and UCONN games, simply can’t be tolerated this season if Pitt wants to have a realistic shot at most of these recruits.

You can try to sell HS players on joining an up and coming program by telling them that they are the essential ingredient needed for the program to accomplish getting to the next level, but if they see a team that is disorganized, plays without heart and in general is a lackluster underacheiving program then all of that “pie in the sky” hype on where the team is headed will be viewed as simply BS!

For instance, Qadree Ollison, as PK has mentioned, has Pitt on his short list and in fact has a scheduled offical vist over the Labor Day weekend and will take in the Pitt vs FSU game I’m sure. Even if that game goes as is expected by 95% of the viewing public, and Pitt gets beat in that game, they have to hang with these guys and NOT get embarrassed by getting totally outclassed by a superior FSU team, that will just have more talent on the field for that game.

This is where the true value of Coach Chryst’s coaching ability will be demonstrated this year. I saw an up and down emotional roller coaster season last year. Pitt played some inspired games but they also stunk the place out more often than not. This has to be a prime directive of this staff for the 2013 season, that those kind of letdown games are simply unacceptable this season. That one factor alone, will have the primary impact going forward because of it’s implications on recruiting these guys that are waiting to make their decisions on where they want to play their college ball.

Pitt could go 6-6 and be viewed as having a successful year IF they’re in every game going into the fourth quarter. OR with that same record, Pitt could be labeled as a program that continues to be underacheiving and that has no will to win, if they get blown out of a few of these contests, especially if any of these loses come at the hands of their lesser opponents.

Chryst gets one more pass on his ultimate W-L record this year, but going forward, that intangible ingredient better show that Pitt’s winning spirit has been rekindled or else it is really going to negatively impact bringing home some of these highly ranked recruits in the 2014 class.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.28.13 @ 8:56 am

To close on the subject, I like Pitt graduates getting opportunities as head coaches in the WPIAL. If we can’t get our kids to the next level in sports, we should be pushing them towards leadership roles in corporate America or in education.

Some of the northern schools that recruit well in the south do so because they place their graduates into hs football programs in florida. I like Morgan and Cherpak locally. Any other football alumni in the area? Outside the area? This is another area where our AD could engage HS AD’s and champion the cause for Pitt football alumni hires. Of course, there would need to be a strong interest from our guys to want to coach and be good at it, first!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.28.13 @ 10:33 am

There are lots of Pitt athletes (football and other sports) coaching in HS. Many are assistants.
Problem is, Pitt doesn’t have an undergrad Education Department. In other words, you can’t be a teacher coming out of Pitt unless you go alternate route. I believe you can major in PE Education at Pitt. So, from a scheduling perspective it is tough to be a coach if you work in corporate america.
Also, many wpial school boards are activists when it comes to head coaching positions.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.28.13 @ 11:19 am

Dr. Tom, i have a subscription to a pay site and there was an article less than a week ago where dudley-gordon says pitt is number 1.

Comment by Pk 07.28.13 @ 7:38 pm

One of the pay sites also posted that on Twitter, Pk. I know for a fact I saw it.

Comment by Mailman 07.28.13 @ 8:24 pm

Nice info. tonight. Thanks guys. Good stuff.

Comment by Pittscript 07.28.13 @ 9:23 pm

Dr. Tom – IMO, in the regular season, aside from the Cincy game loss, I think we showed up well – and before you hit the ceiling let me explain why.

1. That YSU game had weird and special circumstances surrounding it – I’m not going to offer an excuse for that loss, there really isn’t one, but a major reason we lost that game was due to the six suspensions levied just three hours prior to the game being played.

Think about it – a brand new rookie HC, skeptical players waiting to be shown that the HC is for real and then literally a few hours before the opener, after trying to bond all spring, summer and training camp he has to drop a bombshell against six valuable players.

I don’t think PITT fans realized just how much that effected the team. In a conversation I had this spring the phrase “the team was devastated that morning” was used by someone in the program. It killed any positive effects that all that time together had built. We sure should have won but a weird one-off in my book.

Other than that we lost big to a 10-3 Cincy team in the second game. That was the only real big loss we had.

Since that game we lost by one point to an eventual 8-5 SYR team; 10 points to an 11-3 UL team; three points in a great 12-1 and #3 nationally ND game where we had many chances to win. We followed all that with disappointing seven point loss to a UCONN team that went 5-7.

Personally I don’t put much stock in bowl games because unless they are big ones for a Top 25 spot there is no real incentive to win.

So, my point is that in Chryst’s first season we dropped three games where we lost by seven or less points. The team was at least in position to win those games. Is that good enough? No, and let’s hope a second year under Chryst will have made the players much more comfortable with him as a HC. However, it did show that we had the bones to win or keep games close. With a few small breaks we easily could have been 8-4 in the regular season.

That would have been a resounding success in everyone’s eyes, so I don’t think we “stunk the joint out more often that not”. We had eight games out of twelve where we played pretty darn well.

Comment by Reed 07.29.13 @ 5:14 am

[…] A former Pitt player is now the head football coach at Plum (ht to Pitt Blather) […]

@ Reed, On the Stink-O-Meter there where five major readings invovling Pitt loses last season, culminating in smells that we can all relate to:

YSU=Putrid vomit

Cincinnati=Third day roadkill(on a hot day)

Syracuse=Baby diaper diarrhea

UCONN=Embarrassing shart

Ole Miss=urine

I hear your version of the rationalization concerning all of those loses but lets view them from the objective, uninvested in Pitt athletics, causal sports fan POV , especially when watched on TV.

Yes, Coach Chryst did put the team in a funk on game day against YSU by suspending 6 players, but seriously, we we’re playing against YSU!!!!! The Penquins NEVER trailed in that game. Even Coach Chryst admitted that they were the better team in that game. Come on, this was a rebuilding FCS team that ate Pitt’s lunch on their own home turf. Of the six players that were suspended only Ezell was a solid starter, and who cares anyhow? Pitt should of been able to beat YSU playing their entire second team for crying out loud. Made me want to throw up how poorly Pitt game out of the gates for this game, thus the smell of VOMIT!

The Cincy game was over on the first offensive play that the Bearcats ran, and run they did, right up the middle for a frickin TD. We got run right over, tire smack dab over our collective skulls. We couldn’t even limp to the side of the road before dieing to avoid being just a grease spot on the road in a couple days. Remember the Tino comeback effort? An interception in the endzone put one drive to an end and we talked about his attempt to “throw” for a field goal at the end of the half for the rest of the season. We just got killed, smelled like 3 day roadkill to me!

The Syracuse game was ours to lose and we accomplished that goal. This was an opponent that had no reason to be playing with any confidence since thay hadn’t had a meaningful win in recent memory. We were able to instill some confidence in them however by allowing them to shoot out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with one score coming on a Syracuse fumble recovery returned for a TD! Then just when Pitt was poised at the end of the game to make a comeback and steal the game away from Syracuse, our OL took a nap and allowed three sacks of Tino AND then Tino gets called for intentional grounding, during that drive we got spanked like a bunch of babies then we got so upset that we cried and had a collective diarrhea attack! Whew, pleeeassseee change that diaper!

UCONN led at the half 24-0. They scored on their first possession and never looked back. Yeah it was a final score of 24-17 but the last Pitt score came in the final minutes of the game after everybody had already left the stadium, including the first string for the UCONN defense. We shit ourselves again and the game HAD to be televised, GREAT. Yep, we $hit our pants early and had to play the rest of the game in smelly underwear!

If you have no intention of showing up for the bowl game that you’ve been invited to play in, then don’t accept the invitation in the first place. WHY, because otherwise the other MOTIVATED team that comes into that bowl game, backed up by like 50,000 of their rabid fans dressed all in red, get not only to witness a one sided ass kicking but then after we’re already down and out, they put the final insult of peeing on us with a ONE PLAY 62 yard TD run to make the score in the waning minutes of the 4th quarter 38-10. The smell of urine is soooo hard to get out of these synthetic materials that our uniforms are made out of, just burn them.

So that is my spin on some of our loses last year and the reasoning behind why I felt we “stunk the place out” in these games.

I don’t think that any prospective higher level recruits will be impressed by such Pitt performances like those repeated again this season. Soooo, in our first season in the ACC, we better bring it every game or expect to have a lot of “thanks but no thanks” replies to the Pitt offers extended these primo recruits still out there who are waiting to make their decisions.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.29.13 @ 10:29 am

Very well summed up and I really enjoyed all the great adjectives used to describe our moribound play last year Doc Tom.

Much to prove this year for this coaching staff and whether they have what it takes to motivate this team on a consistent weekly basis.

If you can’t motivate whoever you’re coaching (players, sales force, campaign workiers, etc.) you usually will not win or be successful.

Comment by EMel 07.29.13 @ 2:33 pm

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