February 27, 2014

Just Spring Practices. No Game.

Filed under: Fans,Football,Marketing — Chas @ 6:08 pm

Just a bit bland.

Did not expect this when the schedule for spring practice would be announced.

Pitt has canceled its annual spring football game.

Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that he believes finishing spring drills with a regular practice will be better for his team.

“The thinking behind that is to get one more good work day out of (the players),” he said. “Most if not every spring game you end up really sacrificing a lot.

“These days are really valuable for us. I’m not in a hurry to get through spring ball, and I want to maximize every day with it.”

Spring practice will include the NCAA-limit of 15 practice sessions, beginning March 16. The final session is scheduled for April 13. All practices will be held at UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side on the outdoor fields or at the indoor facility.

Is there a large element of truth to this? Absolutely. Coach Chryst has, at best, shown antipathy for the Blue-Gold Scrimmage. It has been clear that as a coach he sees it as a waste of valuable practice time. Decrying at the end of the scrimmage how they need more practice and wishes for more time.

The attendance at the scrimmages have not been fantastic — to be kind. There’s been the mostly lousy weather. Putting the event on a Friday evening in a suburban high school — making it much harder from anyone not in that area to attend. The overall mediocrity of the team and everything else hurting enthusiasm.

I’ve made no secret of being less than thrilled about the scrimmages being on a Friday (in no small part, because selfishly there was no way I could make it out for the event). To say nothing of the crappy weather that inevitably makes its appearance.

That said, I am not a fan of giving up the public scrimmage. I have serious trouble believing that giving up that one sanctioned practice for a public display is truly going to be a big negative for the program and the season that begins in September.

I realize coaches are control freaks, and if they had their way nearly all of them would be thrilled to sacrifice the scrimmage for another closed-door practice. To not have to make any extra media appearances. Feeling they have to only run mostly vanilla basic stuff because god forbid they reveal some play or tendency that an opponent in October watching the film of that scrimmage will see and be able to exploit.

But they recognize the value (figuratively and literally) of tossing the fans a bone. The publicity, attention, chance for the fans to see their team for the first time in months — and the last time until August.

I will always look forward to the spring game.

Comment by alcofan 02.27.14 @ 6:23 pm

no biggy… it has been a non-event.

Let these guys practice, get better… win games.

Then the program gets more energy and they can start up the scrimmage again and maybe people will even come and be excited.

Yeah, Friday was terrible idea.

Comment by Pittscript 02.27.14 @ 6:35 pm

Im kinda upset at ending the spring game but it is clearly a non event. I guess it just sickens me because im from altoona in the heart of psu country where they get 70000 for there spring game annually. Right now the program is at the point where it doesnt benefit to have one. Hopefully we rip off a few good seasons and it comes back!!!

Comment by zach 02.27.14 @ 6:48 pm

I knew I didn’t go last year and couldn’t remember why when I usually do.

That’s exactly why, because it was on a Friday. That was a terrible idea. I’m surprised they even had the 3,600 and change attend that they announced.

I had mentioned on previous thread that i had seen attendance figures for all spring games held last year, and Pitt was near the bottom. Illinois, Baylor, and Cincinnati were the only teams from automatic BCS qualifying conferences we outdrew.

I guess now it would just be Illinois and Baylor as the conference formerly known as the Big East no longer gets automatic bid.

Comment by Pap76 02.27.14 @ 6:59 pm

@ Zach:

Agree with your post 100%.

Get better. Get some interest back in Pitt football and it will be back.

Us diehards will always support the program. Unfortunately that base is only 20,000 or so.

Pitt has to win to get the casual fan interested and down to Heinz field.

Comment by Pap76 02.27.14 @ 7:03 pm

Good decision. The atmosphere surrounding the game just had a small-time feel.

Maybe if we have a few 9 or 10 win seasons and win a respectable bowl now and then, we can bring it back.

Comment by BATR 02.27.14 @ 7:05 pm

If Pitt wins 8 or 9 games this year, they may never play a spring game again.

BTW, Athlon Sports just cited James Conner as an up and coming RB to look for in 2014, to go along with Chad Voytik for the same as QB. I have no doubt that a Pitt WR will join the crowd when Athlon does their WR list. We probably won’t get a TE mention but will have Holtz, Garner and Ondoff.

If the OL should gel (and there is talent there) and barring key injuries, 8 or 9 wins may be possible … if of course, we can stop somebody.

Comment by wbb 02.27.14 @ 7:07 pm

Pedo St landed Bishop Mcdevitt RB Andre Robinson.

Pitt had also offered, never thought we were going to have much of a shot.

Just hate any good news when it comes to that school.

Comment by Pap76 02.27.14 @ 7:08 pm

Completely agree with this decision to skip the spring game. Pitt has a hard enough time putting rear ends in seats during the season let alone a glorified scrimmage. When we start winning 10-11 games a season then the idea can be revisited. For now this is the correct call.

Comment by John In South Carolina 02.27.14 @ 7:16 pm

Chryst said and this is close if not exact words becuse franklin is at penn state and they hired a new coach at WVU that we have to recruit harder well we wont ? That makes no sence to me but he is in charge you would think he would say we will work are tail off but no he says they wont work harder but what the hell do i know.

Comment by Frankcan 02.27.14 @ 8:25 pm

Pap76, you want more bad news, just take a look what both Penn St and WVU has brought in so far for 2015.

Comment by wbb 02.27.14 @ 8:42 pm

Always look forward to the spring game even though the weather is often crappy.

I hope they try to make up for not having the game by putting some video of the spring scrimmages online.

Would also like to see Coach Chryst be more forthcoming in his post-practice interviews about how individual players are doing – at least who’s improving. Maybe those interviews will be the next to go.

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 02.27.14 @ 9:02 pm

Guys quit giving Psucks attention. Their fans, which are in the 7 figures, are so brainwashed you are never going to win until Pitt is a top 10 contender year after year.

I had dinner with a family member who is a huge PSU supporter. I haven’t seen him in 10 years but here is how the conversation went.

Yeti: ….PSU scandal…
PSU: Wait this had nothing to do with PSU. It is a Jerry Sandusky scandal. How can you hold a university responsible for the actions of somebody who doesn’t even work there. He was retired after all.

We need to forget these idiots and move on. These morons will keep talking to recruits and keep their inbred folks going there. Just break ties and go on. We need to recruit, win and stake our own claim.

Comment by Yeti 02.27.14 @ 9:11 pm

I get it chryst only wants kids at pitt who want to be here.
he thinks if he recruits a kid who is over 6 foot 3 and 220 pounds in 2 years he will have them up to 250 or 260 pounds and he likes them tall if possible
I get it but it better work becuse every one else is recruiting them all ready big and good and they dont care once they have them if they want to be there or not.
but you and i know if it does not work he will be gone at the end of 2 more years so i wish him good luck we will need it i think.

Comment by Frankcan 02.27.14 @ 9:14 pm

PSU sweeps OSU (ranked 22)
Arkansas beats UK at Uk (ranked 17) and
Duquesne on a 16 to 2 run is ahead of 9th ranked St Louis at SL. DU up by 7 with 6:00 left

Comment by wbb 02.27.14 @ 9:37 pm

Wbb i see what you mean WVU has 9 commits
Penn state has 7 commits
Pitt has 3 commits.

Comment by Frankcan 02.27.14 @ 9:54 pm

and many 4 stars among both teams

Duquesne just about to break St Louis 19 game win streak at 9th ranked Billikens

Comment by wbb 02.27.14 @ 9:57 pm

Duquesne’s first win against a top 10 team since 1962….and ya think we have problems…

Comment by Jackagain 02.27.14 @ 10:04 pm

does wvu have a win against a top 25 team? if so, that would mean pitt would be the only one without..

Comment by goalie44 02.27.14 @ 10:18 pm

of the local universities.

Comment by goalie44 02.27.14 @ 10:26 pm

WVU beat Ok st or someone that was ranked high.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.27.14 @ 10:49 pm

Sorry wasn’t ok st they lost by 2. It was Baylor but not sure where they were ranked.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.27.14 @ 10:52 pm

Wow…congrats to the Dukes tonight!!…them and pedo st beat teams that we cant…they both have better wins than we do this year…yikes!

Comment by Keith 02.27.14 @ 11:25 pm

#s 10 (SLU), 17 (UK), 20 (Iowa), 21 (Memphis) and 22 (tOSU) all lost to unranked teams tonight. Going to make life interesting for the selection committee this year.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.27.14 @ 11:44 pm

Another step further away from the Big Time programs.

I can’t WAIT for this regime to be finished and done with….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 02.28.14 @ 12:01 am

WTF are you talking about, “I’m a man?”
Let’s be a little more specific in our comments, sir.
In addition, perhaps update your user name.. Seems you’ve been age 40 several years going. (You’re Dorian Gray now, yes..)
FFS, “can’t WAIT for this regime to be finished and done with….”
Really. Really!?
And your alternative-suggestions are what….?
Speak up, man. I’m waiting. Because hey, you speak daily, “I’m a man…” C’mon

Comment by Neil 02.28.14 @ 1:40 am

Frankcan nailed it and Chryst sounds like an idiot:
“We’re not all of a sudden going to recruit harder,” Chryst said. “I don’t think any of that has anything to do with us recruiting here at Pitt. And I’m not trying to blow them off or not give them credit. But we’re not going to all of a sudden pay more attention to Western Pennsylvania. That’s been our intention the whole time. There have been a lot of good recruiters in this area for a long time.”

Read more: link to

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 2:39 am

What’s the dude’s age have to do with it? Jesus, man…

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 2:41 am

After reading most of the above, few appear left that see a positve future while Chryst remains. Each year you can see the numbers grow expecting another bad season.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 02.28.14 @ 3:12 am

I would not be surprised if Paul decides to take Robinson “off” the field so he can concentrate on recruiting. This will help things.

Oh wait, he did try that and it didn’t work.

Paul is doing things his way… doesn’t mean its going to work.

Comment by jk 02.28.14 @ 6:39 am

according to a couple of tweets I just read, today is Pitt’s 227th birthday. It has aged pretty well IMO.

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 7:40 am

I never believed in playing a game against

Comment by MariettaMike 02.28.14 @ 7:49 am

I never believed in playing a game against one another. Coach Chryst is weighing the benefits of more practice time and less PR time. If Pitt wins in the fall, PR will come naturally.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.28.14 @ 7:51 am

Pitt basketball: If Pitt can keep turnovers down to less than 10 in each remaining game, Pitt will win it’s next two games and make their presence felt in the ACC tournament.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.28.14 @ 7:54 am

@ wbb …Just like fine wine! :-)

Comment by MariettaMike 02.28.14 @ 7:55 am

If Pitt had won the close games they lost Cuse,UNC,Virginia,and even Duke would not be considered to be as good as they are in the national perception and they would still be questioning Pitt hoops. Kentucky has one good win Iowa is going to finish with 11 losses and they love them, and OSU has lost twice to PSU. Creigton,St Louis, and Witchita State don’t play anybody and that’s ok. Pitt can beat anybody in the country March will determine where this Pitt team really

Last years defence wasn’t nearly as bad(after the Duke game) as people want to think. The problem was the offence. Pitt will upgrade at the QB position, Savage was not a good QB, the line will be better and if James is as advertised the RB’s will be better. Without Donald the D will be a question mark but the offence hopefully will carry this team to a 9/10 win season.

Comment by Steve h 02.28.14 @ 8:03 am

There is no way the cancelling the spring game was Chryst’s decision. I assume he did not want to do the high school stadium thing again and the Steelers were not offering Heinz.
I am sure the players look forward to the spring game.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.28.14 @ 8:54 am

I very much doubt that there is anything planned for Heinz Field in the middle of April. Too early for country concerts and proms … maybe a wedding but that would not interfere with a spring scrimmage. Further, the Steelers woouldn’t ban Pitt from using Heinz the same as Pitt wouldn’t ban them fromusng the Practice Facility.

Pitt’s decision to use high school fields wa strategic to reaching out to the community as well as to certain recruits …. which is why such venuse as North Hills, Gateway and Bethel Park were selected … and if attendance was an issue for Pitt, they wouldn’t have scheduled it for Friday night like last year.

It may be a big deal for the players, I don’t know … but judging from what I saw from the spring game compared to what I saw a few months later in Sept, I would tend to agree with PC here that the sprng game has very little substance.

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 9:06 am

Without playing a game, and because a number of teams above us just aren’t that good either, BPI went UP to 15 and RPI went up to 17. That’s the way college BB goes.

Beat ND!


Comment by Pitt Dad 02.28.14 @ 9:27 am

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.28.14 @ 9:27 am

No spring game…….no quarterbacks. Pitt has zero depth in the qb slot and any injury in the spring game could be a disaster.
Priority number one recruit 2 qb’s who are more than “projects”.


Comment by Isnore 02.28.14 @ 9:31 am

The spring game was an embarrassment, that highlighted our lack of a fan base. It served no purpose from a coaching perspective.

The first year it moved to Gateway was somewhat successful, a sellout with some enthusiasm, after that it continued downhill until last year’s total embarrassment.

Not exactly what you want to convince local kids to come to Pitt.

Old Pitt Grad, don’t mistake a few vocal detractors as the acidtest for support of Chryst.

Most understand the cards he was dealt and the uphill battle that has been Pitt Football for 30 years and fully support him. A lot more are willing to wait and see.

Most people in Pittsburgh don’t care one way or the other, after all there are only about 50 regular Blatherers, and probably 20 that post daily.

Comment by gc 02.28.14 @ 9:32 am

Nice to see in the PG that Ejuan Price was not mentioned a one that would be held out of Spring practice. Hope his back is strong. We need a pass rush.

Comment by gc 02.28.14 @ 9:37 am

I actually wish they would do away with spring football altogether. Everybody would be even so no loss there. The NCAA could allow non-contact drills so QBs could throw. Players hate it. Especially those that get hurt. I’ve always feared the injuries, and injuries a program killer for those like Pitt trying to build depth. As for a spring game, without good weather and an on campus stadium it is a dead issue. Pitt has neither. Last years game was freezing and Chryst did exactly as I would do, avoid losing a key player to injury and pulling them early. In fact, with a thin O-Line I would mainly work drills and technique and limit contact all the way through spring – we need everybody healthy going into the fall.

Comment by PittMan 02.28.14 @ 9:55 am

BPI also would have went up because PSU and Duquesne had pretty big wins. I have no idea how anyone could honestly say that OSU is a better team than Pitt at this point. They lost 2 games to PSU. So many teams have losses much worse than Pitt’s loss to FSU. College basketball is a mess.

Last year’s Blue-Gold game was on a Friday in Bethel Park. That is one of the dumbest ideas ever. There was no way I was going to battle with Friday traffic to get to Bethel Park in time.
Aren’t QBs off limits in the Blue-Gold game anyways?

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.28.14 @ 9:57 am

It would be interesting to find out who made the call. I’ve never bought the company line on how hard a worker Steve Pederson is.

His ill-timed contract extensions (Wannstedt twice)demonstrate if there is an easy way out, he’ll take it…plenty more examples of his poor work ethic…

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 10:10 am

Anson whales on Chryst’s decision…”Cue carnival music…” to cancel spring game.

link to

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 10:12 am

FWIW, Mike Young did not practice yesterday due to a bad back … so Chas’ query on the previous blog may be answered.

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 10:27 am

The only way you might get a good turnout for the spring game is if you offered free beer and fireworks. Anson just thinks we need to promote it. An on campus stadium would help, LMAO, the students didn’t even fill the zoo for the last game.

Pittsburghers are spoiled, Pitt needs to win games against quality opponents to put butts in the stands. Even the Steelers can’t fill the stadium when they are losers.

Comment by gc 02.28.14 @ 10:28 am

The schools who get the large turnouts for the spring games have large on-campus student population to go along with an on-campus stadium. Pitt has neither, but in fact, has a larger percentage of commuters than most other schools.

Further, these schools don’t have to compete with the Pirates and Penguins … it’s the only show in town, so to speak.

While I often agree with Anson’s views, I believe he is off-base here. There is no way that Pitt could ever draw a large crowd for this even with free beer and hotdogs. There are just too many other things to do in a larger city.

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 10:41 am

Anyone see the spread for tomorrow’s game? I am announcing for the oddsmakers that the “blue and gold” boxers are in the washer at this very moment.

Time for us to show the Irish who is the boss.


Comment by pmdH2P 02.28.14 @ 11:05 am

Pitt is a city school with a lower student population than a lot of schools. Comparing Pitt to bigger schools not located in cities doesn’t make much sense.

If you aren’t winning big in Pittsburgh, then you aren’t going to draw people. When the Steelers are blah Heinz field is never filled. PNC Park was empty until Pirates were a playoff team. The Pens almost moved before they got the best hockey player on the planet.

I’m not sure if I can handle watching another ND game. The last couple times I saw ND at the Pete were some of my worst experiences ever at the Pete.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.28.14 @ 11:14 am

Regarding the Spring game, seems to be pretty obvious that it was the right decision for a lot of reasons, but as a fan, I’ll miss not seeing it.

Regarding Mike Young, I feel bad for him, he’s too young to be having to deal with that. Reminds me of the McGary situation at UM. I wonder what his prospects are for the near & long term? Wishing Mike well.

Comment by 1618mt 02.28.14 @ 11:19 am

This does not bother me at all. The reason, the time has come, my friends, the time has come.

Only care about wins and losses in the fall.

Coach Chryst, still got your back, still cheering for you, however………………..

this is gonna be year 3 for ya my friend, yes year 3 already.

Year 3 and 4 have got to show marked improvement.

I always say, every coach gets a few years to at least show what he can do, before I judge too harshly.

Hard to believe, where does time go, but this season, will be a “few” years already.

I know he’ll be starting with a “new” quarterback once again. Who is that on????

That’s completely on the coach. He made the decisions, now this is what he has.

Personally I like Voytik. I won’t be going out of my way to be critical this year, but, I better start seeing the emergence that Pitt is about to turn the corner.

Certainly, year 4, with Voytik in his 2nd year at starting qb, Paul Chryst and Co. are going to have to start to produce.

Time….it’s a funny thing.

Comment by Dan 02.28.14 @ 11:21 am

Devon Cook, Weatherspoon, Gabe Roberts and Zach Poker, with limited participation in the spring.

What was Robert’s injury?

Comment by gc 02.28.14 @ 12:36 pm

To me, spring games in general are an antiquated idea from another era. I suppose it is an opportunity to rally the fan base, but of course at Pitt it doesn’t even do that. It’s been a non-event.

So not only am I fine with not having it, I give Pitt credit for being wise enough to scrap it, although I would agree that they need to do some sort of fan event in its place.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.28.14 @ 12:51 pm

Nothing beats winning to build a program and fill stadiums however back in the 70s/80s I rmember promotion days that helped fill the house even in that heyday.H.S. Team day,Band day, Westinghouse day etc..It was great to fill the stands with screaming kids on every play and a lot better than selling out to season ticket holders that leave empty seats most of the season.If you believe Pderson Pitt sold at least 45000 tickets last year. Why then 35000 empty seats at a lot of games and tickets galore on e-bay? Win and fill the house any way you can. That’s all that counts.

Comment by Pitt 60 02.28.14 @ 1:07 pm

Fox Sports – Aaron Donald listed as #1 player who garnered the most attention at combine. Continued great work ethic from this kid. Another Pitt Panther in the 1st round!


Comment by Pitt it IS 02.28.14 @ 1:22 pm

Spring game has finally caught up with Pitt Stadium.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 1:58 pm

From the NY Daily News:

The big winner from the combine. The 6-1, 285-pound lineman clocked a ridiculous 4.68-second 40-yard dash, did 35 bench-press reps of 225 pounds, and, just as importantly, looked smooth and quick in defensive lineman drills. He has the look of an athletic defensive tackle, and he may have cemented his place in the first round.”

Other commentators say he has moved into the top 15 of the first round.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.28.14 @ 2:03 pm

@Pitt60, absolutely, winning cures all.

Might still only sell out PSU, ND, and WVU, but you’ll get nice 45-55k crowds (that is warm asses in the seats, not what they announce) if you win a lot of games.

Not only do you have to win games, against the Youngstown States and New Hampshires, casual fans want to see 55-10 and 63-14.

That may be somehow unsportsmanly or something, I’m just telling ya, what people want to see.

Winning your fair share of games, winning some big games, and taking cupcakes to the woodshed.

Right or wrong, whatever, that’s what people want to start becoming a Pitt fan again.

Someone said above, you don’t have to sell the
20K die hards. The people that post and look at the Blather. The people you need are the casual Pitt fans that have faded away, and sports fans of Pittsburgh and the Tri-State area, that say, “hell, I’m not going there, they can’t even beat Youngstown.”

Only one way to get those people, win often, and win big against perceived or real, lesser quality teams.

Comment by Dan 02.28.14 @ 2:03 pm

Couldn’t agree more with you Pitt 60, just “win baby, WIN”!

Also, Aaron Donald is going to prove to the world and all of the NFL scouts for that matter before hand, that he deserved every trophy and award that he received this pass season. I predict he will be an NFL force to be reckoned with in his rookie season in the Big Leagues. Make room for another retired jersey # banner at Heinz Field.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.28.14 @ 2:04 pm

Hats off to you ‘burgh Blatherites…another heavy snowstorm coming your way…a winter to endure no doubt…

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 2:06 pm

PSU graduates between 12,000 and 15,000 students every year. We graduate 3,000. Every 5 years PSU generates 75,000 potential new fans. We generate 15,000.

And considering 50% of our students have no interest in athletics whatsoever that’s about 7,500 fans every 5 years.

75,000 vs 7,500…

The math is not very complicated.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.28.14 @ 2:17 pm

Chryst said not exact words but you will get the point and it is close to what he said.
When the 2014 class comes in we will have all most the depth we need it will be the most we have had there will be real compition.
Which means when the 2015 class comes in he will be right were he wants to be.
This means to me we will see real improvement this
comeing season at least 8 wins
and in 2015 and 2016 we should be kicking ass and takeing names and if not he needs to go becuse 2016 will be his 5th year and there should be no more give him one more year bull shit bye then.
becuse he will have all his own players bye 2015.

Comment by Frankcan 02.28.14 @ 2:23 pm

don’t know how this will come out but Todd Thomas has on his Twitter page a picture of a poster that shows all the current WPIAL players at Pitt. Someone should put together a poster of the all-timers at Pitt, sure it would be quite a display .. and good recruiting tool

link to

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 2:47 pm

I checked on that winter storm it is called titan and depending were you live in pa you could get 12 inchs of snow and and a inch of ice but it may change track but if it doesent look out it could be the worst storm to date.
looks like i go to the store before sunday dont want to run out of cat food or milk or cookies or JD

Comment by Frankcan 02.28.14 @ 3:16 pm

Followed Pitt football closely for forty years , had season football tickets for about 10 years , attended a game or two or more about 30 years. I have never been to the Blue /gold game.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.28.14 @ 3:17 pm

Wbb that is a great idea i mean it really is.
and they should list all the players who have goin on to the NFL also.

Comment by Frankcan 02.28.14 @ 3:19 pm

Second list seems to include everyone from Adamchik to Zombek

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.28.14 @ 3:28 pm

Pitt WPIAL/City Poster shoo-ins:

Dorsett, Marino, Covert, Revis, Fralic, Martin, Ditka, Schmidt, Sweeney, Donald, Gilbert

Major considerations:

Flynn, Rutherford, Palko, Collins, Dawkins, Bray, Brzoza, Holloway, Spencer, Polite,

I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 3:33 pm

Schottenheimer, Cox, Buckowski,

Comment by wbb 02.28.14 @ 3:38 pm


Comment by spiritofsection22 02.28.14 @ 4:22 pm

Sam got ready for his 10 year NFL career by starring on our hoop team.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.28.14 @ 4:26 pm

Sam was the man the best BB player in my eyes that pitt ever had in my eyes the coach tryed to get him come out for football but he would not. to bad he did not he would have been great.

Comment by Frankcan 02.28.14 @ 4:34 pm

I fell in love with Pitt when I was young old and my dad took me to Pitt Stadium for the Spring game to see my heros Bob Longo and Fred Mazurik.
I remember about 9000 fans and you could sit anywhere. The band came out in uniform at halftime.

Went every year until I matriculated into Pitt.

The game has become so watered down and I think SP did it so it could be fazed out.

Anything that HCPC says will help the team is OK by me.

Comment by Dan 72 02.28.14 @ 4:57 pm

Since most if not all spring games are free, those schools who have large attendance are fueled by non season ticket holders getting a taste of college game day atmosphere, including tailgating.

I’ve been to only one South Carolina SG. Only went because Hootie & the Blowfish performed after the game.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 02.28.14 @ 7:46 pm

UPMC drawing protesters this coming week
link to

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 9:34 pm

Agreed. When Pitt had an on campus stadium, it was free to make the game a pep rally. I remember the crowds at the stadium were small, but loud, Pitt band, cheerleaders, and lots of media. Johnny Majors I never missed an opportunity to promote the program.

I wonder if Pitt has to pay the Steelers extra to have the game at Heinz…then, of course, there’s the expense of busing students, etc.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.28.14 @ 9:37 pm

Nothing like a little baseless speculation to raise expectations to an unreasonable level. But I admit I get a kick out of seeing Pitt and playoffs in the same sentence.

link to

Comment by Iron Duke 02.28.14 @ 11:11 pm

Out of those 7500, only about 50% have any interest in PITT athletics, and of those, 50% are only interested in basketball. Half of the remaining ~1800 fans are fair weather. Out of the remaining 900, at least half of them will die prematurely from binge drinking and/or depression.

That pretty much leaves just us….

Comment by thestumper 03.01.14 @ 12:10 am

Iron Duke, interesting article and I agree that Pitt is an unlikely playoff contender. However, barring key injuries, it may not be out of the question that Pitt can win anywhere from 8 to 10 games next year.

Pitt is due for a year, like Duke this year and Cincy a few years back, when all of the planets align …. and if so, the program will get more exposure and with the expected stability of the coaching staff in the near term, it may lead to better recruits.

Yes, it is certainly a glass half full approach but not entirely out of the question.

Comment by wbb 03.01.14 @ 8:16 am

wbb, I agree, but there are so many unknowns with this team, and though there may not be one great team in the Coastal, it is deep and balanced.

Duke returns many starters, UNC will be better, Miami could be better, and VT is always competitive. I expect GT may take a step back and UVa is still building. At BC on a Friday night early in the season will not be easy, and we have played one point games vs. Syracuse the last two years.

Lets out it this way: if Pitt finishes over .500 in conference I will be satisfied that we are moving in the right direction. Maybe we can go 5-3, finish in a 4-way tie for 1st, and win the tie breaker. You know, old school, the way we used to win the Big East!

Comment by Iron Duke 03.01.14 @ 9:16 am

Above should read: Let’s **put** it this way

Comment by Iron Duke 03.01.14 @ 9:19 am

Wow, that is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Not even if AD had another year of eligibility left. Not even if there was no such thing as turnovers.

We have a rookie QB, a young offensive line, and no pass rush. All of our opponents have similar player talent to us. There is no discernible advantage in our coaching staff.

How does someone get paid to write garbage like this?

I think the best we can hope for is that our young O-line comes of age early, keeps our rookie QB healthy, and creates running lanes open for our backs. Then our unknown defense is kept off the field as much as possible and creates some turnovers and third down stops, like Iron Duke says we might win more than we lose in the ACC.

And like wbb says there is always that injury thing.

Where is our old friend Reed? I miss him him weighing in on stuff like this.

Comment by gc 03.01.14 @ 10:47 am

gc, I understand your concerns but ..

– we have a very accomplished WR and a 4-star freshman coming in.
-we have an accomplished RB and a 4 star freshman coming in.
-we have 3 accomplished TEs returning, each with a unique skill set
-we have 3 returning OL (not even counting Bisnowaty), a few more with experience (like 4-star Johnson and Biz) and 2 4-stars coming in
– we have 7 defensive starters returning plus a handful of others that saw ample time
– and we have the 2nd easiest schedule of all playoff contenders … not my analysis but from an ESPN writer

Barring a key injury (like Voytik), 8 or 9 wins may be manageable

Comment by wbb 03.01.14 @ 1:38 pm

If anyone is still reading this, he’s what I meant:

Let’s remember he’s a first time head coach who waited decades for his first big chance, and only got it when his boss called everybody but Santa Claus until he finally got the ear of that super-booster Sam whats-his-face to champion his cause.

Then when he gets here, he does almost everything differently than every other big time program. Which I could resepct — even embrace — if the results were evident on the field, but they aren’t. He’s 13-13 after two seasons.

He recruits strangely: that “just offer” stuff is weird unless you’re Alabama or Texas or Oregon, then it works. Case in point, whiffing on almost every 4-star WPIAL kid in a good recruiting year.

He hires only cronies, and his promotion of House to DC STILL needs to be justified in my mind. But he’s nowhere to be found to explain his actions.

He makes bad coaching decisions. His losses this year to NC and Navy, last year to Cuse and UConn and Cincy … and Y-State.

And now he cancels the Spring Game for ONE (??) more practice. Like everything else this guy does, it speaks more little league or bush league than big league.

I’ll be honest, I’ve already concluded this guy is keeping the seat warm for the next guy, and I’m talking 2 years or less, not decades.

And the sooner we move on, the better.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.01.14 @ 5:01 pm

wbb, definitely all positives, and I will be extremely please with 8 or 9 wins.

But most of the teams ACC teams we will play can list their positives as well. I just think setting the bar at anything less than 8 wins is an utter failure is setting yourself up for failure. And a BCS bowl game is pretty much crazy talk.

As always, I am hoping for a good year, but as a Pitt fan, well…you know…

Comment by gc 03.01.14 @ 8:50 pm

lots of typos, the game took a lot out of me

Comment by gc 03.01.14 @ 8:51 pm

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