May 21, 2016

Here is the Peak’s PantherLair podcast on the Trib’s website – he talks about the uniform roll-out and other things.  But specifically about what a ringing success the whole day was for Pitt athletics – from social media to returning players to the event itself in the evening.  He also talks about how the Pirates don’t give a crap about Pitt at all… as we read in Chas’ piece earlier.

He also addresses the current facilities improvements and what was done by previous FB HCs.  I like the fact that this administration is dedicated to long range upgrades and it’s starting to come to fruition.

(By the way – remember what Peak says here about Narduzzi’s using comparisons to other football programs when asking fans and boosters for $$$ to renovate the facility’s meeting rooms, weight rooms, etc… Pitt football does not exist in a vacuum and we have to play catch up to keep up with programs that have forged ahead of where we are now when you read the last part of this article.)

Chris Logue of Pitt Nation Sports always has interesting articles and is a damn good wordsmith. Here he writes about the QBs, or not, of the future for Pitt.

“Despite the success from a Pittsburgh standout and the myriad of congratulations the star (Phil Jurkovec) received after his commitment, it seemed like a dumpster-fire moment on Twitter from “Pitt-faithful.” Oddly enough, mostly aimed at Pat Narduzzi’s immediate “inability to recruit” after an incredible wrap to his 2016 class and the praises that sealed that envelope. Phil Jurkovec

The story that remains in the middle of the announcement, for myself at least, is everyone seems to have forgotten about Thomas MacVittie, a prized steal for Narduzzi last season.

To state that MacVittie did not produce the same attention through his senior season as Jurkovec had through just his sophomore season is excruciatingly obvious. But, the two may be more similar on the field than you may think.

Its a good read and should bring some of us back from the brink.

Here is another article of his I didn’t read when he first published it.  I was going to save it for later discussion but decided this is a good way to move on from the uniform issue.  This covers Pitt’s offensive trends over the last 10 years and is a great and detailed read.  Plus it has some great graphics inside it.  Here is a part of it:

Trend 3:

In the season’s where the offense did not produce at least 50 scoring possessions, the team failed to reach bowl eligibility.

In 2005 when the team went 5-6, the offense produced a measly 42 scoring possessions. In 2007, the team managed an improved 49 scoring possessions, but again failed to reach the six win mark and ended the season at 5-7.

2005 offered one of the worst beginning’s to a season that Pitt could have asked for and were set behind the mark immediately. After getting trounced by Notre Dame to begin the season, 42-21, the team followed that performance by losing to an Ohio Bobcats team that now marks one of the top-five low points the team has ever reached, 16-10, in overtime. To follow that flood of tears came a disturbingly painful game to watch against Nebraska where Pitt fell by a score of 7-6.

It’s even painful to rehash a decade later.

Here is KDKA’s Mike Vukovcan’s Friday Recruiting Notes.

***Biggest news of the day is that New Jersey quarterback (3*) Kenny Pickett is currently on campus visiting Pitt.   Pickett, who recently de-committed from Temple, is visiting with his parents.   I’m told that Pickett was excited when being offered by Pitt last week and has serious interest in Pitt.  Keep an eye on this situation.

And this bit caught my attention:

**Last night, WR Coach Kevin Sherman offered a big play wideout from the stare of Georgia.  Corey Reed (6-3, 200) from Roswell, Georgia was the recipient of the offer from Pitt.

Reed holds offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, NC State, Maryland, Miami (FL), Rutgers and Wake Forest.  Last season, Reed had 42 receptions for 684 yards and six touchdowns.

I’m hoping to talk to Reed later this afternoon

I’m right here Mark… drop me a line.

OK – one last discussion on the uniforms then we move on… seriously… and this is a promise from someone who is apparently the only “Anti-Pitt” blogger following the football program.

I want to make clear something I wrote yesterday, and from reading some of the comments to that piece I think some of what I was trying to get across was lost in translation and I’ll apologize if that was the case.  The bottom line is that I believe what was targeted to be accomplished by the Pitt admin on Wednesday night was met and done well.  I wrote:

“So, the roll-out was certainly an event and they showed the future (or did they?) of the visual side of the Pitt sports teams and associated ‘cheer’ entities.  They did OK on the all the other athletic department units – such as basketball, baseball, volleyball, cheerleaders and dancing girls (and boys now), etc.  The changes to the facilities look great also and were in sore need of being done.  Kudos on that also.”

That was a bit of an understatement on my part – I think all those other uniforms and facility works were done well and look great. I really do and it show consistency and effort on the part of the administration to make things… well… uniform.  Again, it was the football side of things I was addressing. But to remind; I don’t hate the football uniforms at all – I’m ambivalent about them. I just think we missed a perfect opportunity to do great things with them.

Reading the comments here and across the internet, getting emails from friends and in my verbal discussions I will say that my opinion on that is echoed across the fan community – regardless of any poll taken.

One other recurring thought expressed by fans is something like this “I don’t care what the uniforms look like, I just want to win”.  I’d like to address that thought and keep in mind we all want Pitt to be a successful and winning program. We also want Pitt football to be recognized easily and to be appreciated by all college football fans.

I know readers have a visceral reaction to anything written about Penn State on here but bear with me.  Please try to read the rest of this as unemotionally as you can.  I use that football program to make a couple of salient points below.

I have said that this uniform roll-out failed to create a “brand” for the football program – I think we all can agree about that.  I listed some of the school who do have that strong brand going for them and of course it is no coincidence that they are also winning football schools.  But why are they?  Why are they consistently good and why are they so recognizable?

There are a lot of factors that go into winning consistently but perhaps we’ll all agree that good recruiting and strong fan support with the accompanying ‘boosterism’ are two main ingredients.   How do those schools maintain that?

Take PSU for example.  That school is built around its football program (for good or evil but let’s put that aside for a moment for sake of discussion) and football is a prime mover and motivator for the university, the city of State College – really, the whole state of Pennsylvania – and for the personal lives of their fans.

PSU football has an amazing strong impact on their fans and their personal lives and in turn those fans want to have an impact and provide back into the football program.  The amount of money plowed into those ‘big’ schools football programs by fan donations is off the chart compared to ours.

We see that organizational influence in PSU’s years in advance sell outs, their ‘PSU pride’ – I see PSU stickers and flags everywhere – and their monetary support.  It just keeps going on and on.

But the reality is that things haven’t been real rosy for PSU in the past 15 years or so.  Yes, they have had some nice winning season but they also had seriously negative things happen to them that Pitt hasn’t had to deal with in a long time – and one specific thing not ever.

In the five seasons from 2000-’04 PSU football hit the skids and had a combined 26-35 W-L record.  That is something Pitt hasn’t had since the 1990s when we were near rock bottom. We have been an average football team and flitted around .500 for the most part since those ‘bad’ days in the ’90s- a few winning seasons here and there.

But PSU’s play on the field was terrible and  the program itself was in a shambles; bad enough that some PSU fans and media were calling for Joe Paterno to retire and get new blood into the football administration starting with the HC.

In addition to that losing record, PSU later on had a horrendous negative shock, and what looked like it would be a crippling  thing happen to the football program.  The Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal broke in 2011 and the strict NCAA recruiting and no-bowl sanctions were applied to 2012 and onward.  Forget the fact that the sanctions were lifted later – I’m talking about how it was in the three years after the crimes were made public.

The enormity of that scandal was something that I can honestly say might have made Pitt drop its football program altogether.  Yet somehow PSU kept recruiting, very well in fact, and kept winning football games to the tune of a 38-25 record from the point when the scandal was made public until last season.

How in Hell does that happen? How does a university not miss a beat with all that when other schools would have been set back dramatically, if not fatally?

It happens because they are PSU and have the arguably the strongest ‘brand’ in college football… and the PSU uniforms are a huge part of that brand.  Of course the uniforms weren’t the sole reason PSU not only survived the above but kept on winning football games, didn’t lose any of its fan base or – get this – its apparel sales.  But that PSU brand was so strong it not only survived but thrived.

And through all of that their recruiting kicked us in the ass in all but a few of those 15 years. Again, how does this happen? Because many, many high school players look at the Penn State football program from childhood on and want to be a part of all of it when they grow up.  They want to wear the PSU uniform and be part of that amazingly strong PSU family. And so do their parents, friends and extended families.

Think about it. Some of those kids who were on the PSU team when the scandal broke in ’11 were young and growing up when PSU was having that earlier five year losing streak. The amazing thing is that only nine out of 105 roster players transferred out of PSU when given the opportunity to do so without penalty by the NCAA.

We can call it a cult and laugh, or be sickened by it depending, but PSU football is so easily recognized and is so much a substantial and constant part of their students, alumni and fans’ lives that it is arguably the strongest football program in the national when all things are factored in.

That is what the power of a university’s future vision can do if they really are committed to building a strong program and recognizable brand.  We need to look forward more than just a few years and dedicate effort and money into creating an entity that loudly proclaims “This is Pitt Football !!” through thick and thin and as the years roll on.  Do that and we won’t have as many fickle fans who only care when we win or have the people living in Western PA thinking  ‘Wonder what is Pitt is doing these days’.

With the football program as we are now, sort of limping along and inconsistent in many ways, and we are regardless of an 8-5 record last season, it seems the administration is intent to keep on on keeping on – and not necessarily in a good way.

The blanketing of ALL the associated apparel with Pitt sports is an excellent starting point.  It was the right thing to do, everyone associated with Pitt wanted it, and I’m very happy we did it. But I truly think more needs to be done.

If athletics are the front porch to the University’s house as they say then the football program is the design, construction, painting and decoration of that porch.  It should be the Grand Entrance to the university – not just a place where you walk up a few steps and ring the doorbell.

Sooner or later Pitt is going to have to do this – find a uniform that fans really love and want and stick with it for years – even if we lose apparel money at first.  We need to make it so Pitt is a long awaited destination for recruits to attend school and play ball in with that we’ll get the best of them and win games. Then we’ll capture new fans along with the enthusiasm, support and monies they’ll bring with them.

Do this and keep working on making the football program itself, the football staff,  and the teams stronger and then we’ll be in a position where high school players and their families from not only local areas but from far away also will already know who Pitt is and what we stand for.

The end.

OK – not The End.  Late Addition:

Apparently those strange numbers are based on the interior of the Cathedral of Learning’s first floor study area.

I have a pretty good eye for detail and graphics and don’t get the connection but what is done is done (for a while anyway).  Good intent though.


Reed – that was a really interesting article for a rainy Saturday morning. The pedo state section was a tough, creepy read, but you are pretty close to nailing it.

In your 4th to last paragraph you state “But I truly think more needs to be done” referencing Pitt FB uniforms. If the rumor is true of the throw back uniforms being rolled out in August, and if they are from the T.Dorsett era, would that “more” be enough (uniform-wise)?

I want the team to look good, in uniforms that represent my school well. But, I am one of the fans who you refer to midway in this article that “wants to win NOW”, regardless of the color and design of the uniforms.

Thanks also for the MacVitte vs Jurkovec references. Thomas has a lot of potential, both with his physical tools and mental make-up. But, our staff cannot bank on his success and needs to fill that position with quality prospects each and every year, as you have mentioned in previous articles.

September 10th will be a fun day. HCPN has beaten many B1G Joke teams in the past as the DC at Mich State. I’m gaining confidence that he can and will out coach Franklinstein that day and send the pedos spiraling to a losing season. Their record will then be used to “try” to tarnish our Pitt FB record. The Pitt staff and players will need to channel the positives of a pedo win to propel forward and dominate the Coastal Division.

But 1st, this team must beat villanova in their new Pitt FB uniforms.

Can it get any simpler?


Comment by Erie Express 05.21.16 @ 5:58 am

Sorry Reed, you will never convince me uniforms have anything to do with a football programs success.

I obviously like the uniforms so if you are correct, which you aren’t 🙂 Pitt now has a great brand. A single brand. That is the the script. The script on classic uniforms.

The script is just like the WVU, Texas, North Carolina, Cal, Tenessee, Oregon, Miami, Clemson, etc. logos. That is what people recognize, regardless of the uniform.

Thank God the block letters, the dino cat and all the other crazy logos are gone.

I was looking at my sons yearbook. Lots of Pitt gear in the photos, which is great, but it is a mess of different lettering, Pittsburgh, Pitt, dino cat, etc. In a few years it will just be the script. That is how one single logo makes an impact and is recognizable.

I think they are making a mistake considering a secondary logo. Most colleges have them, but Pitt does not need one. Please tell the folks you know at Pitt, if the decide to go wth a secondary logo, to let the student body vote for one. Don’t let a company create it and just roll it out.

Comment by notrocketscience 05.21.16 @ 6:33 am


Most important aspect of the recent uniform redo is consistency going forward. Branding and tradition are
Important components in recruiting also for the fan base.
Pitt appears to finally have leadership in the major sports, AD,
And chancellor. Now the wins must start to rack up and loses
To schools like Navy eliminated. Lastly start beating
ranked teams and scoring upsets. The stadium seats will begin to fill!

Comment by JR 05.21.16 @ 7:23 am

Notrocket – I love Script across the board. But you missed my point about keeping uniforms the same for a long time. That is itself won’t win games – you are correct. But it builds and fosters a strong identity that helps create a complete university football ‘family’ and THAT generates the $$$. Emotion, sell outs, huge tailgating, crazy pride, etc… that is what the big winning programs have.

That isn’t a coincidence my friend – that the best programs over the last decades have all stuck to their traditions in their look and it works. Simple and strong.

Right now Pitt is like every other school in that we dance to Nike’s (or Adidas, Under Armour, etc…) tune and you never know what we are going to look like – and that is true even for us fans.

But I really don’t think the Script should represent the University as a whole… like the current shield image does. There we have to incorporate the city of Pittsburgh into it because that is exactly what the University is.

SP made a huge mistake thinking re-naming the sports teams “Pittsburgh” would be better and more inclusive – it was a colossal flop – but in general the University has to be named Pittsburgh and must have that in it’s public symbol.

The Script is fine for sports but to my mind looks cartoonish to represent the much more serious missions; academic, research, community service, etc… side of the university of Pittsburgh.

I just wrote that piece “The Script Isn’t For Everything” on here last week where the Communications Dept. Rep said this:

“In Pitt’s case, while the script logo will replace the old block lettering as the school’s athletic mark, the university’s primary logo will still be its seal, which has evolved over the school’s 229-year history.

Susan Rogers, who was recently hired as Pitt’s vice chancellor for communications, admitted that a seal probably isn’t ideal for a university’s primary mark, and should be reserved for more formal situations like diplomas and campus landmarks.

“The brand associated with the University of Pittsburgh, the promise the institution makes to people is very healthy and very robust,” Ms. Rogers said. “The way we express it through our graphics, we could probably improve on that.”

… and then I wrote: “I tend to agree with this thought. Believe it or not the University of Pittsburgh is not universally known as “Pitt”. Internationally Pitt has worked hard to keep the word “Pittsburgh” in its label because of the, now, positive connotations the City has in reference to Educational, Medical and High Tech areas. We fans and students tend to think locally and we assume everyone knows who and what “Pitt” is, but that really isn’t the case.”

link to

Pitt for sports is perfect along with the script… so I have no idea what Barnes meant when he said “secondary logo” but to me that is just another watering down of what should be a singular look to the sports teams.

Look, the bottom line is that Barnes was hired not so much for his athletic knowledge and acumen as he was to fund raise. That is painfully obvious at this point. Pitt does need more revenue and how they are doing that is strictly through apparel sales now.

But the real dough is in the bigger and recurring alumni and fan donations and big-money boosterism and changing uniforms every three years works against that in my opinion. If these are the uniforms we want to be known by then fine – stick with them for ten or 15 years and see if that helps us to be known better, and create and more identifiable look, for our Pitt Family (such as it is).

Erie – Readers misunderstood my writings after the roll-out – I don’t want our everyday uniforms to be a replica of those ’70-’80s ones… I wanted there to have a ‘nod’ or a ‘pointing to’ incorporated into them either by color or something that would point back to those traditional ones when everyone knew who we were just by the uniform.

Throwbacks will be fine I guess… although I agree 100% with Chris Peak that under no circumstances should we wear them for the PSU game.

I’m a firm believer that any sort of player’s excitement or emotion lasts about one series into a football game – so I don’t think throwback uniforms are going to make one iota of difference in how the kids actually play the game.

And fans will be already crazy emotional for the Pitt-PSU match anyway, if not they are brain dead, so any positive impact the throwbacks will generate is wasted in that game.

But most importantly the admins HAS to factor in what negative impact showing them against PSU will have if we lose that game. Right off the bat those throwbacks will be associated with a loss and not only that a loss against our arch rivals in our home stadium.

It negates all the goodwill those throwbacks are supposed to generate. There is risk in anything but to me you don’t risk what is about the only thing associated with these new uniforms and the hype generated by the roll-out that the fans actually love right now.

We have other big games on that schedule where the energy generated by the throwbacks will be of better use. That night game against VT, at home and nationally televised on ESPN, would be a perfect time for it IMO.

Comment by Reed 05.21.16 @ 7:27 am

BTW – I am a strong advocate AGAINST have the players, students, etc… vote for anything that effects the university as a whole.

Those kids come and go and what might be good for this crop will not be good for the next.

Trendy, fads, etc.. are well and good in fashion or food or whatever but not to represent the university for the long run.

If you want the players to vote on which jersey to wear next Saturday, or whether to have a bonfire before games, or something like that then fine. But they shouldn’t be involved in any longer range decision making at all. They are not staff or employees who will be onboard for 10-20 years or something – they come and go.

Comment by Reed 05.21.16 @ 7:41 am

Great article Reed, good reading on a Sat. a.m., and good links.

After your point, I just may agree with you on not wearing the throwbacks for the PSU game. There is gonna be enough excitement in the air. Even if we win, kind of being wasted among all the other energy.

I don’t know, whatever they do I guess.

I thought the secondary logo they were talking about was the seal. I’m good with that. On chemistry and medical papers, the seal is excellent and well respected. Pitt script for sports is excellent and well identified.

Are they talking about a secondary logo for sports. Ridiculous. Enough. Leave it alone. We have our sports logo!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for the qb Jurkovec. This doesn’t bother me much at all. I’ve been consistent. Over the years when PSU has got a recruit Pitt wanted, I have never been the one who says “we didn’t really want him anyhow”.

Here’s the thing. I get that we want the best local talent to stay here. Absolutely. I get we want to “build a fence around W. Pa.”. Of course you would want to do that.

However, “building a fence” does not mean you get every single kid in your back yard. It just doesn’t.

That doesn’t happen anywhere. There are top kids who grow up in the shadow of Clemson that go to USC or ND or Ohio St. There are kids that grow up in the shadow of Notre Dame, who go to LSU or Texas. That happens everywhere.

So if someone has the mindset that we need to get every single 4 or 5 star that comes out of W. Pa., that is just silly.

Would we like to get the majority? Of course, and hopefully someday that will be the way it is.

But I do not put all my fortunes on 1 or 2 players that we “must” get.

For all we know, Jurkovec could have been wearing a Notre Dame jersey since he was 7 years old, and although he had 50 offers, the other 49 never had a chance.

Also, you have to temper yourself on losing a recruit. We lost Anthony Morelli. Chirstian Hackenburg was the #1 recruit in the country I believe.

I’m not downplaying losing him, would have loved to have got him, but there are tons of good quarterbacks out there, and I believe Pitt will get one or two.

Anyhow, thanks for the good read Reed!!!

Comment by Dan 05.21.16 @ 7:45 am


We can name just as many colleges that have kept their traditional look and don’t win.

I still disagree my friend.

Have a great weekend.

Comment by notrocketscience 05.21.16 @ 8:01 am

The script brings consistency.

Brings us a brand and strong identity. I think the colors less so. I think what shade of blue and gold is less relevant but I do prefer a brown mustard over this Vegas gold crap.

We are Pitt and not Pittsburgh is a good start.

But our front porch still needs some major work.

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 8:39 am

Whoa, lots of backpedaling, Jordan Whitehead, take note.

Comment by steve1 05.21.16 @ 8:55 am

Reed, great post. I agree with with you on the importance of having a unique, consistent , timeless brand. College football is big business. All businesses need a recognizable brand. Sorry not rocket but color scheme is a part of that.

Pederson screwed the brand up in two ways. First, he replaced an iconic brand symbol (the Pitt Script) with the Dino cat. Second, he changed a highly recognizable color scheme to one that is not so unique. Basically, he made the same change in our uniform colors that the former St. Louis Rams made to theirs. That was dumb too. Imagine if Coke announced that their iconic red can needed to be made more current, so they changed it to a blue can with Vegas gold lettering. How does that sound? Like a dumb idea? This is why color scheme does matter in branding.

I think Reeds larger point is that it was PSU’s strong, highly recognizable brand that allowed them to continue to be a profitable business during some bad times that would have wrecked a lesser program. Successful branding and successful business go hand in hand, no matter what the business is.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.21.16 @ 9:26 am

Oh yeah….I say we should bust the throwback’s out for the VT game.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.21.16 @ 9:31 am

Reed. Your piece on PSU might be your finest hour.

As an OSU grad I can tell you that while the large number of alums does not hurt, size is not what makes an athletic program Excell as the front porch of the university.
We’re that true, Minnesota would rule the Big Ten.

I never want Pitt to get to the PSU stage…a stage which OSU is but a few steps from. IMHO.
BUT I do want Pitt athletics to be the unifying factor for all who love the University so that when the words “Hail to Pitt” are spoken, it falls on the ears of the entire university community. Uniforms can do their part.

Pitt kept it’s dignity thru all the turmoil and while Barnes is still eviscerated by some, I see him as a superb administrator. Not some megalomaniac as we had previously.

In fact, the entire u diversity is gaining a foothold thanks to new and great leadership.

We will always have our detractors. We have plenty of haters as well as fans/Grads of other schools. But the Pitt community is unique as well and it is high time we stood out.

Our time is now.

Comment by Sfpitt 05.21.16 @ 10:09 am

strong brand = strong donations
there is a reason why Pitt is last in the ACC
we have one of the largest fan bases yet the lowest in donations
brand can create memories and association/belonging/identity
those things are critical if alum are to donate

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 10:15 am

Darn spell check.
Don’t want Pitt to get to PSU level of football devotion.

Saw that & Fixed…Reed

Comment by Sfpitt 05.21.16 @ 10:23 am

The only Anti-Pitt blogger on the Pitt Blather. Don’t mince my words.

Tosser – here is your comment verbatim:

“Reed – 2/3 of Pro-Pitt bloggers like the uniforms … The anti-Pitt blogger doesn’t. Shocking. 70% of Pitt fans like the uniforms. The vocal minority that Chas refers to doesn’t. Shocking how this played out.”

“Bloggers” are who write blogs; “blogger readers” are who read and comment on blogs. The way you wrote it in your comment two days ago was exactly what I responded to.

BTW – UPitt would be the only “Anti-Pitt blogger” on here falling under your original misguided but still wrong intent, not I. 🙂

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.21.16 @ 10:23 am

Hey Tossing I bet my life savings you have a Hillary 2016 bumper sticker. Truth spinning at it’s finest. Tell us about the poll again and how lucky we are we have Barnes.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 10:37 am

Baseball won 1 of last 9 games. 10-18 in ACC. Under .500 overall. Time for a change already Herman.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 10:44 am

Thats why an OCS is important. We dont have our unique stadium giving us an identity separate from a pro team. You see Stiller stuff everywhere. You dont even see campus (maybe the Cathedral at a distance). Its called Heinz.

How about a smaller venue that has more charm, character and uniqueness
How about integrating it with campus and campus life
How about calling it Majors Field with the Ditka concourse, Dorsett plaza, Marino locker rooms, Fitzgerald family section, and the Hugh Green statue greeting you at arrival.

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 10:44 am

A tailgate zone called Revis Island
The Shady fan zone

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 10:47 am

Well, as I have been saying for years, looks like the hammer will fall on Baylor. Example of putting major bucks into program to win at any cost! Next will be TCU, just like SMU years ago. Those southern schools sell their souls for athletics! Maybe they will eventually get Bama for the bucks they paid Robert Fosters dad!

Comment by JoeKnew 05.21.16 @ 11:09 am

Hey Upitt, if you really want to give TT a daunting task to put his positive spin on it, no matter to the truth involved, why don’t you request that he explain again how lucky the Blather is to have you on it.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.21.16 @ 11:12 am

They sell their souls because sports means money. Just as Pedo State. That happened in Klan Country. Yet everyone thinks they wont get caught. They do but the NCAA does little because they depend on those schools for money as well. State should have gotten the death penalty. OSU should have been punished more severely. But if you hurt the school, you hurt the conference.

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 11:19 am

The Blather is lucky to have all opinions. Thank goodness this isnt a Penn State forum. Anything negative would enact a permanent ban or censorship. Vast majority on here, see the good with the bad…very balanced and grounded in reality. Few Koolaid drinkers. Many bourbon though.

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 11:22 am

Baylor is a little more than that. Hiding rape and murder, sorry, that’s selling souls, and no amount of money or conference ties washes that away! They hid it, ignored it, covered it up. They should burn it down like PSU should have burned. This is a school which had NO tradition or history. Then in 2008 kids just wanted to come to Waco TX, garden spot of the country?
Everything is bigger in Texas, scandals included!

Comment by JoeKnew 05.21.16 @ 11:26 am

Doc – the world is a better place with you bud. You make the rest of us better daily and have all the answers. The Blather is lucky to have you as a life skills czar. I look forward to the knowledge transfer I will receive from the dinner I owe you this late summer.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 11:29 am

If you win there has to be a scandal or cheating. TCU is not even on the same hemisphere as Baylor. It is a great school.

I’m excited for Howdy Doody to go deep into the NCAA’s. That or do Pert Plus commercials with Herman.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 11:33 am

Great Work Barnes!

Way to improve things!

link to

Note: (In essence Pitt dropped from 96th place to a tie in last place at 155th with a ton of other schools).

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 11:35 am

I think the SMU situation speaks for itself, a never was who wanted to play with the big boys.
Baylor, simply sickening, same thing, never was throwing money and morals down the tubes.
TCU, well never was throwing big bucks to “make a commitment” . I know, everyone wants to be a horned frog.
Not always, but in most cases, schools with no tradition and with slums with more money than God may find alternative means to success!

Comment by JoeKnew 05.21.16 @ 11:48 am


Comment by JoeKnew 05.21.16 @ 12:08 pm

UPitt, that list shows the true value that Pitt has placed on athletics for many, many years.

Barnes has his work cut out for him.

Comment by gc 05.21.16 @ 12:37 pm

GC – I agree and the sad part is we will be worse in Spring Sports further dropping us.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 1:12 pm

Sad part is Pitt probably paid a lot of money for someone to sell them on the the Numbers tied to the Cathedral sham. Maybe Barnes Buddy is a graphic designer as well.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 1:14 pm

Just when I’m all fed up with Upittbaseball’s negativity, goes and speaks some wisdom and entices me with dinner & libations as well. I’ll supply the bourbon & cigars after dinner.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.21.16 @ 2:11 pm

Doc – I lost my bet and will provide dinner and libations and cigars. I have good cubans in the Humidor. There in a few weeks. Elba Island LNG Project starts soon. I should bring my clubs as well. Anyway pumped to meet you and get to know you. Send me your contact info and pick us a winner for dinner. Maybe we can talk Savannah Panther and Emel to come down.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.21.16 @ 3:12 pm

Reed I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why I was so upset when Steve Pederson dropped Pitt for Pittsburgh. He didn’t get it. It was deeply rooted with the alumni, fans and it was part of our national identity. That’s what branding is about. It takes a long time to achieve that. No one calls UCLA the University of California in Los Angeles. UCLA is what they are known as it’s their brand.

Comment by Justinian 05.21.16 @ 3:49 pm

One more note about Penn State, they were very fortunate that their 1st search committee hired Bill O’Brien. He saved their football program. We had a coaching carousel until Pat Narduzzi was hired.

Comment by Justinian 05.21.16 @ 3:57 pm

I just didn’t understand the SP move with dropping Pitt at all. In sports everyone knows us as Pitt and always has.

His premise that “Pittsburgh” would be more inclusive for the WPA citizens who weren’t already associated with Pitt in some way – alumni, employees, etc… – was a big mistake.

All that did was add another “Pittsburgh” moniker onto our sports and make it just like the other three professional teams… which was ridiculous. It would have been akin to Penn State dropping “Penn State” and being “Pennsylvania State” football.

SP did some things well for Pitt – believe it or not fans – but that whole thing with the name and the cut torch uniforms set his credibility so far back he couldn’t recover from it.

Comment by Reed 05.21.16 @ 4:07 pm

I am NOT defending Steve Pederson but I seem to remember Walt Harris was partly responsible for the Pitt to Pittsburgh change because he said when he was recruiting in Texas or California he had to explain what Pitt was and where it was. Obviously he did not use the golden years adequately to help him. That is where branding pays off.

Comment by Pitt60 05.21.16 @ 4:14 pm

if you brand Pitt properly, nobody will ask who or where is Pitt.

Comment by TX Panther 05.21.16 @ 4:29 pm

Pitt60, I feel Walt Harris resurrected the Pitt football program. He did a great job and Steve Pederson did much better in his first go around. I realize they tried to illustrate change with dropping Pitt for Pittsburgh. Yes the early 90s were dismal years for the Panthers, but it was a mistake none the less. Pop Warner,Jock Southerland, Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill were all Pitt coaches.

Comment by Justinian 05.21.16 @ 9:45 pm

Yes, the early 90s…my time at Pitt. Maybe that’s why I can endure just about anything. 8-5…I’ll take it. Give me some more where that came from.


Comment by panther94 05.21.16 @ 10:36 pm

@ Panther94. I feel you, but you have no idea how bad it can be, when there is little hope and no leadership in a football program.

I lived those years as a Pitt student, when Oklahoma was pummeling us so hard that by the 4th Q the refs huddled with the coaches and mutually agreed to just keep the game clock continuously running as a simple act of mercy. Oklahoma scored more than 80 points in that game I believe. My sophomore year Pitt went 1-10. I think we beat our crosstown rival for our only win that season, Chatham woman’s college?

Those were the days back in our own OCS. What a lovable shithole. Old wooden bleacher seating where you were assured of getting at least one splinter in your ass if you were asked to slide down to make room for one more Pitt fan in your row. All the facilities ringing the upper walkway of the stadium. Rest rooms that were too small next to food concessions that couldn’t compete with the aromas from those adjacent rest rooms. Yep it was pretty much a college football nirvana back then. NOT!

So Believe me when I tell you that soon 8-5 seasons will seem disappointing. I’ve watched this program go from that depth of dysfunction to a National Championship in just a four year period. Really one of the most amazing turn arounds that I’ve ever witnessed in all of the sports world. Since the mid 80s, I’ve been waiting for another era of Pitt football that stamps the Panthers as an elite program.

Finally, right now, today, I have the most hope that this current administration, the AD & the coaching staff have all the pieces in place to make that magic reappear over the next four years or so. The commitment is there that has been missing for decades, and when you have that going for you, then amazing things can transpire.

Pitt-penn state is back, we finally have a coaching staff that recruits like crazy, we got lucky to land in the weaker division of a good Power 5 conference, and believe it or not, when Pitt IS It again, Heinz Field will be considered an asset rather than a liability when we fill it up with 68,000 fans routinely.

Narduzzi is going to make this happen. You’ll see. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.22.16 @ 5:17 am

Dr. Tom – you described Pitt Stadium perfectly. It was inevitable that it would go away sooner or later… and it really wasn’t just Pitt’s decision.

The city put a lot of pressure on Pitt to move the team games to Heinz. They needed the revenue that would generate – having 5-7 more games per year there – and PGH was pointing to Oakland as being the centerpiece of the city.

Back in the late ’90s there wasn’t the influx of young tech-employed people to the downtown areas that would start to happen later. The future of PGH, with the burgeoning tech boom and all that has brought to PGH, was just starting and it was obvious that it would be driven by the two universities in the Oakland… with CMU being the lead on technology and Pitt being the lead in the medical fields.

That was where PGH was going to start becoming a national player again and old Pitt stadium sat on valuable land and was well… was just plain ugly and not in the plans. The infrastructure of Oakland couldn’t support a new stadium and Pitt had concocted it’s own reasons – true or not – for the move.

We can debate the merits of the action until the cows come home (as they do in State College) but it happened. Anson Whaley of Cardiac Hill did an interesting look at it – referencing an article on The Blather – about 18 months ago.

link to

Comment by Reed 05.22.16 @ 6:56 am

Doc – I agree with you that there is something special about to happen with Pitt FB, now that the right pieces seem to be in place – HCPN, Chancellor PG and AD Barnes (even with his resent gaffes with the fans).

Two of the three are new to Pitt and are trying hard to make this fine university great in FB again. The Chancellor seems to bleed Pitt colors through & through and is quietly turning the ship in a winning direction with the help of the other two.

HCPN seems to be making a strong connection with Pitt FB greats as well. Bringing Ditka, Dorsett, Marino, Revis, Fitz, Donald and the likes back to campus on a regular basis will do two things in my opinion: excite the fan base that knows about the great Pitt FB history and educate the players about that same history and tradition.

News from Cardiac Hill on T.Boyd (another Pitt great) –
link to


Comment by Erie Express 05.22.16 @ 6:58 am

Check out this BB tweet from TCU:

link to


Comment by Erie Express 05.22.16 @ 7:34 am

Dr. Tom, were you masquerading way-back-when as the Panther?

Comment by steve1 05.22.16 @ 10:40 am

Nope Steve1, the only thing that I tried hard to masquerade as was making it past the Campus Police faking it as sober Pitt undergrad while we stumbled our way back down Cardiac Hill to continue our post game festivities at our fraternity house.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.22.16 @ 3:03 pm

Dr. Tom – where was the fraternity house then? I’ve always known it next to Sutherland Hall and don’t recall if I ever knew the original location.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.22.16 @ 5:53 pm

North Bellefield was fraternity row back in my day. An easy back route from Pitt stadium, all down hill thank God, via Aliquippa St. to the SAE house.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.22.16 @ 9:41 pm

Tom…I think I painted your lions???

Comment by The Hagen 05.23.16 @ 10:08 am

The Hagen – you are correct … it would have been lions.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.24.16 @ 8:28 pm

For those of you feeling sorry for Pitt football’s 90s take a look at the 60s and feel rejuvenated. The 60s has to be the worst 10 years in Pitt history. I was sorry to see Mike Gottfried and Walt Harris go as they did seem to be gaining some momentum about the time they got sacked.I remember the Lions as I walked from the Bellefield Apartments to the Cathedral several times a day down Bellefield Ave.

Comment by Pitt60 05.24.16 @ 10:54 pm

With this schedule Pitt will start out at 1-5 or 2-4 Mark this down Tough schedule H2P

Comment by Boo Boo #1 05.26.16 @ 8:28 pm

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