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January 28, 2017

12:00, RSNs (ROOT, NESN, YES, various Fox Sports) and ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Both teams are 1-6 in the ACC. Pitt is at home. They will be having a “Blackout Game.” Complete with black unis that all the cool kids love and free t-shirts for fans.

…and Pitt is the underdog.

I think I was annoyed by seeing that Pitt is a 3 point underdog for all of 10 seconds. Then a simple thought put it in perspective, “Would I bet on this Pitt team?”

And right now, it seems as if Coach Kevin Stallings doesn’t know what this team will do next.

Stallings noticed his players saving their energy for offense while playing defense. When the offense suffers, the defense already is suffering, creating a situation that is difficult to overcome.

“It’s a team that just li

ves through its jump shots. That’s my fault,” he said. “When we start missing shots, our defensive play reflects our lack of offense and then we get the big snowball going the wrong direction.”

Maturity was expected to be one of Pitt’s strengths, with four seniors in the starting lineup. But the opposite has been true.

“Things are always delicate with seniors,” Stallings said. “At one point, guys realize, ‘Wait a second. I’m not going to be a pro.’ Now, where does their investment go from there?”

Pitt’s season didn’t always appear so hopeless. The Panthers own victories against No. 12 Virginia (16-3), Big Ten co-leader and No. 22 Maryland (18-2) and Marquette (14-6), which beat No. 1 Villanova.

But there also were indicators of upcoming problems.

“We showed signs of this in nonconference wins. We had 25-point leads and would be hanging on to win games against inferior people,” he said. “This didn’t just happen.”

Players were not available for comment after the 106-51 loss to Louisville on Tuesday night and also were off limits to reporters throughout the rest of the week.

“I like them,” Stallings said. “They’re nice kids. I just hope I can do a better job with them.”

The honesty can be refreshing. It certainly makes for more interesting articles. But, man I know I would hate to be reading this stuff if I was in the kids’ place.

Stallings is talking about taking away the “offensive freedom” for the team since they don’t play defense and the offense has gone in the crapper. Again sounding like a disappointed parent punishing the kids.

“That’s kind of been something that’s being discussed,” Stallings said Tuesday of potentially taking away offensive freedom. “I’m OK with give and take. I really am. I want to give these guys freedom and I want to let them play. I’m not OK with take and take. I feel like that’s what we’ve got going right now. No give and take; just take and take. That’s been something that has been bantered about and something we’re going to take a look at. We’re going to have to take a look at everything because this just isn’t acceptable.”

What seemed like such an enticing proposal entering the season — what player, after all, doesn’t want more freedom — has devolved into something almost unrecognizable the past two weeks. In two of Pitt’s past three games, it averaged fewer than one point per possession, only the second and third time that happened this season.

Part of that is due to a relatively hampered team, with sixth man Ryan Luther out with a right foot injury and forward Michael Young still adjusting to playing with a mask protecting a fracture in his orbital bone. Many of the team’s problems, according to Stallings, can be tied more to a lack of trust between players on a short-handed team.

“They’re saying to me we have to trust each other more,” Stallings said of his players. “I know it and I know it before they say it. It’s things that they know, we all know, we all see them, we all feel them. Now, it’s just a matter of executing.”

You know better then to do that. You’re a smart kid. I don’t want to take away your phone, but you aren’t giving me a choice.” It’s bad enough when you hear your parents’ words/voice echoing in your head when lecturing your kid. Now I’m hearing it from the basketball coach.

Judging by the way Pitt has played in ACC play, we will know within the first 10 minutes or so whether Pitt will have a chance or if they plan to roll over. If so, at least there won’t be false hope and any reason to watch the rest.





Our next game at UNC is on ESPN2 on Tuesday. UGH

If someone had shown me today’s ACC standings back in December I would have said they were crazy.

Comment by Frank MD 01.29.17 @ 4:12 pm

Narduzzi was on the last AD search wasn’t he??? They had a BS committee then.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.29.17 @ 6:35 pm

Upitt – I thought so too but apparently not

“The most notable name on the list is football coach Pat Narduzzi, who replaces women’s basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio as the second current coach on the committee.”

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.29.17 @ 6:42 pm

Guys knowing Canadas System is one thing. Knowingbwhen to call what and the Defenses, etc is another. Why put. Heap Gas and bad tires on a Lambergini??

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.29.17 @ 8:29 pm

Tossing… you really had an EX Girlfriend?

Comment by PittofDreams 01.29.17 @ 9:00 pm

Seriously Tossing… you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone here.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.29.17 @ 9:06 pm

The BoT explanation by TT…explains alot.

It’s full of politicians, state and city and most likely County too.

And it explains why Pitt thru this BoT tore down our OCS with no plan in place to replace it.

Nobody in their right mind tears down football stadiums for bball arenas.

These disgusting career pols and others on the BoT (some of them, especially the pols could even be Pedo Staters) conspired to tear down our OCS and make us be a renter at Ketchup Bottle’s generic god awful environment for college football.

Totally disgusting and quite sickening.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 12:58 am

People post alot about Pitt fans and Pitt alum.

The way this University is run and the over 30 years clusterf*ck of the football program and no the wrecking of the BBall program and year in and year out, joke at finishing at the bottom of the Directors Cup for every sport but football and bball.

It’s a wonder anyone bothers to attend any of the games.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 1:12 am

Quite ironic (but maybe not… considering the bureaucratic adminstration of the BoT), but our great football program of the Dorsett/Marino years, was a 10 year run.
About 1973 to 1983. Similar if not exactly the same (as far as years) as the best period in Pitt hoops.

10 years from 2001 to 2011 Pitt bball was Elite while not achieving a NC as the football team did, program started losing steam in 2012.

Another similarity, Pitt’s football program went into the dumpster within 1 year of that ten year run of ’73 to ’83. The 1984 team crashed and burned at 3-7-1. We went from the Penthouse to the Outhouse in 1 short season.

Just as the basketball program is doing now.

So the question now is: are they going to let it slide for 30 years as they did the football program.

I’m watching less and less of Pitt sports. I’ve had just about enough.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 1:23 am

Emel – I was thinking the same thing you were after reading the BOT explanations and details. Pitt is being run by government hacks and possibly psu leaning individuals with a few good Pitt alum sprinkled in.

So I, being a Panther Club donor began searching for how I could influence the process. The Pitt BOT is vertually untouchable.

Scary…

Comment by Erie Express 01.30.17 @ 4:19 am

to know all of this now is depressing and frustrating.

Comment by goalie44 01.30.17 @ 6:05 am

i feel bad for those who never saw pitt during the “great years”. those days are long gone and are not going to return with this bureaucracy.

Comment by goalie44 01.30.17 @ 6:12 am

The makeup of the BoT is absolutely crazy. That alone makes me feel hopeless that things will change. Why would they when you have people that don’t necessarily have Pitt’s interest in their hearts?

Comment by panther94 01.30.17 @ 9:32 am

“it”, not “they”.

Comment by panther94 01.30.17 @ 9:32 am

i cannot agree more panther..

Comment by goalie44 01.30.17 @ 9:51 am

Isn’t it crazy? Like I mentioned before, usually there is an overarching University System President that all the Chancellors report to. Pitt is an exception where Pitt has a BoT in place in lieu of a President. There is no one place to lay blame to. It’s like a TV show where you find out that he illuminati run everything. Lol.

When I started looking into this, it was very disheartening. My only hope for football is it seems to be currently operating as it’s own entity outside the athletic department and reporting directly to Gallagher … but that is pure speculation and everything still has to eventually be run thru the BoT.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.30.17 @ 9:58 am

Looking ahead 45 hours or so, I assume The Blather will have its annual LOI signing day thread. Chas has done a great job the last few years, and am looking forward to it

Comment by wbb 01.30.17 @ 10:16 am

wbb – agreed. Welcome back too. You went missing for a little while.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.30.17 @ 10:43 am

Tear down the Pete .. build a domed stadium. Recreate the Fieldhouse next door which will be perfect for the size 2000-3000 fans left in basketball!

Comment by Dan 72 01.30.17 @ 1:28 pm

Hard to believe that the field house capacity is 4,122. Seemed like we had a LOT more fans and students than that during some of those games…UConn comes to mind.

Comment by panther94 01.30.17 @ 1:46 pm

I was at the game Saturday and I’ll bet we had 5500 people at the game. That’s a disgraceful turnout. I’ll bet we have even less at the next game after we get the shit kicked out of us on Tobacco Road…I’ll 2nd Dan 72’s motion.

Comment by The Hagen 01.30.17 @ 2:48 pm

Actually all things considered I was actually surprised at the attendance on Saturday…it was way more than 5500 though unless you are subtracting the students……the students came out well for the game……..they had even filled the upper deck student section…I guess kids all needed a new shirt.

The game that will really show how bad attendence had dropped will be the Tuesday night Valentines game against VT…I only miss a few games a year and hardly any conference games but and no way fighting traffic to go that night…it would a horrible Valentines gift to give somebody tickets to a Pitt BB game.

OCS talk is still a waste of time…those of us who go to Oakland often know it can’t happen in Oakland…that shipped is gone……no room….closet they could do is on the Mon river.

Comment by milobloom 01.30.17 @ 4:22 pm

I remember Tiger Paul at the Fitz.

Always a wonderful time.

Comment by Frank MD 01.30.17 @ 5:09 pm

Well you’re right Milo

With this asinine makeup of not even Pitt ppl on the BoT….we will never have an OCS.

Pitt has been compromised from within. Similar to something us,,,,,on a much larger and important scale.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 6:15 pm

^ similar to something else ^

Fitzgerald use to seat about 6700, i was there for many games with more people than that inside.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 6:17 pm

Love to see someone get a list of the current BoT, see where some of them went to school.

And then ask, why are they on Pitt’s BoT ?

Also would love to see a list of these subversives from the late 1990’s.

Comment by EMel 01.30.17 @ 6:19 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised it half our BoT is comprised of pedo fans. They should have to take a lie detector test with this qualifying question: “Have you ever rooted for Penn State in any sport?” If the answer is yes, show them the door. Same question for any new prospective Trustees.

Could never figure out why Tiger Paul wasn’t Panther Paul though…

Comment by Jackagain 01.30.17 @ 6:21 pm

Our BOT undermines any AD’s efforts to bring excellence into athletics. Most are probably closet Nitters.

Comment by TX Panther 01.30.17 @ 6:26 pm

Comment by TX Panther 01.30.17 @ 6:31 pm

Looking back at Pederson years, I still can’t get over the demolition of Pitt Stadium. What a waste. A basketball arena doesn’t require as big a footprint. One of the recruits we really wanted commented he was disappointed that Pitt didn’t have an on campus stadium. He chose Virginia Tech instead. Georgia Tech also located in a city with a Pro team, renovated their old stadium. Yeah, they thought it important to keep an on campus stadium.

Comment by Justinian 01.30.17 @ 9:09 pm

Only the old folks who don’t go to the football games and last time they were in Pitt Stadium Marino was still QB…. (like all you guys who post on here all thru the home games) give a rat’s ass about an OCS.

Here is the Board of Trustees list for those who want to contact them…..I went thru a handful and most were Pitt grads…one was from Yale ://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=3767910

Comment by milobloom 01.30.17 @ 10:05 pm

Not sure if true but somebody told me Tiger Paul name was a nickname from he played football at Peabody I think…he played like a “tiger”

As crazy as he was it makes you wonder if he had brain trauma from football…he took his life in his 40’s.

Comment by milobloom 01.30.17 @ 10:33 pm

Milo – I never heard of the guy but found this. You may enjoy.

link to gamingtoday.com

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.30.17 @ 10:52 pm

This guy is the President of UPMC’s only rival in the area, Highmark. (wtf)

Mr. VanKirk holds J.D., cum laude from The Dickinson School of Law, affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University in 1970.

First one I clicked on his link was a winner.

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 12:43 am

Thanks Milo, you are right, Pitt will never have another OCS or be a power in football, other than some fluke.

Same thing applies to bball.

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 12:45 am

Mr. John A. Barbour, also known as Jack, served as the Chief Executive Officer of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC since June 2009 until May 31, 2016 and served as its Managing Director until May 31, 2016.

He has focused his practice on serving a number of key clients, including the Pittsburgh Steelers. (he probably got the great Pitt logo(jk) at midfield, for years we had zilch…nada, nothing.

Mr. Barbour holds B. A. degree from Davidson College in 1976 and earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1979.

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 12:49 am

Mr. Shear holds a Bachelor’S Degree in Finance & Marketing and completed post-graduate studies in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University.

Stallings coached at Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt.
(see Barbour above for Vandy connection)

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 12:53 am

We even have Temple Owls on our BoT

Mr. Saunders has a JD from the Temple University School of Law, an MBA from the Temple University School of Business and Management

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 12:59 am

The rest are an assorted lot of CEO’s, Bankers, and what you would call….pillars of society.

It has to be a hobby for all of these people.

Rule by committee has produced the middling results at Pitt for over 30+ years.

Comment by EMel 01.31.17 @ 1:15 am

Nice work EMel

Someone should compile all this research on the BOT together and make an article that can be circulated to internet bloggers and the press to see if it merits investigation…conflict of interest, etc.

And why the system is not up to more public scrutiny i.e bloggers have to dig deep to discover how the system works since Pitt uses some public funding…

Comment by Tommymac 01.31.17 @ 2:58 am

Regarding the make-up of the BoT at Pitt – the level of caring stops here with diehard Pitt fans. I’m trying to discover how we could impact this group and I’m striking out.

I’m not sure how the Michigan leadership is structured, but students and alumni joined together in protest of their AD (a short few years ago) and he was replaced – Michigan FB is back on top.

Comment by Erie Express 01.31.17 @ 5:51 am

Pulled this clip from the Trib –

Desperation might be the last move Stallings has left as his last-place team prepares to meet ACC leader and 12th-ranked North Carolina (19-4, 7-2) on Tuesday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Our starters, particularly defensively, have not been very productive,” Stallings said Monday. “Maybe (by taking away playing time) there will be more accountability and more attention to detail and urgency.”

Pathetic comments about and from Pitt’s current CEO of BB.

My employees expect the word desperation won’t be part of our plans for any sector of our business. That word is a recipe for failure. Witness the current Pitt BB team.

Having no AD makes this situation even worse. As a Pitt fan and donor, I feel the leaders of Pitt have their heads in the sand or don’t care.

Comment by Erie Express 01.31.17 @ 5:58 am

One guy I’m impressed with in terms of size, athleticism & highlights is Shamiel Stevenson (who just visited). Very Chevy Troutman-ish in some ways, would really like to get him to Pitt.

Comment by 1618mt 01.31.17 @ 8:23 am

Erie…they don’t care and have never cared. Just the way it is.
There is never a time to use the word desperation in business.
Good planning and teamwork keep that word out of use.

Pitt is a giant CF!

Comment by Dan 72 01.31.17 @ 9:04 am

The discussion points on the BOT have been elucidating to say the least. Provides perspective on the Barnes hire. Bureaucrats, who by nature are out of touch with reality, are incapable of appreciating the golden rule of unintended consequences. They decided the next AD needed to have a track record of fundraising. Barnes fit the profile. So they hired him.

Trouble in paradise. They never asked themselves whether or not the guy could actually oversee athletics that, you know, win. Then they found out the only name the rainmaker had in his roledex was a guy named Mitt who no longer had any interest in sending money to Pittsburgh. Oops.

Comment by wally 01.31.17 @ 9:09 am

Talk about some fake news. Tiger Paul got his nickname as a kid. He did not play football or commit suicide. He was a life long paperboy with his brother in the Oakland area, lived a simple life, never married and had a heart condition. Which is what he died from. I talked to him often and even have a picture of him with my girlfriend (now wife of 40 years) at the Field House before a game. He was an extremely nice guy and lived all things Pitt, especially basketball.

Comment by pittman4ever 01.31.17 @ 10:43 am

Wally. Great post. Those that team with me a ton work know we start and end every meeting discussing “unintended consequences!”

It take insight and experience to anticipate those. Not much
ofthat at Pitt

The BOT is typical of every board. I sit on two. A lot of discussing and very little caring or implementing.

Comment by Dan 72 01.31.17 @ 10:48 am

A good CEO or Chancellor would seek to minimize the BOT.

Comment by Dan 72 01.31.17 @ 10:49 am

What I posted about Tiger Paul I had heard from others …but pittman made me wonder…found this article.

link to gamingtoday.com

Comment by milobloom 01.31.17 @ 11:49 am

Sorry UPitt I see you posted that same article earlier Thanks.

Found this one as well
link to old.post-gazette.com

Does say cause of death, but saying it was not suspicious leads to believe it was not a natural death.

Comment by milobloom 01.31.17 @ 11:53 am

This from Sam Sciullo books who writes all things on Pitt sports.

“Tiger” Paul Auslander served as an unofficial cheerleader at Pitt basketball games in the 1970s and early 1980s. At 5’4″ and 181, the diminutive graduate of Peabody High School in Pittsburgh earned his nickname from his football coach who encouraged him to hit the blocking sled harder by instructing him to “Be a tiger!”. Following high school he also coached amateur basketball teams in the city and his enthusiasm on the sideline caught the attention of Pitt head coach Tim Grgurich who invited him to Fitzgerald Field House to liven up the crowd. Typically, his routine would involve dressing in outlandish outfits, sprint along the floor, and doing jumping jacks or push-ups. He was once ejected from a game at Temple University for arguing with an official. Auslander drifted away from the basketball scene in the early 1980s and eventually moved to Nevada where he died in 1992.

Comment by milobloom 01.31.17 @ 11:55 am

meant to say article does NOT say cause of death but saying it was not suspicious leads to believe it was not a natural death.

Comment by milobloom 01.31.17 @ 11:57 am

Dan 72 – I believe our Pitt FB CEO has found a way to minimize the BoT to get things done on his end.

I’m glad Duzz is on the search committee – I’m not impressed with the last search committee nor that Pitt has one at all.

Comment by Erie Express 01.31.17 @ 12:47 pm

Narduzzi on the search committee makes sense on 2 levels: he is the type of high standards guy that we’d want at that level of leadership, and the incompetent, unethical approach of Barnes just yanked a major recruiting tool away HCPN, so it’s in his best interest to help rectify the bb program.

Whoever suggested it earlier, great idea to, at the very least, bring in a co-head coach to groom (of course that may not be viable, it’d have to be the right situation exactly at a lot of different levels).

And just a reflection… I can remember the days when I was not a huge fan of of giving Brandin Knight an opportunity (at least not yet)… Wish I had a do-over.

Comment by 1618mt 01.31.17 @ 1:08 pm

was the biggest Burgher cheerleader

September 23, 2014 3:00 AM
by Scott Schettler

Legend that was Tiger PaulWithout a personal appearance, it’s almost impossible to capture “Tiger Paul” Auslander. Seeing him in action is more telling than a novel about him.

Tiger was a pudgy little guy, funny looking, with close, squinty eyes and an atrocious haircut.

Paul was from Pittsburgh where he delivered papers. He also had a successful sports score service, dealing to bookies and bettors before the proliferation of scores on the Internet.

Paul confided in me, “People think I’m dumb, but I make more than most of them and don’t pay taxes.”

Paul was unofficial cheerleader for his beloved Pirates and Pitt Panthers. He’d get on the Pirates dugout, run back and forth, flailing his arms and Three Rivers Stadium would go nuts.

Most teams have one of these guys but none like Tiger Paul. Ted Turner, then owner of the Braves, tried to lure Paul into cheering for the Braves. He flew Paul to Atlanta, wined and dined him as much as you could a guy like Tiger. Tiger wouldn’t budge. He was a Burgher (Pittsburgher).

Paul should have considered the offer because the Pirates later told him to take a hike when he wanted on their payroll and to go on the road with them.

Tiger Paul was also unofficial cheerleader for the Pitt Panthers. When Pitt upset Notre Dame under Jackie Sherrill, “Sports Illustrated” (2/18/1974) ended their coverage by giving Tiger credit for getting the crowd into it: “With all the success, it remained for a 30-year-old newspaper delivery boy named Tiger Paul Auslander to get the campus aroused…”

The article continues: “Tiger Paul wears a white shirt, tie and old letter sweater as he leads the Pitt team onto the floor and conducts cheers from the sidelines.

“At one time Tiger’s antics, which include tearing off the sweater and tie, pin wheeling his arms, dashing into team huddles and belly-flopping along the hardwood, were an embarrassment to the school administration.

“But the students liked him so much he was allowed to stay, and even to go on road trips. The other day Tiger Paul threw his arm out of whack exhorting the Panthers to another victory.

Later, a radio announcer read off the Pitt team hospital report: Knight – bruised shoulder. Martin – damaged thigh. Tiger Paul – pulled arm muscle. When you’re 19-1, even the cheerleader’s injury is news.”

Paul told me he doesn’t use up his momentum until the team needs a boost. He picks his spots. Fans were quiet for the cheerleaders then erupted for Tiger.

It finally came to a head when Pitt’s cheerleading coach went after Paul, ripping his white shirt during a basketball game.

Paul demanded an apology and a new white shirt. The Post Gazette and the whole city became involved. Tiger said without an apology and a new white shirt he’d cheer for Duquesne.

Pitt’s administration backed the cheerleaders and their coach; the basketball team and coaches backed Paul saying Tiger was valuable to their success on the floor. The betting line on Pitt actually reflected whether Paul would cheer or not.

Bettors would try to find out if Paul was in or out like he was the point guard. They figured he was worth about 1.5 points. It finally ended up with the cheerleading coach quitting. Paul won. The whole thing became an absurd comedy.

Next week: Paul leaves Pittsburgh for Vegas.

Scotty Schettler began his Las Vegas journey in 1968. By the time he quit the race and sports book business he had booked over $1.5 billion for different employers. He says he knows where most of the cans are buried. His book, We Were Wise Guys and Didn’t Know It is available on amazon.com. Contact Scotty at ScottySchettler@GamingToday

Comment by pittman4ever 01.31.17 @ 2:49 pm

Pittman….great story. i remember Tiger

Here in Tally…the Noles are having a big season. Interest is up and the Tucker Center is now owned by FSU and is clearly redone to prove that (garnet seats, FSU everywhere)

But the crowd is missing that one last kick. its as if this football crazy school is still unsure they should be cheering for a very good FSU hoops team.

i wish the Noles had a character like Tiger….in this sleepy southern town….Tiger would be a legend.

Comment by tallahassee panther 01.31.17 @ 4:12 pm

I’m surprised Dixon didn’t recruit him for center…

link to youtube.com

Comment by Jackagain 01.31.17 @ 4:29 pm

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