masthead.jpg

June 20, 2015

With the commitment we just received from Safety Bricen Garner of local Central Catholic High School ( Garner is listed as a 3* on two sites and unranked on the other two) we now have a total of four recruits with most being 3* kids.

Looking at that verbal and thinking about the recruiting game in general made me recall that I’ve always thought of the makeup of a school’s successful football program, and its recruiting, as much like a human body.

The skeleton, the frame on which the whole thing depends to stay upright, is the university’s administration and the support system those it gives to the rest of the football body. That support is both financial and administrative and if the program is getting a strong frame from the University, one that is healthy with no cracks or injuries to it, then building on those bones is made that much easier.

I see the internal organs of the program to be the athletic department’s administrative and support systems for the program and the players. There are a lot of separate parts which have to work together as a whole to make and keeps the program’s body functioning. For instance our last AD Steve Pederson was the Urinary Bladder because each time he came to PITT he tried to piss all over the program. Think Torch-Cut and DinoCat for starters.

(more…)

June 1, 2015

PITT’S BOYD AND CONNER NAMED PHIL STEELE ALL-AMERICANS
Five Panthers named to Steele’s preseason All-ACC team.

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt offense will feature two dynamic All-Americans in 2015 according to national college football expert Phil Steele.

Steele released his preseason All-America squads today and Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd (first team) and running back James Conner (second team) were both honored. This is the first of what figures to be many preseason recognitions for the pair of Pitt juniors. Both players enjoyed prolific and decorated seasons in 2014.

Boyd compiled 78 catches for 1,261 yards (16.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns in earning first team All-ACC last season. He became the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore years. Boyd also led the ACC in kickoff returns (27.6 avg.).

Conner was selected the ACC Player of the Year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He broke three Pitt season records—rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (26) and scoring (156 points)—set by the legendary Tony Dorsett during his 1976 Heisman Trophy campaign. Conner was named to seven postseason All-America squads as a sophomore, including first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

In addition to its All-America selections, Pitt also had five players named to the Phil Steele All-ACC teams: Boyd (first team receiver and punt returner, fourth team kickoff returner), Conner (first team), junior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty (first team), junior offensive guard Dorian Johnson (second team) and junior placekicker Chris Blewitt (fourth team).

Season tickets and mini-plans for the 2015 Pitt football season are now on sale. The Panthers will be led by new head coach Pat Narduzzi, who joined Pitt in December after an accomplished tenure as defensive coordinator at Michigan State.

Fans have a new seating option at Heinz Field this fall with the debut of the South Plaza Champions Club. For more information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT (7488) or log on to PittsburghPanthers.com. Click here for the Panthers’ 2015 schedule with announced kickoff times.

In sadder news PITT benefactor John A. Petersen died.  He is well known for his generous donations to the University of Pittsburgh general funds and to help build the Petersen Arena.  People of John and his wife, Gertrude’s, quality are few and far between.  John Petersen didn’t just drop money out of the sky on something but intently researched what areas of both PITT and CMU he wanted to enrich with his endowments toward where it would do the most good.

On a personal note, I was introduced to the Petersens at a dinner party some years ago and was told by Mr. Petersen that he was taught by my father back in 1950 & ’51 before my father fleeted up to Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration.  He also said that he and my Dad had maintained a friendship until my father passed away in 1969 when I was 13. That was a nice thing to be told and it was a somber day yesterday when I heard that he had died.

 

May 24, 2015

On That Day…

Filed under: Admin,Alumni,Coaches,Football,Good,History,Honors,Players — Reed @ 11:30 am

As the years’ calendar turns to the end of May and the start of what we all see as the spring and summer season, or as we PITT football fans say “the time when no football things are happening” one date always jumps out at me.

It’s on that day our Memorial Holiday falls.  In addition to the store sales, reunions, parties, parades, and picnics Memorial Day also holds a meaning that strikes a deeper and more significant cord in many of us.  You all know that I’ve reference my professional life as a military officer before.  Because that career and my experiences serving in that capacity filled almost my whole adult life, from age 22 until I retired four years ago, it is the lens in which I see, think and feel almost everything through.

So while woolgathering yesterday to try to figure out the next thing to write about Pitt football it occurred to me that I’ve never done a separate Memorial Day piece and that is because it seems to have nothing to do with PITT football.  But after some serious reflection I do believe Memorial Day and the University of Pittsburgh, in all their respective facets, have deep ties and are intertwined both historically and in the present.

Many Pitt fans have friends and relatives who have served in the Armed Forces at some point, or maybe they themselves have.  PITT students fought in our Civil War in the 1860s… on both sides.  Early in the 20th century some of our grandparents who attended or were affiliated with the university volunteered to serve and were sent to Europe during WWI.  Many of our parents, aunts and uncles had their PITT educations interrupted to join the fight in World War II.  My father, two of my aunts and an uncle went directly from being students at PITT into the military then overseas to Europe and China-Burma.

Of course my mother, an younger woman, stayed home and attended PITT until my dad came back from the war and they could get married in Heinz Chapel in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning.  A scenario repeated thousands of times across college campuses I’m sure.  It is true thatThey also serve who only stand and waite”.

PITT had many other students and alumni who served and some who gave ‘the last full measure’ as Lincoln so eloquently stated.  There has never been a war or an armed conflict without PITT personnel involved.  Here are just a few examples.

(more…)

May 19, 2015

You have to say one thing about our new Head Coach; he knows how to work a room.

PITT hosted a Pat Narduzzi Alumni Meet and Greet evening in Washington DC last night and approximately 220 PITT Alumni and fans showed up for the festivities.

20150518_190402

(Note: here is a late addition of all the photos taken by the PITT media department of the event – pretty interesting and try to play “Where’s Reed”  Hint: I’m taller than everyone else.  Look at photos #26, 46, 55 and 56.

It was a nice evening and was intended as an avenue for PITT to re-awaken the alumni – athletic department connections. There is really no telling how well that went over, I’m sure PITT will contact the attendees later to further the money side of the equation. It was very well produced, people were happy to be there, and Narduzzi used his oversized image and personality to get a good and excited feeling going with everyone to take home when they left at 8:00.

The plan was set up like this.  Schedule the evening in late May when DC is starting to really heat up so that in addition to the high temperatures you also get the springtime mugginess that permeates DC.  Then, arrange to have most of the event outdoors; the check-in line (with a five minute wait),  two  tables with PITT advertisements and information publications, a table of PITT shirts and hats for sale and two other tables with the ‘light appetizers’ which were actually substantial and well presented.

The only thing missing was the Red Cross station where one could get intravenously re-hydrated due to sweating every drop of water out of your body. A lot of the attendees parked outside of DC and took the Metro in and that four block walk on hot concrete was a killer.  It was nice later in the evening though and no matter how talented Narduzzi is he really can’t control the weather.

But honestly, the place was well arranged and attractive and because PITT rented out a smaller conference room at the most famous and expensive hotel in DC, The Willard, space was at a premium so they adapted well to the size allotted.

(more…)

May 15, 2015

Closer to the Script?

Filed under: Admin,Football,Media — Reed @ 8:46 am

Here is a chance to vote on which “Football Shirt” you want to see for 2015. I guess this means which shirt they will give away at the home games or something.

PITT T-Shirt

But in the spirit of our recent discussions about logos and branding I thought you all might like to do this:

Football Shirt Poll Site

 

May 14, 2015

Admin in Amelia Island

Filed under: Academics,Admin,Athletic Department — Chas @ 11:41 am

The ACC Spring meetings are wrapping up. Nothing accomplished of real note. Lots of talk. Lots of coaches expressing opinions on rule changes. The administrative and conference stuff isn’t what fans and media want anyways. On that front, this is simply a chance to talk to masses of coaches and ADs.

Nothing concrete. Just opinions. The conferences and coaches may state their preferences for certain changes, but they will not actually do anything right now. They will have the NCAA enact the rules and changes. That gives them cover over unpopular things and items that have unintended consequences later.

(more…)

May 13, 2015

Once more, there is loud talk from coaches, administrator and conferences of eliminating the Graduate Transfer as we know it.

Start with the basics. Graduate Transfer Exception (or Waiver):

The graduate exception is a version of the one-time transfer exception. It is for student-athletes who cannot use the normal one-time transfer exception because they play one of the sports that are not permitted to use the exception.

The student-athlete must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree;
The student-athlete meets the other requirements of the one-time transfer exception;
The student-athlete must have at least one season of competition left; and
The student-athlete’s previous school did not renew his or her athletic scholarship or offer an athletic scholarship for the following academic year.

The requirement that the scholarship be cancelled or not renewed is generally not an issue. The scholarship does not need to be cancelled before the transfer or be the reason for the transfer. Because the one-time transfer exception requires you to get a release, what will happen with your scholarship is generally just an administrative detail.

The Graduate Transfer Waiver is often conflated with the exception because they are so similar. There is one key difference.

The graduate transfer waiver is now typically used by athletes who have previous transferred once before and so cannot use the one-time transfer exception (even as a graduate student).

A letter from the previous school saying it does not object to the student-athlete being eligible;

Documentation that the student-athlete has been accepted into a specific graduate degree program;

Documentation about whether that degree program is offered by the previous school;
A student-athlete statement including the reasons for the transfer; and

A statement from the previous institution about the student-athlete’s status on the team.

[Emphasis added.]

Unlike regular transfers, there is no requirement to sit out a year after transferring. The player is eligible to play right away. That is the big bonus for both the player and the school to where he transfers.

(more…)

April 9, 2015

Back For More

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 9:18 am

Prediction of unintended consequences. This new Morgantown ordinance will result in more broken doors and windows as drunken hoopies are forced to drag ratty couches from outside their houses rather than off their porches.

Sorry, took something of a surprise mental health break.

When Pitt’s basketball season came to its end, I found myself unable to do any writing. It wasn’t writer’s block, or that I didn’t have anything to say — lord knows, it is never that. I was just drained.

I figured I would start back to writing the next day.   Then it became another day. I’d be fine after the weekend. Well, not quite yet. Excuses based on the offline world activities were allowed to perpetuate other days of not writing. Next thing I knew, I hadn’t written anything of note for more than a while. (more…)

December 25, 2014

A Day of Rest

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 7:20 am

My kids get spoiled rotten this time of year. (Yes, I know, everyone’s kids get spoiled rotten this time of year. Work with me on this.) They get to do the Hanukkah and Christmas combo. I’m not saying grandparents on both sides of the religious divide aren’t trying to subtly influence the leanings whenever (if ever) they decide to make that call.  We have had to warn both sides off  about showing up with a puppy, though.

I’ve mentioned it before that when it came to team and school loyalties, I got everything but the NFL. The poor kids have to root for the Browns. Not that it has mattered much since I’m not about to go out an buy them the gear, and my wife gets sticker shock just about every time she looks at licensed gear. Frankly the kids haven’t cared to ask.

Until this year. The boy is seven and decided this year he wanted a Browns jersey. I asked my wife what brought that on, and she pointed out that his teacher is a huge Browns fan, so it probably has something to do with that. To be fair, she is quite pretty, so I just nodded my head without mentioning that aspect. I was just kind of hoping that he was going to last a little longer before doing stupid things for a girl.

(more…)

December 13, 2014

Quick Decorum Reminder

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 10:21 am

Folks, I know that there are a lot of comments flying with the football stuff. Emotions are tending to rise and fall — mostly rising at this point. I also know there are a lot of new people trying to comment.

With that in mind…

1. Don’t be an ass. You are not speaking truth to power. You are not the only one who sees things clearly and the rest are idiots and blind sheep. I have to be honest. It’s been a long season, and I’ve tried to let things go, but several people are coming up to the line where I have had enough of it and will start banning people to bring things under control.

2. If you are new and you don’t see your comments showing up in discussion it is because I missed them or haven’t approved them. New comments are held for review to make sure that they aren’t spam, from previously banned commenters trying to slip in under a different email, and just for appropriate content. Drop me an e-mail if you are concerned: pitblather-at-gmail-dot-com

3. In that vein, insulting me or any of the other writers, slash complaining in the comments that you are being banned or censored won’t help you in getting the comments approved. I’m more than happy to let you believe you are a victim.

4. Sock-puppetry will almost certainly result in being called out and immediately banned.

Hopefully that will cover it.

February 28, 2014

Brief Comment Username Reminder

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:26 am

As long-timer readers should remember, I’m not very tolerant of sock puppetry in the comments.

Consequently the filters  toss comments into a general queue for review if the username or e-mail don’t match-up to your previously approved comments under a different username/e-mail. And given the volume in the queue I may not get to them all, since that means I have to search through old comments and confirm its the same person. And make sure they aren’t playing games.

You can drop me a line if you feel that there is a problem, but be sure to let me know what username you are/have been using. It would also help if you could explain why you felt the need to change the name.

October 31, 2012

We Get Letters — Sort Of

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:06 am

We lost power for a near 24-hour period thanks to high winds and rain. Somehow our block had minimal tree damage. The block east of us, however, got slammed. Some 8 or 9 trees knocked over on that block. Including one that took out a transformer (and a car and part of a house). So the 3 inches of water in the basement because the sump pump wasn’t on seems relatively minor. A good part of my day will be bleach washing the basement surface and getting rid of a bunch of kids toys (not exactly the plan I had to get rid of a lot of old toys, but I’m going with it).

In the meantime I figure on sharing this e-mail that got forwarded to me from a reader. It came to me from Yardbarker’s managing editor, who received it — and was quite confused as to why it came to him. This really is an actual e-mail from an actual person.

I was given your name by Jerry Micco, Sports Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  I wrote to him expressing concern about the Pitt Blather column which is published in the Post-Gazette.  He responded by saying that the column is a publication of FOXSports.com so I am forwarding my concern to you.

I like the content of Pitt Blather very much, but I don’t like the name “Pitt Blather”.  According to the dictionary, blather means non-sensical talk.  What kind of a name is this to assign to a serious blog about Pitt football?  The names of the blogs for Penn State (Black Shoe Diaries) and WVU (The Mountaintop), which also appear in the Post-Gazette, are dignified and pertinent, but Pitt Blather is not only off-target but also demeaning.  I am hoping that you will find a way to have the name of this column changed to something that is more appropriate.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

[Name redacted]

If you ever wanted to know why corporations were wary/parnoid for so long about including hyperlinks and sidebars to outside content, meet Exhibit A.

I’m mostly amused, but for the suggestion that this is a “serious blog about Pitt football.” That kind of depresses me.

When I was trying to decide on the name of this blog the runner-up to “Pitt Sports Blather” was “The Babble Pitt.” To this day I still second-guess the decision.

October 10, 2012

Unexplained Absence

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 12:31 pm

No, losing to Syracuse did not break my spirit and send me into a week-long bender.

My father-in-law was hospitalized over the weekend. He’s still there, while more tests and observations are made. He’s at that age, where any trip to the hospital holds that dire potential that they find something really bad. Or worse, simply that he never leaves under his own power. My wife has been with him all week. While I handle work, the kids and everything else.

Needless to say, I have not been on the computer very frequently this week.  I’ll try to post soon.

September 11, 2012

Time for Some Commenting Reminders

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 12:08 am

Stress does funny things to people. This Pitt season has already added plenty of it to what has built up over the last couple of years. I’m seeing it showing up in the comments in various ways.

So, I think some reminders about how things work are in order.

There is no formal registration to comment on this blog at this point. I don’t do it, mainly because I don’t like to bother when I go to other sites. Also, because I don’t want the added responsibility of safeguarding other people’s personal information. The reality is that the site is getting bigger and more popular so eventually I probably will have to.

In the meantime, there is still something of a controlled honor system.

(more…)

August 29, 2012

Expansiopoclypse Strikes Pitt Blather

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 5:49 am

Yes, even this site is not immune to the changing forces that have swirled around college athletics.

Okay, so it’s really just some new contributors on the site. Still, with the loss of Pitt Script Blog to the SBN borg outpost, Cardiac Hill. It could be viewed — with enough to drink — as the Pitt Blog Expansion Wars of 2012. Or something else.

Chris Gates is a Pittsburgh native, loves Pitt athletics, and has spent the past year working at 93.7 The Fan. Among the things he did there was blogging. He’s just moved across the country to work at Oregon State as the Web/Interactive Media Coordinator for RecSports, but he still wants to write and talk Pitt. Happily he took me up on an offer to continue doing so here. You can also follow Chris on Twitter. Oh, and he just loves to here Kent State jokes. Can’t get enough of them.

Once upon a time, there was a blogspot blog that focused on Pitt recruiting. Then it got deleted by the person who had it. So others, slightly less serious, brought the place back and opted to have some fun. For a while all was well. But then the incident. A trauma that changed things.

They were never quite the same after the horrible incident known as the 2008 Sun Bowl. Even after the rehab from the mental trauma, the strain proved too much for them. They could never quite recover and generate content with any consistency. Which was a shame since they had some good stuff. A few of them want to try again, but without the pressure of needing to do it on a regular basis. So, now they will try to bring the funny here when so motivated. You can find at least one of them skulking about on twitter as well.

Finally, the mystery* known only as Dan. He’s the new guy. He’s a student at Pitt. Lifelong fan. He’s been in contact with me over the summer and wants to give the blogging thing a go.

*”Mystery” being a relative term. I’ve vetted him to my satisfaction that this won’t be a Sarah Phillips thing. As I’m not sure how much of his actual background he wants to share, however, there’s not much more to tell you about him.

Just one more reason to make sure to glance at the byline under the post title before you angrily complain about (or even compliment) the person who wrote something.

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com