Pitt Fans: Put Up, or Shut Up

Today marks a new day in Pitt football.

Pitt hired one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation to become head coach. But that comes at a price if you want Pitt to compete for ACC and National Championships, like Head Coach Narduzzi is proclaiming that is he expects at Pitt.

Pitt football needs money from boosters, revenue sales and so on.

It’s really up to the consumer to make this possible.

Pitt fans, alumni and students are notorious for not showing up to games and leaving the games well before the final snap of the game. And the worst case of this is when students leave right after the rendition of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Sadly, the above picture sums up the role of the fans at the games the past several years.

The days of 25K or less showing up to games must end if you want Pitt to take that next step as a football program.

Chancellor Gallagher is showing a commitment to Pitt football simply by firing former Athletic Director Steve Pederson and Interim Athletic Director Dr. Juhl stated this today at HC Narduzzi’s Press Conference, “if Pitt can help cure polio and invent CPR, it sure as hell can win 10 football games”.

Dr. Juhl is 100% correct in stating that Pitt can certainly win 10 games a year. The WPIAL and Eastern Ohio is tremendous recruiting grounds. And with proper financial support in recruiting, Pitt should be able to snag a few kids from states like New Jersey, Maryland, Deleware and Florida.

It’s really time for the fans to put their money where their mouth is. The fans want to win and they want the program to provide financial support to the football program, but this money has to come from somewhere.

Yes, winning will beget more fans showing up to games, but if Pitt is 5-5 when Miami comes to town, how many fans will realistically show up?

And that’s ultimately the problem.

Even if Pitt is 5-5 when Miami comes to town, there needs to be at least 55K in the stands.

Because 4 years down the road, let’s say HC Narduzzi is exploring options outside of Pitt, there could potentially be potential income to keep him in town.

But let’s say he leaves, Pitt fans will whine and dine about the potential of Pitt being cheap when it comes to hiring coaches. What do you expect when attendance is poor and there isn’t enough revenue being generated to not be cheap?

I won’t tell people how to spend their money. Spend your money as you please. But don’t say the program is being cheap when it’s at least attempting to produce a strong and viable football program.

The school and athletic department is doing their part in supporting the football program. Now it’s the fans, alumni and boosters to do their part.


Does Chryst Stay or Does He Go?

The second Oregon State announced that they hired former Wisconsin Head Coach Gary Anderson as their new Head Coach the social media and talk shows went ablaze.

Pitt fans have every right to be a little paranoid considering the epic failures of Pitt football since Dave Wannstedt resigned on December 7th 2010, plus Head Coach Paul Chryst is a native of Wisconsin, played football at Wisconsin and he started his coaching career at Wisconsin.

Let’s face it, Paul Chryst is a Wisconsin man, and maybe going home could be the right thing for him, and then again, perhaps he stays. There is one thing to remember, his daughter attends Pitt and he’s made Pittsburgh a second home.

Could that be enough to entice him to stay?

If I’m Paul Chryst I’m using this as an opportunity to force the admin of Pitt to feed more money into his coaching staff, and earn a contract extension. That doesn’t mean that needs to fire DC Matt House, for example, either. Just that there needs to be some upgrades on the staff.

If he is indeed heading home, we’re likely to be finding out the breaking news before Monday, if not sooner. Does he really need to be interviewed? Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin AD) was the Head Coach of Wisconsin when Chryst was starting his coaching career. Alvarez went above and beyond to help get the coaching gig for Chryst at Pitt.

Chryst is building a solid program at Pitt, from the bottom up; however, his overall resume isn’t exactly impressive, going 19-19 in three seasons.

Lets say he takes the Wisconsin job, what is next for Pitt?

A guy like current Pitt OC Joe Rudulph has to make some sense. He’s from Pittsburgh, and he adds some continuity to help keep the current recruiting class together. An outside option could be former Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini.

Personally, I don’t think Paul Chryst is going anywhere. But if he does, asking Athletic Director to lead another coaching search just may be too much to ask.