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A bunch of Pitt fans/alumni writing and ranting about the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and anything sports and entertainment related. Other than being alumni, the writers of this blog have no affiliation or official connection with the University of Pittsburgh, the Pitt Panthers, and related entities. The views expressed on this blog are solely our own. You can e-mail us: PittSportsBlather-at-sbcglobal.net.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Searching 

The Pittsburgh Live site (i.e., Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) has a section on Pittsburgh blogs. PSB is now listed.

IN other search notes, thanks to Pat, we are the first, second and only place people come when they do a google search for "boot licking capitalist running dog lackeys".

Heh.

5/8 Out, Ties to Academics --Yeah, Right 

Kind of old news, I know, but the end of the 5/8 scholarship in mens college basketball has occurred. This is more of a boon to teams that are rebuilding, decimated by scandals, or lost a lot of players to the draft (graduating or early entry). For those who still don't know what the 5/8 rule was, it restricted basketall teams from offering more than 5 scholarships in any one season, and no more than 8 over a two year period. Teams are still limited to 13 total scholarships, though.

The end of the 5/8 rule has nebulously been tied to potential penalties for poor graduation rates. I'm not going to delve too deeply into this yet, because the NCAA still has yet to actually say what the ties and penalties will be. I'm just going to say now, that the present way they calculate graduation rates will not be the standard. Ignoring the fact that the present formula uses data that is 6-7 years old (out of necessity), there is no way that the standards will still not include JUCO transfers and kids that leave early for the NBA -- as it does now. Just not going to happen.

Why? Because the big name basketball schools would be among the hardest hit. Kansas, Duke, UCLA, UNC, Arizona, UConn -- all are among the schools that get the best talent and regularly see them leave school early for the NBA. Other schools/coaches rely heavily on JUCO transfers -- Cinci and Ok. St. immediately come to mind. These schools and coaches have clout. You think the NCAA want to fight with them that hard.

Looks Good 


Testing the new Blogger service that allows you to publish photos directly to the blog. Looks fairly simple and appears to work well. Posted by Hello

The only downside, is that if I want to include a title, I have to go back and edit the post after it is published. Not to mention if I want to include any links to articles and such. Small price to pay for a free service, though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

TV Schedule 

Just a note that ESPN is releasing and periodically updating it's college football schedule. As of right now, Pitt will have 3 of its games on ESPN or ESPN2:

Monday, Sept. 6, 4:30 PM, at South Florida -- ESPN
Thursday, Sept. 30, 7 PM, at UConn -- ESPN2
Thursday, Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving), 7:30 , vs. WVU -- ESPN

Also on Thanksgiving day, the newest Big East football rivalry (at least that's what appears to be the attempt) UConn at Rutgers. That's sure to be a sellout.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Hoopies Ranked #5!? 

Yeah, I know that PRE-preseason college football rankings are almost always pure crap designed merely to sell magazines during the slow season. And I know that lesser selling publications, like Athlon Sports, always try to pull a few real dark horses out of the bag to sell even more copies. But still, this is ludicrous...

Athlon Sports ranked West Virginia #5 in its pre-preseason rankings!? Yeah, sure. After going 8-5 last year and getting absolutely bitchslapped by that powerhouse Maryland twice, the Hoopies are suddenly national championship contenders. In fact, Athlon ranks the Inbreds in front of Texas, Michigan, LSU, Florida State, and Ohio State. Sure. Why Rodriguez has been recruiting right up there with the Wolverines, Buckeyes, Seminoles, and Bayou Bengals for years now, hasn't he?

Heck, Rodriguez only began outrecruiting Walt Harris last year.

Look, just because the Mountaineers suddenly have an extremely soft schedule in the new Big East (through no fault of their own) doesn't mean that they're suddenly the fifth best team in the nation. It just means that they're going to win a lot of games. I mean, did anybody really think that TCU could beat USC when the Trojans lost to Cal while the Horned Frogs were on their little run?

Admittedly, it does tickle me a little to see a Big East team ranked so highly because the league is suddenly so soft. It kind of makes Miami and Virginia Tech look a little silly for moving into a tougher league. That being said, get real.

(Not that I don't think that WVU will have a better team than Pitt will have this fall... but then again, who won't?)

Hail to the Hoopies being every bit as overrated this year as Pitt was last year.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Said With a Straight Face 

Somehow, I don't think Big East Commissioner Mike Trangehese and NCAA President Myles Brand will be having a pleasent get together in the near future if Trangehese reads this interview (via college ball)

"Most of the realignments had to do more with academic affiliations than they did with [athletics]. No question about it. And I know that for a fact. . . . The press thought that this was a money grab. Even when you include the [ACC] playoff football game, Miami is not going to make money in the short term, the next five years, on this. Probably lost money.

"No one wants to lose money on this, that's true, but the driving force for those presidents and those schools are the academic affiliations. It's not seen that way from the outside, nor am I suggesting that that's the way the conference commissioners see it when they're hired to, obviously, increase the revenue."

Actually, I don't think Brand will be visiting any Big East football schools in the near future. It gets better when you read what he has to say on a playoff in college football.

"I think with the commissioners you have in place and most especially the presidents you have in place, I would be surprised to see that. Because this group of presidents, who are the ones in control, have made it very clear that they don't want to overcommercialize I-A football moreso than it is now, and turning it into a Super Bowl-type environment would do that. And they don't want to see it go into the second semester, which would affect the academics of the student-athletes who participate. They've made it very clear they're not going to go towards a playoff. As long as that mind-set is in place, it won't happen."

No. No one is interested in seeing college football further commercialized. Hopefully it will stay as pristine and uncorrupted by commercial considerations as the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

And now the jaw-dropping final quote on what the NCAA stands for.

"It's all about the student-athletes. It's not about the dollars. It's not about the television contracts. It's all about the student-athletes. A bit old-fashioned, I understand, but that's what it's all about as far as I'm concerned."

This is the guy in charge of the NCAA?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Buffalo Roam 

The report on Colorado University football came out. My thoughts here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

They Like Him, They Really Like Him 

Interesting. I was reading over the list of underclassmen who Andy Katz said, made the "right" choice to stay another year after flirting with the idea of entering the draft. He included Pitt's Chris Taft.

Taft could have been a lottery pick this season. Yes, his breakout freshman season was that good. And NBA teams love his potential. So, it'll be hard for Jamie Dixon to keep Taft in a Pittsburgh uniform for four seasons ... let alone three. But Taft understood he wasn't ready to make the jump and returned for his sophomore season. He's the anchor inside for Dixon and next to point Carl Krauser is the key to the Panthers staying atop the Big East. Taft's ability to score in the post has NBA teams interested. NBA scouts don't expect Taft to fall out of lottery favor ... whenever he declares.

I wonder if Taft had reconsidered declaring despite his early statements saying he wasn't even considering going pro. I knew that NBA scouts like his potential, but I didn't know they view him as a potential lottery pick whenever he declares. If true, then we get Taft in a Pitt uniform for just one more year.

A Whiff 

Well Pitt didn't land Galdino, the blue-chipper forward from New Jersey who had Pitt among his final choices. Ultimately, Galdino chose the highest profile program on his list -- Kansas.

This can't be too shocking. It was something of a ripple effet with another recruit. Kansas really came hard in its recruiting of Galdino in the last week when they failed to land Malik Hairston -- considered the #7 player in the country. Hairston chose Oregon, which really pulled out all the stops to land the kid from Detroit. We're talking the charter private jet to fly him from Detroit to Eugene for an overnight trip, at a cost of around $21,000 dollars.

Coach Dixon said he may just hold on to the scholarship for 2005 or not.

I can't get too bent out of shape at losing this recruit. He only recently became available, and would have simply been a bonus.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Well Deserved 

So Joe Paterno will stay 4 more years after this upcoming season. Good for Joe and good for Penn State. The man deserves it. Joe Paterno is Penn State football. It's important for him to stay. He needs to keep grooming his son Jay (and keep him out of politics, unlike his other son) for a head coaching job.

Now I know there are some who argue that Paterno is dragging Penn State football down; that he has tarnished his legacy; that his Bobby Bowden-esque response and punishment for criminal acts by his players is clueless and pathetic; and that every utterance from Paterno on honor, class, dignity and doing things the "right" way smack of hypocrisy. But really, those are just the haters saying those things.

I mean this Ron Cook article complaining about Paterno staying is just sad.

Congratulations Joe PA, we at PSB are glad you are staying.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

So That's Where It Is Coming From 

Pitt has been pursuing a top #100 basketball player who changed his mind about going to UTEP when the coach left. What made this interesting, was that Pitt didn't actually have a scholarship on hand. Well, now they do.

Pitt sophomore basketball player Ed Turner has transferred to Central Florida Community College, opening up a scholarship for next season.
...
According to Turner's high school coach, Fajri Ansari, Turner met with coach Jamie Dixon at the conclusion of the semester and determined that it was in his best interests to transfer.

"Coach Dixon said he couldn't promise him anything, and Ed thought it was best to move on," Ansari said. "He's too talented to be sitting on a bench. I coached Leonard Stokes (Cincinnati) and Julius, and he's as talented as anybody I've coached. I know he initially wanted to return to Pitt, but after the meeting, it seemed like transferring was the best option."

It didn't help that Turner's grades were "borderline," suggesting that even if he did get a larger role in the 2004-05 season, there would be concerns about his eligibility.

As for the player, Alex Galindo, a forward from New Jersey, interest was shown in him by Kansas, Duke, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Boston College, Baylor, Rutgers, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Ohio State. It now appears that he has narrowed his choices between Rutgers, Kansas and Pitt. Read that again just for fun. We are competing with Kansas for a basketball recruit. Hell of a concept.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Ch-Ch-Change 

The big news in the Big East, Syracuse updates its logo and shortens its nickname. Gone is the dopey Carrier Dome above "Syracuse" logo. (The new logo is quickly replacing the old image everywhere.)


Apparently Syracuse had some 20 different logos for its teams. Now they are standardizing it with one logo.


The color looks almost like the burnt orange for Texas, but according to the story, they are using a "brighter orange than the current version." The one thing that is not good for the 'Cuse, they are going to go with a darker shade of blue. Free advice, in the short-term it may seem like a good idea, but you will start to miss the older, brighter shade. Trust me.

I like the new logo, though. It is simple,one color, and easily understood to be Syracuse U. Logos shouldn't be too detailed. They should be something a student can easily sketch onto a sign or on a t-shirt. Something that can be reproduced at any size without making it look too incoherent or a blob [Are you referring to any other school logo in particular? No. Of course not.]

The other aspect is the elimination of "Orangemen" and "Orangewomen." All teams will simply be the "Orange." How much can a fan of "Pitt" over "Pittsburgh" be bothered by shortening the name? Even 'Cuse fans are feeling a little ambiguous.

The only other thing I note, is that this has apparently been in the works for a couple years in consultation with Nike. Right now Pitt is trying to get out of its uniform contract with Adidas. If Pitt goes with Nike, I think it's safe to guess that Pitt might be willing to make changes and -- dare we dream -- maybe go back to being called Pitt.

Housekeeping 

The new blogger interface is taking some getting used to.

We have added some new links in the sidebar. A new section called "Big East Blogs." Not a lot right now, but if more are out there, we'll add them.

Obviously this is the down time for Pitt sports. The baseball team is doing well, but I don't think any member of PSB ever saw a Pitt baseball game.

Julius Page, according to some draft boards I saw, has an outside shot at being signed as a free agent training camp invitee. He, and Jaron Brown, are likely headed for Europe or perhaps the NBDL.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Effective Bribery 

Maybe the Pitt Athletic Director, Jeff Long, does have a better idea of what he's doing than I thought. Last week I posted on Pitt refusing to move it's season opener down in Tampa against USF to Labor Day so it could be televised by ESPN. Seemed really dumb, to me, for Pitt to miss any opportunity to get some/any additional national games.

Well it turns out, the negotiations were still happening and the deal got sweeter.

ESPN and the Big East sweetened the deal for Pitt, offering a package of more money and more national exposure.

The Panthers' game Oct. 16 against Boston College will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, guaranteeing the school at least six games on national television next season.

Still, about that logo...

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