Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Ron Cook wrote a column yesterday blasting Dave Wannstedt for being "disloyal" to his players. Wannstedt had announced that he would not be coaching them in the upcoming, gigantically-important "Compass Bowl" in Birmingham, Alabama against national football powerhouse the University of Kentucky... Please, give me a break.
LEFT: Ron Cook, once again not grasping reality, has accused a man who has been fired by his employer, as not being loyal to his players. If Wannstedt is guilty of anything, he's guilty of spreading a large dose of egg on the face of comedic Athletic Director, Steve Pederson.
Oh, true, Wannstedt hasn't exactly been fired by Pederson. He's been offered a position in the athletic department making sure that the water coolers are properly filled each day. Wannstedt will have to accept whatever menial position that Pederson comes up with so that he can collect his million dollar salary.
When you act cheap, you get what you deserve. Pitt should have cut a check to Wannstedt and released him. That's how the big boys do it. When you're notoriously cheap, you kick a man and then expect him to help make you look good. Wannstedt stated that he and his assistants have been working 14 hour days getting the team ready to play...this despite the fact that his assistants must find work to support their families as they will all most-likely be released once the next coach is selected. This is how football works. Each head coach has the right to construct his own staff.
Then why was Wannstedt released prior to the bowl game? Because Pitt wanted to have its' cake and eat it too. Pederson thought that he'd get his new coach, save Wannstedt's recruits and then collect his bowl money to boot. He never counted on Wannstedt stringing him along for a month after doing the most lame recruiting search in Pitt history. The atmosphere after Wannstedt's second toxic news conference, another extremely-poor decision by Pederson, is another in an incredibly-disastrous series of decisions by the man who managed to get himself run out of the state of Nebraska by his own alma mater.
ABOVE: Not to be missed! With a whole 2,000 seats purchased by Pitt fans, it's easy to see how excited they are for the upcoming "Lost their Compass" bowl. This is yet another example of a bowl game that really shouldn't be played, where mediocrity gets rewarded. Pitt should have declined playing in this game. Its players don't deserve a "reward" for playing hard enough to get the program turned upside down.
Whatever has happened to Pederson, he is clearly not the same leader that he was during his first tenure before leaving the university for Nebraska. Chancellor Nordenberg apparently thought that Pederson would get back on his horse and continue where he had left off. The man who came back from Nebraska is not the same guy who left Pitt.
Instead of criticizing Wannstedt, a coach who was given plenty enough time but didn't get it done, Cook would have been far better served to write a column blasting Pederson and another sacred cow, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. In fact, if he was a real reporter, he would have done some investigative reporting and found out exactly who was on the search committee that came up with a man who, it now turns out, has had a history of character issues in his past. List the names of the people who participated in the worst vetting process ever and castigate them. But Dave Wannstedt? You've got the wrong guy.
Here's a good question: If Ron Cook was fired by the "Post Gazette" and he was due to file a report on a game, would he cover that game and write the story after he had lost his job?... Would you?
ABOVE: If there was ever a program that should have been invited to the Compass Bowl, it's Pitt...They've clearly lost their direction.
PITT NOTES: At the top of the Pitt list and due to be interviewed is Penn State's Tom Bradley. How was he not interviewed the last time around? Shoddy work by the A.D., that's why...Rich Rodriguez was fired today at Michigan. Will Coach Rod apply? Now that would be an interesting turn of events: The former coach of the Mountaineers (who is now hated and reviled in West Virginny) coaching their arch rivals at Pitt. What a storyline! If Wannstedt had bricks thrown at the Pitt buses a couple years ago when the Panthers ruined their national title hopes, I couldn't imagine what their fans would throw if Rodriguez showed up on one of those buses...Maybe gernades!