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The real issue!

  • Not about Boyd or Foster or Kemp or etc.........I'll try and explain my feelings one last time. Some of you guys are all over the place with your thoughts and expressions.

    This goes back to Paul Chryst's recruiting style. You know the one, let the young man wait then make the final decision. Look elsewhere before deciding. AND now, commit then take other visits. (this is really not the concept behind PC's recruiting style)

    How do you guys feel how this is working out? My opinion is, not too well. The players are playing the coach. IMO. Also IMO there is no real plan. PC was called on by everyone when hired that he didn't like or get to involved in the recruiting aspect of the college football game philosophy. His detractors have been proven correct.

    The theory that let it go and let them fly, if they come back home they are forever yours, went out in the seventies along with the peace movement. Whees got twitter now homies. PC needs to get with the program three months ago.

    The mistakes Paul's made are getting to the point that can't be counted. Where's PITT DC? The hire better be from one of the super bowl teams, or the crap will be irreversible.

    You're not in cheese land anymore Paul., Kansas either. You're coaching and recruiting city kids. Stand up up on your hind legs and act like a man dam it!

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by waltspappy 15 months ago

  • Exactly what do PITT fans want Chryst to do as a "hard sell" tactic? Tell a kid either he commits at once or to forget about playing at PITT? Guess what, we'd have a roster full of two star and NR kids if PITT tried to do that.

    Let's get honest with ourselves here. The PITT football program is just like 100 other D1 programs. We are not an elite destination for the blue chip and the better recruits and don't have the muscle to place ultimatums in front of them.

    PITT has to convince recruits to be here and even that isn't easy to do especially after two losing seasons and multiple coaching changes.

    I find it amazing that PITT fans have this overblown opinion of what it must be like to play for PITT when in reality our draw is much the same as any other school if not, at this time, less.

    If you want to hard sell someone you have to be desirable enough for the recruit to feel that he just can't pass up the opportunity to play at your school. Folks, PITT doesn't have that power at all.

  • We've had a coaching carousel the last 3 years, we've been a .500 team, lost our last 2 bowl games and we're 17th in the country on Scout in recruiting. Not too bad.

  • Even if Kemp committed to Pitt after his visit, I could pretty much guarantee that the staff changes at Kentucky and USF would have gotten him to visit to those places. We have no business in pulling offers of kids.

    Remember even everyone's beloved recruitinator Wanny let Mike Cruz come back.

    I'll argue that we should have pressured Robert Foster though. I think if he committed on/directly after his visit, he'd be a Panther.

  • Like so many things in recruiting, it's difficult to assess right now (yes, this is something of a cop out, so I'll talk about right now in just a second). One question is whether kids that are more susceptible to be swayed by the "hard sell" have different characteristics (on average) than those that are less susceptible. My guess is that they are, and that those differences (on average) translate to what kind of college football players they become. For example, it may be the case that a prospect prone to the hard sell develops (on average) into a player that needs to be motivated hard. On the other hand, a prospect that responds to the soft well may be more likely to develop into a player that goes about his business and requires less external motivation. I can only speak in generalities or in anecdotes, but I tend to think something like this is the case. And, if it is the case, then a guy like Chryst should, in general, avoid the hard sell, because he's not going to get a lot out of kids that require yelling when he's an aw-shucks kind of guy.

    Pulling offers isn't an option, either, and it would be inconsistent with our recruiting style to this point. Given that Chryst isn't a hard sell guy, his comparative advantage is in relationships---with players, with families, with coaches. We're beginning to see how that will bear fruit with the 2014 class. And if you're a relationships guy, you really can't be burning bridges by pulling scholarship offers---especially not in your wheelhouse.

    It's odd when folks associate being calculating and thoughtful with being something other than a "man." Was Michael Corleone not manly? Was Sonny manlier than Michael? If you have time to make a decision properly, why not use that time to make a good decision? We don't need a DC at the moment. The marginal benefit for our existing recruiting is just about nil. In fact, it may be negative (suppose we're recruiting a 4-3 DT and we're hiring a 3-4 DC. We might lose the DT, and it's not like we're just going to go start a new relationship with a nose tackle and land him in four days).

    (On the subject of manliness: I just finished reading a controversial book on the subject by conservative Straussian political philosophy professor Harvey Mansfield. He can really write, and he can really irk folks, and it's a fun read. Link attached.)

    As for the short term, nothing has been proven. If the claim is that the class would be better with more hard selling, then we'd have to go through our commitment list one by one and ask: would this player have committed to Pitt if we had gone alpha male on him? It seems that everybody assumes so. But how many of the stories post-commitment were about how comfortable the player felt? Quite a few. I want the kind of offensive line prospect that commits to Pitt because he'll get good coaching, not because somebody went alpha male on him. I want the kind of quarterback prospect that commits because he likes the scheme, not because somebody went alpha male on him. And so on.

    I mean, they've landed 27 kids. They've filled needs. They've sprinkled in some star appeal. They did well in the homeland, leveraged some existing relationships, and established new footholds. They developed at least two good foot soldiers in Engram and House. They missed on Foster, but by the looks of it, that was more a function of flakiness on his part than anything. Quite frankly, I don't want a lot of players that make last-minute switches based on what the almighty told them. I want thinking, intense, tough players. I'd take Foster in a moment, of course, but the point remains.

    So now you're going to lament style?

    Manliness: Professor Harvey C. Mansfield: 978

    Manliness [Professor Harvey C. Mansfield] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers. This book invitesa response from its readers. It is impossible not to be drawn in to the provocative (often contentious) discussion that Harvey Mansfield sets before us. This is the first comprehensive study of manliness

    http://www.amazon.com/Manliness-Professor-Harvey-C-Mansfield/dp/0300122543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359640048&sr=8-1&keywords=manliness
  • This is exactly right. People need to get their collective heads out of their ass, realize our position in the sport and be happy these kids are giving our great University a shot. Get the F out of the late 70's and early '80's, stop with the illusions of grandeur and enjoy the sport and team you claim to love. The endless bitching and finger pointing on all of the Pitt message boards is almost unbearable.

    This post was edited by BSPanther 15 months ago

  • We haven't won a NYD or BCS Bowl since 1982. We have played in one since 1984. You guys are dead on. Pitt fans fail to acknowledge who we are. We are not the guy holding the full house in Texas Hold'em. In many cases we are holding a pair of 5's and hoping we can bluff our way.

    Nothing is binding to the 1st Wednesday in February. So what are coaches supposed to do? Pull the offer? What good does that serve??

  • Shruggs,

    The Amazon summary calls it, "the first comprehensive study of manliness." That's a bit disingenuous, no? I haven't read it (obviously), but one would think the summary is overlooking the entire field of gender history. Unless, of course, this looks at manliness across all time and geographic location, in which case I suspect it probably overreaches.

    I must admit I'm more partial to tighter narratives. Here's a great book that looks at changing conceptions of masculinity around the start of the 20th century. The sections on how Teddy Roosevelt reinvents himself to be more in line with contemporary notions of masculinity is fascinating.

    Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural Histor

    Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (Women in Culture and Society) [Gail Bederman] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers. When former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement on the fourth of July, 1910 to fight current black heavywight champion Jack Johnson in Reno

    http://www.amazon.com/Manliness-Civilization-Cultural-History-1880-1917/dp/0226041395
  • One other thing.....we can all harken back to the "recruitinator" days, and pat each other on the back come Wednesday on all of these great recruiting, break open a bottle of Verve Cliquot and celebrate that we won the Big East recruiting title again. WOO. Man, those were halcyon days, weren't they? Yes! Oh the memories.

    Then a funny thing, come fall, when we were playing lesser recruiting ranked teams in big games, games that could push the program forward, into BCS bowls, we would lose to the UConn's, Cincy's, and WVU's. Every. Time.

    Oh yes...but, but, but,....I am cutting yinz off at the pass.."Dave won 27 games over 3 years, the best since Sherrill". Yes he did. Walt won 25 games his last 3 years, 2 of them in a much better Big East with also a much better ND on the schedule, but who's counting.

    About that guy. He also won 16 games his first 3 years. SO............the moral of the story kiddies is......let's let this play out.

    Tyler Boyd is an awesome talent and prospect. So was Dorin Dickerson. I can't be sure Boyd can project to a WR on this level. I can a slot/WR like WVU's offense has.

  • This thread has two points.

    1. Paul Chryst doesn't have the soft sell approach in recruiting. He doesn't have a particular plan at all. It's obvious he's fumbling around trying to figure some things out about being a head college football coach. I'm not completely down on the guy but too many of you are giving this guy a total pass or an "A" when he clearly has some growing pains we will all have to endure.

    2. To create some conversation on this board. It seems to me the participation level has gone down on the board. A lot.

    This post was edited by waltspappy 15 months ago

  • Both of these points are completely untrue.

    1. You invented out of hysteria over the Boyd situation. Do you forget how PC targeted guys like Baker, Reese, Orndoff, Soto, etc... early? Do you forget how he landed a 3/4-star QB in Chapman? Do you forget how he landed a 4/5-star OL in Johnson? All this coming off the self-induced turmoil of the last 2 years. He has a plan but rarely does it go exactly as you wish.

    2. This board has been noticeably increasing in participation lately & frankly, this quixotic quest you've been on for over a year now is tiresome.

  • Completely disagree, pappy. Chryst very much appears to have a plan. Look at how effectively he went after OL targets. Or, if you prefer, look at the impressive list of recruits attending the Junior Day.

  • It's somewhat a chicken and egg....

    How do you get recruits if you don't win? How do you win without recruits?

    More recently, we've been losing both the recruiting titles and games on the football field.

    You need dynamite recruiters to bring kids into a place that isn't winning, or a dynamite coaches to start winning without the talent. Or, a nice combination of both and some time.

    We have a few solid recruiters in Engram and House, but we could use more. We have a head coach many believe has potential, but has left something to be desired in several games.

    Unfortunately, it looks like it's going to take time. We didn't hit a first inning grand slam. It's frustrating, nobody likes to wait and hope for the best.

  • It surely isn't a piece on gender history, to be sure. Mansfield is the sort of guy that thinks society is something well-studied by considering the great thinkers of the times (he is a staunch defender of the "great books" curriculum and maintaining courses on Western civilization), so the book is really about the development of the concept of "manliness" through great thinkers. In general, typical "gender theorists" are cherry-picked to build up the straw man, which is fine. The writing is beautiful and provocative, which is all I ask from recreational academic reading.

    That a political scientist deeply entrenched in the ugly, useless world of formal theory (talk about your tight narratives) would like a book like this is probably all the indictment you need ;-). I'll check out this one you recommend as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • It's one thing to acknowledge that there are growing pains (there obviously have been). It's another to think these growing pains are so gosh-darned problematic that they warrant daggers. Nobody with any expectations for the team would give Chryst an "A" to this point. In fact, if there are reasonable things to question (in a reasonable way of course), why not stick to those instead of guessing about unobservable plans and unobservable fumbling?

  • There are growing pains. Of course there are. He (Paul Chryst) was also dealt a hand of 3 coaching staffs in 3 years and decades of underachievement.

    I agree that we need another good recruiter on staff.

  • If Pitt is going to "hard-sell" anyone ( and I don't think they should - but if they were to ), they should "hard-sell" the fans. Triple, at the minimum, the season ticket, and single game ticket prices. That would make the atmosphere at Heinz Field so much better, because then only the fans who really wanted to be there would attend.biggrin

  • Sending young prospects back home who are ready and willing to commit so they can think things over and be sure. Then accepting Boyds and Webbs commitment and then they go on for other visits is a double standard. That's some plan and can be observed for what it is.

  • Where are you getting this that Coach C. "doesn't have a particular plan at all" and "It's obvious he's fumbling around..." I'd like to know the specifics on these claims. Seems to me Coach C. has done a pretty good job of making up for the last two "interrupted" recruiting classes - not to mention the fact that Todd Graham didn't like to sign anyone over 200 pounds.

    I agree with Reed's post - Pitt and Pitt fans are just not in a position to be "expecting" elite prospects to come to Pitt. Pitt has to earn back that standing. There's no question that if you keep Clement and add Foster and Boyd, this class is a grand slam homer. If Pitt were coming off of a couple of 9 or 10 win seasons and decent bowls, that very well may have happened. To expect it now is unrealistic.

    And I do have concerns if Boyd or anyone else signs with Pitt but then is always questioning themselves and wondering what might have been if they had gone elsewhere. That's counter-productive to becoming the best player you can become. I think someone like Boyd has these feelings because no-doubt recruiters for WV show him stats for their players vs. stats for Pitt's players, their bowls versus Pitt's bowls, and harp on how Pitt always seems to be searching to get to the "next level," blah, blah, blah...

    I'd actually like to see Pitt go after some elite WRs who are NOT local. I think the chance to be coached by Coach Engram in Coach Chryst's offense is a great draw, but it's somewhat negated with the local kids who have been exposed - up close and personal for their whole lives - to Pitt's extended mediocrity - and the not necessarily supportive treatment of Pitt by the local media...

    Go Pitt.

    This post was edited by MajorMajors 15 months ago

  • You'll have to help me out here---I don't see the double standard.

  • Is Ole Miss elite?

    Are they coming of great seasons?

    Anyone looked at their recruiting class?

    The only formula for getting recruits isn't just winning.

  • How about Washington? Or UCLA?

    Are the Elite?

  • Ole Miss is in the SEC and has a tremendous new coach. Washington and UCLA have the luxury of being on the west coast where there are fewer FBS teams. Their top kids generally come from California and don't want to leave the coast so they end up limiting their options a lot more than kids who are from the eastern part of the country.

    I'm thrilled with this recruiting class. A team that has gone a combined 19-20 the past 3 seasons in the Big East while going thru 3 coaches in 3 years has no right to a top 30 recruiting class. Especially when you consider the big name programs nearby (Ohio St, Notre Dame, Michigan, WVU, Penn St) who have had a heck of a lot more success on the field recently.

    I'm taking the stance of being thrilled for what we have, especially considering that our top 2 recruits wouldn't be here if not for an assistant coach who hasn't been employed for over a decade that happened to be a pedophile. Take away DJ and Boyd, and that's realistically what our recruiting class SHOULD be for a team with our recent history of success on the field.

  • wasn't one of Walt Harris' best classes after he went 2-9

  • Hard sell v. soft sell is not black and white. You have to be able to read the kid and see what it is going to take to land him. Assuming Pitt soft sold most of this class, the hard sell may not have worked with most of these guys. Most of the class seemed to appreciate the approach. Going forward, they will have to be flexible and push harder when it is appropriate, but it should be on a case by case basis.

  • I luv u pappy but lets wait on PC opinion until 2015 or so. He has to be given some time.

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