Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pitt's coach bails...and people are angry. Why? (UPDATED AT BOTTOM)

ORIGINAL POST: It appears that Arizona State has its new football coach -- Todd Graham.

Yes, the same Todd Graham who just one year ago left Tulsa to take over at Pitt.

Needless to say, there is significant outrage in Pittsburgh. I anticipate that in the coming hours "traitor," "quitter," "callous" and "selfish" will come to mind.

Spare me.

No disrespect to Pitt, but the Arizona State job is a step up. The fan base is stronger. The facilities are better. The potential for long-term success is greater.

Pitt's fans will be angry today. It's understandable; they feel as if they've been cheated. But once they have a chance to think it over, they'll recognize that the Panthers' football program needs to be built to -- and then sustained at -- a level where leaving for another job will seem foolhardy.

Right now, that's not the case.

1st UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. EST: Certain to add to the anger Pitt's fan base will feel is the way Graham announced his decision to the players. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it came via a text message.
The following message from Graham was sent to Blair Philbrick, Pitt's assistant athletic director/football operations, then forwarded to team members:
"Please text this to players please:
"I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State.
"Coaching there has always been a dream of ours & we have family there.
"The timing of the circumstances have prohibited me from telling you this directly.
"I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless, Coach Graham."

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