Sunday, March 06, 2011

Dave Wannstedt Defends One Area of Program, Rubs Mustache and Shrugs Shoulders at Everything Else

Last week, Sports Illustrated published the laziest article in recent memory, an article in which the writers totaled the arrests of football players on teams in their 2010 preseason Top 25 poll without providing comparative arrest data for the general 18- to 22-year old population and collegiate population of the same age group.  Essentially, what they pointed out was that college football players get arrested.  Like I said, it was an EXHAUSTIVE investigation.

At the top of their arrest list were the Pittsburgh Panthers, who checked in with 22 arrests (Urban Meyer and Mark Richt took furious notes as to how that happened) for simple things, like aggravated assault and throwing people through glass doors.  The head coach of those players, Dave Wannstedt, now a Buffalo Bills assistant coach, but always moments away from inexplicably becoming a head coach somewhere else (HELLO THERE SAN DIEGO), responded to the article by saying his program was unfairly singled out. 

His defense:
...Wannstedt on Thursday acknowledged "an unfortunate stretch of incidents last summer," during which four players were arrested. Wannstedt, however, added he remains proud of his staff's "body of work" regarding player behavior during his six-year tenure at Pittsburgh.

"Every player was evaluated and scrutinized, and we tried to project whether they would become productive members of our football program as well as the university at large," Wannstedt said by phone, repeating comments he made to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a day earlier. "Every player and each incident was evaluated on an individual basis. And we did our due diligence to make sure that we treated each player fair."
Remember this statement when an NFL owner or general manager makes reference to it as they introduce Wannstedt as their new head coach.

*As for things in his program he did not go to lengths to defend, that list is seen here:

31-3 loss to Miami at home on ESPN Thursday night telecast
"We did cut it to 17-3 with 14 minutes to go."

38-31 loss at NC State
"It's hard to hold on to 14-point leads in the third quarter in Raleigh."

19-16 loss at unranked West Virginia
"We were ranked ninth, but winning the Big East title outright wasn't what we were going for. I made a commitment when I got here that I would make the easy things difficult and the difficult things easy."

27-17 loss at home to Bowling Green
"Wow, really? That happened? And we were ranked? Wait, hold on, I need to take this call. Someone at Minnesota."

54-34 loss at home to 2-5 Rutgers
"Again with the ranking? Man, I sort of blocked that season out, I guess. Bill Stull was still around then? I think you're lying to me."

3-0 loss to Oregon State in the Sun Bowl
"I actually cannot comment on that game as my trial for crimes against humanity and everything that is decent and holy is still ongoing."

The entire season, which featured losses to UConn, Virginia, Navy, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.

Starting the season 6-1 and finishing 6-6.
"I learned that trick in Chicago."

16-10 loss to Ohio AT OHIO IN OVERTIME
"You ever try to get motivated to play a football game on a Tuesday night in Athens, Ohio? It's a lot like playing in Pittsburgh with the Big East title on the line."

*This is the portion of this writing that is probably made up of things Wannstedt did not say. Probably.

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