Ahead of Pitt’s clash with the Nittany Lions, coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers will once again shut out the media — keeping practice closed and denying all player interview requests.
Despite promising a different situation to Pitt beat writers after last year’s media blackout debacle, the school announced via email that Narduzzi “will be the lone spokesperson for the program this week.”
Narduzzi, who tried to laud his team by saying “we don’t try to hide anything” last Thursday in response to other teams’ gamesmanship, explained the decision last season as wanting “to be the only voice” to his players.
Pat Narduzzi actually said this Thursday re CFB gamesmanship: "We don't try to hide anything." Added "everybody wants to be sneaky." Well OK
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) September 4, 2017
Maybe the most amazing aspect of Pitt beating Clemson last year was it won despite the onerous distraction of talking to the media that week
— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) September 4, 2017
In a congested market where the team continually struggles to draw fans, it’s a curious decision to shut out the opportunity for increased relevance from the media exposure that comes with playing a highly-ranked opponent that you claim to be your rival.
It’s an even stranger decision to sour a relationship with the local media considering Pitt Athletics’ history of complaining about its coverage.