Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Will Not Shut Out Media Ahead Of Penn State Matchup
For the first time in two years, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi will allow his players to address the media in the buildup to his team’s matchup with Penn State.
Narduzzi announced that two players will be available to the media on Tuesday during his Monday press conference. Despite his change in philosophy, the head coach wants to “keep it quiet” and just play football.
“Other than [two players addressing the media Tuesday], we’re going to keep it quiet and play football and let our guys focus on what’s important,” he told reporters. “This game is important to the city of Pittsburgh; we want to keep the importance on what it is.”
Narduzzi didn’t comment on whether or not the team’s practices will be open to the media. His previous explanation for the media blackout in 2016 included wanting to be the only voice of the program in order to not create a distraction.
Last year, he didn’t even provide an explanation; Pitt announced via email that Narduzzi would be the “lone spokesperson for the program” ahead of the game, further souring the school’s relationship with the media that covers it.
After announcing Tuesday’s media availability, Narduzzi emphasized that this isn’t a normal game week for his team.
“Anybody wants to argue and say that this is no different from any other week, it is,” he said. “That’s a fact. If you want to ignore it, you can ignore it, but it’s a big game.”
On top of the recent media blackouts, Pitt Athletics has complained about its coverage in the past. At the end of the day, does allowing players to speak to the media really have that much of an impact on the final score?
The Nittany Lions and Panthers’ final meeting at Heinz Field for the foreseeable future will kick off at 8 p.m. Saturday.
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