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Where's the "Vote of Confidence"?

November 30, 2010

“What I’ve tried to do is be supportive and encouraging and make sure our coaches and players know we have tremendous confidence in them, belief in them, and we’re doing all we can to help them succeed. We just don’t leave people hanging out. That’s not my way. We’re keeping them pepped up and focused, our players in particular. It’s important that they get rejuvenated.”

That is a quote from Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson when he was at Nebraska. This quote came following a 41-6 Nebraska loss to Missouri in October 2007. The Cornhuskers were off to a 4-2 start with that loss, but were about to finish the season 5-7. Coach Bill Callahan was fired following that season, just his third with the Huskers.

The “vote of confidence”. You see that phrase thrown around by Athletic Directors and NFL Owners anytime public support for a coach begins to waiver. They want to make the fans, and sometimes the players, believe everything is going to be OK and that by staying the course, the current regime will produce wins. Brad Childress received a vote of confidence in Minnesota earlier this season. He did not produce wins. Now he is at home watching the NFL Sunday Ticket. In the end, a vote of confidence means nothing more than “your job is safe, at this very moment.”

Through the previous five seasons, we have heard the votes of confidence from Steve Pederson for Dave Wannstedt. We have seen the press releases of contract extensions, including one before this season. Despite most fans reluctance to believe in the votes of confidence after the first three losing seasons, Wannstedt’s teams began to win…and fans began to believe.

And then it all came crashing down this season.

Fan support for Wannstedt is at an all-time low. Not only is his team losing, it’s been embarrassed at home, on national television, multiple times. Heinz Field has become a ghost town in those games with almost a full quarter to play. With the effort being put forth in those games, there is even the perception that the team is quitting when it is losing that badly.

It has now been four days since the Backyard Debacle and as fans, we know it won’t make everything better, nor do we expect it to. In fact, we would probably get a good laugh from the public statement…but where is Pederson’s vote of confidence for Wannstedt now?

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2 Comments
  1. Allan Kolstad permalink
    December 1, 2010 7:25 am

    Pitt is a 1 point underdog to UC, once UC beats them they will be 6-6, major disappointment, that sums up Wanny’s entire career at Pitt because he was hired to take Pitt football to the next level. Pitt might go to a bowl game in Detroit or Birmingham, WOW!!

    Wanny as he did in Chicago and Miami takes no responsibility, we play a vanilla brand of football that is boring (WANNY BALL), you can waste your hard earned money on season tickets and donations. I will not until a new head coach is hired.

    At least Walt took us to 6 bowl games in 8 years, including a BCS bowl, Wanny will never come close to that, therefore Wanny took us to that next level, DOWN>>>>>>>>

    He utilizes the same lame strategy week in and week out, any fool can see that this football program is mediocre at best. The Big East is extremely weak and we finish in 3rd place?

    Time for him to go.

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