Well, I guess 'uh oh' is too bad of a term because I don't necessarily think Tulsa's Todd Graham would be the worst choice - just not the best choice.
But if you're hoping Tom Bradley gets the Pitt job, those hopes may have taken a slight turn for the worst as Graham is reportedly discussing money with Pitt.
That of course doesn't mean this is a done deal or even close - just that the two sides are talking about money. Of course they might not be able to decide on an amount, but as Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette reports, it sounds as if they may not be all that far apart:
The deal is, according to a source, "close on money, closer on assistants money" which means if they want to get this done with him they are now at least in the same ballpark (whereas the first time around, Graham asking price eliminated him almost immediately) but they obviously still have some work to do.
Again, Graham could also be playing Pitt for more money from Tulsa, I've been told that he is good at that spin game and using other jobs to get raises and get raises for his assistants, and that is why I am being extremely cautious in my reporting here about how close he is with Pitt and it is why I am stressing to you that Pitt does NOT have a coach yet nor have the officially offered the job to anyone, yet.
But they appear to be closer today than they were, say Friday, and with the final group of first interviews taking place today it would only stand to reason that this thing is going to be wrapped up shortly regardless of who is ultimately named the coach.
And as Zeise mentioned, Pitt has been this far with another candidate:
And Pitt also got to this point with Al Golden and well, we all know how that turned out.
So obviously this is far from a done deal. But the fact they're talking about money (if what is being reported is true) means that Bradley certainly isn't a done deal or maybe even the leader in the clubhouse.
Now, I'm not completely against Graham. If Pitt ends up with him, then I still think it's better than the Haywood hire. But Zeise has brought up quite a bit that Graham is somewhat of a, well, let's just say he likes money. That's not much different than most of us, but if money is his prime objective, then it's hard to see him staying at Pitt for any prolonged period of time - especially if he has some success. Pitt, according to Zeise, isn't talking to Graham about some astronomical amount of money - apparently in the neighborhood of $1.5M - $2M. Pitt paid Wannstedt about $1M last season, so this is a pretty significant increase.
Graham has no ties to the school and if you think he'd stick around here for less money than bolt for some other big-time job in two years for more money, well, I've got a beach house to sell you on the north side.
That's part of the reason why Bradley is my first choice. It's not a given that he sticks around for the long haul, but I think he's far more likely to stay than Graham would. Graham may come in and even lead Pitt to a few 9-10 win seasons, but he's likely not a long-term solution.
And we'll be doing this whole thing over again in a few years. Hooray.