Pitt hoops is going old school - and no, I'm not referring to Pitt script. The team will vacate the Petersen Events Center and return to the Fitzgerald Field House for the 2014 season, athletic director Steve Pederson announced today. Head coach Jamie Dixon, chancellor-elect Pat Gallagher, and Henry Fitzgerald (the son of Field House namesake Rufus Fitzgerald) were also on hand for the announcement.
"This is a unique and dynamic arrangement for our men's basketball program," said Pederson. "This move will not only create excitement for our players and fans, but it will also allow us to maintain our stellar home record at the Pete. With a young team on the court next year against experienced ACC competition, we don’t want the invincible aura of the Pete to be damaged any more than it was this past season."
Dixon was equally enthusiastic. "The Field House was the home of Pitt basketball when I first came to Pitt with a full head of hair, so this is really like a homecoming for me. Talking about the Field House’s tight capacity (it seats only 4,000 people), Dixon added, "The Zoo will literally be half of the crowd, so those guys will be louder and more intimidating than they’ve ever been before. If you thought I was bad with timeouts this year, wait until next season when none of us can hear anything."
Pitt’s incoming chancellor also offered fond memories of the Field House from his days as a physics grad student. "When I was at Pitt back in the 80’s, I never attended a basketball game, but I know they played at the Field House." Gallagher also offered a scientific perspective of the move. "My colleagues and I at NIST have spent years studying sound physics and sound wave properties. I can tell you that this move to a more intimate, confined venue will certainly intensify the game day atmosphere."
With men’s basketball moving in 2014, the Pete will continue to make itself useful by hosting women's basketball games, career fairs, and the student body's favorite on-campus food court.
Check the date. This is not real. Happy April Fools Day from Cardiac Hill.