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The Steve Pederson Disconnect

So I'm reading Paul Zeise's update over at the Post-Gazette and found this little tidbit - Steve Pederson apparently didn't talk to Dave Wannstedt's assistant coaches until yesterday.

No, seriously.

You read that right - the man who fired the head coach failed to even contact the assistants afterward. At all. A quick timeline check shows that Pederson forced Dave Wannstedt to resign on December 8th - more than three weeks ago.

In that time, Pederson then hired Mike Haywood, but still apparently didn't think it was important enough to meet with the assistants. And then, with the Haywood arrest and subsequent firing, he decided it was finally time.


And according to one assistant, Pederson apologized, admitting he should have met with them earlier:

However, Mr. Pederson did meet with the team's assistant coaches Sunday for the first time since Dave Wannstedt was forced to resign as head coach Dec. 8. Mr. Pederson told them that he should have met with them earlier, said one assistant coach who asked not to be identified.

How do you fire a head coach and then not meet with the assistant coaches? And more importantly, who were they even reporting to? Haywood wasn't hired for another eight days after Wannstedt was let go. And even when he was hired, he was reportedly working evenings to show respect to Wannstedt who was apparently still around during the day.

Man, what a mess. Pederson really sounds like he's stepped into this job for the first time a week ago.

And as the article points out, Pederson wasn't even with Mark Nordenberg when the Chancellor addressed the team. I guess meeting with the players and coaches was too much to ask.

I've been hesitant to get on the 'Fire Steve Pederson' train. No, I don't think he's done a great job and as I've said repeatedly, Pitt should never have hired him back in the first place. I thought that replacing a coach and athletic director would be perhaps too much to take on. But the fact is, if there's a time to do it, it's now. The 2010 season hasn't even officially come to an end and if Pitt can have an athletic director and head coach in place by the end of the month, they can get things on track.

I don't expect 2011 to be a great season on the field, but the fact is that Pitt still has some real talented guys coming back and regardless of who they're playing for, they can still be a decent team. Still, even throwing 2011 away, this team can still get on track for 2012 if they get the right guys in place. That's a huge 'if' and will take some guts by Nordenberg, but if he's willing to make the move, it's now or never.

Ball in your court, Chancellor.