Well it's official - Dave Wannstedt offered what seems to be his final parting shot at the university for his forced resignation. He's declined to coach the team in its BBVA Compass bowl game against Kentucky on Saturday.
I've got to admit, I was surprised by this. Even despite his feelings for Pitt, which have to be less than favorable at the time, I figured he would help the school out - especially in this situation. Readers of this blog know that I'm a fan of Dave Wannstedt. But this move reeks of selfishness and bitterness. It's bad enough that he waited this long to make a decision, but to decline the chance to offer some very temporary stability to a bad situation is the wrong move, in my opinion.
I always believed that Wannstedt was the right coach for Pitt and that he deserved one more year. But the fact is that he didn't do enough in the eyes of the university. Why hold the players hostage for that?
Still, Wannstedt won't be coaching the game - defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will:
"My loyalty to these players is to have them enjoy this experience and allow them to be the main focus of attention when they travel to Birmingham to get ready for this game," Wannstedt said. "It would be unfair for any part of their experience to be about the head coach and his particular situation."
"Phil Bennett has been a head coach, is respected by the players and staff, and will do a fine job leading the Pitt football team in Birmingham," Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a statement.
But what makes this even worse, in my opinion, is that Wannstedt knew for a while what he was going to do - and apparently didn't tell the players: