Pitt and Penn State played the shootyhoops last night and I think most people can agree it was pretty fun for everyone involved. Thirty-five minutes of entertaining-if-not-high-quality action. A few shoves. A tasteless "hit the showers" chant. Everything a good non-conference hardwood rivalry should be.
Then Pitt coach Jamie Dixon spouted some familiar talking points about the prospects of Pitt and Penn State playing regularly. They were not the talking points his school usually spouts. (Via the Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski)
"It’d be great, but there’s like 50 games I’d like to see continued; they just don’t allow us to play that many games. You can’t do everything.
"It’s good for everybody, but now we’re in the ACC so you don’t know when you’re gonna play them or if you’re gonna play them (in the Big Ten /ACC Challenge) so it does bring some challenges, obviously.
"It’s good, but we play a lot of good teams, and whoever we don’t play, they talk about, ‘Why don’t we play them?’ And it’s the usual."
Flashback to former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley talking about scheduling Pitt in football in 2010, via the Trib's Jerry DiPaola:
Curley said discussions are underway that could result in a nine-game conference schedule — compared to the current eight — when Nebraska joins the Big Ten next year. Penn State also has unannounced, tentative agreements for non-conference games, said Jeff Nelson, the assistant athletic director for communications.
"That is one of the challenges I am struggling with as we contemplate going to nine conference games," Curley said. "That reduces your ability to move around the country to make these games happen."
...and Joe Paterno in 2007 via the AP:
"We're not sure exactly how many games we can play out of the Big Ten," Paterno said. "Financially, we have to have seven home games. If Pitt would say tomorrow, 'We'll go twice up to your place if you come once down here...' The last time we came to Pitt, they charged more money for our game than any other game."
"I personally would like to have a home-and-home series with Pitt," Paterno said. "But I don't think it's realistic right now."
...and Joe Paterno in 1999 via the Morning Call's Mark Wogenrich.