In a sudden and surprising move, University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Steve Pederson, in a press release sent out late Monday evening, announced that the university plans on erecting the Petersen Events Center’s first ever statue in the coming weeks. While rumblings of a Mark Nordenberg or Brandin Knight statue have been passing throughout the Pitt architectural community, the release shocked many by announcing the statue’s likeness would not be any former or current Panther, but instead a Wildcat: former Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds. Pitt fans will remember Reynolds, the star guard for the Wildcats, as the player who sent the Panthers packing in the 2009 Elite Eight with a buzzer-beating coast-to-coast layup to send ‘Nova to the Final Four. Said Pederson of the decision:
"As many Pitt fans point out on talk radio and Twitter, despite our program’s immense collection of regular season victories over the past decade, we haven’t reached a Final Four since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. So, we felt that, rather than celebrating the 250+ wins the teams has had under Jamie Dixon, we should highlight the heartbreak and sadness that our fanbase tends to obsess over."
While Reynolds, who is currently playing in Turkey, could not be reached for comment, long-time Villanova head coach Jay Wright is extremely pleased with the announcement.
"I’m so happy for Scottie. He knows how much of an impact he had on that program, and how he completely changed the lives of their players, coaches and fans, and it’s just terrific that legacy will finally be etched in stone– literally."
While the exact design of the statue has not been released, the general idea is described in the release as "a depiction of the contradictory emotions of victory and defeat", which leads some to believe that an accompanying statue of Brad Wanamaker with his jersey covering his eyes could be next. The ceremony erecting the statue will take place this Sunday, hours before the NCAA National Championship. Reynolds will be the guest of honor, while Wright and Dixon will be there. Invitations have also been extended to Dante Cunningham, Corey Fisher, DeJuan Blair, and Wanamaker to attend and potentially speak. Pederson, after sending out the release, was quick to dispel whispers of a Nasir Robinson’s number 35 being retired by the Panthers.
"While that is something that has been discussed internally, we have no plans on that as of yet. Retiring a number is something we take extremely seriously, and would like to wait five to ten more years to see if someone can outdo Nasir as the full embodiment of this era of Pitt basketball."
You've been had. This is not real. Cardiac Hill wishes you a Happy April Fools Day. That is all.