As mentioned before, Pitt is back to holding a spring football game under new head coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers are hosting the exhibition in a couple of weeks on the 18th and this week, a few details were released.
The news that's gotten the most publicity is that former Panthers and NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Aaron Donald will return to be honorary coaches for the day. Their role will be small, but the real impact comes by having the duo back on campus. They'll be a draw and give some people a reason to show up.
I've long maintained that the school should reach out to alumni to come back for the game and in Fitzgerald and Donald, they not only have former players coming back, but guys that are entirely relevant and in the NFL right now. Bringing back retired players is a big deal, but getting current players is, to me, a bigger deal. The fact is that most younger fans and kids currently in college can relate more to seeing guys like Donald and Fitz than they can even with legends like Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino.
There's fun, too. The old offense/defense format that Pitt has employed in the past is gone and the game will be comprised of two separate 'regular' teams. The fun comes in that there will be a draft to determine the teams:
To divide up the teams, the coaching staff will be split up into two, and they will hold a draft to divide up the Pitt seniors into the Blue team and the Gold team. After that, those seniors will have a draft to divide up the rest of the team.
I don't care much about the format at all. It's an exhibition and should be treated as such. Guys shouldn't be going all out because that's the thing that can increase injuries. The day is all about a chance to promote the program and let fans see some guys in action. The draft thing, though? Pretty cool.
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