These things always seem to happen for Pitt in bunches, right?
Still reeling from losing offensive coordinator Matt Canada to LSU today, Pitt's athletics department could have another big piece of news soon with reports suggesting that athletics director Scott Barnes could be headed to Oregon State.
The report was first published by Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Barnes pretty much dismissed the idea when his name was dropped as a potential candidate earlier this fall. He did not deny interest, only stating that he was happy at Pitt.
As I said then, Barnes didn't have known ties to Oregon State but was from the pacific northwest. Because of that, this looks like a desire to get back in that part of the country. After all, while Oregon State is a P5 program like Pitt, it's difficult to make the argument that it is considered a step up in terms of prestige relating to the major sports.
The Beavers' football team has had three straight losing years and the basketball team has been perennially bad, making one (yes, one) NCAA Tournament in the past 25 years. I can't speak to the rest of the programs but the two big ones aren't real competitive right now. Perhaps the dollars are more, so that would be a start. But this isn't a situation like LSU taking Canada and the Panthers not being able to compete financially. My guess is that if this was about the money, Pitt could pay more or they simply aren't interested in doing so. I really believe this is mostly about him trying to get back out west.
If the reports are true and Barnes does leave for the west coast, his tenure will be known for, good or bad, the Kevin Stallings hire. The strength of that hire is still up for debate as Stallings isn't even halfway through his first season.
With Pitt now in the ACC and having additional resources as well as a football program on the rise, the AD job is a very attractive one. Assuming he is leaving, I have no doubt that they'll be able to make a very strong hire with the resources. As PantherLair reported, the next hire will be made by Chancellor Gallagher who first brought Barnes aboard.