On Sunday, Pitt made it official in hiring Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings to be the men's basketball program's next head coach. Fans were not amused, but that's one thing.
It's quite another when the national media starts piling on. And even though it's early that's exactly what's happening.
On Twitter, ESPN's Jeff Goodman had a series of tweets detailing the relationship of Scott Barnes and former Vanderbilt athletics director Todd Turner, the now leader of the search firm Pitt used to find Stallings in the first place. In the midst of those, Goodman stated that while a decent coach, Stallings doesn't seem to be a great fit:
For those crushing Kevin Stallings, I maintain he is a good coach. Just not a huge fan of the fit at Pittsburgh. Needs a strong staff.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 27, 2016
Next up is Yahoo's Jeff Eisenberg, who wrote a detailed article about why he is unimpressed by the hire. In it, he included this nugget:
Those in Pittsburgh who weren't satisfied with Dixon may beg him to come back now that they know who the Panthers are hiring as his replacement.
The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcey took the cake, though, and was by far the most critical voice on Barnes' hire. There was this:
We all have seen sports teams make terrible coaching hires. Sometimes, this involves hiring a terrible coach, somebody like Les Steckel with the Minnesota Vikings. Sometimes it’s a matter of hiring a great coach with just the wrong approach for the job he accepts, thinking Kelvin Sampson at Indiana.
Sometimes it’s all just so tone-deaf we’re left to shake our heads in amazement.
This would be almost a comically poor decision.
Dixon was the most successful coach in the school’s history, by far. Now they’re on the verge of hiring someone who has been no better than solid at his current job, and often less than that. How does such a thing happen?
Coaching hires almost always have people on both sides but it's not hard to see that this looks like a pretty lopsided transaction. The hire has drawn the criticism of not only the fanbase, but also the national media. And that puts Barnes and his new hire, Stallings, firmly under the spotlight.