The talk of Sean Miller and Pitt just won’t seem to go away. A day after saying he wasn’t a candidate for the Pitt job, Miller’s name continues to be brought up.
Pitt is back in on Sean Miller.
— John Steigerwald (@Steigerworld) March 22, 2018
Is this the case?
Despite the statement yesterday, Pittsburgh Sports Now has been told by many people associated with Pitt that influential people inside the university are pushing for Heather Lyke to hire Miller.
While Miller said that he was not a candidate, he didn’t say that he wasn’t interested. Miller’s statement was much more about quieting rumors after Lyke was reluctant to seriously discuss Miller taking the job.
Lyke and certain members of the school are reluctant to attach their professional reputation to someone that could be linked to a major scandal.
However, this opinion isn’t shared by everyone inside the university and could be a major focus at a meeting of the athletic committee of Pitt’s board of trustees that had been previously scheduled for Friday.
PSN reached out to someone at Pitt to get some clarity on this meeting and what are some things that could be discussed.
• Get everyone on the same page. I was told by several people that they are going in so many directions that it seems like there is no communication between the principal people.
• Discuss what level coach they want to go for next and whether mid-major guy is where they want or will they take another swing at a big name.
• Could be a recommendation on who to hire.
• Discuss philosophically and what they want from their basketball program.
• Discuss candidates that the search firm recommended that maybe they haven’t talked to.
• Discuss candidates that they think best balances what is best for Pitt and what will keep fans/donors happy and engaged.
• Talk about whether the salary they offered is in line with what they are really willing to pay.
• Discuss Miller and whether they can come to a concensus on him.
One thing has been clear from the start and that’s a large majority of donors at Pitt want Miller to be Pitt’s next coach. Tonight, a major Pitt donor reached out to PSN to share his thoughts on this coaching search which is its second week.
“There are some Pitt supporters and donors who have reached out to university board members to question the process being used to hire the new basketball coach.”
“Questions include why a committe isn’t being used to evaluate candidates and their qualifications. Will cite that committees were used in other hirings including the one to hire Pat Narduzzi.”
“A large faction of supporters believe that Sean needs Pitt and Pitt needs Sean and that the athletic department should make it happen.”
PSN has been told by various donors that major money would be contributed to the athletic department if Miller is hired and only if Miller is hired. Many feel that Miller is the only candidate that will bring fans back to The Pete and inject life back into the program. Many question if any of the candidates being mentioned now will create any sort of buzz or would it just continue the negative feelings surrounding the basketball program.
Time will tell what develops from tomorrow’s meeting but it’s very possible that whatever has been previously said, all candidates are still in play for the Pitt job.