PITTSBURGH — While the Pitt men’s basketball team’s overseas tour to Italy may have been a success, Pat Narduzzi is not keen on doing a similar excursion with his football program. Narduzzi shared his thoughts on team trips with members of the media on Friday.
Narduzzi expressed that while the trips may seem to be a great experience for the staff and players, many that work around college football are not fond of them behind closed doors.
“Talking to people at different places that do that, people don’t get real excited about it,” Narduzzi said. “It’s just more of the grind.”
Narduzzi also feels that it may not be best for players to be spending even more time with their coaches and teammates than they already do.
“Our kids need time off,” he said. “They need time away from our coaches. It started as a way to get more spring ball somewhere else, like spring training.”
In addition to the need for players and coaches to have time away with their families, Narduzzi also mentioned the negative impact such an expedition could have on recruiting.
While team trips are relatively common in college basketball, more and more football programs have packed their bags and headed overseas in recent years.
Michigan has been one of the most notable teams making trips overseas, becoming a yearly tradition under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines traveled to Italy in 2017 and France in 2018. This past spring, they journeyed to South Africa.
Michigan’s trips have been predominantly paid for by donors, but Narduzzi insists that his reluctance is more about the players than the money.
“If it was that exciting and everybody heard rave reviews about it, everybody else would be doing it,” Narduzzi said. “I don’t think that it ever comes down to money; it comes down to what’s best for your kids. That’s my opinion.”
Narduzzi has no plans to organize such a trip, but he is leaving the door open, admitting that a tour of Italy does not sound that bad.
“I’d consider it,” Narduzzi said. “I’d love to go to Italy, back to the home country.”