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Pitt Basketball

Jeff Capel’s Contract Buyout a Factor in Whether He’ll Return to Pitt for Fifth Season

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The cries for Pitt to make a change with their men’s basketball coach went away after the Panthers three-game winning streak, capped off by an impressive 76-67 win over North Carolina last week. That silence didn’t last long as the Panthers have put together two disappointing, lifeless performances against Georgia Tech and in last night’s 85-64 loss to Miami. After being competitive in early losses, that hasn’t been the case lately as six of Pitt’s last nine losses have been by double digits.

With two games left in the regular season, Pitt sits with an overall record of 11-18 and 6-12 in the ACC. In four seasons with Pitt, Capel’s teams have records of 14-19 (3-15 in ACC), 16-17 (6-14 in ACC), 10-12 (6-10 in ACC) and 11-18 (6-12 in ACC). That’s a combined record of 51-66 overall and 21-52 (.292) in conference play.

But beyond the winning or losing, perhaps the biggest issue when it comes to whether or not Heather Lyke and Pitt will decide to make a change will be financial. Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that Capel’s buyout after this season would be a hefty $15 million. Next season, that number drops down to $5 million.

On January 8, 2020, Lyke signed Capel to a two-year contract extension. That new deal put Capel under contract through the 2026-27 season. The length of his contract isn’t necessarily the issue, it’s the buyout that is eye-opening. Does this large buyout number guarantee that Capel is safe? No, Pitt has paid (and gotten out of paying) buyouts before. But unless someone is ready to write a huge check, it would appear that Capel will get at least one more season with Pitt.

Lyke recently gave Capel and his staff a public vote of confidence during a radio appearance on 93.7 The Fan, but that’s not surprising considering the season is still taking place. It remains to be seen whether or not the administration will have that same opinion following the ACC men’s basketball tournament.

People that support the idea to remove Capel have plenty of reasons, the biggest being it shouldn’t take five years to turn a program around and there’s little evidence that this program is better off now than when he took over from the vilified Kevin Stallings.

While that may or may not be true, if you want a solid reason why Capel will likely return in 2023, as is the case with many things in life and in particular in the businesses of sports, just follow the money.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
3 months ago

The “cries” didn’t go anywhere. We still don’t have a 2022 recruiting class and we still don’t have much talent on the roster. Nothing has changed, nothing will change. Pay the money and move on.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago

When you say we you’re talking about penn state right? You’ve proven yourself to be a sad psu troll so you’re not fooling anyone.

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
3 months ago

I totally agree with moving on, but that coach does not deserve 10 million for his pathetic performance. Give him one more season and then tell him to hit the bricks.

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
3 months ago

I am with Krackerjack on this one. Completely get where you are coming from Justin with buying him out. You also have to consider hiring the next guy. I mentioned Miller, Pitino. Someone else has mentioned Antigua. All of those guys are another 3-5 million probably so its not just the 15 million but closer to 20 million right now. A hit Pitt probably isnt willing to take. I think Lyke has been awesome as AD. The extending of Capel has proven to be a really bad blunder. One that is handicapping their ability to move on. I really thought… Read more »

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

Shocking development that you agree with yourself.

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Jimbo, you have one lonely existence.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

Michael Krackerjack Roth, you’re projecting again.

James DeLeon
James DeLeon
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

I think Lyke has been a pathetic AD with mostly hires that turned out to be losers. Most fans are like me, turning off Pitt basketball during the Stallings fiasco. I don’t watch Pitt basketball anymore and stopped donating. One more year for Capel makes no difference. I don’t, however, trust Lyke to hire any coaches. She is a disaster.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  James DeLeon

You don’t watch or support the team but here you are commenting on an article about the team.

Don Dahle
Don Dahle
3 months ago

Give the man a minimum 3 year contract extension and raise!

SRS
SRS
3 months ago

I have a reimbursement rebate for my “Contact” with Bausch and Lomb. See Title of Article originally posted. Maybe we can get $60 back.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
3 months ago

My gosh, $15 million, or even $5 million for a21-51 record in the ACC. What a thief.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Your hero Jimmy from State College will get even more if they fire him. WE ARE….CRIMINALS!

KGH
KGH
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

You complain about everyone being a “PSU troll” and yet here you are trolling everyone who doesn’t fervently back Pitt basketball’s coach right now. I love Pitt basketball more than football honestly and most of the time I can’t watch the whole game because of disgust. No one is being irrational on here for being upset with the state of the program. I’ll thank you for hitting the dislike button in advance.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  KGH

This is getting ridiculous. The same sad troll setting up fake accounts 24/7. You should get a puppy.

KGH
KGH
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Right, because anyone disagreeing with you has to be a troll or conspiracy of some sort.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  KGH

What are you disagreeing with? That Rob Radich is a psu troll? How would you know whether he is one or not? Unless…….

KGH
KGH
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

I don’t know anything about the guy. I just get sick of you saying ppl who don’t follow your logic are trolls. I happen to agree with his points about how frustrating this team is and Capel is not getting the job done and I don’t foresee that changing this year or next.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  KGH

Yeah sure Rob. WE ARE…..LIARS!

Pittband
Pittband
3 months ago

We are still dealing with the aftermath of the KS fiasco. Chapel’s first recruiting class were kids others avoided. McGowens and Toney were unfortunately tied with X. Capel has gotten a raw deal with KS and Covid. There is no one out there who could do a better job. Yeah, I left last night’s game before half. I am frustrated but not with Capel just the circumstances.
Mo has been a bright spot, Hughley and Burton better than average, the rest disappointing, particularly Jeffries.
Recruiting class, doesn’t matter. Players like Mo matter. Everyone is using the portal now. Patience.

Jp_33
Jp_33
3 months ago
Reply to  Pittband

Why do so many Pitt “fans’ accept mediocrity when it comes to Capel and the Basketball program? This guy has had more than enough time to turn things around. Have you even paid attention to college basketball? Coaches are turning bad programs around in 2 years or less now. Capel has had 4 years and the program is no better.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
3 months ago
Reply to  Jp_33

Absolutely right. Forbes is in Year 2 at Wake Pitt just made an abominable hire.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Looks like you didn’t have time to learn about punctuation when you were earning your imaginary MBA.

PittBand
PittBand
3 months ago
Reply to  Jp_33

Do you remember the circumstances of Capel’s hire? After the season Heather fired KS. Couldn’t get Hurley to even make a visit. We were resigned to a mid-tier maybe when Capel stepped forward. I’m not resigned to mediocrity, but Barnes saddle us with a disaster. Capel has dealt with it. Who is that OUTSTANDING coach you are in favor of hiring? I’m a realist, not taken in by fancy. What would you say if Nike played this year and Horton didn’t commit a teenage blunder?

Joshua
Joshua
3 months ago
Reply to  Pittband

Totally agree with Pittband , Capel is a good coach and proven recruiter, just needs a little more time .

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

Imagine what this team would’ve been like if we still had Julius and the TP guys. PITT was not a “program” when Capel was hired. He’s had to hit “restart” twice in 4 years. Hopefully he can continue to recruit well to not only improve the starting lineup but also build the bench strength up. Of course some of you wanted to get rid of Narduzzi last fall. Takes time to build a good program. And kids that will buy into the program, just like football.

KGH
KGH
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Julius Page graduated in 2004. I assume you mean Justin? If they were competing for anything he might’ve returned. Narduzzi had one losing season. Obviously football is different, but Narduzzi had much more success. He hasn’t recruited “well” in two years, that’s part of the problem. His first two classes were seen as wins from experts. Honestly it was more of the lower recruits working out and not his higher recruits. He has no recruits signed, so he’s gotta hope he finds ppl in the portal.

Pitt Fan in White Oak
Pitt Fan in White Oak
3 months ago

If Capel can keep the returning players intact and get some help in the transfer portal, Pitt might be able to approach .500 in the ACC next year. At the very least, they should be able to avoid losing to the Citadels, Monmouths, and UMBCs of the world.

As for the past 2 lifeless performances, I believe this team is out of gas- a byproduct of playing an ACC schedule with 10 scholarship players.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
3 months ago

“Avoid losing to Citadel et.al”. Could the bar get any lower?

PittBand
PittBand
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

Lost our two starting guards just prior to the season. And Citadel if I remember was a senior laden team.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
3 months ago
Reply to  PittBand

Really? “A senior laden team”. From the Southern Conference. What a joke.

PittBand
PittBand
3 months ago

All this blather about recruiting classes. The only excellent recruiting class this year is Jeff Bezos’s Elite Basketball League. They are studded with 4 and 5-star recruits. Oh, that’s right, they pay their players above board, unlike “elite” mbb programs coached by Hall of Famers which pay their players under the table. You will see one Tuesday.

PittBand
PittBand
3 months ago

Last one and I’ll get off. Two of the most successful Pitt head coaches over the last 50 years were, one from that basketball powerhouse, Westminster College, Buzz Ridl and Jamie Dixon. Buzz happen to bring Fran Webster with him and the Amoeba Defense. The team revolted when Howland left, and Seth Greenburg was the favorite to replace him. Greenburg is in the right place for him, and Jamie is going to the dance with TCU. There are no guarantees especially now with NIL.I just hope Mo Gueye has a younger brother.

lorin Flickinger
lorin Flickinger
3 months ago

Now is as good a time as any to let Jeff Capel go.Its not working.From his recruiting undersized players to his teams bizarre ‘no show’ games,where they they lack effort from tip-off to buzzer.Its time foe Pitt to call SHAWN MILLER.Maybe he can fix the mess Pitt basketball has become; IRRELEVANT….

Pittband
Pittband
3 months ago

That cheater will never see the inside of the Pitt’s home locker room. Guaranteed.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago

Looks like Rob Radich is projecting again. Too bad that you can’t construct a post without using profanity. This shows a lack of intelligence that makes your claim of earning a MBA from Pitt even more laughable.

Mark Recker is a jerk
Mark Recker is a jerk
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

So Mrs. Jumbo grinn. Tell us about yourself. Why so angry, miserable, confrontational and just a asshole? Did you not get enough attention as a kid? Did you get beat up a lot? Probably still do. Don’t forget to take your bipolar pills. Again cheers to you and mr jumbo grinn. Aka mark recker.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago

See above comment. Also, it should be an (expletive deleted), not a (expletive deleted). You would think that someone who claims to have a MBA would know this. It almost seems like you’re not being truthful. Is this where you challenge me to a bench press contest?

Last edited 3 months ago by Jimbo Grimm
Mark Recker is a jerk
Mark Recker is a jerk
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Have to edit your post Mrs. jumbo grinn? How’s the honeymoon going?

Jerry K
Jerry K
2 months ago

Mark Recker? Is that made-up d-bag still skulking the comments section? I thought he went out with Jack Benny reruns?

Mark Recker is a jerk
Mark Recker is a jerk
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

You need to take your medication. I’ll send your husband a text reminding him about your pills. Cheers pinhead!

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
3 months ago

Obviously you’re incapable of an original thought. It appears that you may have suffered some trauma that affected your intellectual growth, most likely from those shower sessions with Jerry at the Lasch.

Mark Recker Loves His Husband
Mark Recker Loves His Husband
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

How many fake accounts you have going pinhead?? Aka mrs. jumbo grinn, Mark recker

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
2 months ago

You’re projecting again Pap. And your lack of creativity with these fake accounts is beyond embarrassing even for you. It’s so bad that Jerry S. is disgusted with you at this point.

Jerry K
Jerry K
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Mark Recker is as FAKE as it comes!

Russell Eugene Kissell
Russell Eugene Kissell
3 months ago

Stick with Coach Chapel!!! He started this year with the worst of positions, and this team has worked together through incredible adversity. I would not be surprised if they make a ACC Tournament run…kinda like Syaracuse the last time they won the NCAA tournament. You don’t build a winning program by changing coaches like your underwear. Pitt got rid of Howland, and Dixon. Both who gave us great memories. It’s time to stick with Coach Chapel. This year was one of being short manned. Let him build a program! You cannot expect good recruits by changing coaches. I wish Brandon… Read more »

Russell Eugene Kissell
Russell Eugene Kissell
3 months ago

Sorry autocorrect messed up I support Coach Capel!

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