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Pittsburgh cancels spring game to maximize on final practice

Paul Chryst AP

Pittsburgh has cancelled their spring game for 2014. Why? Because that 15th and final practice is more valuable than putting on an actual spring scrimmage, according to Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst.

“The thinking behind that is to get one more good work day out of (the players),” Chryst said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Most if not every spring game you end up really sacrificing a lot.”

It takes money to put on a spring game, and considering the Panthers drew just a handful over 3,000 fans for their spring game a year ago, the school may have been sacrificing money with little chance to turn a profit. Moving a team to a facility for a spring game costs money for renting the property, transporting the team (and equipment) to the location and paying for any stadium security and vendors. Without a great option to host the game on campus, it makes little sense to open up Heinz Field for the game for a day, which is why Pittsburgh has experimented with playing the game in high school stadiums nearby in recent years.

This year Chryst will hope to take advantage of one more practice instead. The NCAA allows for 15 practices in the spring. A spring game counts as one of those if held.

“These days are really valuable for us,” Chryst said. “I’m not in a hurry to get through spring ball, and I want to maximize every day with it.”

The problem for Pittsburgh stems from being unable to capitalize on the spring game experience. No matter where the game would have been held, it would have been unlikely to draw a decent crowd. This is s great contrast to other nearby FBS programs like Ohio State and Penn State. Chyrst needs to take measures to get fans to get excited about the team, but if a 15th and final practice helps improve the Panthers on the field in the fall, he will have the last laugh.

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9 Responses to “Pittsburgh cancels spring game to maximize on final practice”
  1. bballnut50 says: Feb 27, 2014 9:51 PM

    A once proud program really struggling is sad if you are a real CFF.

  2. eidolon21 says: Feb 27, 2014 10:23 PM

    mickey mouse program

  3. fester73 says: Feb 27, 2014 10:59 PM

    Pitt football rules, they are a young team, give them a chance this year.

  4. manik56 says: Feb 27, 2014 11:02 PM

    I am sure they will be so much better for it –probably worth antagonizing those 3000 fans.

  5. gorilladunk says: Feb 28, 2014 8:57 AM

    Another reason why colleges should play at on campus stadiums.

  6. cubano76 says: Feb 28, 2014 10:41 AM

    So the reward his players get for busting their tails during winter workouts before the sun comes up all winter, and participating in 14 practices is…..ANOTHER PRACTICE? Yup, makes perfect sense.

  7. joewilliesshnoz says: Feb 28, 2014 3:48 PM

    I can’t figure out how a team that can put top of their position players in the NFL,aka, Fitzgerald, Revis, McCoy, Lee, and soon to be Aaron Donald, not get to the next level.

  8. mogogo1 says: Feb 28, 2014 5:05 PM

    Not familiar with Pitt’s facilities, but there’s no on-campus practice field or anywhere they could get for free that could accommodate 3,000 onlookers? Couldn’t they effectively just invite those few loyal fans to watch the last practice?

  9. musketmaniac says: Feb 28, 2014 5:08 PM

    lol, what exactly does pitt football rule at. The little femme boy on chrisley knows best(commercial watching only) seems a little tougher than the marys that have represented pitt lately.

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