Head coach Pat Narduzzi comments on Pitt's decision to forego bowl season
On Thursday night, Pat Narduzzi led Pittsburgh to a 34-20 victory over Georgia Tech, improving to 6-5 on the season.
That mark is definitely in no danger of competing for the ACC Championship this season. However, Narduzzi should be commended for leading the Panthers to a solid season. With those six wins, Pittsburgh would be qualified for a bowl game in any other season and was likely in line for a solid postseason game this season.
Despite the six wins, the school announced that the Panthers are declining to participate in a bowl game this year, following a similar statement by Boston College from Thursday. According to the release, the decision was made by the team and supported by the university.
Pittsburgh AD Heather Lyke praised the dedication and hard work of the student-athletes and said it was important to give them a well-deserved restful holiday season with loved ones.
Here is what Narduzzi had to say about the decision:
“In my three decades as a coach, I’ve never been around a group of players who have faced greater challenges beyond the field than our team this year,” Narduzzi said. “And yet, from the time they arrived back on campus in early June, these young men never wavered—not in the face of rigorous health protocols, multiple rounds of COVID testing each week or while handling the mental and physical challenges of playing 11 games in a pandemic.
“I’ve always been proud to be Pitt’s head football coach,” Narduzzi concluded. “That pride was especially great in working with this 2020 team. They have my eternal gratitude and respect.”
Considering the number of bowl games that are being canceled and the oddity of 2020 in general, it will be interesting to see if teams not in line for the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six Bowl make a similar decision. It is hard to envision any team passing on the chance to play in the Rose Bowl or similarly big bowl, but that is not what the Panthers were in line for.
It will be interesting to see how many teams follow the decision made by BC and now Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh football program will not participate in a bowl game this season, Director of Athletics Heather Lyke and Coach Pat Narduzzi announced Friday.#H2Phttps://t.co/S0LPWC45IQ
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) December 11, 2020