Back in September I was sitting in the UConn press box with just a seat between me and Big East Media guru Chuck Sullivan.
Since I had been down on the field taking photos during the first half of the game, I was about 30 minutes behind on my twitter timeline. Right as I caught up to current news, my timeline started moving quickly with the news that Pitt and Syracuse were leaving the Big East for the ACC without the Big East knowing what was going on. Unfortunately Sullivan left as soon as the news broke and I didn’t get a chance to ask for a comment from the Big East.
I remember remarking at the time that Pitt was leaving the Big East without even sending a “Dear John” letter.
Fast forward a few months and their coach, Todd Graham is leaving via a text message and Pitt players, fans and administrators aren’t too happy. Ironic coming from the same people who were trilled with the way they left the Big East for the greener grass of the ACC.
Now, that’s not to say that what Graham did was right, just that sometimes you get what you deserve, and if any school deserved this, it was Pitt.
Now, to the juicy part of the story, here is my understanding of what happened.
* Multiple coaches left Todd Graham’s staff to go work for Rich Rodriguez at Arizona
* Todd Graham asked Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson for permission to interview with Arizona State and was denied
* Todd Graham interviewed with Arizona State anyways
* Todd Graham stopped answering calls from Pitt administrators including Pederson
* Pederson had an official stop by the Graham house and was told “get off my porch”
* Todd Graham sends a text announcing his resignation and pending move to Arizona State to his Director of Operations, Blair Philbrick, and asks him to forward to the Pitt players
Official text of what Todd Graham sent to Philbrick.
“I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State. Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham.”
It should be noted that while Graham claims that he didn’t have time to meet with the Pitt players and tell them personally, it has been reported that he and Penni did find time to do a 1 hour photo shoot for Arizona State before leaving.