The way Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson handled ex-Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt during his resignation/firing and the subsequent fiasco of hiring Michael Haywood continues to generate upheaval in the Pitt program.
Three prominent Pitt starters on the 2010 squad will most likely head to the NFL draft after they play their final game today against Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl: wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, running back Dion Lewis, fullback Henry Hynoski.
On Dec. 8, 2010, Baldwin expressed his displeasure over the 2010 season which saw his stats fall off from a great 2009 season when Pitt won 10 games.
"Heck yeah, I'm leaving. It can only get worse," Baldwin told NFLDraftScout.com. "They had me running a lot of deep routes (this year) and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they...sabotage me..." (NFLDraftScout.com, Dec. 8, 2010).
Baldwin back-tracked a little later but with the Pitt coaching situation still unsettled, Baldwin should be at his best today in a last-ditch effort to show scouts the 2009 Baldwin is the real deal.
According to reports from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dion Lewis has been encouraged by ex-coach Dave Wannstedt to enter the NFL draft.
Lewis did not have an especially good 2010 season, a result of an inexperienced offensive line and quarterback. Lewis also had an injury at the beginning of the season which slowed him down.
Both Lewis and Hynoski are wary of a new coach coming in to run a spread offense. Hynoski especially believes his roll as fullback would keep him sitting on the bench much of the season.
NFL squads typically utilize a strong fullback in their pro sets.
Expect great performances today from Baldwin, Lewis and Hynoski as they put on a show for NFL scouts. Their extra effort might be enough to wrap up a victory for the Panthers.
Wannstedt is supposedly behind Hynoski's desire to leave Pitt after today's bowl game.
The downside is the effect the absence of these players will have on next season and the gloom beginning to engulf it: seven recruits barely hanging on, no coach and now star players planning to exit after their final game today.