Take 5 | Lance White’s last chance, Pitt football fans deserve an on campus stadium


TPN File Photo

Lance White, Pitt women’s basketball head coach.

By The Pitt News Staff

In this week’s edition of the Take 5, The Pitt News’ Sports Desk argues that women’s basketball head coach Lance White is on the hot seat, Pitt fans deserve an on-campus football stadium and more.

This is Lance White’s Last Chance // Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

Pitt’s athletic director Heather Lyke has trusted the various coaches within the athletic department, and for the most part they have rewarded the school with success. The likes of Jay Vidovich, Dan Fisher, Pat Narduzzi, Randy Waldrum and Mike Bell have raised the expectations of their respective programs, and some have even delivered championships.

Lance White hasn’t done that for women’s basketball.

White has still not achieved 10 conference wins over the course of his four years at Pitt (8-59). The Panthers started off really well in last year’s non-conference schedule, but the ACC is an extreme roadblock for White since he joined the coaching staff. Losing to perennial contenders NC State and Louisville is not such a bad indictment, but losing to bottom feeders like Boston College and Virginia is.

Three players leaving through the transfer portal last year doesn’t help White in his upcoming fifth season, but White doesn’t have much time left to instill confidence in Lyke. If he can’t get Pitt out of the bottom three in the conference, the athletic department should let him go. 

Pitt Football Deserves an On-Campus Stadium // David Scott, Staff Writer

Pitt Athletics tore down the historic Pitt Stadium over 20 years ago to make way for the Petersen Events Center. With the move to the ACC and the reemergence of the Pitt football program — at the expense of the basketball program — the Panther football team deserves their own venue to play close to home.

The Backyard Brawl showed that Pitt fans are more than capable of selling out a stadium, but it also spotlighted the inconvenience of having to travel across the city to see the Panthers play. While Acrisure Stadium is a fantastic venue that has become enriched with Panthers’ history, not only would it feel more personal to play in a new Pitt Stadium, but it would be much more convenient for the student population.

Pitt is an established top program in both the ACC and the NCAA — now is the time to further invest in the future of the program. A 40-50,000-seat stadium near campus could provide new experience and tradition for the football program. Just imagine watching the Panthers win a big game and seeing the victory lights spark to life in the background as the final whistle blew.

For the future of the Pitt football program and the University as a whole, bringing back Pitt Stadium would be an incredible decision.

NFL made a great decision with Pro Bowl // Jermaine Sykes, Staff Writer

The NFL announced the renovation of its end-of-season all-star game earlier this week. “The Pro Bowl Games” will replace the current traditional game with a flag football game and other skills competitions.

It’s about time the NFL listened to its fans and finally changed the Pro Bowl. The last few years of the Pro Bowl have been boring, to say the least, and didn’t accurately reflect the level of play in the NFL. The new game format lessens the chance of injury and allows the best players to display their skills, which is the game’s purpose.

The problem with the previous format was that the NFL expected players to play and risk injury in an almost meaningless fully padded game. The previous Pro Bowls were low-energy and half-speed.

The flag football game and the skills competition will allow the players to put a little more effort in and show off the skills that make them some of the best football players in the world.

Breaking Down the Cubs’ All-Star Team was Necessary // Sara Meyer, Staff Writer

The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 and broke the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” Star players Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo led the Cubs’ first championship run in 104 years. However, by July 2021, this core group of players no longer played for the Cubs. After an 11-game losing streak, the front office rearranged their roster in an attempt to save money.

Even after several disappointing performances, Cubs fans felt betrayed after their team traded the players who won them a World Series. The Yankees inserted Anthony Rizzo into their lineup so fast, he was still wearing his Chicago batting gloves as he hammered out a homer during his debut. Although the fans’ emotional response was understandable, the organization needed to start over.

The Cubs got cocky after their World Series win. At the end of their 2019 season, they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014. The team synergy was gone and the players looked disinterested. Ultimately, changing up the roster was the best decision for the organization.

Where does this leave the Cubs now?

It’s not great, but they’re still in the process of rebuilding. With new players such as Seiya Suzuki coming up in the ranks, the Cubs will see some real improvements in the next few years. 

Every team in the NFL is very beatable // Zack Gibney, Senior Staff Writer

For nearly two decades, the NFL had a vivid hierarchy, with the Patriots leading the charge among a few other perennial powerhouses. Generally speaking, spectators had a pretty good idea of which teams could make the Super Bowl.

However, this is the first time that the top shelf of the NFL may not even exist.

Entering the 2022 season, teams like the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams seemed poised to take their place atop the NFL. All three have lost — and generally haven’t looked great doing so.

As we sit entering week four, just two undefeated teams remain. What is even more surprising is those two teams are the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles — two teams that missed the playoffs entirely last year.

What we are left with is an arrangement of mediocrity. Every team has looked bad at one point besides the aforementioned Dolphins and Eagles, and some expected juggernauts like the defending AFC Champion Bengals have looked downright bad.

So what does this mean?

It’s too early to say for sure, but don’t be surprised to see an eyebrow-raising Super Bowl matchup. 

For the first time in recent memory, the NFL is wide open.