The Pitt News

Saying “Coach Webb” at T&F practices may cause confusion. Instead, there’s Coach Zo (left) and Coach Webb (right).

Pitt track and field father-son coaching duo look to build upon award-winning season

By Richie Smiechowski, For The Pitt News
Fast forward to 2021 and Webb III, better known as “Coach Zo,” has led the jumps and multis teams for a decade as an assistant coach. The 2020-21 season was unquestionably his most successful year to date.
Universities, conferences and the NCAA have reaped major financial benefits from the efforts of college athletes. Their “amateur” status prevented them from being paid for more than 100 years — but times are changing.

Uncertainty defines first month of new NIL rules

By Dalton Coppola, Sports Editor
Since its inception, the NCAA has held that college athletes cannot and will not be paid for their name, image or likeness. Athletes were ineligible to accept endorsements or receive payment for their performance — all to maintain the amateurism surrounding college athletics. But new rules and regulations regarding name, image and likeness benefits for college athletes will change this long-standing rule.
Pitt Volleyball and men’s soccer appear primed to repeat and perhaps improve on their already exceptional 2021 seasons. Baseball will need to reload before they can one-up their last record-setting spring.

Column | Volleyball, men’s soccer poised to expand on historic springs

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer
Many teams emerged gracefully from the COVID-19 pandemic, but few are equipped to renew their success this year. Volleyball and men’s soccer are poised for historic seasons, while baseball will need to reload before it is back to competing on a national stage.
Pitt football hosted fans at Heinz Field for the first time in almost a year during its Oct. 24, 2020 game against Notre Dame.

Pitt to host fall sports on campus without attendance restrictions

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer
Pitt athletics is hoping to take a big step back towards pre-pandemic operations this fall. According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday afternoon, Pitt plans on open on-campus venues to full capacity for fall sports this year, with some regulations for spectators still in place.
Fifth-year Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is rolling into the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side with a new set of wheels this season.

Pickett gets new ride in NIL deal with Bowser Automotive

By Dalton Coppola, Sports Editor
Pickett added Bowser Automotive — a car dealership in Pleasant Hills, about 30 minutes south of Oakland — to his list of endorsements late last week.
Kenny Pickett talks with kids on Monday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrenceville.

Pickett returns to roots in NIL deal with Boys and Girls Club

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief
Pitt’s starting quarterback was back at the Boys and Girls Club, a staple of his youth, to give out some free “Pickett’s Partners” t-shirts and toss around some footballs.
Myles Alston, a first-year wide receiver at left, faces off against Khalil Anderson, a first-year defensive back at right.

Optimism runs wild as Pitt football opens 2021 training camp

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer
On a sun-washed and steamy Pittsburgh Friday, with the Sept. 4 opener vs. Massachusetts nearing, Pitt football got to practice as a full team for the first time this season. With some in shoulder pads and others wearing just helmets, the Panthers opened 2021 training camp with a light practice, one in which everyone was still getting their feet back under them, according to Narduzzi.
Rodney Hammond Jr., a first-year running back, prepares for a catch.

Photos: Pitt football training camp opens

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief
Pitt football opened its annual training camp on Friday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, located in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood.
Sophomore forward Justin Champagnie (11) finished second in points per game and first in rebounds per game in the ACC. In comparison to last season, he increased his scoring average from 12.7 to 18.4 points per game, and his rebounding average from 7.0 to 11.1 per game.

Former Pitt forward Champagnie signs two-way deal with Toronto Raptors

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer
Former Pitt forward Justin Champagnie did not hear his name called during Thursday’s NBA Draft, but did find a temporary home at the next level nonetheless. A 2021 First Team All-ACC selection, Champagnie signed a two-way deal with the Toronto Raptors in the wee hours of Friday morning.
Pitt super-senior quarterback Kenny Pickett became the first Panther to announce an endorsement deal on Thursday afternoon

Pickett, Oaklander announce first NIL partnership for a Pitt athlete

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer
Pitt super-senior quarterback Kenny Pickett became the first Panther to announce an endorsement deal on Thursday afternoon. Pickett tweeted that he is partnering with The Oaklander Hotel on Bigelow Boulevard for his first NIL deal and will treat the offensive line to what he calls weekly “Hog Dinners” at Spirits and Tales, a restaurant on the hotel’s top floor.
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