03 January 2012
This morning a little nugget appeared in the Trib, pretty much buried in another "Penn State is having rough few months" piece by longtime Pens beat writer Rob Rossi (via the Trib):
However, [Tom Bradley] has said he expects to have other opportunities for a coaching job.
One may emerge at Pitt, if the timing is right. Bradley is on a short list of contenders to serve as defensive coordinator for new Panthers coach Paul Chryst, sources said. Chryst finished his tenure as Wisconsin's offensive coordinator Monday in the Rose Bowl against Oregon.
And then the sports gossip website Sports by Brooks came right out and said it (via SbB):
Multiple sources close to the football programs at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh have indicated to SbB that acting Penn State head football coach Tom Bradley is the leading candidate for the defensive coordinator position under new Pitt head football coach Paul Chryst.
One source close to the Pitt program told SbB that Bradley is Chryst’s first choice for the job, but because of Bradley’s longtime association with the Penn State program - and his reported close ties to Jerry Sandusky - the Pitt coach will have to get school athletic director Steve Pederson and other Pitt officials and donors to sign off first.
And Paul Zeise slams the door on all of that (via the PG):
With regards to Bradley, however, I'll just say this - I've been told emphatically it is not going to happen, period. Among a number of other reasons that I won't go into unless you really want to be bored, here is the biggest one -- Paul Chryst has his own guys that he has worked with before and he is going to choose from one of them. So let's move on, it is not going to happen, it is time to close that book.
That's pretty reassuring. Like Paul, I have no idea why the fascination with Bradley, particularly among the Pittsburgh media. Bradley is a great defensive coach and a respected recruiter, I don't think there's any doubting that. He was my top choice to replace Dave Wannstedt and later Mike Haywood. But being that he only got an interview last year after his allies seemingly moved mountains for him and now is linked to the biggest sports scandal in 30 years, color me skeptical.
I also find it suspicious that every time there's an opening at Pitt, someone says Bradley is a "done deal" or "the front-runner?" Seems to me that the source of that information should be questioned. I don't think it's too cynical to believe that the constant "Bradley, done deal" comes from Bradley's agent or some source of information that has an interest in Bradley.
And if you're doubting who to believe, ask yourself who likely has the better Pitt connections? The national sports gossip website or the Post-Gazette's Pitt beat writer?
After the 14 months Pitt has had - the SI piece, Mike Haywood, Todd Graham, two disappointing seasons - do you really think Nordenberg will let the University be subject to association with someone who may or may not have known about the systematic cover-up of child rape? Come on. Bradley very well might have known absolutely nothing about Sandusky - or at least nothing he could prove. But if you're Pitt, already reeling from bad news after bad news after bad news, are you really going to take a chance on a guy who could end up indicted by the end of the year?
And for what it's worth, Joe Schad just tweeted Bradley is not a candidate. That probably means he was actually eliminated from contention several weeks ago.
If I'm wrong, fine. Tom Bradley might be a good guy who got a raw deal. But Pitt would be taking a huge, unnecessary gamble after losing hand after hand already.
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