By AD Heather Lyke giving no real answer when asked about the evaluation of the Kevin Stallings, was as much a vote against him as if she would have come out and said that she did not support him.
This came from an interview from earlier this month, per Craig Meyer of the Post Gazette.
Lyke's statement, which you can read in full in the story, comes in response to an interview request made by the Post-Gazette earlier this month to discuss the state of Pitt's men's basketball program.
— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) January 29, 2018
First off, I want to give props to Craig as I read him as often as I can. He is a tremendous writer and does a fantastic Job with his Pitt coverage. With that said, here are my thoughts on the topic.
We have seen this happen both ways where a GM of a Pro team or an AD comes out and states, we fully back our coach and believe in what he or she is doing. And 5 minutes after the season ends, the coach is on the first bus out of town. And we have seen where they down play it and then come out after the season and decide to stick with a coach.
In this situation, Heather Lyke is forced into a bad situation. Kevin Stallings is not only a good coach, but a likeable one. I say that he is a good coach because regardless of the fans perspective, you don’t get to where he is with nearly 500 wins by accident. And it’s not because he has been coaching for 70 years. But it is a bad situation because the situation is nothing short of toxic.
The fan base has largely lost faith or worse yet, they have stopped caring. She is in a no win situation in the fact that if she makes a move at the end of the season and does not have a plan in place, she will likely set the program back further. If she chooses to keep the coach, the fan base will lose faith in her leadership way to early in her Tenure as she will be deemed as ‘tone deaf.”
It’s a frustrating situation for the kids because all they did was sign up to play and represent the University of Pittsburgh and the fanbase has basically turned their backs on them. When you see them play on the court, you see just how hard they are playing and how much they want to win. Regardless of the results, those kids are the ones losing in this deal.
In business, sometimes status quo is the way to go. So in other words, Making a decision for just the sake of making a decision is not always a good thing. Although that is what’s done in some leagues like for example the NHL, not all organizations are the same. And as much as I believe the University needs to see Stallings through this, the toxicity of this situation can not and should not be overlooked.
Regardless what I think or anyone else, I firmly believe that AD Heather Lyke sealed Coach Stallings fate by not coming out and saying “we completely and totally back our guy.” She took the high road, which for Kevin’s sake will likely end up being the end of the road.