Coach Pat Narduzzi joined athletic director Heather Lyke on Friday in proclaiming on a university news release that the Panthers won’t play in a bowl game. With a 6-5 overall record, Pitt was in line to procure a compartment in one of the bowls associated with the ACC.

Prior in the day, defensive end Patrick Jones, who played Thursday night in a triumph against Georgia Tech, proclaimed for the NFL Draft and said he wouldn’t join the team in a bowl game. Jones’ colleagues Rashad Weaver and Damar Hamlin left the team before the Georgia Tech game to get a jump on their projected pro careers.

Senior cornerback Jason Pinnock additionally didn’t plan to partake in a bowl game, joining his colleagues in proclaiming for the draft.

Pitt’s news release stated the decision to decrease a bowl invitation “was made by the team and fully supported by the university.”

Prior in the week, Narduzzi didn’t influence from his own decision to have Pitt play a bowl game. He said so Monday; he repeated that slant Thursday night.

“That’s my intention,” he said. But he added, “I don’t make all those calls. Those are decisions that are above my pay grade. We, obviously, always want to go play another one. I’d like to pay 12.”

Be that as it may, Pitt played 11 games amidst a pandemic, an achievement numerous school football programs won’t arrive at this year.

“Our football student-athletes’ sacrifice and commitment have been extraordinary,” Lyke said on the release. “This season has been an especially taxing experience, physically and mentally, on and off the field.

“Despite this unprecedented environment, our team finished strong concluding with last night’s win at Georgia Tech. We are thankful and proud of how they handled the past six months and want them to have a well-deserved restful holiday season with their families and loved ones.”

Narduzzi was particularly pleased with how his team handled the Coronavirus protocols. The Georgia Tech, initially scheduled for Nov. 14, was the just one deferred by Coronavirus related issues.

“There’s a lot of people canceling games left and right for whatever reasons,” he told reporters Thursday night. “They can’t do the right things off the field.

“Our kids have made the sacrifices to get to 11 (games). It’s not easy. They’ve been on this campus since June 8. It’s a grind like no other season ever again, I hope.

“Maybe the details off the field are better than on the field.”

“In my three decades as a coach, I’ve never been around a group of players who have faced greater challenges beyond the field than our team this year,” Narduzzi said on the release. “And yet, from the time they arrived back on campus in early June, these young men never wavered—not in the face of rigorous health protocols, multiple rounds of covid testing each week or while handling the mental and physical challenges of playing 11 games in a pandemic.

“I’ve always been proud to be Pitt’s head football coach. That pride was especially great in working with this 2020 team. They have my eternal gratitude and respect.”

Pitt hasn’t declined a bowl invitation since 1963, in spite of the fact that the conditions this year are significantly extraordinary.

In 1963, Pitt turned down the Sun Bowl, seeking after a superior destination. Yet, the Penn State game was deferred from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7 after the John F. Kennedy death and the bowl coordinators chose not to pause.

Pitt has played in 35 bowl games in its history, including after 11 of the past 12 seasons.

Topics #Pat Narduzzi #Pitt football