Former Pittsburgh Panthers coach Todd Graham spent just one season on campus. So maybe he just felt like he didn’t make enough of a bond with his players necessary to break the news that he was taking another job to their faces. You know, the decent thing to do.
Graham was introduced Wednesday as the new coach at Arizona State, leaving behind a Pitt program he took over only in January. Citing “the timing of circumstances,” Graham informed his players about his leaving by way of text message, later obtained by the media:
“I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State. Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless.”
In case you aren’t fluent in insincerity, allow me to translate: “Sorry, but I’ve already moved on to my ballin’ new dream job here in sunny and warm Tempe. Sorry that I can’t really treat you saps with any dignity by telling this to you personally. God bless.”
Even more remarkably: Graham didn’t even send the message himself. He had somebody in the athletic department forward his message to the players for him. This guy! At least when Jeter treats people that cold he gives them an autograph.
The Panthers were 6-6 under Graham this season. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will serve as the team’s interim head coach in next month’s BBVA Compass Bowl against SMU. Pitt’s staff is already shorthanded after three assistants left to join new Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez’s staff.
Making Graham’s abrupt exit from Pittsburgh even more slimier is the fact that before Wednesday he gave everyone the impression he would remain the Panthers coach. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Seven days ago, Pitt receiver Devin Street sat down to discuss his future with football coach Todd Graham.
“He told me he’s here to stay,” Street said. “He said he wanted to make me the best player he can.
“It’s all a lie. It’s been all a lie this whole time. Everything he told us has been a lie.”
Street isn’t alone with those feelings. Obviously Pitt players are peeved, to say the least. Senior offensive lineman Lucas Nix:
“All year we bought into what he was feeding us,” said Nix, who missed six games with a knee injury. “We had a meeting with [Pitt AD Steve] Pederson and told him we feel we’ve been lied to not only by coach Graham but (also Pederson) throughout this whole process.”
Linebacker Brandon Lindsey tweeted: “Fake ppl make me sick.”
It’s fairly publicized now that most of Graham’s former players hate his guts now. So I doubt he’ll be sending out to them the following follow up text: “U mad bro?”