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Dave Wannstedt Could Be In Jeopardy At Pitt

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting this afternoon that Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson will meet with head coach Dave Wannstedt sometime this week to discuss the coach's future with the program.

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Pederson "declined comment on the entire subject" through a university spokesman Monday night when he was asked a series of questions by the Post-Gazette about Wannstedt's future. Those questions included, "Will Dave be the coach next year?" and, "When will you meet with him, before the bowl game or after the bowl game?"

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The Panthers are going to be playing in the BBVA Compass Bowl, but the game is so late -- on Jan. 8 -- that, if Wannstedt were fired after it, it would be impossible to hire a new coach and in turn have him hire a staff and then get out and recruit before signing day, which is Feb. 2.

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Pitt has already put together a pretty nice recruiting class. It's ranked No. 16 in the country by Rivals.com and currently comes in tops among Big East teams, and ahead of Penn State and West Virginia. If Wannstedt were to be fired, however, some of those players might defect, and as Paul Zeise points out in the article, it would be very hard to replace them by signing day if Wannstedt were terminated after Pitt's return home from Birmingham.

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One source tells Zeise that Pitt's loss to West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl last month may have been "the final straw" for the Baldwin native who took over for Walt Harris in 2005.

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UPDATE: The following tweet is making its way around at the moment saying the deed might already be done, while Zeise in this blog post also believes things aren't looking good. Stay tuned.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.