Former Pitt and Dallas Cowboys great Tony Dorsett visited the Panthers football team Tuesday and spent 35 minutes talking to the players in their big meeting room.
He talked about life, about football, about dealing with expectations, about not being afraid to set lofty standards for yourself.
Players greeted Dorsett, the 1976 Heisman Trophy winner who put Pitt on the college football map nearly 40 years ago, with applause at the beginning of his talk and saluted him the same way at the end.
None of those kids were even a twinkle in their fathers’ eyes when Dorsett played at Pitt. Didn’t matter. They respect football royalty.
Later, I had the opportunity to talk to Dorsett, and he downplayed the significance of his words, even though Cameron Saddler told me later, “Everyone was on the edge of their seats.”
Funny, Dorsett did the same thing to fans at Pitt Stadium when he carried the football in the 1970s.
Dorsett said something interesting about Pitt coach Todd Graham — a Dallas native who grew up a Cowboys fan — that made me stop and think.
Not long ago, Graham wanted to move Dorsett’s Heisman Trophy to a more prominent place in the team’s training complex, so visitors (recruits) could see it.
But before he moved it, he asked Dorsett for permission, something he clearly didn’t have to do. Dorsett had no objections, but he appreciated Graham’s consideration.
A small thing, sure, but I think it says a little something about Pitt’s coach. At least, Dorsett thought it did.
Most people will come to their own conclusions about Graham based on how many games he wins, but I like that story no matter what he does against West Virginia.
Here’s the link to my Dorsett story elsewhere on this Website: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_751910.html