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Kasperowicz speaks out on Pitt, the stadium and today’s high school athletes

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With no Pitt practice to attend Wednesday, I spent a couple hours before lunch at the Senator John Heinz History Center where the WPIAL announced its eighth class of inductees.
It was there that I ran into one of the inductees — former North Hills quarterback and current Pine-Richland football coach Eric Kasperowicz.
-spoken, experienced and unafraid to express his opinions, he is a good candidate to answer a few questions:
1. What makes high school student-athletes tick?
2. And what do the Pitt graduates in his circle think of the direction in which the football program is headed?
Kasperowicz, who coached high school football for the past 15 years (12 as an assistant to Jack McCurry at North Hills), believes the athletes today have “a sense of entitlement” that wasn’t nearly as evident 20 years ago.
“These kids have this sense that they deserve (starting jobs) without putting the work in,” he said. “When we played, we knew it was hard work. You work hard and do it with the team in mind, you are going to play for me.
“I was raised by some great coaches. The best kids are going to play. I don’t care if  you are 14 or 18.”
To the second question, he said “it’s a mixed bag.”
“We are happy where (the Pitt football program) is going, but the biggest complaint is the stadium … not being on campus and not having that college feel.”
I understand the stadium point of view that seems to be pervasive among many Pitt graduates, but my question is this:
Which Oakland neighborhood and/or hospital gets torn down to make way for a football stadium?
Kasperowicz has a unique relationship with Pitt coach Paul Chryst, whose son Danny will be a senior lineman at Pine-Richland next season. He said Chryst, who usually has other weekend commitments in the fall, attended nearly half the games last season.
“Great kid, great family,” Kasperowicz said of his young lineman. “You can tell he’s a coach’s kid.”
Kasperowicz watched Pitt practice Tuesday after joining Chryst in one of his quarterback meetings, sitting silently at the back of the room ”like a fly on the wall.”
“He treats them with respect; he doesn’t talk down to them,” said Kasperowicz, who plans similar visits to Ohio State and West Virginia this off-season.

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