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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: The Duquesne outpouring


Brief and to the Point …

>> Well, I didn’t see that coming. When one sits down to pen a column about Duquesne basketball, one pretty much is resigned to getting next to nothing in terms of feedback the following morning. Not so for the piece yesterday admonishing the administration for firing Ron Everhart.

I received more combined email, blog, Twitter and Facebook feedback — positive and negative — for this than anything since the column support Sidney Crosby’s captaincy a couple months ago. Most of it, as you’d expect, were from Duquesne students or alumni, but I also heard from people at Pitt and Robert Morris, former coaches and players, from the high school coach of forget-about-him-now recruit Donovon Jack, and even from John Sarandrea, the former Pitt and North Carolina assistant. Sarandrea wrote: “I don’t think anyone could have said it better than that!”

I even heard — unsolicited — from a head coach in the Atlantic 10, who wrote a deeply emotional letter, though he asked not to be identified.

One excerpt: “Ronnie took Duquesne to the championship game a couple years ago and had winning records! Do they not remember what he inherited?  I was shocked he got fired. I am embarrassed to be in this profession at times like these.”

Again, not all were in agreement. Some thought I should have underscored more of Everhart’s negatives. My counter is that the university did plenty of that last Friday, even as Everhart didn’t have — and still doesn’t have — the chance to speak freely.

But the dominant majority voiced displeasure with the Duquesne administration, and not just in the area of athletics. I’ll echo that. The Bluff has become a passive place pretty much notable for nothing anymore. The law school fiasco was butchered by Charles Dougherty in 2008, the once-illustrious music school is being ignored, and even the precious Tamburitzans are being cut to the core.

Really, what is Duquesne anymore?

I can tell you what Point Park University is. It’s a growing, ambitious, something-new-everyday place that’s bringing life to Downtown, with budding programs especially in the performance arts.

I can tell you what Robert Morris is. It’s become a real player on the athletic scene thanks largely to the vision of former AD Susan Hofacre, who was tragically lost too young. The Colonials’ basketball is better than Duquesne’s, and the men’s and women’s hockey teams — both regional firsts — are having an impact at national and even Olympic levels.

Meanwhile, the Bluff sleeps, with the same old faces that have been guiding Old Main for an eternity.

>> Pedro Alvarez, the unconditional third baseman, went 0 for 3 last night against the Orioles, as some of you no doubt saw on the telecast. He struck out twice. He’s at 4 for 35 now, with 15 Ks.

This doesn’t even need a comment anymore, does it?

I’m just glad some of you got to see it instead of just having to take the word of myself and others who’ve been down there witnessing it. These at-bats actually were an upgrade.

>> Player to watch at Consol tonight is the Islanders’ John Tavares. He has zero points against the Penguins in four games, and there’s no way someone with those hands will put up an egg for the season.

I’ll be over there, penning a column for Wednesday. About time to get back into some pucks.

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