Random n’at

1. [insert weather whine here.]

2. Jamie Dixon, coach of the Pitt men’s basketball team, made almost $1.7 million last fiscal year, up over $300,000 from the previous year.

I’m sure there are good reasons that a good basketball coach is imperative to the health of a school’s athletic program and that somehow that athletic program turns into a lure for students or something something something. But right now my brain is rejecting all of that on account of ONE POINT SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS. BLLLLLLLLL.

It should be noted that he made a million bucks more than Chancellor Nordenberg.


3. PNC Bank is apparently the mystery buyer of almost a complete block of real estate along Wood Street/Fifth/Forbes corridor, likely planning a new skyscraper for that plot, rumored to become their new headquarters.

And here I was betting it was Point Park University buying up the plots.

4. Yesterday was the primary elections and a few important things happened:

  • Bob O’Connor’s son Corey, he of the desperate need of a spot of Dippity-Do, is likely to take over his father’s old council seat in November after his primary win yesterday. I’m dying to see what his relationship with Lukey will be like. As for Corey’s big issues:  “He said his first priority … will be ensuring the delivery of basic services to residents of the district. Asked to elaborate on where services need to be improved, he replied: ‘Obviously, potholes. Everyone complains about potholes.'” Ah, the War on Potholes. I thought we surrendered on the battlefield and gave our cars up to sinkhole graves.
  • Doug Shields lost his his bid to become a district judge, which he gave up his city council seat to run for, leaving his political future in Pittsburgh quite uncertain. Somewhere, Lukey is celebrating all, “DIET PEPSI AND PROCLAMATIONS FOR ALL!”
  • County Executive’s race is down to the Democrat County Council president Rich Fitzgerald, and the Republican Raja, who as far as I can tell, goes by one name. Raja. Madonna. Cher. Snoopy.  Raja is already advertising the cah-rap out of himself on the front page of the P-G.com.  As Randy Jackson would say, “He’s in it to win it, dawg.”

5. Kate and Peter’s Treehouse is coming along nicely now that a new location within Frick Park has been identified. In order to ensure that the resulting play space and structure is truly a community-supported effort, a series of meetings is being held to allow the public to give feedback. The first meeting already took place and included neighborhood children. Amy said it was wonderful. She’s asking for community attendance at the next meeting:

Thursday, June 2, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Boulevard

Everyone is welcome at this outdoor session, where we’ll be visiting the location of the treehouse and asking everyone for their ideas. Following this activity, the project team will begin to develop design concepts.

This will lead up to a June 28 meeting when the preliminary design will be unveiled for input. All this working towards a final goal of allowing Amy to memorialize her children, something she has known she wanted to do since they died two Aprils ago.

6.  Another memorial event will be taking place this summer, as mentioned before on this site, the Lisa Clay Styles Memorial Race taking place June 25. On the site, her husband calls her, “The best damn woman I’ve ever seen.” I love that. So raw.

Lisa is the young mother who was killed by an under-the-influence driver while running with her child in a stroller in Mt. Lebanon. The race is looking for support in the form of sponsors and volunteers. Go help them!

7. The latest video in RiverLife’s “Living in a River City” animated video series is just adorable, this one a young girl named Louise’s story.

The animated flotilla is awesomesauce.

YouTube Preview Image

Love it!

8. This damn rain is making me use words like awesomesauce.

If I say bombdiggity, someone just bitchslap it out of me.

9. Pittsburgh’s Spanish immersion preschool La Escuelita Arcoiris is holding what sounds like a ridiculously fun event this weekend called Salsita! at the Opera featuring “tapas, sangria, y baile,” which my incredible Spanish skills translate for you to “tapas, sangria, and DANCE YOUR PANTALONES OFF.”

If I had known about this school before my kids were too old for it, it wouldn’t have taken my son until he was eight to learn how to roll his Rs.

Unfortunately now that he’s learned how to do it, he doesn’t just say, “Arrrrrrrrrrriba!” he says, “Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrots,” and “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrandma!” and to his sister, “Dorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk!”

Then I get to say, “You’re grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrounded! Arrrrrrrrrrrrriba!”

10. Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal are living the high-life in Cannes, France for the film festival, taking in screenings and enjoying after-parties on yachts.

I’d like to live the high-life one day, but knowing what a giant dork I am, I’d probably just fall off and belly-flop so hard my nose and ears would bleed.

I’m the bombdiggity like that.

[throws signs]


  1. Ace
    May 18, 2011 5:09 pm

    Regarding Dixon:

    The Pete holds 12506. Avg ticket price of $25. Gate take per game: over $310,000. So Jamie’s salary is covered after 6 home games (or 1/3 of the average home season). And that is without considering concessions, parking, TV money, donations, etc.

    A good deal at twice the price IMHO.

  2. Jamie
    May 18, 2011 5:28 pm

    Who cares if his salary is covered after “X” number of games, does a coach who hasn’t made the Final Four deserve $1.7 million? Oh, I forgot, the Big East is just sooo good that winning against those teams in conference is like winning the NCAA Championship. Except wait, Pitt didn’t manage to win the Big East tournament with a double-bye.
    What has two thumbs and picked Butler over Pitt in the tournament? This girl, right here.

  3. Oakland Zoo
    May 18, 2011 5:32 pm

    Jamie Dixon makes the school money. Jamie Dixon makes less money that he would if he left Pitt for the other jobs he’s been offered. The Athletic Department is seperate from the Academics of Pitt. The Basketball team supports other losing athletics like swimming and track.

    He deserves every penny.

  4. empirechick
    May 18, 2011 5:57 pm

    In the economics of sports, Dixon deserves the money. Basketball and football are the big money makers for the universities, and not only do they cover their own expenses, they also pick up the tab for the rest of the sports (as Oakland Zoo mentioned about).

    The problem I have is with the economics of sports. How we have gotten so far out of whack as to think a sports coach ‘deserves’ millions, while our teachers and cops and other public workers should be just be thrilled to have a job at all?

  5. empirechick
    May 18, 2011 6:17 pm

    PS: This is an interesting look at the money in college sports:

  6. jann
    May 18, 2011 6:48 pm

    I am a teacher and would love to be paid like an athlete, even a third stringer.

    That said, give Jamie anything he wants. He is awesome! And seems to be a fine human being to boot. (Jamie – don’t you ruin that for me!)

  7. LisaB
    May 18, 2011 8:35 pm

    And speaking of fine human beings, just check out those hockey boys! Mmmmmmmmm hmmmmmmmm. Jordan Staal is way lucky that I’m not 30 years younger or I’d have to be stalking him.

  8. KGC
    May 18, 2011 9:29 pm

    @LisaB.. What? There’s hockey players in the photo? That’s not what I see! Ooolala.. devil with the red dress on!

  9. Scott
    May 18, 2011 10:29 pm

    At major universities, the basketball and football programs are the driving force behind huge sums of booster money for the school. I’m talking tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on the school. At my alma mater, Michigan State, our basketball coach Tom Izzo makes over $4m a year and is worth every penny. So is Dixon.

  10. DisplacedFromPitt
    May 19, 2011 8:08 am

    Loooking at other college basketball coaches salaries ( http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/2011-coaches-salary-database.htm ) he is still way underpaid for the success he has had. Guys like Sean Miller (a great Pittsburgher, no insult to him) have no where near the qualifications as Dixon has yet and is making over half a million more than him.

    Thanks Coach Dixon for staying in Pittsburgh even when being enticed with greater money elsewhere.

  11. Butcher's Dog
    May 19, 2011 9:24 am

    Anyone else wondering if the “devil with the red dress on” @KGC can maybe, possibly, rewire Sid’s head so he’ll be all better? Might take multiple sessions, but it would be worth a try. And don’t think Sid’s stumbling around Cannes with a phrasebook in hand. He taught himself French, remember, so he could deal with both sets of Canadian media.

  12. Wingnit
    May 19, 2011 9:46 am

    Glad we’re all so concerned with the salary of a college hoops coach…

    #6—What a worthy cause. It is things like this with which we should concern ourselves and which should be commented upon. also, FYI…sure, that quote may be “raw”, but also a line from an AC/DC song. Not extremely original, but I can understand his thought process…I often speak the same way about my wife. Just sayin’

  13. Lauren
    May 19, 2011 10:03 am

    Um, is Jordan Staal really the best person for Sid to be going to Cannes with? The last thing we need is for Sid to trip, fall, and hit his head after excess consumption of libations…

  14. bucdaddy
    May 19, 2011 10:26 am

    Heh, good catch, Wingnit. I hadn’t noticed that.

    “Knockin me out with those American thighs.”

  15. Steverino
    May 19, 2011 10:35 am

    This is a good example of how screwed up we are when coaching kids who throw footballs or basketballs are considered more valuable than actual teachers. The amount of money wasted on the sports mega-business is depressing.

  16. PittinDC
    May 19, 2011 10:54 am

    $1.7M really isn’t that much for a college basketball coach. As others have mentioned, the sports programs really help the school. A national championship in basketball made my degree worth a lot more than it would have been before that national championship.

  17. Dan (Not Onorato)
    May 19, 2011 10:55 am

    2. Dont care what Jamie Dixon makes…I bet every year they dont get past the sweet 16…I usually make out pretty well.

  18. bucdaddy
    May 19, 2011 11:09 am

    I don’t know how it works at Pitt, but at WVU the athletic department is self-contained and has its own budget not tied to the university’s. They’re not stealing money from the chemistry department to pay Bob Huggins. BTW, WVU’s athletic department says it made a modest profit last year too (about $4 mil, IIRC), one of about a dozen Division I schools that could say that.

    IOW, if coaches get a raise, or if they want to have two head football coaches at the same time, the people who pay for that are the donors and the fans and Big East revenue, which is as it should be.

  19. TripleC
    May 19, 2011 1:05 pm

    What KGC said!!!!!

  20. bucdaddy
    May 19, 2011 1:12 pm

    If they see Lars Von Trier over there, can they hip check him into a wall for me?

    Thanks, fellas.

  21. Erin
    May 19, 2011 2:53 pm

    I saw Corey O’Connor on the corner of Pocusset and Murray yesterday morning, holding a big “thank you” sign (like his dad did after he won). He was surrounded by older men, and he looked like a confused little kid. Ugh. I don’t know much about him personally, but I’m getting a Luke Russert vibe from him.

  22. defensemen need love too
    May 19, 2011 3:24 pm

    Aww, what about poor Paul Martin? what is he, chopped liver? I’m sure he’s also living the high life…

  23. Leigh
    May 19, 2011 3:49 pm

    @ defensemen need love too . . . Paul Martin cleans up nicely. Meow! Not as hot as Sid or Staal, but I wouldn’t kick him out of my bed!

  24. defensemen need love too
    May 19, 2011 4:27 pm

    @leigh mmmhmm. heard that.

  25. hmmmmmm
    May 19, 2011 5:00 pm

    I don’t know about you but if I was out on “disability” from my job with a concussion and then photographed partying in Cannes, someone might have a problem with that.

    Can I get a “just sayin”? Hee!

  26. Butcher's Dog
    May 20, 2011 7:28 am

    @hmmmmmmm: Season’s over, dude. Sid has no job to be out on disability from until sometime in September. And Ray Shero said the break would do him good. Just sayin’. (Happy now?)