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Mike Haywood era is over at Pitt

Mike Haywood will never see the sidelines as coach of the Pitt Panthers football team.

The university fired Haywood on Saturday after his arrest on a charge of domestic violence.

Haywood says, "The truth will eventually come out."

While the circumstances are truly disgusting and hopefully the truth will be brought to light, the charge is a way for athletic director Steve Pederson to get a do-over after failing to get a solid candidate in the first place.

With a chance to inspire players, alumni and fans, Haywood underwhelmed many with his introductory news conference nearly three weeks ago. Those from Dave Wannstedt's recruiting class apparently were underwhelmed, too, as some of them decided to play elsewhere next season.

I've felt that Haywood was lucky to be considered for any coaching gig. He parlayed a couple breaks into a job at a conference with a tie-in to a BCS game. (Notice I didn't say big-time school, because Pitt clearly hasn't shown enough on the field or off it to be considered big time in college football.)

And while the focus will be on Haywood and the new coaching search in the coming days, let's not overlook Pederson.

After this episode, it's become clear that Pederson surely knows how to botch the hiring of football coaches. He left Nebraska in a mess by giving them the great mind of Bill Callahan. Pitt fans can thank Pederson for Haywood.

Pitt didn't have much choice but to fire Haywood after the turn of events the past two days. Now, with the BBVA Compass Bowl coming up in a week, we can talk more about the coaching search instead of whether Wannstedt will coach in the meaningless game or not.

I doubt there would be any chance of the school retaining Wannstedt. Could you imagine what's going through his mind after hearing the news about Haywood?


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