Brewed On Grant: UPMC Referee

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Governor Tom Corbett helped broker a deal between Highmark and UPMC. Unfortunately, the deal is bad and confusing. Only UPMC facilities outside of Pittsburgh will be available to Highmark customers. 

072314 UPMC Referee

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Dana Holgorsen: Days of ruling Big East to earn BCS berth 'long gone'

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

DALLAS — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen spent 15 minutes on the dais at Big 12 Media Days Tuesday morning. There will be a longer media session this afternoon, but here is the transcript from his short podium session.

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to introduce coach Dana Holgorsen from West Virginia University.

COACH HOLGORSEN: Just real briefly wanted to make reference just really excited about being a part of the Big 12 going into our third year. And, again, it just seems like yesterday that we were having press conferences and joining the Big 12. But going into year three, I think never been more excited about going into a season as we are right now. So I think our players in our locker room understand what the Big 12 is all about. They understand how challenging it is. They understand what the venues are like. They understand what the teams are like, personnel is like, coaching is like, style of play is like.

I obviously tried my hardest to be able to relay that to not only the players but the coaches and the administration and the fan base. And until we get through it for a couple of years, I knew it was going to be challenging. So with that said, I think our guys are ready to go. They're up for the challenge. We play one of the toughest if not the toughest schedule in the country.

Haven't really had to mention to our guys what the challenges are ahead of us because they know and they're working hard and they're getting themselves ready for the challenge that exists here in 2014.


Q. I was wondering if you could give an update on how the process is going of building depth on the defensive side of the ball. A lot of injuries on that side of the ball that year, seemed like it ran out of steam towards the end of the year?

COACH HOLGORSEN: Yeah, it did, and we need to be prepared for that to happen again this year. I can't use that as an excuse on why we didn't win a couple of the close games at the end of the year.

One of the challenges that we knew going into Big 12 play several years ago is you better have depth, you better have depth that can compete at a high level. Probably the biggest difference in the conference that we used to be in and the conference that we're in now is that needs to happen if you want to win. For several reasons. One, when guys get injured, and they will, you need guys to step in and perform at a high level. The style of ball that exists in the Big 12, although very exciting style of play, you're going to end up taking more snaps. So when guys get tired, you better be able to replace those guys with guys that go in, perform at a very high level.

I think we're at that point right now. Have 55 guys on our team that have played Big 12 football. So that just means that there's guys that have played that are experienced and should continue to get better each and every year.

Q. You only had Trickett healthy for about three quarters last season, and obviously put together a pretty good team against Oklahoma State. What are you expecting out of him this year, and how do you keep him healthy and on the field?

COACH HOLGORSEN: Well, Clint's been around football his whole life. I think it starts with his father, Rick, who is a tremendous offensive line coach at Florida State, played three good high school years at North Florida Christian and played at a high level down there and a pretty good football situation, backed up E.J. Manual, backed up Jameis Winston for several years and has been around a lot of football.

He joined our team in August. And although he possesses a tremendous amount of knowledge when it comes to the game of football, he possessed zero knowledge when it came to our offense.

So it took him a while to be able to understand that. When I finally felt like he was ready to go, put him against Oklahoma State, had a tremendous game, got hurt and was never the same the rest of the year.

So you fast-forward a year later, August going into his senior year, a year later, not only does he possess the knowledge that it takes to be successful in the game of football, he understands the knowledge that needs to exist when it comes to our team.

He's been out there working with our guys all summer. There's a rapport that needs to exist with him and the receivers in order to be successful. They need to understand each and every one of their little nuances when it comes to being able to get open and sign language and a nod here and a cutoff there.

And all that's starting to exist with him right now with him and the rest of the guys. I think that's all going to take care of itself. Why I named him the starter, he's healthy, 100 percent. Arm strength is awesome, body weight is good. That's going to take care of itself.

The leadership aspect of it is something that we were missing. I was looking at there not only we had a bunch of guys coming back that played a lot of football but there wasn't any leadership that was present at the quarterback spot, at the skill spot.

He'll be able to take that to another level. People follow him. He understands what it takes to be successful. He needs to stay healthy. I think that's obviously the biggest thing. And right now we're talking to him on how the specific things that he can do to be able to protect himself, which is what every quarterback needs to do out there.

Q. After your Orange Bowl victory over Clemson coming into the league, tons of excitement around West Virginia football. Two years later, how important is it to rekindle that excitement after the two seasons you've had?

COACH HOLGORSEN: Well, the days of rolling through the Big East and being able to play in a BCS game are long gone. We're not thinking about that anymore. Although that was fun and that was a huge moment in West Virginia University, it's a whole different ballgame right now.

And one of the things that has happened in the Big 12 over the last two years, we have not been dominant in the Big 12, obviously.

I don't know how many teams have been dominant in the Big 12. Parity is upon us. Better be ready to go each and every week. You take Baylor last year, tremendous season. Art has done a great job. In 2012, they were at a pretty bad place about midseason. Now, they got it together towards the end of the season, but they weren't in a very good place then.

They stuck with it and went. We've been competitive. This past year we lost we were in three overtime games. We lost fourth quarter leads. Won a couple of close games. Each and every one was pretty much competitive. We need to stay the course. Continue to develop our talent, continue to recruit better, and then we'll win those games. Hopefully we can put a season together that everybody will be proud of.

Q. Question on your running game. How do you expect your running game to be with Charles Sims gone?

COACH HOLGORSEN: Well, Charles was a great player for us. He was one of those guys that came in and only was a firstyear starter with us. With that said, played a lot of ball, had a great year.

I think we've recruited well at that position. Dreamius Smith is the guy that's in the forefront right now, did have 5, 600 yards last year. Had the same amount of yards per carry as Charles did but just didn't get the touches because Charles was a little ahead of them.

You take some guy we've got some other guys that have started some games, and Dustin Garrison and Andrew Buie, those guys have led our team in rushing the previous two seasons. Rushel Shell has had a great offseason. He's played a lot of ball. He started at Pitt as a true freshman. Looks phenomenal.

We've got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. The running back position needs to be versatile, needs to do a lot of different things. We feel we have a lot of guys that can do that.

Q. Dana, you're kind of known for your spread offenses going across the country. Do you actually recruit defensive guys to defend your type of offense, or what's your basic philosophy on defensive guys? And I know that I had asked Paul Rhoads and he said he recruits more defensive backs than maybe linebackers and defensive linemen go down.

COACH HOLGORSEN: When you play in the Big 12, you're going to have to defend the pass, and you're going to have to do it quickly. I think everybody understands the style of play that exists in the Big 12 and we're no different.

When it comes to recruiting defensive personnel, we try to recruit as much defensive personnel as you can. Better have some big guys up front that can stop the run. You better have linebackers that can fill gaps and stop the run. In addition to that, you better be able to drop coverage and be able to cover. The secondary is probably the most important position on the defense in today's day and time.

We need pass rush. With that said, we need guys to cover. I feel like Daryl Worley is here, he's one of the better cover guys that I've seen and he's only going into his second year on our team.

Karl Joseph is a guy that's extremely motivated and playing at a high level. We're trying to recruit the best kids that you possibly can and get those guys to understand what they're up against and be able to improve their skill set each and every year.

Q. In your two Big 12 matchups with Baylor, I think there's been about 250 points scored. The similarities with your offense and their offense, do you think that leads to those kind of shootouts? Do you expect another high-scoring game?

COACH HOLGORSEN: I think Art would agree with me on this: They did improve defensively last year. But you better be able to improve defensively and stop some people if you want to win some games. That doesn't mean you need to hold people to 14 points. Baylor had a good defense last year but still gave up some points. So I think we're in the 40s against them.

But that, the two games, I was not in a good place two years ago when everybody was excited about our 7063 victory against Baylor. Obviously I was not in a very good place because where we were at defensively. We played I think eight or ten freshmen in that game. You're not going to be able to be successful defensively, not going to be able to win games when you play that many freshmen.

Goes back to the depth comment I had a little bit ago. You better be able to plug people in there when guys go down or get tired and be able to perform at a high level if you want to win games in the Big 12.

Art has done a great job. I give him a tremendous amount of credit and I give his entire coaching staff credit for hanging in there. They've had some good players over the years, but they hadn't got to a championship level until last year. And they accomplished that, and they're the ones that everybody's going to be gunning for. They understand that.

But our game against them is going to be exciting just like each and every one of the other Big 12 games are going to be as well.


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Stylebook on TV: Plus-size style trends

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The plus-size women's clothing category has long been criticized for poor fit, quality and style sense. But things are improving -- call it some stylish steps in the right direction!

These new options were spotlighted this morning on KDKA-TV's "Pittsburgh Today Live" show. Check it out here or in the video below, and read more about fresh looks for women with curves at

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West Virginia to face Tennessee in Charlotte in 2018 opener

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

West Virginia announced Tuesday morning that it will face Tennessee on Sept. 1, 2018, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, the home of the Carolina Panthers. It will be WVU's fifth neutral-site opener in seven years.

Here is the full release:

Charlotte, N.C. – The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) today announced it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University. The Volunteers, from the Southeastern Conference, will face off against the Mountaineers, from the Big 12 Conference, on September 1, 2018 at Bank of America Stadium. The kickoff time and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

“We are very excited to announce that the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University will be playing in Charlotte to kickoff the 2018 college football season,” said Will Webb, Executive Director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. “This will be a tremendous game featuring the SEC and Big 12. Both Tennessee and West Virginia have very active, supportive fan bases. And Charlotte is a premier location between the two schools. This game offers local, regional and national attraction. We are proud to bring this marquee matchup to the Queen City and look forward to hosting the Volunteer and Mountaineer teams and fans in Charlotte.”

"We are excited to formally announce our game with West Virginia in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2018," said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at Tennessee. "Will Webb and his staff manage a first-class operation. Playing in this venue and in a key recruiting footprint was very appealing to us. The respective fan bases will create an electric atmosphere."

"The game in Charlotte presents a tremendous opportunity for our football program to play against a quality opponent in West Virginia in a first-class NFL venue," said Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones. "The Charlotte area is in close proximity to many of our fans, and the state of North Carolina is a key component in our recruiting efforts. We very much look forward to such a unique opportunity for our student-athletes and our program."

“This matchup against Tennessee is very attractive, featuring a quality opponent from a highly visible conference at a NFL Stadium,” said Oliver Luck, WVU Director of Athletics. “We have a lot of fans and alumni living in the Charlotte area, and this is another outstanding game in close proximity that our fans can travel to easily. We never have played Tennessee before in football and both states are similar in makeup, so it’s time for us to meet on the football field.”

“Our players enjoy playing in NFL Stadiums and this a great matchup for our program,” said WVU head football coach Dana Holgorsen. “We recruit the state of North Carolina and Charlotte is a strong football area. Our fans have always supported us strongly in previous games in Charlotte and I think this is a matchup that they will really enjoy.”

This is the second regular season college football game that CSF has scheduled for Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Previously announced, the University of North Carolina will face the University of South Carolina in September, 2015.

“The Charlotte Sports Foundation continues its mission of attracting major sporting events that enhance the quality of life in Charlotte,” stated Johnny Harris, Board Chairman of the Charlotte Sport Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the efforts that Tennessee and West Virginia have put forth to make this game happen. We look forward to thousands of Volunteers and Mountaineers visiting our great City in 2018.”

The Charlotte Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization, runs the Belk Bowl and serves as the local organizing committee for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The foundation’s mission is to create, recruit and execute high-caliber athletic events. In addition to adding new highly visible participatory events and elevating existing ones, the foundation also works to secure additional professional, collegiate and amateur events that will enrich Charlotte’s sports landscape.

The Charlotte Sports Foundation’s mission is to create, recruit and execute high-caliber athletic events on par with its existing ones, including the Irish Creek Collegiate, the Belk Bowl and the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The foundation works to secure additional professional, collegiate and amateur events that will enrich Charlotte’s sports landscape. The foundation also aims to add new highly visible participatory events and elevate existing ones, such as the Race to the Top.

The organization’s board of directors is comprised of regional business, industry and civic leaders who have a track record of bringing sports and economic development to the area. 

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Foxcatcher, Equalizer reuniting Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington heading for Toronto

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


equalizer 01 o3  8014341  1406034648
Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer,” reuniting him with Oscar winner Denzel Washington, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Fuqua is in Pittsburgh now with “Southpaw” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams and others. 
In other festival news just announced, “Foxcatcher” will have its Canadian premiere at the event. It was filmed in Western Pennsylvania but set elsewhere. 
“The Equalizer” stars Washington as a man who believes he has put his past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But then he meets a girl under the control of violent Russian gangsters, comes out of self-imposed retirement and finds his thirst for justice is back. 
The cast also includes Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Directed by Oscar nominee Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher” is about John du Pont, great-great-grandson of E.I. du Pont, the industrialist who founded the chemical company. 
In January 1996, he shot and killed David Schultz, a 1984 gold medal winner who came to live and train at the state-of-the-art Foxcatcher National Training Center that du Pont had built on his 800-acre property in Newtown Square, Pa. 
Steve Carell, already being touted as a likely Oscar nominee, plays the chemical fortune heir, Mark Ruffalo is the slain wrestler and Channing Tatum is his brother and a champion wrestler in his own right. (Carell and Tatum pictured below.)
The festival, Sept. 4-14, today announced 13 galas and 46 special presentations. 
Galas also include: “Black and White,” “Haemoo,” “The Judge,” “A Little Chaos” (closing night film), “Maps to the Stars,” “The New Girlfriend,” “Pawn Sacrifice,” “The Riot Club,” “Samba,” “This Is Where I Leave You” and “Wild.”
Here are descriptions of the galas, which get splashy red-carpet treatment, courtesy of the festival: 
Black and White, directed by Mike Binder, USA,  World Premiere
Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger and America’s racial divide. Starring Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, as well as Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland and Jillian Estell.
The Equalizer, Antoine Fuqua, USA, World Premiere
In this big-screen adaptation of the cult ‘80s TV show, McCall believes he has put his past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by — he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to extract vengeance upon anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller, USA, Canadian Premiere
Based on true events, this film tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. Starring Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller.
Haemoo, Shim Sung-bo, South Korea, International Premiere
The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho. Starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo-chun.
judge 03 o3  8020010  1406034675The Judge, David Dobkin, USA, World Premiere
Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.
alittlechaos 01-USE-THIS-ONLY-FOR-TUES o3  8206447  1406034718Closing Night Film,  A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman, United Kingdom World Premiere
A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman and Matthias Schoenaerts.
maptothestars 01 o3  8021546  1406034682Maps to the Stars, David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, North American Premiere
David Cronenberg forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.
The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie), Francois Ozon, France, World Premiere
When her best friend Lea dies, Claire falls into a deep depression. However, after making a surprising discovery about her late friend’s husband, she’s given a new lease on life. Starring Romain Duris, Anais Demoustier and Raphael Personnaz.
Pawn Sacrifice, Ed Zwick, USA,, World Premiere
In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome. Starring Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard and Liev Schreiber.
The Riot Club, Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom, World Premiere
A privileged young man is inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford’s elite “Riot Club,” in this scathing dissection of the British class system. Based on the hit play Posh, the film stars Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay and Douglas Booth.
samba 02 o4  8207262  1406034730Samba, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France, World Premiere
Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives — Samba’s willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track — until fate draws them together. Balancing light-hearted moments with heavier emotion, Samba is a story about two strangers on a new path to happiness. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy and Tamar Rahim.
This is Where I Leave You, Shawn Levy, USA, World Premiere
Shawn Levy’s dramatic comedy follows four adult siblings who return home after their father’s death to spend a week with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and frayed relationships among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll and Kathryn Hahn.
Wild, Jean-Marc Vallée, USA, International Premiere
After years of reckless behaviour, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. Wild powerfully reveals Cheryl’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens and ultimately heals her. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann and Kevin Rankin.
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