Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: April 2, 2021 (Pt. 2)

KDKA's Rich Walsh and 93.7 The Fan's Paul Zeise discuss the sports topics of the day.

Video Transcript

PAUL ZEISE: Well, yeah, I mean, I think the one thing that you've got to remember is when they get Malkin back and when they get back to full strength-- and I they're getting Blueger back this weekend and whatever. You know, they get all their guys back. You know the thing that this team has really not been very good at, Rich, is playing this way consistently for a long time--

RICH WALSH: Yeah, and with their stars.

PAUL ZEISE: --because their stars want to play a different way and want to do things their own way, and eventually that seems to happen all of the time. If they continue to play this way and play, you know, within the system and play, you know, a structured game like this, I mean, the sky's the limit for them. But I don't know that they're going to be able to do that because it's just not in their nature. We've seen far too many times where they go off script and they start to try and do all that crazy stuff they like to do that they used to be able to do when they were 25, and that's usually when they run-- you know, they run into trouble. So for now it's really good, but just like everything else, let's just watch to see how it plays out.

RICH WALSH: All right, let's go back out to the phone lines. We've got Dave out in Pittsburgh. How are you doing, Dave?

- Hello?

RICH WALSH: Yeah, Dave, are you there?

- I'm here.

RICH WALSH: OK, go ahead.

- Hey, I was just seen earlier on this week on Facebook with Seton LaSalle getting put on probation for high-school football.


- My question is I don't understand the difference between private school and public school with recruiting. So they put Seton LaSalle on a year's probation for all sports for football.


- But my question is is it personal? Like, I don't understand why--

RICH WALSH: Well, Dave--

- --different high schools around the area have these kids coming in, and then private schools get put on probation for--

RICH WALSH: Well, no school-- hey, Dave, no schools should be recruiting, I guess. And if one school is recruiting, they all should be recruiting. I mean, everyone talks about Central Catholic, Seton LaSalle, Greensburg Central, all these schools like that, Paul.

You know, I don't agree with it. I think the WPIAL sometimes is too over the top on trying to, you know-- this is about the kids, right? If a kid wants to transfer and if a kid wants to live with their mom somewhere else, they shouldn't suspend them, right? They're just moving. They might not be moving for athletic, you know, purposes, but sometimes the WPIAL goes way overboard and the PIAA has to overturn it. How do you feel about this whole Seton LaSalle situation?

PAUL ZEISE: To me, it really is just cowardly by the WPIAL. I mean, you look at the schools-- they're just like the NCAA, Rich. The schools that they go and lower the boom on, look who they are, even though we know other schools with bigger names and bigger, you know, populations and everything else are doing all of the same things. It's absolutely ridiculous.

And here's the thing, Rich. You're a private school, right?


PAUL ZEISE: Private schools-- private schools recruit students. They have to recruit students because they need tuition to stay in business. So they go out and recruit and they try and get the best and the brightest of the math students. They try and get the best and the brightest of the, you know, academics, of this, that, and the other thing. So why is it wrong for them to also recruit athletes? To me, it's absolutely stupid.

But again, I don't see eye to eye on any of these kinds of situations. And the five schools that turned in Seton LaSalle, you know what I mean? Those adults, I don't know how you sleep with yourself. I don't know how you look yourself in the mirror and then go to sleep at night and think that you did something right here. I mean, it's ridiculous.

RICH WALSH: Well, here, look, I mean, the one thing that I maybe don't agree with are all these teams playing together. Just put them in another league, right? Like Central Catholic-- everyone complains about Central Catholic potentially going out there and getting players, just like Seton LaSalle. Well, if you're a private school, maybe you shouldn't be in the same league with public schools.

PAUL ZEISE: I mean, I don't know.

RICH WALSH: I mean, they're not always winning, but if everyone-- I mean, start your own separate league.

PAUL ZEISE: And again, how about just let all the kids play and see what happens? And if your team doesn't lose, don't cry about it. You know what I mean? Make your team better.

Look, do you really mean to tell me, Rich, that a school like Seton LaSalle with a small, you know, population that they have and everything else, you know, and the few kids that they're able to go out and get that are good athletes, you mean to tell me they have an advantage over North Allegheny or Penn Hills or any of these other big schools that have huge populations and lots of kids that are really, you know, pretty athletic and all that other stuff? They don't. It's ridiculous. Again, it's a case of adults ruining things for kids.

And the other part of it is if I'm an adult, which I am, and I've got a kid that's a pretty good athlete, which I do, right, why do I have to explain to you why I'm putting him in any school to play if I feel that's the best place for him? I mean, that's my job as his dad to get him to, you know?


PAUL ZEISE: So if he's got an opportunity to go to a private school where the opportunity is going to be better for him, why do I have to explain that to a bunch of stuffed shirts up here in Green Tree? It makes no sense at all. It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous.

RICH WALSH: I mean--

PAUL ZEISE: Again, I understand I'm an outlier here because a lot of people get all upset about recruiting and unfair advantages and all that stuff. Again, please show me how you really believe that a school like Seton LaSalle has any advantages over a school like North Allegheny. I'll hang up and listen for that one.

RICH WALSH: Yeah. I want to do exactly what you said, what's best for my kid and what's best for my kid's future. And if that's athletic or academic, I want to do that, and you shouldn't be held-- there shouldn't be anything wrong with that.

I mean, in West Virginia and parts of Ohio, I'm pretty sure like the Ohio Valley, those schools down there, you can go anywhere you want no matter where you live. That's what it should be here. If you want to pay tuition or whatever you have to do-- if you grew up in Penn Hills and you want to play for Woodland Hills or Plum or whatever it might be, you should be able to go, and the WPIAL should not decide to hold you back or discipline you or hurt your future by suspending you for an entire year or maybe never letting you play. It's absolutely ridiculous.

PAUL ZEISE: No, that's what I'm saying. I just-- I don't agree with it. I think, you know, you should have to-- I mean, the way we're supposed to operate-- of course, over the last year. I'm starting to wonder if this is how we really do operate. But the way we're supposed to operate here in America is that you have a free choice to live your life as you please. And therefore if you feel like this school over here is better for your children, for their math program, for their band program, for their chorus, for their chess club, or for their football team, you should be able to send your kid there and you shouldn't have to answer questions to anybody as to why you're doing it. That's how it should be.

RICH WALSH: I always know how to get you fired up, Paul. I love it.

PAUL ZEISE: Yeah, I mean, you always know how to push my buttons.

RICH WALSH: All right, let's go to the Tri-State Office Furniture Tweet of the Day, and it's a good one. You know, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game-- we'll talk about this maybe in the next block, but the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is moving out of Georgia because they changed a couple laws with voting. But now there's people around here that are trying to get the game to come to Pittsburgh. Senator Jay Costa tweeted this out today. "The MLB decision to stand against voter suppression and moving the All Star Game from Georgia is the right one. Here, PA offers access to the ballot box," and goes on and on. But they want-- "I would like to invite baseball fans to Pittsburgh for the 2021 game."

And I don't know if that's possible, Paul. I know we have to go to break here real quick, but from what I read is I think LA's going to get pushed up a year, and LA is going to get it this year. So maybe Pittsburgh will be in the mix for next year or the year after, something like that.

PAUL ZEISE: That makes a lot of sense to send it to a place where there's going to be no fans. There maybe Jay Costa, instead of talking about fans coming in, let's try and get our own fans in the stadium first. Talk to your boy Tom Wolfe instead of, you know, sending out these silly press releases and try and get, you know, our fans, people that live here, to be able to go to the stadium. Let's do that.

RICH WALSH: All right.

PAUL ZEISE: Now you've got me again. You got me again, Rich. Why are you doing-- why are you doing this to me?

RICH WALSH: On that note, we're going to take a break. Back in a couple of minutes.