Pat Bostick thought his days of watching film to prepare for Pitt football games ended in the spring when he decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and focus on his master's degree this year.
But in his new role as Pitt's color analyst for radio broadcasts, he may have to watch more film to get prepared for game day.
Bostick's hiring was announced Wednesday. The former quarterback will replace former Panthers offensive tackle Bill Fralic on the broadcast team.
Fralic stepped down after seven seasons in the position saying the time and travel commitment has become too much. In January, Fralic also called for the firing of Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson after Pederson fired Dave Wannstedt and Wannstedt's replacement, Mike Haywood, was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
Fralic did not return calls Wednesday but issued the following statement:
"I've greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work Pitt football radio broadcasts the past seven years. It has been an honor to call the games with Bill Hillgrove, who is truly the best in the broadcast business as well as a dear friend.
"I'm excited for Pat Bostick, who has made Pitt very proud on and off the field. I know he will do a great job on the air. Although I'm stepping away from the booth, I will certainly continue to follow the Panthers very closely and wish coach Todd Graham and the team the very best this year."
Sources close to Fralic said his feelings about Pederson's handling of the coaching situation didn't help matters, but they weren't a major factor in his decision to leave.
Pederson did not comment on Fralic's resignation and Bostick's hiring -- the statement issued by Pitt came from sports information director EJ Borghetti.
"Bill and I had been talking the past several months about his plans for the upcoming year and he recently let me know of his decision to step away," Borghetti said.
"On behalf of the Pitt football program, I'd like to thank him for his tremendous contributions to our broadcast team the past seven years. He is not only a valued professional colleague but also a good friend and passionate Pitt man. He already told me we can still count on him being a regular at Heinz Field this fall."
Bostick was a three-year letterman for Pitt (2007-08, '10) and quarterbacked the Panthers to such memorable victories as their 13-9 upset victory against West Virginia in '07 and 36-33 quadruple-overtime victory at Notre Dame in '08. He earned his bachelor's degree in three years and is pursuing his master's degree in Pitt's School of Education.
In addition to game day, Bostick will have a weekly guest segment on the Panthers' flagship station, Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan, to discuss all things Pitt football. He will also continue his work as a regular columnist for the Pitt website and the official athletic department newspaper, Panther Eyes.
"Anyone who watched Pat's work during our spring game telecast can tell he is a broadcast star in the making," Borghetti said. "His football knowledge is immense. Just as important, he has a real talent for breaking down the intricacies of the game and effectively explaining it to the audience."
Bostick said the opportunity to be the color analyst, especially next to a broadcasting legend such as play-by-play man Bill Hillgrove, is an honor.
"I bleed blue and gold, I love Pitt and I love football so this is a job that is perfect for me," the 22-year-old said. "I wanted to stay connected to the game and this will enable me to be there with the team. I just think it is a great step for me."
With the color analyst job filled the next position that needs a decision made on is the sideline reporter spot which was held by 93.7 FM host John Seibel last season.
Seibel angered members of Pitt's coaching staff and administration last year with the questions he asked at news conferences and by being overly critical of Wannstedt and then Pederson on his daily talk show.
Wannstedt confronted Seibel at the Panthers regular season finale at Cincinnati and members of his staff complained even though he was working for the university broadcast team.
Paul Zeise: email@example.com or 412-263-1720. First Published July 14, 2011 4:00 AM