Wannstedt: 'Zero' talks about expansion

Updated: May 5, 2010, 4:42 PM ET
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt is staying away from questions about Big Ten expansion.

Wannstedt and Penn State coach Joe Paterno addressed reporters Wednesday in State College after the two met with Pennsylvania high school football coaches.

Wannstedt declined comment when asked afterward of rumors that Pitt is a possible Big Ten target. Wannstedt said he has had "zero" discussions about the issue and that any talks would be taken up by school administrators.

Pitt plays in the Big East. The Big Ten has said it is exploring expansion options and has a timetable of 12 to 18 months for a decision.

Paterno favors expanding from 11 to 14 teams. The Hall of Fame coach last year said he'd like to see Pitt, Rutgers or Syracuse join the Big Ten.

Paterno and Wannstedt also didn't answer a question on the possibility of the in-state rivals renewing their football series. The schools met annually until 1992, about the time that Pitt joined the Big East and Penn State moved into the Big Ten.

Pitt and Penn State later played from 1997 to 2000 but have not met since. Reconvening the longtime rivalry remains a hot-button topic for Pennsylvania football fans.

The meeting Wednesday with three members of the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association was about organizing an annual clinic for state high school coaches, to start next year at Penn State, with Pitt hosting in 2012.

The high school coaches also sought the support of Paterno and Wannstedt on the possibility of allowing spring football practice on the scholastic level. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association would have to approve.

"This is not about Penn State or Pitt, it's about Pennsylvania high school football," Paterno said.


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