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Pitt's Chryst: Wisconsin talk wasn't distraction

Published On: Dec 07 2012 07:07:30 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -

Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst says the talk about him going to Wisconsin didn't last long enough to be a distraction.

Chryst said Thursday he is committed to the Panthers, who play Mississippi in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5.

The former Badgers offensive coordinator was considered a favorite to replace Bret Bielema, who left for Arkansas Tuesday.

Chryst was in Birmingham with Rebels coach Hugh Freeze to promote the bowl. He says the players saw him around and knew he hadn't gone anywhere.

Chryst said he knows what the players have been through with interim coaches for the past two bowl games. He says it was important to reassure them and prospective recruits

Chryst said, "The people that we deal with are the most important as a coach."

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says Chryst is "going to stay at Pitt." Alvarez says he helped Chryst get the job at Pitt last year, and doesn't think it would be appropriate to hire him away after such a short time.

Chryst is from Madison and remains a popular figure at Wisconsin, and was considered the favorite to replace Bret Bielema.

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