May 25, 2011

Stupid, foolish, careless and the sort of thing that happens to plenty of people. My feelings on Marijuana and it being illegal aside (pro-legalization), it is still a misdemeanor  criminal offense to possess it. That’s what Anthony Gonzalez is facing back home.

Bethlehem police said that Anthony Gonzalez was arrested early Friday on a charge of marijuana possession in Bethlehem. Gonzalez and two other men were arrested at 12:46 a.m. Friday at E. 3rd and Hobart streets in Bethlehem, police said. All three men are 19 and from Bethlehem, police said.

While not specified, the story lists the amount of marijuana on Gonzalez and the other two as “small.”

This is the context to explain the press release from Pitt last night saying that Gonzalez had been suspended indefinitely for violations of team rules.

Do I think he should be suspended right now? Yes. Dismissed from the team? Hardly. This is a misdemeanor offense of a victimless crime. A one point penalty in the Fulmer Cup.

Unfortunately, Pitt football may be in a zero tolerance situation. So the outcome of Gonzalez’s fate with Pitt is very much a question mark right now.

I agree Chas, Gonzalez is in deep trouble right now…The University can’t go around suggesting that the real reason DW was canned was because of a lack of control of his players off the field and then go lightly on the first off the field offender under the Graham staff (no matter how petty the offense). I think the kid is looking at a minimum of a four game suspension. That will take him out of the back-up duty role. Sure hope Myers stays around.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.25.11 @ 12:49 pm

I wouldn’t be shocked if he was suspended for the season. Graham has to drop a heavy hand on this one or else he may lose these kids. Strike fear into their hearts so they won’t continue to do stupid things.

Comment by BnG 05.25.11 @ 2:29 pm

just get rid of him already sick of this stuff already! he knew the rules chose to be hanging around at 1 am w/ weed in his pocket needs to go and set an example. If we keep him than what do the rules mean??
Mark Myers needs to get the shot. let the NC St. Russell Wilson take his year as experienced back up and move on! This is Pitt Not Thug U!!

Comment by Kurt 05.25.11 @ 2:36 pm

The conversation will go something like this:

Todd Graham: Mark, are you planning on transferring?

Mark Myers: No Coach

Todd Graham: Are you sure you are not going to transfer?

Mark Myers: I’m sure.

Todd Graham: Anthony [Gonzalez], you are dismissed from the team. When we set ground rules, we mean what we say.

Comment by BigGuy 05.25.11 @ 4:05 pm

True, you want to set ground rules, but come down too heavy handed, do you risk making your school too scary a place for future kids to consider?

Comment by JCE 05.25.11 @ 4:14 pm

It happens. Gonzalez will be suspended but kicking him off the team is beyond excessive. I was worried at first that it was a violent crime but being caught with weed? Please. I realize that it’s illegal but like Chas said, it’s a victimless crime. Suspend him five games and the case is closed.

Comment by PatMac 05.25.11 @ 4:18 pm

For those of you who are on the “legalization” side of things.

Repeat after me “de-criminalization not legalisation.”

The moment it becomes legal it will be regulated and taxed…and trust me if you thought the government cracked down on it as an illegal substance, imagine how they will act if you try to grow the stuff without a license…you will be taking revenue from their coffers.

Just sayin…now back to good old Pitt blather…

He will likely be gone…after what happened last year regarding the off field incidents. Remember our first choice by Steve P. was a disciplinarian first…my guess is that still is a criteria for the program (just not the only criteria as it was with Haywood).

(sorry Chas if the earlier stuff is off topic–just having some fun)


Comment by DaveD 05.25.11 @ 4:24 pm

There are degrees of crimes. For example, illegal parking vs murder.

I believe that most of the misdemeanor offenders should be given 2nd chances .. and then maybe, 2 strikes and your out.

I would have no problem with Gonzalez being reinstated come August.

On the other hand … say Myers or Tino is charged with rape and the evidence is substantial … then he is of course to be dismissed.

Comment by wbb 05.25.11 @ 4:30 pm

I agree completely with wbb Rev. George of Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 05.25.11 @ 5:23 pm

I would hate to see Gonzalez dismissed from the team. Traditionally, an example is made when a scrub player does something bad. The scrub is dismissed. For an impact player, he is usually given a number of laps to run and, perhaps, community service unless what he did is really bad (i.e. something worse than throwing someone thru a window on the South Side). If every underage drinker was sent packing, Pitt and other teams would probably not have enough bodies to field a team. It’s only when a player commits mayhem while under the influence that action is taken. In the scheme of things, being got with a small amount of weed probably is not much difference then being caught with alcohol when under the age.

Comment by BigGuy 05.25.11 @ 5:40 pm

I would agree with wbb, Rev. George, etc. If he had a large amount, intent to sell, driving/accident, other crime in combination to the pot, etc. it’s another story.
However, I would also have a 2nd offense of this type bring an end to your affiliation with Pitt athletics.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 05.25.11 @ 8:16 pm

I think they make a example of him he will be going for the whole year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 05.25.11 @ 9:43 pm

When you have a “zero tolerance” policy, does that mean 0.1 is ok? How about 0.01? It’s always better for a leader to start off tough then back off, than start off lenient then try to get tough. Very poor timing by Gonzalez.

Comment by 66Goat 05.26.11 @ 7:29 am

Well, I guess we’ll see what happens. Pederson and Graham came out ablazing about clamping down on discipline. While I don’t believe Gonzalez’s offense warrants a long suspension, we’ll see just how far the admin is willing to back up its tough talk … or should we call it “high octane discipline”

Comment by wbb 05.26.11 @ 7:35 am

Wow, this is a bombshell, waiting to explode. QB’s are supposed to be the leaders on your team. I know this because every sportswriter I’ve ever read mentions this, even Zeise over at the State Penn PostGazette. Heck he is even trying to make us believe Tino is a leader on the team, except he’s always strolling alone on the sidelines, by himself during the game. While the rest of the offense is gathered on the bench discussing things, last year with the backup QB, Bostick. Well Pat is gone, Gonzalez could be too and Myers might transfer since being regulated to 3rd string and maybe doesn’t see himself as a spread quarterback.

Tino better be a leader. Someone please send him some Stephen Covey tapes or something, quick.

Comment by melvinbennett 05.26.11 @ 10:25 am

whoops….my bad

Well Pat is gone, Gonzalez could be too and Myers might transfer since being relegated to 3rd string and maybe doesn’t see himself as a spread quarterback.

Oh I forgot, backup Plan D is also kaput now as well, Kolby Gray, recruited as a QB, has opted to transfer to Baylor as everyone knows.
These is like a ‘perfect storm’, these QB’s are dropping like flies. The worst thing is aligning again, Tino has already been handed the job (again) and there is no one putting any type of pressure on him as far as competition to perform at a higher level. I just had a flashback of him walking off the field after another 3 & out, and dissing Wanny by totally ignoring him while Wanny was dressing him down. Sorry for the vivid nightmares from last season. I think I need to go pound some tennis balls from the baseline.

Comment by melvinbennett 05.26.11 @ 10:33 am

even more than Tino being a leader is Tino being uninjured

Comment by wbb 05.26.11 @ 12:12 pm


Comment by FRANK K 05.26.11 @ 12:23 pm

I’m not so down on Tino…For a D1 QB in his first year as a starter, he did about what you might expect…he struggled at times, especially under the prime time lights, and showed flashes of real talent a few times…My beef was with the coaches, not Tino…I still don’t know why they did not give the backup a chance when Tino really struggled in a few games last season…If he can improve his game by being more accurate on the deep throw and stop throwing INTs deep in the other teams territory, he has the potential to be a really good QB in this offense.

Comment by HbgFrank 05.26.11 @ 12:50 pm

Just asking because I’m curious and I don’t recall seeing it in print, but is the “Myers is transferring” talk mostly just speculation based out of the way the spring shook out? Has this been substantiated anywhere else? Zeise? Trib?

I’m not trying to be a smartass or anything…I’m asking because I don’t recall reading anything to that effect from Zeise or anyone else who regualrly covers the team. For what it’s worth, I don’t pay regualr attention to the message boards over at Rivals and Scout.

To the contrary, I recall Graham and the other coaches being very complimentary of Myers during spring ball, discussing the fact that he could factor into the mix because he moves well for his size and so much of this offense is shotgun-based.

I don’t know. Maybe I just see no reason to panic on both sides of this. These kids want to play, but they’re also aware that there’s a developmental process at work here – including learning an entirely new system that could be much more QB-friendly that what the old coach had. Factor in Myers’s age – still relatively young by college football standards – and I don’t see why Myers wouldn’t at least give this a shot through camp. And even if he WAS contemplating a transfer, wouldn’t he at least reconsider given that Gonzalez may have just taken himself out of the running at least to open camp?

Just because Sunseri emerged as the frontrunner out of spring ball doesn’t mean he’ll hold the job once camp starts. Just because Sunseri may take the first snap against Buffalo on 9/3 doesn’t mean he’ll definitely take the first snap against Syracuse on 12/3 and all of them in between.

And I think Graham seems to have the presence of mind to handle this situation well. Gonzalez will be disciplined and while Graham wants to set a tough line here, I agree with WBB that this situation probabaly merits a suspension and that’s about it. I’d think he’s smart enough to know what he has with each of these guys – two kids, both decent QB recruits, who are essentially starting over after having just a year’s exposure to the old playbook. He has every incentive in the world to try to keep these two around.

To me, a lot of it just doesn’t seem to add up. Myers has relatively little incentive to transfer RIGHT NOW and Graham has every reason to try to keep him in the program.

Comment by Stoosh 05.26.11 @ 12:59 pm

“Myers has relatively little incentive to transfer RIGHT NOW”

Stoosh, as far as I know, there has not been anything in the media re: a transfer by Myers. It just makes sense from this prospective. Some say that Myers has an NFL arm. He was recruited by a coach/team that substantially ran a pro offense. Now the offense is a “spread” and is not suited to developing classical NFL QB’s. Additionally, as of today, Myers, at best, is 2nd team who may not get any playing time for another two years, if at all. What is his incentive to stay?

Comment by BigGuy 05.26.11 @ 1:58 pm

actually, the Myers transfer talk emanated before spring practice and his injury .. I assume it had much to do that he was a perfect fit for a pro-style offense … tall & stong-armed .. and would not be a good fit in the ‘high octane’ one.

However, I’ve never seen any concrete evidence that he was really seriously considering a transfer, and suspect that if he did plan to move, he would have done it by now

Comment by wbb 05.26.11 @ 2:19 pm

I heard Gramham has taken the punishment route on this one rather than the dismissal route. I understand that he has decided to make Gonzalez run power sprints up cardiac hill during summer training while having only dirty bong water to drink as his sole liquid refreshment. This should also serve as a good biology lesson in the technique of negative reinforcement. After that discipline, his buds will be scratching their heads wondering why this poor dude is barfing his guts out at the idea of token off the pipe they just passed him at the next opportunity for party time! LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.26.11 @ 4:12 pm

actually, I heard that Graham likes Gonzlez so much he is submitting … changing the ‘high octane’ offense to ‘Primo Columbian’

Comment by wbb 05.26.11 @ 4:31 pm

Maybe they should rename the Ed Conway award, at the same time..wbb.

No,,,, I haven’t heard anything regarding Myers transferring, but it would seem to fit in with way things have gone at Pitt since Romeus came to camp injured last year and Sheard threw that guy thru the plate glass door in South Side.

Comment by melvinbennett 05.26.11 @ 8:37 pm

Big guy – you said… “Traditionally, an example is made when a scrub player does something bad. The scrub is dismissed. For an impact player, he is usually given a number of laps to run and, perhaps, community service unless what he did is really bad (i.e. something worse than throwing someone thru a window on the South Side).”

This is what cemented Wannstedt’s end at PITT. To pretend to ‘suspend Sheard then effectively dismiss Keith Coleman from the team was a clear case of highly public ‘depth chart justice’ and didn’t sit well with the PITT Admin at all.

Stoosh – Sunseri will be the starter coming out of camp bar injury… that has been set already.

The ‘Myers looking at transfer option’ talk came about, at least on this blog, by me after I had some long conversations with people close to him and the program. It was based on his place on the depth chart (3rd even before the thumb injury) and the change in offense. The fact that Myers has reported for summer workouts is very promising though.

Bottom line is that the fact that we have had only one real transfer so far this summer is a real testament to Graham and staff. As many as eight players were talking pretty openly about leaving at one point.

Comment by Reed 05.27.11 @ 4:23 am

By ALL accounts, Sheard was an exemplary student athlete for 3 straight years at Pitt before the incident. And he wasn’t reinstated until the charges against him were greatly reduced .. or in other words, and I assure you that this isn’t only my inference, that the guy he threw thru the door was a drunken racist who deserved it (no, not in to the letter of the law but by human nature.)

A previous player, Adam Gunn, also had an issue. This was a guy who overcame a serious injury and ended up with a master’s degree. Both Sheard and Gunn were voted as captains by their teammates.

This is why I say that everyone deserves a second chance if the initial issue is not that serious.

There is no question that Pitt had a major off-the-field problem last year that needed to be cleaned up. But I really don’t think you can blame it all on the fact that Sheard was reinstated.

Comment by wbb 05.27.11 @ 7:17 am

Gonzo must go he is a “simple moron” He blew his chance!!!!! PERIOD…Welcome back Pat Bostick!!! Lets Go Mark Myers get in there and throw shot alot and mix in some deep throws. Tinko Sunseri won’t last. Pitt needs a good back-up who will be called on to Save the Day!!!

Comment by RandyRndyTime 05.27.11 @ 10:08 am

Gonzo is 19 or 20 years old. Heck, I am ashamed to say just how many times I have driven while legally drunk. Looking back .. I certainly don’t condone it but back in the day when I was in my late teens and 20s, I obviously thought I could get away with a lot of things without considering the consequences.

Comment by wbb 05.27.11 @ 10:31 am

From the P-G:
“Gonzalez played at Class AAAA Liberty High in Bethlehem. He was the Associated Press Class AAAA player of the year in 2008 when he rushed for 1,697 yards and 24 touchdowns and threw for 1,580 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In the 2008 PIAA Class AAAA championship game against Bethel Park, Gonzalez rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns, threw a touchdown pass and intercepted a pass in overtime to seal the 28-21 victory.”

Ah, Gee. Anthony is young, and I’ll bet he is sorry. My opinion (after doing some researc)? I say, give the kid another chance.

Comment by BigGuy 05.27.11 @ 11:36 am

throw the kid off the team and move on. Zero tolerance. Graham went to great lengths in closing practices to focus on the players learning how he wanted to do things to right the ship. Anything else but throwing this kid off the team would be a great dissappointment to me. I don’t want a players coach, I want wins.

Comment by pittfan92 05.29.11 @ 11:29 am

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