June 24, 2013

Shell Not Return

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 3:39 pm

I guess it really was not a difficult decision for Coach Paul Chryst and Pitt. Sam Werner of the Post Gazette tweeted out a short while ago that Rushel Shell will not be welcomed back to Pitt. Further, they never even gave it serious consideration.

Burned bridges cost him a lot sooner than imagined. Chryst and Pitt just could not trust him. A wee bit ironic since ostensibly Shell left because he felt he couldn’t trust the Pitt coaches. Allegedly feeling betrayed because they were less than complimentary about him behind his back.

Shell now has to make a new choice. He can look at some MAC schools that aren’t too far away. He can consider other options at lower levels. But after not following through with UCLA, you can bet other programs will be that much more wary.

Anyone know how the players feel? While, how they feel should not have come into play. I must admit that I am curious…..

Comment by DCPinPGH 06.25.13 @ 6:06 am

@ Reed, I like the way you think. Regarding Shell’s personal life, ie, a 17-year-old fathering twins, actions have consequences. Seems that he has been making poor decisions for quite some time now. HCPC Is not the one who should feel responsible for making that situation work.
I hope that I am wrong, but I see Mr. Shell screwing up his own life to the point that he is never heard from again in a very short period of time.

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.25.13 @ 6:25 am

Hail to PC and Hail to Pitt on this one. Well said Reed and EMel as well. The University and the football program is better off for this decision. For those that are doughters of PC, this single act should raise his stock in your book. Hopefully Shell takes the life lesson and does something with it.

There are stories after stories (especially in sports) of people pissing away tremendous opportunities afforded them in life. Some wake up and turn it into good, others not. I hope Shell wakes up one day to realize the University of Pittsburgh did the best thing in his life. Maybe then he will come back as a student.

Comment by Pitt it IS 06.25.13 @ 7:02 am

wow…sorry for the bad spelling…need more coffee!

Comment by Pitt it IS 06.25.13 @ 7:05 am

Great decision.
That article should have been out earlier to squash any debate. Don’t know how much damage it did with recruiting. Why did it take some 24+ hrs?
Shai McKenzie was shaking his head that pitt was considering bring Shell back. That should have never happened.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 06.25.13 @ 7:06 am

Who cares is this kid is smoking weed. I only care that he doesn’t work hard and has no accountability. Carl Sagan and George Carlin smoked weed regularly — they turned out just fine. Rushel Shell is a loser with no work ethic.

Comment by Denny 06.25.13 @ 7:09 am

And @Pittscript, weed isn’t habit forming and it isn’t a gateway drug. Put down your reefer madness propaganda. Kids that are failures will find a way to fail. It could be from alcohol, cheeseburgers, academics, driving, the law, or a million other things, including weed.

Comment by Denny 06.25.13 @ 7:13 am

People actually read my comments? Amazing! Here it is again:

“Yinz surprise me. Of 68 comments here, none positive about Shell’s finally owning up to responsibility for his babies.

Please put sports in perspective.”

And I stand by these words today, Reed. Yes, Shell did put sports before family last Spring. But from what “sources” have said, his priorities have changed since then.

Finally, the vituperation expressed towards this KID is just amazing to me.

Comment by steve1 06.25.13 @ 7:15 am

So you were actually with Shai and saw him shake his head. Come on, even when the staff makes what is clearly a good decision you make up some negative comment.

Comment by notrocketscience 06.25.13 @ 7:19 am

I covered Shell every season at Hopewell and there was a noticable change in him between his freshman and sophomore seasons. He just seemed entitled and was difficult to interview. I think PC made the right decision, but is a shame that Pitt lost out on a homegrown talent like Shell. The fanbase was ready to embrace him and a the right mixture of work ethic and humility could have gotten him places much bigger than Pitt.

I also do not get the sense that this issue affected Shai M.’s recruitment in any way. Pitt is still an option for Shai. While he may go elsewhere, PC’s handling of the Shell situation probably will help more than it will hurt.

Comment by Brian 06.25.13 @ 7:44 am

I truly believe that had the decision been reversed, the comments would all be flip-flopped. The kid has a history of making bad decisions. Although children are a blessing, having them in high school is not. There would be pros and cons for both possible outcomes. He made his bed, now sleep in it. Or, he is a kid, 19 years old, he made a bad decision, and he deserves another chance. There is no reason to lambast this kid on a blog. He is not the CEO of a company who made a poor decision that effected millions of stakeholders. He made a decision, effected himself, and although I do not disagree with HCPC, this kid now has to live with this. And now as society, we have to deal with the reality that we are closer to having another Maurice Clarett in this world instead of a Tony Dorsett. It really is a shame.

Comment by Todd Gack 06.25.13 @ 7:55 am

H2P = H2PC

Comment by DC33 06.25.13 @ 8:01 am

@deepelemblues–My sincere apology if my tone yesterday came across as offensive. It certainly wasn’t intended to be so. I am also sorry for misinterpreting the meaning of what you had posted. i likely read more into than was really there. Its difficult to avoid such unintentional mistakes on blogs. So, again, my apologies.

Comment by pitt1972 06.25.13 @ 8:13 am

clarification — there is no evidence that Pitt ‘considered bringing Shell back’

Comment by wbb 06.25.13 @ 8:23 am

I am sure Shell will end up at WVU or Temple and perhaps a MAC school not too far from home. It appears that he has at least started to turn the corner with his view. PC made the best decision for Pitt and Shell. He has inroduce the idea of accountability and that is a critical concept that young adults (and old) should learn.

My guess is that She’ll regrets how he handled things and this will make him stronger. Young father of 2 at 17, college student, highly touted RB. How many of us could handle that pressure? He had momentary break in judgement which I can and many others can understand. Doesn’t mean PC should have let him back in but PC should empathize with a young adults struggle and help him land somewhere on his feet (except AZ and ASU).

Here is hoping Shell and his family do well moving forward.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 06.25.13 @ 8:29 am

Todd Gack?? Did you work at BNY? If so, I think we played FF in Riggs’ league together.

It will be truly a shame if Shell doesn’t get his head on straight and wastes the God-given talent most people only dream of having. I sincerely hope he IS thinking about his daughters this time and will put forth the effort necessary to succeed not only in football, but life in general.

I really thought PC would give him one last chance at Pitt. I’m assuming there is more to the Shell story than has been reported (as some here and on other blogs have speculated) especially since it seems as if PC barely considered allowing him to return.

I wished Shell well when he decided on UCLA, and I wish him well wherever life leads him now.

Comment by pghFred 06.25.13 @ 8:37 am

@Reed. Excellent.

@Steve1 Hey, you’re gonna miss Torterella’s antics!!!

I do have to disagree with you a bit. I don’t see any vituperation. Thank you. I had to look that up. Never heard of it before, always good to learn something new.

Sustained railings?? I don’t see it. Chas puts up an article, and we all bs about it for a couple days. I mean, the comments are funneled and directed about the certain topics, so, you’re going to have nothing but the subject being talked about. Shell.

As for some railings, ya, I see some people taking shots at him about weed and some other things.

I’ve mostly seen, and my view point also, good luck to the young man, hope he gets his act together, but he needs to do this somewhere else.

I don’t think that’s being mean. He was offered a scholarship, and he quit. As for second chances, this is his 3rd or 4th chance, suspended allready as a freshman, and who knows if there are other things that we do not know about??

Whether you like his coaching and recruiting or not, HCPC seems to be a really nice, and fair guy. If he doesn’t want him back, that speaks volumes to me.

Comment by Dan 06.25.13 @ 9:04 am

No one here smoked when they were in college. Different era I was in school in early 70’s. I am not in favor of it now being in my sixities but I understand it and I am not so pious about it. You were all raised apparently in the 90’s, 1 strike your out. One mistake you can not get employed your life is ruined even though the the human brain is not completely grown until approximetly 26.
Kids make mistakes and adults need not to judge them by adult standards. PC was wrong this does not show Pitt as a virtious program because there is no such things in the real world.
He used a 19 year old who made a mistake as an example and this kid probably will be ruined for life for one mistake.
If no one on the blog did not screw up somewhere in live and was not given another chance they would not be on this blog so they are not being honest.

Comment by pittisit 06.25.13 @ 9:11 am

Just read this article and thought of Shell. This is the kind of thing Paul Chryst is trying to get across.

link to

Comment by Jamie H 06.25.13 @ 9:11 am

It’s not his 1st strike.

Comment by Dan 06.25.13 @ 9:15 am

Ruined for life, at 19?? Because Pitt didn’t take him back???

Comment by Dan 06.25.13 @ 9:19 am

Shell is gone and he has no one to blame but himself irrespective of the fact he is 19. You want to blame someone blame his HS coach, father, enablers or those who had his ear to fill it with whatever he wanted to hear instead of good counsel.
DON’T YOU EVER BLAME PITT for the screw-up RS has become because it aint Pitt’s fault. The only reason some believe it’s Pitt’s fault is because….he was a coveted high end rb recruit full stop. Pitt can help recruits with problems but when they doin’t want help, see themselves as above other players on the team and then expect special privileges it is all on the recruit.

Comment by Kenny 06.25.13 @ 9:53 am

Shai tweeted that regarding Pitt considering Shell.

Shai Mckenzie ?@ShaiMcK_5 23 Jun

You don’t want to bring that back into your program? Smh

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 06.25.13 @ 9:56 am

I also gave EJ a call at noon yesterday that he had better get a press release out regarding Shell as it is affecting recruiting let alone alum and future donations.
3hrs later… wala.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 06.25.13 @ 9:58 am

Despite many declaring Shell to be the “next Tony Dorsett,” it was never the case. Shell was never Dorsett, never a Marcus Dupree, or even a Brian Davis for that matter.

A great high school back, yes. A future “great” college running back, no.

In his limited time, Shell showed that he was a “good” back for Paul Chryst and the power running game. But not the kind of back with the talent that makes or makes a season or a program.

Having the same height, weight and speed or lack thereof made Maurice Clarett probably the best comparison as to the potential that was Rushel Shell.

Unfortunately, it turns out Shell looks to be a little more Clarett than just as a football player.

Like Clarett, the NFL was always going to be a long shot for Shell. Now it just got even longer.

Bad news for Rushel. Bad news for the two daughters he’ll soon be called upon to support.

Comment by PittofDreams 06.25.13 @ 10:00 am

Chryst proves he has a set by not taking the easy way out and bringing back a possible cancer to the football learning environment.

Way to go PC. Hopefully we will find success with this group and here’s to Issac Bennett who saw his carries go way down last year but he stayed and was a loyal soldier.

Comment by AJ 06.25.13 @ 10:01 am

OK guys…here is my last post on the topic.
The real shame is for kids who work hard and never have a chance. Who don’t have talent or coaches or love in their life.
Want to wax poetically about kids getting a second chance? How about the millions who never get the chance. Born addicted to crack or tossed in a friggen garbage can or beaten to a pulp at the ripe age of 2.
RS has tons of things going for him that most kids never have.
Time to get real about life here.

Comment by sfpitt 06.25.13 @ 10:13 am

Pitt.Dan83 is JoeD or a JoeD mimic. Look at Panthersprey and compare posts – almost identical to JoeD.

Comment by JJ 06.25.13 @ 10:15 am

My GUESS is that Mr. Shell has not only done some “not the sharpest pencil in the box” things because of his possee and the creation of a level of entitlement surrounding him. As he did and made decisions only in what were his own interests, he pushed the staff into a corner of Shell or Pitt Football Team.

I can just hear the conversation, as after a long closed door session of looking at recruits and what transpired at the camps, SP rushes into PCs office saying “Shell wants to come back!”

PC says “Surely you jest!”

SPs response?

“Don’t call me Shirley!”

Comment by CompLit 06.25.13 @ 10:19 am

lol….oh noooooooooo

Joe D is amongst us !

And he’s calling up EJ amongst other things, 🙂

Comment by EMel 06.25.13 @ 10:29 am

@ CompLit

Rover over Victor !

Comment by EMel 06.25.13 @ 10:34 am

Reed, are you saying
Shell was NOT admitted to UCLA?

Comment by Steve1 06.25.13 @ 10:54 am


Get that finger out of your ear! You don’t know where that finger’s been!


Comment by CompLit 06.25.13 @ 11:02 am

Steve1 – What was being reported on the pay boards is that he couldn’t transfer because of some academic issues regarding his freshman credits transferring… incomplete or failed courses supposedly. The HC there tried to lobby the academic side at UCLA and that didn’t make it happen.

There was some talk about the fact that Shell may have been suspended for a year regardless of his walking away. Some have speculated a failed drug test but IMO that would have merited a suspension right away – not down the line. I think it was more of an academic suspension for a year which we have seen multiple times at PITT.

But, speculating here, I think the ‘wanting to be close to home angle’, while probably true, was a secondary issue to playing elsewhere. The fact that he couldn’t enroll is being talked about as happening but like anyone else I’m not getting this info first hand or even privately. It’s my personal believe if had he been accepted by UCLA he’d be a Bruin right now.

Now before anyone accuses me of saying he’s a bad father or something I’m not. I’m just saying that he apparently has put some of his decision making ahead of being a full-time Dad. However, that situation can work out well for all involved as long as the father can at least see his kids on a regular basis. There are a lot of schools within driving distance where he could play ball and be an involved father.

Please note that I say “speculating”, “some talk” and “I believe” a lot in the above paragraphs. However it all makes pretty good sense to me.

Comment by Reed 06.25.13 @ 11:31 am

Makes sense Reed.

Kids that don’t want to practice.

Usually also don’t won’t to study !

Sounds like he has a lot of bad habits and the two babies excuse can only be used so long.

They seem to be trotted out….when the time and circumstances fit the occasion. IMO

Comment by EMel 06.25.13 @ 11:51 am

Sympathy card angle. Apparently not that stupid when it comes to certain things.

Comment by EMel 06.25.13 @ 11:53 am

I think Dan already said this above, but I’ll say it again: Just because Shell is not coming to Pitt, we can automatically conclude that he has no chance at success? Let me tell you the tale of a certain RB from Central PA that had accepted a Scholorship Offer to the “U”. Those dreams were interrupted by an injury in his final game of his SR year. He would have to attend prep school for a year. Now, you might be asking yourself why would an ankle injury cause a HS Senior to have to attend Prep School? Because the real reason he went to prep school was to address “academic difficulties”. Now, this kid was not dumb, but he was a first class jerk. According, to one of his classmates (who is a member of my family) and who was then and is now on a first name basis with this star FB player, the guy just changed during his HS years. He turned into a person that was cocky and arrogant to point of being hard to be around. In fact, he never finished his SR school year at this Central PA HS because he was politely asked to leave. So off this kid went to prep school, where he was not the starting RB. The starting RB would go on to accept a scholy at the “U”. But something special happended at that Prep School. This kid had the time to reflect on who he was and what he had become. So by the time he came to Pitt he was a changed young man. Focused, hard working, a good teammate. I often wonder what I would read on the “U” blogs about this kid back when he switched to Pitt? I wonder if his carrer was declared “over”? Well, this kid that we all know as Shady seems to have worked out just find. I don’t have a problem with HCPC decision on this matter. I do have a problem with people that cleary WANT to see this kid fail. Almost as if you are rooting for it to happen. Just because he fails by his own actions, does not mean that I have to want to see that happen. Frankly, I hope the kid gets his stuff together and goes on to a bright future in whatever he chooses. Lastly, Shell can now join Dan Marino as former Pitt players that are “druggies” until they prove otherwise.

Comment by HbgFrank 06.25.13 @ 11:56 am

EMel, are you sure there aren’t 3 babies involved in that family? Heh, heh.

It’s not going to surprise me to see him end up in Morgantown before all is said and done.

Comment by Panther Pride 06.25.13 @ 12:01 pm

Well if true Reed then just slap me in the face. If so he’s had a bunch of time to dig himself out of Coach’s doghouse, not just a couple of days ago. If so shame on him.

Dan, I would’ve rather they hired Messier. 1994 was so much fun. He deserved it based on that year alone.

Vituperation? Sorry, I lost my head.

Comment by steve1 06.25.13 @ 12:50 pm

Was Shell shocked?

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 06.25.13 @ 2:00 pm

This is a very tough decision. I personally believe the university should’ve stepped up for the kid with his alledged drug problems and being a father of twins at a young age… Shell should’ve have taken the route of the Qb Tom savage. She’ll should’ve Paid his own way to Pitt. Hit the books hard and walkedon to the squad and earn respect from team and coaches. You should never turn your back on a kids especially after we called him the second coming. Best of luck to shell

Comment by Cdmoore25 06.25.13 @ 2:04 pm

Stepped up for the kid ? Surely you aren’t serious. (i know don’t call me shirley)

PITT bent over backward to not kick this kid off the team BEFORE even last season even started.
You do remember he was suspended for his very first collegiate game and his brand new Head Coach’s very first game as HC ?

And the fact that he has twins is not nor should it be a concern of PITT’s. PITT is a university of higher education, not a social welfare system.

No it’s time for RS to grow up. All this coddling of these types does nothing for their future welfare. Attest all the former pro athletes that are broke & homeless, because they never HAD TO GROW UP !

Comment by EMel 06.25.13 @ 2:42 pm

I’ve been in more than a few disciplinary situations where I had to recommend whether or not a service member was to be punished, transferred or even discharged from the military after having regulations and/or legal problems.

My first one was tough because I investigated his family life, upbringing, financials, etc… and was torn on what to recommend until a Senior Chief Petty Officer walked by my office and said, out of nowhere, “Hey Mr. Koh, If Petty Officer Jones is allowed to stay at this unit you are going to see a shipload of transfers the day after.”

That told me all I needed to know. I recommended that (appropriate) punishment be levied and the member transferred to a shore until for a six-month independent evaluation… where he was discharged at the end to that period due to incompatibility. I recommended a honorable discharge for him to the discharging unit and he got that, but I agreed 100% that he had to be separated.

This guy also had a wife and a child and made his own poor decisions. It wasn’t his first infraction but by far his most serious. Personally I was thinking way too much and looking at reasons and excuses and less about what had to be done for the strength of the unit. I never made that mistake again.

There is leeway in every situation of course and you’ll see that applied after someone’s 1st infraction but once you get past #1 or #2 then it’s all on the guy himself and Devil take the hindmost.

This situation with Shell reminds me of that and the other cases I worked on when I was an Investigating Officer. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few key members sat down with Chryst and said “Hey coach, if Shell is allowed….”. Honestly, I would have been very shocked had Chryst made any other decision.

Comment by Reed 06.25.13 @ 3:20 pm

Good analogy Reed. Thanks.

Comment by steve1 06.25.13 @ 4:04 pm

shell is an arrogant and immature prick. i am now glad that chryst acted swiftly and firmly to stop the circus from coming back to pitt. most people would be humbled by this situation, instead shell posts on twitter a short video of him singing ‘he aint worried about nothing”. the comments are even more entertaining berating the staff at pitt. i totally want to post the realistic thing that he made his bed.

Comment by pittisit37 06.25.13 @ 5:09 pm

It could turn out that Chryst saying no is the best thing that ever happens to Rushel. I hope so.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 06.25.13 @ 5:26 pm

@pittisit37, now, no sugar coating it, how do you really feel about Shell? LOL! I’m just busting on you man, I also remember the twitter or maybe it was on Facebook, the picture of him taken on the private jet supposedly in route to one of his “future” university homes right afterhe secured his transfer from Pitt. Yeah, Rushel seems to be a real class act, what an A Hole.

Comment by Dr. Tom 06.25.13 @ 5:39 pm

Let West Virginia have Shell.

Comment by MariettaMike 06.27.13 @ 10:40 am

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