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August 8, 2013

Todd Thomas Hates Me

Filed under: Chryst,Football,Players,Scandal — Justin @ 6:00 pm

I joked yesterday in the comments section of the thread about Thomas quitting that Thomas must hate me because the news came out right after I posted my column on the offensive line. Well, lo and behold right as I put the finishing touches on the column below, it’s announced he’s coming back.

The column still has some use so I edited it just to go over the players who have left since the spring and why. Sure, the Thomas situation spurred it, but it’s still good to look at all of it. I obviously know that it’s purely coincidence, but it’s fun to joke about. We Pitt fans need to laugh a little at times.

I mentioned on twitter yesterday that we have lost 10 players since the Spring Game either to transfer, 1 year suspension, quitting, or getting kicked off the team. This does not include Tra’von Chapman or Rushel Shell. It did include Todd Thomas, who is not back with the team apparently. Whenever a new coach comes in, you expect some turnover, especially in the first year. But we’ve lost several players who saw playing time last year and that does seem a bit odd.

Let’s take a look at the 9 players we’ve lost since the Spring Game and figure out why they’re gone to see if there’s a pattern. I’ll try to stick to facts with as little opinion and speculation as much as possible.

1) Drew Carswell and Eric Williams: kicked off the team.

Carswell and Williams (along with Khaynin Mosley-Smith) were involved in a drug raid at their apartment. At a minimum, they’re guilty of being associated with a heroin dealer. At worst? Involved with heroin dealing and/or using it. Carswell and Williams have had incidents in the past (Carswell was among those suspended for the YSU game) and it appears as if this was the last straw.

2) Khaynin Mosley-Smith: 1 year suspension.

As I mentioned above, Mosley-Smith was involved in the heroin raid. Unlike Carswell and Williams, I am unaware of previous off field issues. If he has been a good student-athlete, it would explain why he only received a suspension while the others were kicked off the team. There could be other mitigating factors here that only the coaches know, but I’m content suspending a player for 1 year for allowing a heroin dealer into his apartment.

3) Deaysean Rippy: transferred to Colorado.

Rippy was a member of Chryst’s first full recruiting class and did not verbal until after Chryst became coach. Granted, he was only recruited by Chryst for about a month, but he is still a player who agreed to come to Pitt in order to play under Chyrst; he was not a Graham verbal whose scholarship was honored. There were rumors of Rippy’s unhappiness before the transfer but he was allowed to transfer quietly, meaning things weren’t that bad. This appears to be a depth chart issue mostly. Rippy was not on the 2 deep as a RS Freshman and there are 5 other RS Freshmen/Sophomore LBs (Caprara, Grigsby, Bradley, Porchia, Price) and 2 other LBs coming in the fall (Maclean and Galambos). If he isn’t on the 2 deep when there’s scarce depth, he wasn’t going to be on it in the future.

4) Ronald Jones: 1 year suspension.

Jones was suspended for a “violation of team rules.” Not much is know as to why and the team has done a good job keeping this hush-hush. There are numerous reasons for this suspension and I’m not going to speculate.

5) Chris and Demitrious Davis: transferred to Kentucky.

Like Rippy, this appears to be a depth chart issue. The Davis brothers verbaled in July of 2011 while Fraud Todd Graham was still coach. When Chryst came on, he honored their scholarships. By the time the spring rolled around, Chris was a DB and Demitrious was a RB. Neither one was anywhere to be seen on the depth chart and unfortunately there probably wasn’t a spot on the team for them. They quietly transferred to Kentucky.

6) Dan Mason: “Moved On.”

Mason came back from what should have been a career ending injury to start a few games last year and play surprisingly well. Unfortunately some off field issues led the team to quietly let Mason move on with his life. His injury was very tragic at the time because Mason possessed the talent to play on Sundays.

7) Arthur Doakes: transferred to Stony Brook.

Doakes started 4 contests during the 2012 season but was suspended for the BBVA Compass Bowl. At the time, his future with the team appeared vague and it came as no surprised when he transferred. Doakes did participate in the spring but there were rumors he would be suspended again.

As you can see, the there’s a very strong trend that players fit one of two categories: off field issues or buried on the depth chart. Other than Shell, none of these players appeared to be contributors in 2013.

8) Todd Thomas: quit for a day.

Thomas is apparently back with the team so his portion is moot, but what’s important is that he didn’t burn bridges on his way out. Rushel Shell, however, burned the bridge, defecated on the ashes, put them in a bag, then lit that on fire and put it on Chryst’s doorstep. While I doubt Thomas will be welcomed back with open arms, the point is he’s back. Now he’ll have to prove to the team that he can be trusted and the good news is he has plenty of time to do it.

Don’t forget, Pat Bostick left camp for a few days his freshman year. Guys have bad days and melt down. Thomas has never been an issue to my knowledge and if he takes this as a learning experience, both he and the team will be better for it. Assuming things didn’t get too bad, Chryst can show forgiveness and let Thomas earn his way back. Keep him at 2nd string until he earns his spot. I’m high on Caprara, but he’s not as athleticly gifted or experienced as Thomas, so earning his spot back is quite possible if he does things right.

good point about Bostick leaving camp but coming back after more than a week. The circumstance was different than Thomas but he did leave by his own choice. As I recall, Coach said to go home to his family, and talk things over.

another good point that Thomas did not burn any bridges. I suspect that if/when he returns, he will be on 2nd team and will have to earn his starting job

Comment by wbb 08.08.13 @ 6:32 pm

Chryst’s comment directed Todd Thomas’ way after Tuesday’s practice that Todd thinks highly of himself, well then bring it, is typical Chryst mindset, don’t bother wasting the energy to “talk the talk” focus that energy on “walking the walk” and then just let your actions do the speaking for you. Honest, direct and apparently effective to get a reaction. Maybe not the one he intended to get however.

My question is what’s the deal with Bam Bradley and Grigsby. Rumors were bouncing around that both of those guys (I think they’re related) were considering dipping out too. Seems like they’re both out there practicing now. What gives?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.08.13 @ 6:34 pm

What’s really troubling about this is the comment Street made. He said, ” some guys got to go. He wasn’t on board and I can’t do anything about that”. What will these comments do to team chemistry. Is Thomas now all of the udden on board. I sense this team still has divisions and it seems Chyrst doesn’t know how to deal with that. I too have heard Bradley and Grigsby have one foot out the door. There is more going on here……..

Comment by DJS 08.08.13 @ 6:57 pm

“Sure, the Thomas situation spurred it, but it’s still good to look at all of it. I obviously know that it’s purely coincidence, but it’s fun to joke about. We Pitt fans need to laugh a little at times.”

I laugh every time JoeD posts a comment.

So that’s more than a little. 🙂

Comment by EMel 08.08.13 @ 7:26 pm


I have SO appreciated the comments from Dan, Dr. Tom and yourself over the past few days! keep it up!

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 08.08.13 @ 7:29 pm

i really don’t know what else could be going on. there are players on this team recruited by 3 different head coaches. different types of players. different personalities. many of these kids get into trouble. many just want to play.. what is so strange about that? if it were chryst after wanny and 26 players left then yea, somethings up. is 26 players leaving unusual? YES. but these are very very unusual times for pitt…. or not unusual (for pitt) if you want…. but i refuse to believe that there is some huge con spiracy by recruits and the team to screw chryst over or that chryst is so unbearable that they need to leave.. that just CANNOT be the case. i think this is a case of you guys trying to find things that arent there.

Comment by pk 08.08.13 @ 7:40 pm

DJS, ”some guys got to go. He wasn’t on board and I can’t do anything about that,” could be interpreted as “if he doesn’t want to be here then go elsewhere.”

Comment by steve1 08.08.13 @ 7:44 pm

I’m hoping that Thomas comes back with the right attitude and kicks some ass this year. If not so be it. He’s a player so it will be a loss if they can’t come to terms.

For the most part the long list of those that left were not going to make a difference on the field, didn’t want to be here or were trouble.

Other than Shell most will never be heard about again. It just leaves more room for kids that buy in.

Comment by gc 08.08.13 @ 7:53 pm

I was on the Trib reading DePaulo’s blog and found this:

It’s a classic (Joe D Dan83 replying to himself)
(my comments are in parentheses)

Joe D says:
August 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Chapman should be kicked off the team.
It’s a no-brainer. (sounds familiar)
KK should be kicked off the team also.

Chryst is consistently inconsistent when it comes to discipline. (hey doesn’t this sound familiar)

Joe D says:
August 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I want to add.
If next man up can’t do the job, then Chryst has a recruiting/retention problem. There are 82 players on scholarship on the roster.
19 players have either quit, transferred, or kicked off the team in the last 12 months.
Turnover is not a bad thing as sometimes it’s addition by subtraction.
However, turnover is typically 5-10 players per year depending upon

haha lmao

Comment by EMel 08.08.13 @ 8:05 pm

Now compare this to the above :

Baloney BS.
Suspended and still on scholarship is meaningless.

KK and Chapman should both be kicked off the team.
Quite frankly, those recently kicked off the team could have a lawsuit against Pitt for being consistently inconsistent with discipline.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.05.13 @ 10:52 am

Comment by EMel 08.08.13 @ 8:10 pm

Quick reply to Street’s comment, is that it’s time for Thomas to get his a$$ on board, since the train is leaving the station. Play well my friend, because if you aspire to your true potential the next stop for you just might be the NFL combine. While on the ride, try listening to your Coach, who has been doing this gig for like twenty years (longer than you been alive??) he may have some wisdom to pass along to you, if you only spend the tine to listen.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.08.13 @ 8:11 pm

a lawsuit…..lmao

Didn’t know JoeD had a law degree !

I keep learning new things !

Veritas et Virtus

Comment by EMel 08.08.13 @ 8:13 pm

Doc, you’ve missed your calling. It’s not pulling teeth to say you should’ve been a scribe.

Comment by steve1 08.08.13 @ 8:31 pm

Breaking news:

link to

Comment by steve1 08.08.13 @ 8:35 pm

Boys will be boys. Thank God I am not a coach.

Comment by TX Panther 08.08.13 @ 8:53 pm

Agree with Justin re loss of players. In the list of 19′, 11 were Graham recruits that had dropped down on the depth chart and some probably felt unsuited to this offense.In addition a couple were DW’s and had depth chart issues this year also. If you add in the Dismissals you are only left with afew that are more baffling like Thomas and his odysey or even Schell.Maybe Chryst will not have to wonder which team is going to show up to play this year as he commented last year. Maybe we have to first be consistant before we can be consistantly good?

Comment by Lawrence garman 08.08.13 @ 9:02 pm

Joe D = Pitt.Dan83 = sock puppet

(I think that’s the tech term.)

I know Chas has blocked some before for this and hopefully will again. But then again, sometimes the stupidity is just so funny. What is really sad is that he occasionally has something worthwhile to say. Not often, but occasionally.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 08.08.13 @ 9:52 pm

thank god for all the knowitalls that post and bash our players and then they also can explain what they really think ,sad

Comment by paul shannon 08.08.13 @ 9:53 pm

@ dan 08 (from last thread)… and in line with comments here so far…

… yeah I hear you! it’s tough sometimes… (to not ignore the troll)

I can’t believe I actually read a supposed “Pitt fan” on this blog stating he wants Pitt to lose to FSU… to teach optimistic fans a lesson…

L My F#$%n AO…..

Go to Steelers training camp and start giving people s$%^ for being “koolaid” drinkers and unreasonably optimistic… and see what happens to your a$$…


Comment by Pittscript 08.08.13 @ 10:16 pm

Pittscript, the 08 after Dan means August, but just sayin. Agreed, one is not a true Pitt fan if he/she hopes they get blown out.

On another note, glad to see TT back. Hope he can still gel with the team and not be labeled a quitter. I’m optimistic (as always) and believe that we are building for the future, and it will be a good one.

Comment by panther94 08.08.13 @ 10:48 pm

You need to get a life or get help since you are always on all these boards.
Consistently inconsistent is a phrase Chryst used to describe Pitt football last season. It’s not my term but I have used it and I’ve seen many others use it.
Regarding Chapman, I think that is the view of most on this board (except you who thinks its the victims fault) that Chapman should be off the team.
I can’t help you don’t like that I happen to be right most of the time and you are wrong.

I saw the point spread of 10 and 14 for FSU game. I don’t know what the spread is. I will give 17 pts. How much you want to bet on the game?
Yes, I want to see a blowout so we can get a new coach. I don’t think we can wait until after 2014.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.09.13 @ 6:07 am

Can we please get some post about James Connor and his ability to dominate drills. As well seeing him as the possible starting RB against FSU. This kid is an absolute stud. Shell who….when you see James footwork, size, and receiving ability.

Comment by CPC247 08.09.13 @ 6:08 am

Joe D, in all of his online permutations, is a blessing in disguise. When I’m spending too much time reading Pitt material online, his constant narcissistic BS forces me to step away for weeks at a time until my body can clear his poison.

My employer should thank him for my improved productivity when I’m on one of my “Joe D Breaks”.

Comment by ECH 08.09.13 @ 6:14 am

i almost responded to p83, but decied t not feed the troll.

ech, i have gone months off panthersprey because of him

Comment by pk 08.09.13 @ 6:54 am

Lets turn back the clock about 20 months ago and watch this video.

link to

Doesn’t sound like the guys under his command at that time were disenchanted with his ability to relate and coach them up to me.

Maybe we don’t need to begin a new coaching search just yet. Perhaps we just need to remain calm and let the process culminate into a result that may resemble the finished product that Chryst produced at his last coaching stop.

I particularly liked the comment from Chryst concerning the overall success of the Wisky offense, paraphrased, “it’s not me, its the players”. Typical Chryst, understated and always deflecting the credit away from himself. He is the ultimate ANTI-Fraud Graham!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.09.13 @ 7:02 am

according to The Fan just a few minutes ago, Mike Tomlin asked during practice the other day ‘Did Thomas really quit?’ Tomlin knows who he is and may well have his eye on him since he probably appears to be the prototype speed rusher in the 3-4 that the Stillers use.

Comment by wbb 08.09.13 @ 7:09 am

Once when I was in fifth grade I was basically being an ass for the better part of the year. My friends banded together and decided to completely ignore me. I was devastated.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 08.09.13 @ 7:10 am

Neat link Dr. Tom.

Says something that Tomlin knows who Thomas is.

Let’s hope they work things out today.

Comment by gc 08.09.13 @ 7:51 am

Gents was gone for a bit but after reading all the stuff going on while gone and not much going on with recruiting it seems like I never did leave lol! I have to say I don’t like this news. Maybe it is just Todd made a bad heat of the moment decision but it worries me. I fear we have a coach that the players don’t relate to. I like his approach but at the same time worry he may be too rigid for high school/college kids. We will see! H2P!!!

Comment by Shawn 08.09.13 @ 9:19 am

@ Atlantic Panther, And apparently you kept it up all the way through college, since all of your SAE fraternity brothers tried the same tactic! LOL. Just kidding Atlantic Panther, but you made it soooo easy.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.09.13 @ 9:31 am

Shawn, I’ve read and heard many more positive comments regarding how Chryst treats and deals with his players rather than the negative ones. Some people don’t like to be pushed. To be good this team needs to be pushed, HARD!

Check out the You Tube link above in my previos post above and tell me the Wisky kids had a problem with Chryst. He isn’t the problem.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.09.13 @ 9:34 am

panther 94… lol…thanks… still figuring out the handles here.

Atlanta panther… exactly…

I am amazed at just how deep seated it turns out this ‘culture’ of entitlement and selfishness was engrained in the program.

From Day 1 Chryst has been suspending players, making statements, kicking kids off the team…. then aaaall, suuuummer looong… the message was resent.

and the we still have some kid go off because it was shown to him that he is not entitled to anything…


perhaps the most telling is that Street was confident to come right out now and say “tough S#$%”. It shows most/all of the locker room is now on board or he would not have done that as the leader of this team.

Comment by Pittscript 08.09.13 @ 9:35 am

@ Pittscript, rest assured that all of this turmoil that we’re seeing on the “outside” is magnified many fold on the “inside”, and I’m sure these “learning opportunity” lessons are not being wasted on the new guys now coming into the program.

I trust that after this year, all of that type nonsense will settle down quite a bit just because of the effect of the attrition. Then as these newbies mature into the program, they’ll be much better off cause they’ve never known the Pitt culture to be any different than what they’ve always experienced first hand.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.09.13 @ 10:46 am

My favorite comment of perhaps all-time came from Brian B at Panthers Prey.

“Finally, this talk of “kool-aid drinkers” is particularly annoying. To me, someone who’s lost their objectivity qualifies as a kool-aid drinker. Whether you’re a non-stop Chryst basher, or an unquestioning loyalist, you’re a kool-aid drinker. You’re just drinking from different pitchers.

So before you call others “kool-aid drinkers”, you may want to look in the mirror.”

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 08.09.13 @ 11:40 am

Dan83 – Chryst can go 3-8 and still be here for a full four years at least. The only way he’ll be fired before then is if he is involved in negative personal behavior resulting in a public scandal, and that won’t happen.

I have a question? Were you this hard on Dave Wannstedt after he went three straight seasons without a winning one? I’m sure you weren’t yet you are ready to throw this new HC under the bus right now and he had a better year than DW did his first season as PITT’s HC.

This kind of thinking colors everything you say and you see the results – other posters can’t take anything you say seriously.

Comment by Reed 08.10.13 @ 4:58 am

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