Pitt officials have announced that Tra’Von Chapman has been dismissed from the program. In essence: he’s gone, never coming back. We can debate endlessly over this decision, but the call came all the way from the top: Chancellor Nordenberg.
Let’s go over just the facts:
Former Kent Roosevelt star quarterback and University of Pittsburgh freshman Tra’Von Chapman pled guilty to a charge of attempted assault on Monday afternoon in Portage County Municipal Court.
Judge Barbara Oswick accepted the plea and ordered Chapman to spend three days in jail, pay a $200 fine, 40 hours of community service and must report to adult probation Aug. 2. Judge also issued a no-contact order, which prohibits Chapman from speaking to the victim or her family.
Chapman was convicted of attempted assault on a woman and spent 3 days in jail, but with 87 days of a suspended sentence, one mistake and he’s back in prison. Typically speaking, punishment is determined by the football program. However, given the circumstances (actual jail time, conviction, gender of victim), the decision was pushed all the way to the top.
I want to elaborate on that. If Chapman stays while guys who were never convicted like Drew Carswell and Eric Williams are kicked off the team, it could appear to be favortism. More important is the gender of the victim. If Chapman was convicted of attempted assault on an 18 year old male, this case looks a lot different.
We fired Haywood for allegedly hitting the mother of his child in an argument. While coaches are held to a higher standard (see Petrino, Bobby) than players, attempted assault involving a woman is too controversial. If Chapman stayed, protests would be inevitable. Given the recent black eyes on the program regarding off field issues, the last thing this university needs is a headline that says “Poster Child for Player Arrests Keeps Convicted Woman Beater on Roster.” Would it be entirely factual? No. Does that matter to the media? Nope.
I agree with this decision. This wasn’t just a football program issue; it was a university issue. It’s very evident that ever since the Sports Illustrated cover that the university will not allow the football program to be a public image issue. Losing games is one thing, but they’d much rather be a .500 program with good student athletes than 10-2 and disrupting the university’s academic mission.
There’s very little fallout for 2013. Chapman was almost guaranteed to get a redshirt. The big issue is 2014. As of right now, the depth chart is Voytik, Trey Anderson, and 2 true freshmen. Not good. Expect a JUCO or a senior who has already graduated to transfer in for next season. I’ll do some digging to see what I can find there, but I highly doubt we go into 2014 with that QB depth chart.