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April 30, 2014

Even though Derrick Randall didn’t contribute an overwhelming amount during the conference portion of the season, I did expect that Randall would be a nice cog for 2014-15. If, for no other reason, the lack of experienced depth in the frontcourt. Especially as far as true centers go. The Rutgers transfer had noticeably slimmed down and gotten into very good shape by the end of the year.

That was before he got arrested.

Derrick Randall, one of the former Rutgers basketball players suing the school and former coach Mike Rice, was arrested and charged after a motor vehicle stop early Tuesday morning at Rutgers with driving while intoxicated, use of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, Rutgers University Police said.

According to university police, the incident happened at 2:45 a.m. on Avenue E on the Livingston campus — not far from the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Randall recently completed his junior season at the University of Pittsburgh, where he transferred following Rice’s firing after videos surfaced showing the coach mistreating players.

Randall didn’t waste any time after the semester at Pitt ended to go home and visit some old haunts. That didn’t work out so well. There is no information on what the “controlled dangerous substance” was. I assume marijuana, but then I always assume marijuana.

Randall has, of course, been immediately and indefinitely suspended from the Pitt basketball team.

“The incident involving Derrick Randall this morning is not only surprising but incredibly disappointing,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a statement released by the university. “Although I believe it was out of character for Derrick, he has been indefinitely suspended.”

As Pitt News writer, Dan Sostek, noted this is standard boilerplate language when a player gets in trouble. Really, there isn’t much that Coach Dixon can say beyond that when the initial news breaks. And an indefinite suspension is the standard response when still figuring out what to do.

That leads to the question of whether Coach Dixon uses this as a reason to jettison Randall. Pitt is already one over its scholarship limit, but is actively pursuing other players — such as USC graduate transfer Byron Wesley (who visits on May 16).

The speculation has been on Joseph Uchebo being declared medically unable to play; and/or Shaquille Doorson not getting academic eligibility. Those scenarios may still play out that way. Randall, however, may have added himself to the chopping block.

This is exactly the sort of incident that coaches have often taken advantage of to clear a scholarship. They get to give the appearance of caring about the integrity of the team and school, while opening up a scholarship.





Sorry, everyone’s got a little devil in them.

Could you imagine getting about 10,000 Jerry Sandusky masks. Pass them out to Pitt fans, and the Heinz Lot’s would be like a zombie zone, with thousands of Jerry Sandusky’s loitering around!!!

Get four fans to dress up like the 4 PSU fans, the guys in football uniforms and helmets. Except, no helmets, 4 masks.

I know, I know, I’m evil. Dark side of me on a late Thursday afternoon.

Comment by Dan 05.01.14 @ 3:00 pm

Spirit, we have all enjoyed watching PSU hoist on their own petard. But they are still the “Big Dog”, always have been, always will be. The B1G hasn’t boycotted them and neither should we.

We went to war with Germany and a guy named Hitler. He did a few bad things. We are now proud to drive around in their cars. Surely we can get beyond the PSU scandal.

Hopefully the Sandusky Scandal is one of a kind, it was truly the worst. But it has little to do with the kids strapping on helmuts or going to class at Happy Valley, and it has even less to do with whether we play them or not.

I was talking about, Vandy and FSU cover-ups in relation to big business.

By the way, how do you know what heinous acts have been covered-up by our University. The Catholic Church covered for hundreds if not thousands of Jerry Sandusky’s over a lot longer period of time. Maybe we ought to not play Notre Dame in an act of solidarity with all those kids.

Would that make us sanctimonious?

Comment by gc 05.01.14 @ 3:28 pm

We didn’t make the the list, whew!

link to huffingtonpost.com

Comment by gc 05.01.14 @ 3:56 pm

@gc – Harvard made the list twice!

Comment by Pitt Dad 05.01.14 @ 4:38 pm

Calipari, amongst others, being interviewed by Lakers.

Comment by Dan 05.01.14 @ 5:24 pm

Gc, The Catholic church and Notre Dame are 2 different entities and the Irish never dissed us off their schedule after a hundred years of playing. I have a son graduating from Penn State this year. Paterno and Saner knew about it and looked the other way. A bunch of little boys got raped and they let it continue so the football program wouldn’t be tainted. They get fined and miss a couple bowl games and lose a couple scholarships and then they hire a coach with a gang rape being investigated in his program. These guys just don’t get it, football programs are not more important than peoples lives. Until someone stands up and says ENOUGH STOP! it looks like it’s going to be business as usual at Happy Valley. I would feel real good about Pitt being the one to say No! I would rather play Youngstown.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.01.14 @ 6:06 pm

Spirit, if you feel that strongly why did you allow your son to continue in that heinous place?

I agree that what happened at PSU was beyond awful, and inexcusable for the primary players involved.

Pitt walking away from the game won’t change a thing.

Last time I checked, Notre Dame was run by Catholic priests and the Vatican does get a cut of the proceeds.

I get your hatred of PSU, but ND not dropping us from their schedule has little to do with the ethical argument.

I think it best if we just agree to disagree on whether playing PSU is the right thing for Pitt.

Comment by gc 05.01.14 @ 6:22 pm

Exactly right sos22. The way I look at it, we got by playing in the BigEast for football the last 13 years WITHOUT Ped State. And we didn’t dry up and blow away, as those in Creepy Valley thought.

In fact we played in 10 bowl games in those 13 years. Played in a BCS Bowl game (Fiesta-2004) before Ped State played in a BCS bowl game(2005).
Funny as soon as we did, they did the following year.

Now had we NOT gotten into the ACC, future Ped State games would be important. But having gotten into the ACC and in light of the recent criminality in Creepy Valley, from top to bottom, I would prefer Pitt’s good name NOT to be associated with theirs.

I hear a lot of stuff on here, about how people love the way PC is doing things the ‘right way’. That were recruiting kids with more than just playing ability and PC is trying to build a new culture at Pitt.

Playing Ped State, flies in the face of all these qualities that a large segment on here say they admire. And whole heartedly support.

In the whole grand scheme of things, 2 sellouts at Heinz Field is not going to change anything, we’ ve had sellouts at Heinz before, plenty of them.

But standing up and saying ‘NO’, we don’t want to vindicate Ped State’s hideous actions by playing them, could change things in the whole grand scheme of things.

Overt greed is killing college football, let’s not become a Florida State or a Ped State and lose sight of what a University is supposed to be all about. Helping kids, not raping them.

Comment by Emel 05.01.14 @ 6:39 pm

As far as comparing Big 10 schools playing Ped State to Pitt playing Ped State, that is totally without merit.

Unless the Big 10 kicked Ped State out of the conference, those schools HAVE to play Ped State.

We all know the Big 10 is the most overtly greedy conference of them all. For there was NO reason whatsoever for them to expand their conference to include Rutgers and Maryland. Except overt greed.

The B1G have already tarnished their reputation. We don’t have to tarnish ours.

The B1G schools HAVE to play Ped State.
PITT does not !

Comment by Emel 05.01.14 @ 6:50 pm

Gc, My son is a great young man, graduating this semester extremely high in his class. He chose Penn State for the education before any of this started. When he starts something he finishes it and to be honest he has always made wise choices so who am I to tell him what to do? I know he would have never looked the other way while kids got raped. Wouldn’t you think in light of what happened that those running Penn St would have enough sense not to get mixed up in another sex crime. Seriously this is disgusting.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.01.14 @ 7:22 pm

An addendum to my 2 posts, something I use to end all my posts with.

Veritas et Virtus !

Comment by Emel 05.01.14 @ 7:31 pm

Why should we lower our selves to competing against a school that has so little regard for decency. Football is not that important and if the situation were reversed I would be screaming for Pitt to quit competing in college football. When athletic teams lead to abuse of people to this degree something is wrong. Obviously the sanctions the NCAA put in place didn’t lead to a change of heart as to what is most important at Penn State. Shame on us if we encourage them by sharing a spotlight with them. The more I think about it the more I LOVE THE IDEA of not playing them because we morally object to what they are.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.01.14 @ 7:33 pm

gc, hate to say it, but those were some dumb comments, maybe we should stick to sports? The Catholic Church did not cover up scandals, individuals commit sins/crimes and individuals cover them up, don’t be so naïve as let a few scums reflect on the majority good. Further, sos22 is right, the Church and notre dame are only nominally related- ie, no more related than the church and bc or Georgetown.

And yes, we all want our fb program to excel, and it very well may, but there are more important things. How about Pitt’s announcement this week about successful regrowth of muscle, allowing people to regain normal function? I may not be smart enough to figure that one out, but I was pretty happy about (proud of?) the guys who did.

Comment by 1618mt 05.02.14 @ 7:28 am

@1618, I agree with your sentiments. When I was young I had a vision of athletics molding character and teaching leadership. Where is the win in sports if there is no honor in the pursuit. Why even have a football program if it doesn’t nurture the human condition. If our University wants to lead there are other ways to do it than to win the National Championship. I bet we would attract our fare share of great athletes if we became known as a place that valued character above trophies. Abusing the rules and creating an environment that breeds abusing people is not an environment that helps athletes either. We can do better than that at Pitt. What good is Famous James’ Heisman when he can’t even be trusted in a grocery store.

This brings me full circle to the subject at hand which is Derrick Randall. My first reaction was that Pitt should say so long , but after further consideration I have had a change of heart. JD should evaluate Randall’s character and make a judgement as to the likelihood of him learning from this mistake. Kids screw up, but 1 bad mistake without any real victims shouldn’t invoke the death penalty if the young man is repentant. A second chance might be in order, with the understanding that he is now batting with 2 strikes. He needs to understand that his behavior says something about all of us too.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 8:48 am

sos22- Agree on Randall. Even though we are exceptionally thin at Center, Randall would not be much of a loss from a bb standpoint, but I do hope that he rehabilitates his behavior, and whatever Jamie or the University decides I suspect will be for the best. It’s tough for us fans sometimes, because we almost never have all the info.

Comment by 1618mt 05.02.14 @ 9:17 am

1618, you make my point, if individuals and not the church is responsible, isn’t it the same with PSU, individuals and not the Institution being responsible.

The cases are analogous, both involved pedophilia, both were covered-up. Regarding ND, I stretched the situation to make a point that you seem to support. When do you hold an institution responsible for the acts of an individual(s)?

Spirit and Emel want to hold PSU responsible for the acts of Sandusky, Curley, Spanier and Paterno.

Why isn’t your statement regarding the church applicable to PSU “don’t be so naive as to let a few scums reflect on the majority good”

The decision to canonize the Pope was questioned in editorials today since he ignored the scandal.
Obviously decision makers disagreed and felt the body of his work justified the honor.

Some feel the same about Paterno. While I am not one of them, I understand why people like Franco feel that way. They loved the guy, and the institution and can’t believe he would do anything wrong. The same way some feel about the church.

Comment by gc 05.02.14 @ 9:37 am

Not sure where I stand on Randall, like many in my generation, I drove under the influence routinely.
Certainly not something I am proud of. Today things are much different,with education and increased penalties a DUI is a very serious matter. Especially when you add drugs and a 19 year old. I am not sure, but in the best circumstances he would be made to sit out a year.

I believe he will be used as an example to others that there are consequences to this type of behavior. But who knows, unfortunately there is a
double standard and if he were a superstar, well…

My guess is Winston will maybe sit out a game or two of football, although he has been suspended from baseball. Funny though, shoplifting is just a citation in FL, wow!

Comment by gc 05.02.14 @ 9:59 am

@gc, You misstate my case. It is not only the acts of Sandusky, Curly, Spaner, and Paterno that makes me want to hold Penn State accountable. It is the fact that now that they have been sanctioned they have taken an approach that errors on the side of football rather than integrity. By hiring a coach that was in the middle of a rape investigation they send a message that says we will be the judge of what is acceptable for our football program. That same arrogance is what got them into this cesspool in the first place. The correct behavior IMO would have been to exclude any coach who with even a hint of a sex crime in his history. To do otherwise mocks the horror of what happened.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 10:00 am

gc- regarding the Church, it’s ignorant of the media to say the pope ignored the scandal. It’s also ignorant to associate the sinful actions of a tiny percent of priests and project them on the overwhelming majority of good ones.

Regarding your point at large with regard to Penn St., I for one do not necessarily disagree. The majority of psu folks would not involve themselves in the sinful actions of the few. Then again, in hindsight, based on their most recent hire, I do wonder how much their priorities have changed, if at all.

Comment by 1618mt 05.02.14 @ 10:03 am

While I agree that PSU was stupid to hire Franklin under the circumstances and have said so, I don’t make the jump to arrogance. They do place a high priority on Football, it is a major part of their culture. They will be held accountable by the media for their decision. The articles in both papers showed that yesterday.

1618, I don’t want to debate the Church scandal with you. I just used it to make a point analogous to the PSU scandal. They both covered-up heinous acts to protect the institution. Just trying to make the point that we should never throw the baby out with the bath water.

I think we all agree on many points, I would just rather beat PSU on the football field rather than in the court of public opinion.

Comment by gc 05.02.14 @ 10:39 am

PSU FB is such a high priority because it brings in nearly $100M per yr, which more than anything led to the decision to cover-up heinous crimes. And just 2 years later and still under sanction, PSU pays $4.7m per for a coach so it’s back to business as usual … but we do live in a capitalistic society.

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 10:58 am

@wbb, Sorry to not concur but since Obama got elected we have become socialists. There is much of the liberal left wing agenda that makes me want to gag but no more so than the scum dredged up at Penn State. It is only business as usual as long as we are going to allow it. If as an institution Pitt chooses to object so strongly as to cancel these games, like Emel suggested, I bet we could be a vehicle of change. Positive change that that would resonate in and out of college sports.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 11:36 am

If enough schools said clean up your act or we don’t want to play with you, schools would be forced to change.

If enough athletes said behave yourself like a civilized human being or we aren’t going to play with you. Athletes would quit being thugs.

The leadership on this isn’t going to come from the NCAA. It isn’t going to come from politicians or the media. If we want athletic programs that reflect character and add to the human condition then as fans we have to speak out against what stinks and quit embracing a lack of integrity. Sport can be a reflection of the most beautiful areas of human wonder, but it can also feature our crudest perversions. Penn State football at times has done both. If they have to do both I’d rather not play them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 11:56 am

sos22, typical — blame everything on the liberals, no matter what the topic

If anything, it was the conservative lack of empathy for the underprivileged that caused a large revenue machine to cover-up acts that would affect the bottom line

I don’t really believe all what I said above …. I’m just piting out that there are at least 2 sides to every issue

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 12:19 pm

WBB, Actually I didn’t express myself well. I think the socialist swing has actually yielded some adjustments to society that are long overdue, but some of the stuff is just too much for a conservative to swallow.

Example The clippers owner is universally berated for his bigoted behavior. (good move)

Where is the outrage at the NAACP for being about to give him another lifetime achievment award despite the fact that he has demonstrated a lifetime of questionable racist behavior. (why not)

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 12:51 pm

Actually, the biggest hypocrisy at the NBA announcement (which I totally agree with), was with Spike Lee sitting there at the presser.

One of the worlds biggest racists.

Comment by Dan 05.02.14 @ 12:58 pm

Someone in the office, just told me, Spike Lee actually works for NBA radio on XM.

LMAO. The height of hypocrisy.

Comment by Dan 05.02.14 @ 1:00 pm

I don’t think it is coincidence that societies that fell often left sporting arenas as evidence of their existence. The Olympics is as much a testament to men not being able to get along as it is to any joint love of sport.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 1:13 pm

That’s because the emphasis is on winning (conservative viewpoint) and not merely competing (socialist)

I’m kidding!

Comment by wbb 05.02.14 @ 1:24 pm

WBB, I think you are on to something. Is there a more liberal, left leaning area of society than the College/University education set. Yet college football is a brazen winner takes all conservative prickfest. No wonder the gay linebacker waited ’til after his senior year to come out.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 1:40 pm

I know most of you guys think Calipari is a slime ball and have valid reasons for your opinions, but do yourselves a favor and read his latest book. Once you get past the self promotion, he actually offers some pretty interesting insights on college basketball, coaching, and how to fix some of the craziness, specifically the NCAA rule book. Also, the philosophical and practical differences with Dixon’s approach would make for some interesting banter on this blog.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.02.14 @ 2:19 pm

B, What’s the name of the book?

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.02.14 @ 2:43 pm

“Players First, Coaching from the Inside Out”.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.02.14 @ 9:06 pm

B, Thanks.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.05.14 @ 8:45 am

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