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September 29, 2017

In light of the burgeoning scandal in college basketball, the response from some corners is that if players were compensated — paying players, permitting them to cash in on their likeness (autographs, cut of jersey sales, etc.), and even allowing them to cut deals directly with shoe companies — it would end this sort of shenanigans. So would eliminating the NBA’s restriction on high school players that creates the one-and-done rule.

It’s an appealing notion. And it would reduce it a bit. Everyone would have to get comfortable with shoe companies dictating which schools would get the players. Nike deciding which blue bloods get certain players in their stable. That certainly would be what happens. Shoe company paying six-figures for a 5-star, elite player. They are going to tell him where he’s playing. They are going to recoup that money in apparel sales.

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September 28, 2017

As expected, Rick Pitino is out at Louisville. Technically, he is on administrative leave. That, though, is for contract/money reasons. He has to be put on leave for 10 days before he can be fired for Louisville to avoid paying a tremendous buyout. Again, this is more the cumulative effect. Not just for this scandal.

This will end up with lawsuits and an eventual settlement — unless the FBI is given/releases some direct evidence of Pitino’s knowledge before it gets to trial.

The somewhat surprising thing is that Louisville’s AD Tom Jurich is also out. Some reports have said he was told to place Pitino on leave/fire him, but he refused. Others deny it. Regardless, this is a big hit for Louisville as Jurich is widely credited with building the Cards into the athletic program it is today — and how they were able to get into the ACC.

Jurich’s firing also has the effect of triggering a reduction in the buyout their rather nomadic football coach would have to pay if he were to take another job. Bobby Petrino’s buyout to leave goes down from $8+ million to $4.25 million. Why, hello there, Nebraska. What’s new with you? Ole Miss, what’s happening?

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September 26, 2017

“Always be a pessimist, you will never be disappointed.”

Variations on a theme.

I don’t think of myself as a pessimist. More that I am a cynic.

Whether it is as a wounded idealist, someone who wears it as an armor rather then choosing to believe or strive for something, or a realist with a sense of humor.  Perhaps all of them and more.

Which means a day like this creates something interesting.

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September 7, 2016

Penn State Can Never Move On

Filed under: Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:06 am

Last week, as the new college football season was getting close to truly starting, the usual stories of renewal and looking forward to the coming season were coming being published. This AP story on Penn State trying to go forward, for instance.

“I think that is the ultimate challenge here,” Penn State coach James Franklin told The Associated Press. “How do you balance the history, the traditions, all the wonderful things that are deep rooted here and have been here forever, (while) also making moves that you need to be progressive and to be moving towards a healthy present and a healthy future.”

Oh, how Franklin wants to move on. So many do at Penn State.

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August 3, 2015

Or, well, at least about what I expected.

The suspensions were handed out for Wide Receiver Tyler Boyd and Defensive End Rori Blair. Both were dealing with DUI charges from the spring and summer.

In a press release sent out after 5 pm today (can’t really wait until Friday with training camp about to start), Pitt announced the consequences beyond whatever internal discipline they faced.

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July 18, 2015

Yesterday we had a discussion on The Blather regarding WR Tyler Boyd being dropped off the Biletnikoff Award watch list because of his arrest and it’s circumstances.  The fact that he hasn’t been convicted or anything yet was raised as a counter to that decision. However, the Award committee has separate criteria/standards/rules that they are applying here, just like a university or any other formal institution.  As such they don’t have to wait or even care about a conviction.

Being legally convicted of some transgression are a civil and/or criminal judiciary matter, not a non-legal institutional one.  The difference is that universities and their football programs apply discipline and sanctions as they see fit.  Hence we have suspensions and even dismissals which are based on internal and NCAA rules and not the local criminal laws.

There is a solid basis in the award committee making this decision, as the criteria is pretty straight forward:

5. The candidate must display leadership and self discipline; and he must have a significant, positive impact on his team’s success.

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June 15, 2015

Tyler Boyd Screws Up

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 6:20 am

Internet free weekend, and I come back to this.

Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd is suspected of driving under the influence after being pulled over early Friday morning, but no charges have been filed.

Boyd, 20, was stopped for a traffic violation around 2:35 a.m. Friday on Route 885 in Jefferson Hills, according to Jefferson Hills police Sgt. Kevin King.

“There is suspicion of alcohol, but there are no results of any test at this point,” King said today. “At this point no charges have been filed and no results of any toxicology tests at this time.”

Legally, this could turn out to be very minor. Perception wise… welp, a bit more problematic.

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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.

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December 31, 2013

Let the Countdown Begin

Filed under: Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 6:00 pm

It’s New Year’s Eve. Time for the Pitt tradition unlike any other in college athletics. The annual New Years Eve monitoring of media outlets out of fear of learning that a coach has been arrested.

It’s a rich tradition that dates back to 2010.

I know I have been vigilant ever since that fateful evening.

Happy New Years, everyone.

November 1, 2013

Cloud Over Ezell Clearing

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 6:13 am

Back when the news was finally reported about Tyrone Ezell facing assault charges, I said I just didn’t know about it. I didn’t know if he should have been suspended. I didn’t know if the accusations were accurate.

Well, the hearing finally took place and charges were all withdrawn. Ezell is now facing a summary harassment count.

Homestead police in August charged Tyrone Ezell, 23, of Munhall, with simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment after a 21-year-old woman accused him of punching her in the mouth July 30 during a fight also involving his relatives.

Homestead Cpl. Jeffrey Luptak said today the court told him he could file a summary offense against Mr. Ezell, his father, Albert, and their two accusers.

The elder Mr. Ezell, whose similar charges also were withdrawn Wednesday, now too faces the same harassment charge. Cpl. Luptak said he didn’t cite the accusers today, though, because he doesn’t have a complainant or victim.

Basically, we will not know. The family dispute appears to be settled. The police are portraying it as not having anyone willing to testify, not an issue of lack of evidence — such as medical records. But, once more, we don’t know. The only reality right now is that Ezell is mostly without worry of any significant criminal charges.

Ezell is also disputing this summary harassment as well, for what that is worth.

October 4, 2013

Briefly On Ezell

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:48 pm

Just because, it seems that I should at least say something….

I don’t know.

It’s not like the details from the charges filed based on the complaint make this any clearer. I know what Tyrone Ezell is accused of doing, but there is nothing reported as to what he said happened, other than claiming innocence on the charges.

This is a domestic dispute that will be a he-said/she-said. The police arrived afterwards so they only see the aftermath and the statements taken from the involved parties.

Nothing about this is neat and tidy. I doubt the hearing — if/when it finally happens — will clear this up any more than the allegations in the complaint.

I think Coach Paul Chryst adopted the wait-and-see on this matter for the simple reason that it is too messed-up to draw a clean conclusion. Do you suspend him because he was with his father to confront the person believed to have assaulted his sister, and it all went south? Do you even let him play if he is alleged to have punched a woman in the face in the midst of this?

The only thing that has me truly surprised is that this has been unknown and unreported for over two months.

August 26, 2013

I would like to hope this is not as bad as it looks, but it probably is.

Officers arrested Jovani Chappel, 25, about 1:30 p.m. after police spotted him sitting on the front porch of a home in the 5000 block of Lytle Street in Hazelwood, Pittsburgh police major crimes unit Lt. Kevin Kraus said.

Police went to the PNC Bank branch in the 4300 block of Murray Avenue in Greenfield about 10:40 a.m.

Lt. Kraus said a masked robber threatened the tellers with a gun, although it was not immediately clear if the tellers actually spotted one.

The robber hopped over the counter and took cash from several of the tellers’ drawers and then got into a car and drove away, police said.

A witness noted the license plate and gave it to police, who tracked it to Mr. Chappel’s girlfriend’s home in the 5100 block of Blair Street, Lt. Kraus said.

Members of the SWAT team surrounded the house and searched it and a few other homes in the area this morning, only to discover that Mr. Chappel was not there.

Officers found him sitting on the front porch of a home about two block away, on Lytle Street, about 1:30 p.m. It was not immediately clear what connection, if any, he had to that home.

Lt. Kraus said police were taking Mr. Chappel to the bureau’s North Side headquarters for questioning this afternoon and expect to charge him with robbery.

I’m setting the bar low, but I guess I would have thought anyone who graduated from Pitt would have been smart enough not to drive a getaway car with easily identifiable and traceable plates. Guess not.

July 30, 2013

Now What About Tra’von

Filed under: Football,Police Blotter,Scandal — Chas @ 7:21 am

In something of a surprise the Trav’on Chapman case has resulted in some real jail time stemming from a guilty plea.

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.

“Attempted assault” is a class 4 misdemeanor — the lowest classification for misdemeanors in Ohio. That’s why I was surprised a first-time offender would get any jail time. Technically the the judge can order jail time but it is also for no more than 30 days under the Ohio Revised Code (Sec. 2929.24(A)(4)). But, according to the stories, Chapman was sentenced to 90 days with 87 suspended.

Of course, Chapman was also ordered to fulfill 40 hours of community service and it seems the court suspended 20 of that by his working 20 hours with his old high school football team this summer. So, yeah. I really shouldn’t think too much about the details of the sentencing.

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June 13, 2013

Okay, this seems to be a procedural snafu, but it put a scare into me when I saw the headline screaming of failing to appear for a hearing.

Two men who were members of the University of Pittsburgh football team when police said they were caught with drug paraphernalia failed to appear in court for their preliminary hearings this morning.

One of them, Khanyin Mosley-Smith, 21, came to city court later this afternoon with a letter confirming that he had performed community service and will have his charge dismissed, according to Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.

The other, Eric Williams, 20, did not show and was held for trial in Common Pleas Court, Mr. Manko said.

So missing the hearing, not a big deal since the matter was all resolved. No real harm or foul there.

Whether he gets back on the squad this year — or next — is still an open question. He is still suspended indefinitely.

April 30, 2013

Tuesdays are a bad day right now. The schedule has me away from a computer from the time I take the kids to school until sometime after I get the kids to bed.

Seems I missed a few things.

The unsurprising first. A couple players dismissed from the team in light of recent activities at their apartment.

Juniors Drew Carswell and Eric Williams are now gone from the team. The third player suspended in the incident, Khaynin Mosley-Smith, remains suspended indefinitely.

“We have strict and clear standards regarding these types of behaviors,” Chryst said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. “What has occurred with these three young men does not represent the standards of our program or university.”

I don’t know why Mosley-Smith was not dismissed from the team. It doesn’t mean he won’t be, but his status may be a little more gray. I have a speculation, but I don’t know if it is so.

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