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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.


November 15, 2014

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Durand Johnson’s season long suspension.

“Durand will remain in our program and practice,” [Head Coach Jamie] Dixon said. “However, he will not compete in any games this season. While it is disappointing, we will encourage Durand to make the most of this year personally, academically and athletically.”

There was no nebulous “team rules” citation. This appeared very suddenly, as a week ago Johnson was playing big minutes in the final exhibition game. My instinct in a suspension like this, is that it is academically related. That appears to be the likely reason.

It sucks for Durand Johnson. Everyone raves about him as a person and a teammate. He accepted his role as an energy guy coming off the bench. He worked on his defense. There was a strong expectation that he could make a leap coming back from his ACL injury and with more playing time coming his way.


August 2, 2014

That’s the nice way of putting it. It started leaking a couple hours earlier than the typical “bad news on a Friday” release (those are resereved for roughly around 5pm). Titus Howard got the season long suspension.

Pitt lost another key member of its defense Friday when coach Paul Chryst suspended sophomore cornerback Titus Howard for the season. Howard was listed No. 1 on a depth chart Chryst issued last month.

Chryst did not comment on the reason for Howard’s suspension.

Howard, who played on Clairton’s four PIAA and WPIAL Class A championship teams, was an important reserve last season. He played in 11 games and started against Old Dominion on Oct. 19 and Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26. Overall, he recorded 21 tackles and two pass breakups.

Don’t even care to speculate. He’s a kid who screwed up. He’s not off the team for good. Howard will be fully reinstated to the team for next year, assuming he does what he should. He will train and practice with the team. He just will not be allowed to play.

There is no pretending that this isn’t a rough loss for the team this year. Especially when facing teams that like to run spread formations.  Howard had pulled ahead of Coles in spring practices. The cornerback position has some talent, but is paper thin and very inexperienced. Pitt may be forced to play true freshmen once again this season — Avonte Maddox and Phillipie Motley. The other possibility is seeing who can be pulled from the rather deep wide receiving corps.

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.


August 5, 2013

And Now Suspensions

Filed under: Football,Players,Scandal,Suspension — Chas @ 10:40 am

Fire up the outrage. Suspensions are announced and unresolved.

Ronald Jones:Suspended for entire season for “violation of team rules.”

K.K. Mosley-Smith:Suspended for entire season following the happenings at his shared apartment.

Tra’von Chapman:Still indefinitely suspended as no decision has been made.

I expect Chapman will also be suspended for the full season. Perhaps without being allowed to practice with the team.

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.


November 26, 2012

The details of Trey Zeigler’s DUI are still unknown. The consequences, however, are. Zeigler is suspended indefinitely following the incident of Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not really surprising. This suspension was a no-brainer.

“The incident involving Trey Zeigler is not only surprising, but incredibly disappointing,” Dixon said in a statement. “Although I believe it was out of character for Trey, he has been immediately suspended until further notice. Trey has expressed his deep regret to me and understands and respects the importance of accountability for one’s actions.”

Zeigler also issued a statement that reads: “I want to apologize to my family, the University of Pittsburgh, my teammates and coaches and the entire Pittsburgh community. This is not indicative of the kind of person I am, nor the kind of person I want to be.”

This is the first incident where Zeigler has gotten in any sort of trouble like this. It was a big screw-up, and hopefully his only one.

September 6, 2012

Plus one injury.

To the surprise of, really no one, Coach Paul Chryst has lifted the suspensions of Tyrone Ezell, Shayne Hale, Rushel Shell, Ronald Jones, Chris Davis and Anthony Gonzalez. All six were already permitted to practice with the team this week. Not to mention being listed on the two-deep for the Cinci game.  So it mostly felt like a formality to make it official. That or Coach Chryst feels like this is some sort of tactical advantage to keep opposing teams unsure who will play — like his non-injury reports.

Anthony Gonzalez and Chris Davis did not make the travel team roster, however. If you are scoring at home, along with yet another position change, this is two straight seasons Gonzalez has put himself in a coach’s doghouse despite his athletic ability and potential. At this rate the only question with Gonzalez will be whether years later only Gonzalez looks back at his time with Pitt and think, “if only…” or will Pitt fans as well.

T.J. Clemmings who missed the YSU game with an undisclosed injury will also be back.

The D-line will have less of an excuse for this game with one starter and two more more back-ups available. Whether they can handle Cinci’s O-line and a mobile QB is still a big unknown.

August 10, 2011

It could have been easy for Coach Graham, Anthony Gonzalez and Pitt to bury this. To put the whole negative story out of sight.

We all know the drill. Player under suspension is declared off-limits to the media for the duration. It’s couched in a way to argue that he should not be a distraction to the team and what they are trying to do. To make it into an example of the team coming first. Then after Gonzalez serves his two game suspension, lift the restriction. By then, however, the season is underway. So is the Steelers season. So how much interest is there in talking to the 2nd or 3d string QB about an arrest from back in June that will eventually be expunged? Even if the story does happen, it is such old-news that it is mostly ignored. It’s a time-honored PR tactic to delay and bury a negative story.

That didn’t happen. On the very first day of practice. With all the local media on-hand, Anthony Gonzalez did interviews and talked about his mistake.


July 28, 2011

Seems reasonable enough.

Pitt coach Todd Graham said today redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Gonzalez will be suspended for the first two games of the season against Buffalo and Maine for violation of team rules.

Gonzalez, 20, was cited earlier this year in his hometown of Bethlehem on charges of possessing a small amount of marijuana and fake identification, and underage drinking.

Gonzalez will be permitted to practice with the team when training camp opens Aug. 8 …

While participating in preseason camp, Gonzalez will be subject to “internal accountability,” Graham said.

“A championship program has to be built on accountability and discipline, on and off the field,” Graham said. “We know Anthony will learn from this experience and be better for it moving forward.”

I have no problem with this suspension. I’ve said before that I don’t consider this a huge offense — except for the timing.

Otherwise, the article confirms that Brandon Sacco has left Pitt — reasons not given.

September 16, 2010

[My high speed modem died on Wednesday, which felt like losing a limb. Just got a new one set-up.]

Some very direct candor from Coach Wannstedt regarding Jason Douglas, Dan Mason and the DUI.

Also, middle linebacker Dan Mason was demoted to second team after being in the same car as running back Jason Douglas during a hit-and-run early Sunday on the South Side.

Max Gruder will start at middle linebacker and Tristan Roberts and Greg Williams will start at outside linebacker against Miami on Sept. 23.

Douglas, 19, who was driving, was charged with causing an accident resulting in serious injury, aggravated assault, DUI and underage drinking. Mason was a passenger in the car, but wasn’t charged.

Wannstedt met with Mason and his family Wednesday morning.

“This is for his good,” Wannstedt said. “He needs to prove to me that he can do the right things and be accountable off the field, in the classroom and on the football field. When he does that, he will get his job back.”

I don’t think it will be too long before Mason is back in the middle. But this is the minimum that has to happen to him.


September 14, 2010

You know it would be. Stupid. Moronic. Punch line right there.

Police said Douglas stumbled from his car and nearly fell when officers confronted him.

“Hey, I play for Pitt football. … Please don’t arrest me,” Douglas told officers, according to a criminal complaint.

It would be, except that this wasn’t just a DUI incident where he was caught, and we can just go tsk-tsk about how bad it could have been while making all the jokes that it would normally deserve.


August 29, 2009

Oh, Gilbert. Why? Do you not understand the expectations upon you? You were to be the latest at Pitt to make a stunning leap from your sophomore to junior year. Like Sam Young before you and Aaron Gray before him. It was all lined up for you. Moving to the starting rotation. One of the players expected to be the team leaders. Healthy and knowing it was your chance.

And now? You have put yourself at risk of being Wally Pipped. What happened?

Pitt’s most experienced men’s basketball player will miss the first half of the season on academic suspension.

Redshirt junior Gilbert Brown, who was expected to be the starting small forward for the Panthers, will miss at least the first 11 games after he was suspended from the university last night.

Brown, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound native of Harrisburg who has played in 72 career games for the Panthers, will be eligible to rejoin the team Dec. 20.

Brown has had a team-first attitude that got him the team’s “Coaches Award” after the 2007-08 season. At the end of this season you won the “Academic Excellence Award.” Are you trying to make a mockery of the sanctity that envelops team awards?

Well, it definitely lowers expectations to start the season.

Brown is expected to enroll at the end of the fall term and could be eligible to rejoin the Panthers Dec. 20. In that case, he would miss Pitt’s first 11 games – including the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas City and Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden – but could return in time for the beginning of Big East Conference play.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound redshirt junior small forward from Harrisburg was expected to play a pivotal role for the Panthers, who lost four starters from their Elite Eight team that finished 31-5. Pitt’s lone returning starter, senior guard Jermaine Dixon, is out until mid-September with a foot injury.

The game against Wichita State was no gimme in the CBE, but it becomes even more difficult to have  a chance at Texas.

What the loss of Brown does, is it opens the door for two players in particular at the spot. Sophomore Nasir Robinson and freshman Lamar Patterson will have more opportunities to play early.

More likely, it means Pitt could go with a 3-guard lineup a lot more frequently. Brad Wanamaker playing as a wing guard, or Pitt could go very small at times up front with a mix of guards Chase Adams, Jermaine Dixon, Travon Woodall and Ashton Gibbs. In some cases extremely small and perimeter based if Adams, Woodall and Gibbs were out there together — spread the floor and get the open 3?

Well, the basketball team this offseason was being too positive I guess. This is a big slap of reality in the face.

April 7, 2009

Great. Just great.

Pitt announced today the suspensions of senior cornerback Aaron Berry, senior defensive tackle Tommie Duhart and sophomore offensive lineman Wayne Jones for violation of team policy.

There is no one thing.

Wannstedt declined comment but issued a release which said the three were suspended for unrelated incidents which were “violation of team policy”

All three are out for the rest of spring practice including the Blue-Gold Scrimmage on Saturday.

No official word as to what. Academic issues are presumed for the majority.

Tommie Duhart has been in and out of Coach Wannstedt’s doghouse for at least the past year or so.

Aaron Berry is a starting corner. Trying to get some consistency. He’s been getting a lot of work against Jonathan Baldwin.

Wayne Jones was in the mix at center.

Not happy about this. The good thing is that Coach Wannstedt remains very dilligent and not afraid to suspend players who don’t meet the standards. You prefer to not have to have it as any issue, but that is just never going to happen anywhere.

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