In the wake of the highly-publicized CBS / Sports Illustrated joint report on criminal activity among college football players, Pitt has been in damage-control mode. The Panthers showed up as the No. 1 offender with 22 players on its team with criminal records. As indicated in the report, most schools reviewed had not conducted background tests and Pitt was one of those schools.â†µ
I expect the program to do a bit more due diligence under Todd Graham. While the numbers may be skewed for a variety of reasons, the cold, hard fact remains that, right now, Pitt's football program is being looked at less than favorably.â†µ
And for good measure, ironically, another former Pitt player landed in hot water yesterday. Fernando Diaz, an offensive lineman, reportedly resisted arrest and had to be tasered several times by officers. After leaving school in the Fall, Diaz had hoped to return to the football team. But with everything going on, that is apparently out of the question:â†µ
Mr. Diaz was with the team for training camp but left school in August 2010. He had hopes of participating in spring practice, but Pitt sports information director E.J. Borghetti said today that, "in light of recent events," he will not be rejoining the team.â†µ
It's going to be interesting to see what kind of stance the team takes on future issues. I can't imagine any kind of a sweeping 'one-and-done' policy, but I do expect Graham to come down pretty hard on players who get into trouble.