So far in this college football off-season, the Pittsburgh Panthers haven’t been short on any kind of drama. They’ve had their star running back transfer right in the heart of spring practice. Three of their players were caught in something that could be compared to a scene out of an early-90s ‘Spike Lee joint’–being arrested in a place of residence that was housing drug paraphernalia that would make Tony Montana blush. And, to top it off, they have to deal with these issues all while trying to ease their way into their new ACC home. I’m not sure that the ACC nor the Pitt administration imagined this being the way they would introduce themselves to everyone.
Well, unfortunately, we can add to that list. This time, the football team managed to have twins transfer out.
On Sunday, Pitt announced the departures of redshirt freshmen twins, defensive back Chris and running back Demitrious Davis. Now both players were recruited by former coach Todd Graham, but actually signed with Paul Chryst prior to last season. While neither brothers saw any playing time and we’re not certain they would have held any significance this upcoming season, the situation is still noteworthy as the Davis’ departures mark four players that have transferred from the 2012 recruiting class. They join the above-mentioned running back Rushel Shell and defensive linemen Terrell Jackson.
As we inch closer and closer to the beginning of September and the beginning of the 2013 college football season, any kind of optimism regrading this program and their first year of ACC-membership gets bleaker and bleaker with each incident. Now yes, I said that we’re not sure that these two would have held any significance on the field in a productive manner for the Panthers–and we’re not. But what’s even more important is that by the twins deciding that they wanted out of the program, we’ll never get the chance to find out.
My concern about this program now turns to recruiting. I already have lost hope for any kind of success on the field this season, but now I’m more concerned about the future. What must go through the mind of potential recruits as they see players that they assumed they would be playing with one day decide that they don’t want to play there anymore? Of course there’s always that chance that they can look at it as they now have a chance to fill the void that is left by the transfer, but there’s also that part of their brain that doesn’t want to end up unhappy–as some of these players seem to be.
It is amazing to me, how in the course of the past year, my optimism about Pitt in the ACC has dipped so far. Being a Pennsylvania resident myself, it’s almost saddening.