A huge huge hit to the reputation of the University of Pittsburgh’s football program this morning as Sports Illustrated has unleashed an incredible report after a six-month investigation into crime rates among the nation’s college football teams, and found Pitt leading the pack by a nice comfy margin.
A total of 22 Pitt football players have police records and in the span of 60 days, four of them were arrested for quite violent altercations.
1. Senior Jabaal Sheard allegedly threw a man through the glass door of an art gallery and punched the victim in the face as he lay on his back, bleeding. He was reinstated to the team and Wannstedt defended him because he was just aiding another player and breaking up a fight.
Which is funny because I thought when people broke up a fight they stood between the fighting parties with their arms holding them apart and said, “Whoa whoa whoa. Break it up!”
I didn’t realize you were supposed to jump one of them and beat them senseless.
I can put a check mark next to “learn something new” on this day’s To Do List.
2. Driving while drunk, freshman Jason Douglas hit a male pedestrian “whom police found lying in the street, bleeding from open wounds to his head and throat. As Douglas was handcuffed he said: ‘Hey I play for Pitt football … please don’t arrest me.'”
LOL. Good one.
You almost killed a guy while driving drunk and you think because you are a redshirt at Pitt, they’ll be all, “I believe the children are our future and this kid has a future and let’s just let him off with a warning so’s we don’t mess with his future. Also, teach him well and let him lead the way.”
3. Sophomore Keith Coleman was charged with beating up one man and body slamming another who attempted to intervene.
4. Then freshman Jeffrey Knox allegedly beat and choked a woman, who police found crying and vomiting, and punched the women that came to her defense.
“Knox … open handed slapped Turner in the head with such force that she was thrown to the ground,” the police report states. “Knox then jumped on her, grabbed her by the throat, picked her up by her throat and slammed her head into the wall. He held her against the wall, continuing to choke her.”
“The charges are garbage,” Knox’s attorney, Martin Scoratow, told SI. “They don’t reflect the incident. There was something between the two of them. But it was like a teenage spat.”
Wow. Were it my daughter, I doubt my husband would look at it as a “teenage spat” and more as a “legal grounds for murder.”
What’s possibly the saddest part is that Pitt then hired a new coach, Mike Haywood, who held a press conference that he would have no tolerance for such behavior, and then was almost immediately let go after he was charged with domestic violence.
Of course, some of these charges are still waiting to be proved, but with 22 players with police records, some quite violent, you have to believe there’s a real problem here and you have to wonder if it’s Pitt’s recruiting practices that are to blame for so many problem-players wearing the uniform, or if it’s the culture of Pitt football that these kids are living in once they become part of the team that’s turning them into quasi-violent impulsive men with misguided senses of entitlement.
Either way, Pitt, fix that shit.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go put a checkmark next to “work Whitney Houston lyrics into a post.”