In case you missed it - and considering it was released at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon - apparently Pitt's media relations people are trying to emulate the White House when it comes to releasing bad news after everyone who could speak about it is gone for the weekend in hopes that it goes away and is swept under the rug - you might have - tackle Juantez Hollins was suspended for the year, quarterback Mark Myers is leaving and receiver Chris Davis is suspended for a week.
At any rate, in the grand scheme of things the only significant development is that Pitt director of operations Chris LaSala may have to go put signs up around the Student Union as well as take out ads in the Pitt News asking that anyone with experience playing the offensive line contact him and considering walking on like it is 1996 and 97 all over again.
That's because losing Hollins is a big blow, not because he was the second coming of Bill Fralic, but mostly because he is the only experienced tackle on the roster. Yeah, I know Matt Rotheram played some last year and started a couple of games but for the most part he is still an inexperienced player and the tackle position is in big, big trouble now. Believe me, it was in trouble before Hollins was suspended, now it is in critical condition.
There just aren't enough tackles on this roster - the alternatives are a junior college transfer who I think was at least initially a walk-on and has yet to show much consistency in Zenel Demhasaj, Tom Ricketts, a North Allegheny graduate who transferred from Penn State and is, at least right now, considering a bit of a project, Justin Virbitsky, a converted tight end and Adam Bisnowaty, an incoming freshman from Fox Chapel.
Obviously some other guys will emerge during camp from other positions but as it is right now, shoring up the tackle spot is now, or at least should be, the top priority of the coaching staff during camp.
As for Myers, this has been in the works for a while and should surprise nobody. He didn't participate, or participated very little, in anything having to do with the program since the spring game and frankly it just wasn't going to work. There was some talk he had transferred a few weeks ago but it wasn't until Thursday that he finally told Pitt coaches he was leaving.
We knew the kid was a project when he arrived on campus but I don't think anyone could have predicted this is how his career would play out. He lacked consistency, he lacked a sense of urgency, coaches questioned his work ethic often and he just never came accross as a guy who really loves to play football.
Without him, the Panthers will look to either Trey Anderson or Chad Voytik to be the backup and go from there.
As for Chris Davis, he almost certainly was going to redshirt anyway and, well, he is only missing a week so this is not significant in any way, other than the fact that he is starting his college career off on the wrong foot.
Camp starts Monday and that will also be our first time to talk to Paul Chryst about what these decisions really mean to Pitt and what the plan is going forward.