Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quiet Offseason No More

Funny how things can change just like that. Just last month, all was quiet on the homestead:
"This has really been a quiet offseason in a lot of ways," Wannstedt said. "I think the guys are working hard and we are probably a lot healthier, too, than we've been. But from a standpoint of major changes, I don't think there are many, if any, and we're in very good shape to move forward."

The fact that there won't be any major shake-ups, either with the coaching staff or personnel, makes this a different offseason for Wannstedt, considering the coaching changes, transfers and major surgeries he has dealt with since he arrived at Pitt in 2005.
Now this isn't a catastrophic loss, but I think it certainly qualifies as a major one.

Fields was a starter who was finally starting to show some of the promise that had been affixed to him after being a fairly highly-rated recruit. Had he not previously had any troubles, such as the 2007 suspension, he might have been able to skate by on this latest issue. This latest issue, officially forcing him out of the program, is obviously bringing up the talk about 'wasted talent.'

Now comes the part where I don't excuse his error (which apparently was posting videos of him partying and drinking on Twitter), but I will point out that had it not been for his prior offenses, barring absolute obscene or offensive content, this almost certainly wouldn't have led to his dismissal. Fields had no margin for error and had to be on his best behavior, which he apparently was not.


  1. I'm not so sure of your last paragraph. Anytime a player under scholarship alludes, in public or private, to have been paid to play football at the University he suits up for... its a real problem and one that may be grounds for dismissal in of itself, no matter when it happens.

    I think some fans tend to look at the player-university relationship in too 'legalistic' terms... That doesn't come into play in a athletic scholarship & team roster situation. As we say in the military a player "serves at the pleasure of the President". In other words he remains on the roster solely by the grace of the head coach - there is no union involved, no student disciplinary committee to see if he remains on the roster or not - it is at the discretion of the coach.

    That is also why Fields was allowed to remain a student until this year's scholarship expires - as we all know scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis. Unlike Baldwin's incident where he was alleged to assault another student - that case warranted consideration by the University for Baldwin as a student and required the student disciplinary committee to address it - Fields' case did not.

  2. Not sure I'm following - did Fields allude to a fact that he may have been paid? Or are you saying that a harsh enough incident, such as 'pay for play' is enough to warrant a dismissal?