Reporting Jeff Hathhorn
PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Since earlier this week when Pitt freshman tailback Rushel Shell decided to transfer, the question became, where?
Chris Peak, of PantherLair.com, is reporting Shell submitted a list of four schools to Pitt – Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and UCLA. Peak says Pitt will release Shell to UCLA or Cal, but not to Arizona or Arizona State.
Shell could still attend ASU or Arizona, but would have to pay his own way to attend; during the year he must sit out as a transfer. If Shell chose a school Pitt was okay with, he would still have to sit out a season, but his tuition and room and board could be covered by that school.
“There are coaches at both of those schools, Arizona and Arizona State, that have connections to Pitt, have connections to current Pitt players because they recruited them to Pitt,” Peak told Starkey, Miller and Mueller on 93-7 the Fan. “Pitt doesn’t want to create a situation where all of a sudden when a player is disgruntled and has a connection with Mike Novell or Todd Graham at Arizona State or Tony Dews and Calvin Magee at Arizona, can just leave and go there. And all of a sudden it’s a destination for those who want to get out.”
Pitt did released Lloyd Carrington to Arizona State last year because it’s closer to his Dallas home.
“One player is one thing,” according to Peak. “You start to release more than one player to a school, you start to worry about minor flood gates opening.”
Pitt has handled situations like this similarly in the past, according to PantherLair.com, when Joe Flacco transferred to Delaware, there was later an unnamed player looking to join him and Pitt blocked it.
“It’s being portrayed nationally and on Twitter that Pitt’s vindictive against Todd Graham or they’re just trying to hold a grudge against Rich Rodriguez,” Peak told The Fan. “I don’t think that’s the case. It’s just that those schools would be looked as a destination if you are trying to get out of Pitt.”
Peak says Shell can appeal to get released to those schools and the appeal goes to a group above the athletic department at Pitt. The appeals board would then convene, and hear the case and decide whether or not to uphold the decision or overturn it.