This one is easy.
Tyler Boyd sits.
He sits one game.
Hopefully he learns his lesson, everyone moves on and he never makes a mistake like this again.
To reiterate, it should be that simple — there’s no need to make this any more complicated or muddy it up any further.
Kids — and at 20 you’re still a kid — make mistakes and, confidently, you should get the opportunity to learn from them albeit still having to live with the consequences.
Boyd, the ultra-talented Pitt wide receiver, was stopped by Jefferson Hills Police as Thursday turned into Friday and arrested on suspicion of DUI and underage drinking. He admitted he tossed back a couple of shots while watching the NBA Finals game (doing so while not old enough to legally drink) and made the imprudent decision to climb behind the wheel thereafter.
It was irresponsible.
It was foolish.
It was reckless.
It could have had really bad consequences.
Thank goodness it didn’t; it just ended up with the star receiver having a brush with the law and no one getting hurt.
It also sounds like something many 20-year-olds do in this grand game of life; they blunder and commit an error and those who guide them give them the chance to pick themselves up and learn from it.
And that’s why this story from here needs to shift into the future for Boyd and the Pitt Panthers football squad, most important new head coach Pat Narduzzi.
Before he so much as coaches a game, Narduzzi is faced with a decision wherein he will be scrutinized and analyzed no matter what he does — or if he does nothing — to Boyd.
No matter what punishment is imposed, there will be some who feel it was too harsh, yet others who feel Narduzzi wasn’t stringent enough with his castigation.
Again, driving under the influence is nothing to be taken lightly, but in this instance a one-game suspension (the opener against Youngstown State) is sufficient from this vantage.
What better way for Boyd to understand he screwed up than to have to stand there in street clothes and watch all his boys go up and down that field against YSU in the opener, as he realizes those two shots probably frittered away a chance to put up big numbers against the Penguins.
For his part to this point, Narduzzi released the following statement: “Tyler’s situation is both serious and disappointing. We have high expectations for the young men in our program, on and off the field. Tyler understands that and knows he must be responsible for his actions. Certainly, he will be held accountable to our internal standards of discipline and behavior.”
Boyd shouldn’t go unpunished and he shouldn’t be hit with something far too heavy handed, either.
That one-game suspension sounds about right.
If I’m Pat Narduzzi — and the brass within the athletic department at Pitt — that’s the perfect way to get the point across without making the punishment too harsh.
And, more important, that’s the perfect way for Tyler Boyd to realize he screwed up while still having the people he needs most support him.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at email@example.com. Check out his bio here.