Five days after three Pittsburgh football players were detained, following a narcotics investigation, head coach Paul Chryst removed two of them from the team.
Juniors Drew Carswell and Eric Williams are now gone from the team. The third player suspended in the incident, Khaynin Mosley-Smith, remains suspended indefinitely.
“We have strict and clear standards regarding these types of behaviors,” Chryst said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. “What has occurred with these three young men does not represent the standards of our program or university.”
Carswell was expected to be a major contributor at tight end this year. He finished with 13 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. Though he would have battled J.P. Holtz for reps, and appeared in various packages with Holtz and others, the tight end is counted on heavily in this offense.
Carswell's departure opens the door for freshman Scott Orndoff--who caught two passes for 42 yards, both touchdowns, in the spring game--to see the field this year. Manasseh Garner, who caught 10 passes for 100 yards in the spring game, transferred from Wisconsin a year ago, and will be counted on even more. True freshmen Tony Harper and Devon Edwards will join the mix in August. Fullback Mark Giubilato may contribute in a hybrid role even more in a hybrid role.
Of the three suspensions as a result of this incident, the biggest loss from a depth standpoint is Williams. Though he was moved to safety for the spring, his loss means the team. Four safeties for the moment--senior Jason Hendricks, junior Ray Vinopal, redshirt freshman Ryan Lewis and incoming freshman Rachid Ibrahim.
Williams started 11 of 13 games at outside linebacker in 2012, finishing with 52 tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses, two fumble recoveries and an interception. He finished with a career-high 10 tackles in the overtime loss at Notre Dame.
"He's got a lot of range," defensive coordinator Matt House said of Williams, in a spring football interview. "It's a position where we need some depth, and a position (switch) we feel will help our defense."
With the removal of Carswell and Williams, who were both members of Dave Wannstedt's final full recruiting class in 2010. Only 11 members of the 24 players signed in that class are active on the roster. The 2009 class has seven players who either left the program, or were removed from the team.
That wasn't the only personnel news of the day. Freshman quarterback TraVon Chapman has been suspended indefinitely, following a pair of misdemeanors filed in a criminal complaint. The alleged incident took place in Chapman's home in Kent, Ohio, Friday night.
According to the criminal complaint, Chapman grabbed the female victim by the neck and pulled her hair. He also prevented the victim, whose name was not released, from leaving the scene.
Chapman was one of four 2013 signees who enrolled early and were able to participate in spring drills.