Here are some notes from Pitt’s football Media Day on Friday at the South Side facilities.
*** The day began with senior defensive end Jabaal Sheard reading from a brief statement in the wake of his plea to summary offense disorderly conduct and reinstatement to the team on Wednesday. Sheard didn’t take any questions from a roomful of gathered media, but did speak to reporters later in the morning when the entire team got together on the practice field for separate media interviews and various team photos.
Here is Sheard’s full text:
*** “Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. I am proud to be a student and football player here at the University of Pittsburgh. I know the high standards that we have set here at Pittsburgh and it is an honor to call myself a Panther.
“Last month I made a huge mistake that reflected poorly upon my school and my family. I am deeply sorry for that. I want to sincerely apologize to my coaches and teammates as well as my family for my actions. I am told them I will work hard to gain their respect and be a leader on and off the field.”
*** Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt followed by taking the podium and defending his decision to reinstate Sheard without any suspension. Sheard is still subject to some internal discipline – read: running wind sprints, etc. – but barring any future goof ups he will be available for the Sept. 2 opener at Utah.
Here is Wannstedt’s full text:
“I want to say this. Hear me loud and clear, please. After gathering all the information and our legal system took its course, I am very comfortable — we are very comfortable — with the decision that we made concerning Jabaal. We all know that we have had players in the past, as every school does, off the field, on the field, whatever reasons, it hasn’t worked out. My responsibility to this university and these kids is to be consistent and fair with the facts and handle it accordingly. That’s really all I have to say about that.”