Pat Narduzzi is tired of issuing statements. It's the off-season in college footbal' />
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Players’ transgressions represent tough times for Pitt, Narduzzi


I’m guessing Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi is tired of issuing statements. It’s the off-season in college football, a time of relaxation, careful planning for the season and recruiting (always recruiting).
But in the month since Pitt’s spring game, Narduzzi’s program has been smudged by the dismissal of senior defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni for unspecified violation(s?) of team rules and junior guard Alex Bookser’s DUI.
Those two cases emerged two years after Narduzzi suspended Tyler Boyd and Rori Blair for the  2015 opener after DUI arrests earlier that year.
None of this is a good look for a program that largely rid itself of such embarrassing transgressions after coaches Paul Chryst and Narduzzi were hired this decade.
Narduzzi was rough on Taleni, a projected starter who patiently waited his turn during four years of mostly sitting the bench. Narduzzi had no comment on the nature of Taleni’s case, other than a brief statement released by the school. But you have to believe he acted in the best interest of the program.
The safe assumption is he will do the same with Bookser, a returning starter on the offensive line.
Boyd and Blair (who is still on the team and could win a starting job this season) were suspended for one game for incidents that didn’t involve other vehicles. Bookser’s car hit two parked cars (one that was attended) and a building in Oakland. Is that worth a two-game suspension? Three? Will Bookser be forced to miss two of the most important games of the season — Penn State and Oklahoma State — during Weeks 2 and 3?
Much will depend on the court’s disposition of the case and Bookser’s amount of contrition, which is considerable, according to Narduzzi.
Pitt has little experienced depth on the offensive line beyond the five starters. In the spring, Narduzzi had praise for backup guard Justin Morgan, a 6-foot-6, 355-pound redshirt freshman. August training camp and the regular season,  however, present more serious obstacles.
But what is most troubling to Narduzzi and his coaching staff is this:
Bookser knows better. This didn’t have to happen.
In this age of increased awareness of the dangers of DUI, getting behind the wheel of the car while impaired is what it is — stupid.



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