Well, that was quick. In the words of Chris Rock - Grand Opening, Grand Closing.
Pitt now finds itself in the unenviable position of searching for a head football coach for the second time in less than a month.
Man, so many things to get to, so little time. Well, this has really blown up in Pitt's face. A questionable hire to begin with has officially turned sour and Pitt is back to the drawing board.
Regardless of what you thought about the hire initially, Pitt should have at least earned some respect today as it moved swiftly. Even if the school was confident Haywood would be cleared, it was in a tight spot. There's recruiting to think about and Spring practice will be here before you know it. Pitt couldn't allow the distractions to linger on and on. Worse yet, if Haywood ended up not being cleared, it would have been disastrous for the school to allow him to serve as coach and need to replace him in the coming months.
Make no mistake - this has nothing to do with innocent until proven guilty. Pitt may very well believe that he could be innocent, but it had to take into account the university's reputation, the parents of players, fans, students, and the community. Just the fact that Pitt is tied into this situation - whether Haywood is innocent or not - puts the school in a bad light. Pitt had to consider the future and in the end, they couldn't risk going further down this path with the possibility of having to start over again later on.
And as ESPN.com's blogger Brian Bennett points out, keeping Haywood would have been the height of hypocrisy.
So this brings us to athletic director Steve Pederson. Is his job safe? Well, earlier Saturday, Pete Thamel of the New York Times seemed to question his authority via Twitter:
Just talked to someone with Pitt knowledge and they said it was significant that statement came from chancellor, not the AD.
But it appears that Pederson has the full support of Chancellor Mark Nordenberg: