We all heard about Todd Graham's commitment to accountability and discipline and today we saw the first strike. Mike Cruz, who was previously suspended has left the program.
Cruz, if you'll remember, was suspended before Pitt's BBVA Compass bowl game against Kentucky. He was subsequently reinstated, even catching a few balls in the game. The future looked bright and the hope was that Cruz would play a big part in the offense with a year of experience under his belt and with leading wideout Jon Baldwin gone.
Todd Graham even recently said almost as much in his Q&A with Brian Bennett over at ESPN.com:
I've been impressed with Mike Cruz and Hubie Graham, a transfer at that position. All this stuff is based on what I've seen off film. I've naturally done a lot of research, but seeing them in person and seeing how they react to our system is going to be critical. I'm very pleased what I've seen so far and think we can make a smooth transition.
That all changed since Cruz has reportedly left the program.
He was apparently suspended by Graham on Monday for a violation of team rules and, according to the brief mention, has left the team.
Who knows what went wrong, but Graham wasn't kidding around when he said discipline would be a big deal. Cruz was the perceived starter and now, just like that, Brock DeCicco is going to have an increased role.
Pitt also has Hubie Graham, a transfer from Illinois, that sat out last season. Despite playing in 20 games for the Illini, he only had four receptions over his career. Graham was highly touted out of high school and chose Illinois over several schools including Michigan, Georgia Tech, Iowa, UCLA, and Pitt. He was a four-star recruit rated by Scout and Rivals and rated as the No. 12 and No. 13 tight end in the nation respectively.
With DeCicco and Graham, Pitt isn't exactly in deep trouble at the tight end position. But Cruz, at times, looked like a good receiver, so the Panthers clearly could have used him.