News broke earlier that Rushel Shell has been excluded from transferring to certain schools - and as expected, that list includes Arizona State. As I said before in the comments section here, I expected Pitt would stop him from heading there. The Todd Graham thing is too fresh in their minds.
One thing I've found mildly amusing is the outcry from Arizona State fans insisting he should be allowed to go there. Two things here - First, if Shell really wants to go there, he still can. Pitt can only stop him from receiving a scholarship in his first season. Shell can go there as a walk-on and pay his own way in his first year. And if you think that's preposterous, consider that Shell could also get financial aid like most students, and pay it off when he leaves school (presumably for the NFL). That modest amount will easily be paid off with an NFL contract without blinking.
Second is that Arizona State fans have kicked and screamed about Pitt being bitter in all of this. Let's make things clear - Pitt is bitter. But here's the thing - for Arizona State fans (or fans of any school, to be honest) to act as if they wouldn't be either is preposterous. Imagine this scenario - Todd Graham leaves Arizona State this offseason to take his dream job with the school landing their biggest recruit in years. Are you really so naive to believe their fans would be so gracious? Of course not. Glass houses, folks.
Then there was this work of art by ESPN's Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller. Unfortunately for him, his few valid points are buried in between his incessant ramblings. In the end, Miller comes across as sounding like an annoying 12 year-old kid. Among the gems in Miller's article:
The only other explanation is that Chryst and Pitt hate freedom.
Then there was the genius headline being endlessly (and rightfully, I add parenthetically) mocked on the Twittersphere and in the comments section of that post: 'Pitt hates freedom?!'
Even beyond that, though, is that the main point of contention seems to be with Pitt fans instead of Pitt's administration. Seriously, you do know that fans don't personally have a say so in where Shell ends up, right? Miller appears to be hoping to convince Pitt fans to rush the Cathedral and insist Shell be freed.
Lulz. You can criticize the ramblings of this blog all you want. But unlike Miller, we're not doing this for a living. How someone at ESPN didn't get a hold of his 'Pitt hates freedom?!' title and rip it to shreds is pretty unbelievable to me. And while commenters here have ripped Big East blogger Andrea Adelson, I've never seen her stoop to something like this. Miller sounds like a juvenile when he takes to an entire article bashing Pitt's fanbase.
Is the move right or wrong? I don't know and frankly, I just don't care all that much. I'd prefer not to see Shell end up at Arizona State but if it happened, it is what it is. Chris Peak believes Shell will appeal to the NCAA. On the surface, you may think Pitt can't possibly win this appeal. But surprisingly, an Arizona State player may have ensured they do. He tweeted a shout out to Shell when, by all indications, he hadn't even filed his transfer papers yet. While a tampering charge can't be proven by that alone, any rational person would come to the conclusion that it's quite possible everything wasn't on the up and up. That may be enough to help Pitt win their case.
With that said, wake me when it's over.