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Rushel Shell still in limbo; taking time away from football team

Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Not much broke yesterday on the potential transfer of Pitt running back Rushel Shell. But there was this statement released from Pitt's athletics department from Paul Chryst in case you missed it:

"Like many college freshmen, Rushel is working through some challenges right now. As it is for all members of our team, my most important concern is his personal well-being. Rushel and his family have our full support. We are giving him time away from football to work through this situation but he very much remains a part of our family on a daily basis. We want to be sensitive and respectful of Rushel, and I would ask others to do the same."

As you can tell, Chryst didn't address the specific reason for the potential transfer, but that's obviously to be expected.

Where this goes from here or how much time Shell needs to make a decision is anybody's guess. The guess is that Pitt asked Shell to think about his decision and allowing him to take some off will hopefully result in a change of heart.

The good news? Shell apparently has agreed to that - otherwise, we'd probably be talking about his transfer already. Shell staying may still be a long shot - keep that in mind. But the longer it takes for an actual decision to be made is likely in Pitt's favor. Shell has plenty of reasons to stay and the more he thinks about it could mean the better chance he stays in Oakland.

So will a break in football really give Shell a change of heart? That likely depends on how close he was to leaving. I'm not sure taking time off means he's coming back if he was very close to leaving to begin with. If the decision was more of a toss-up, then I think the chance is better (rocket science, I know).

One other point worth making - if there were ever a good time for something like this to happen, it's now. Pitt is still nowhere near fall camp and actual games, and while it's not ideal for Shell to miss spring practices, he's not entirely new to the program. If he decides he wants to return to Pitt and gets back in time for the fall, no harm no foul.

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