Defensive back Tony Butler was an early Pitt recruit for the 2016 class. It now sounds like he may never make it onto campus.
Last month, I wrote about Butler's declaration that he was continuing to take other visits despite the Pitt commitment. His line of "I can't be 100% committed when it's this early...", was somewhat classic since, you know, the definition of a commitment is that you're all in.
That aside, Butler certainly isn't alone in this confused world we live in and to single him out for that would be unfair. Recruits regularly commit to schools while still pursuing every single option they can. A recent Scout article, though, shows Butler is really taking things to another level. Butler says he remains committed to Pitt, but Arizona State is actually is leader.
I'm not going to comment on many of his specific quotes because I think picking on a high school kid for what he says is pretty unfair. And FWIW, he fully understands if Pitt pulls his offer:
"It's kind of a difficult situation because I have such a good relationship with the coaches and the city," Butler said. "It's hard to break away. I definitely want to take my official visits and branch out a little bit. Hopefully they understand that. If they don't and I have to decommit, I understand that as well.
Still, remaining committed to one school while declaring another your favorite is a bit over the top, no?
Should Pitt pull his offer? I don't know, and to try to answer that without knowing his feelings for the school and vice versa would be shortsighted. But as JD said recently on Twitter, it's getting kind of ridiculous. It's pretty clear that Butler isn't just torn between Pitt and one other school. Several schools are in the mix here. He's committed to Pitt. Arizona State is his favorite. And in that earlier article, he seemed pretty interested in Michigan, too. On top of that, he's taking several visits. Pitt is not only not in the driver's seat, they may not even be in the car.
Pitt is in a difficult situation here. They don't have the prestige of a Top Ten program, but on the other hand, if they're trying to establish themselves as a 'player', they can't allow recruits to pretty much trample all over their offers, either.
Athletic director Scott Barnes talked recently on The Fan and said the head football job was a destination job and should be treated as such. He talked before about winning championships. It's pretty clear that the goal of the school is to try to raise the profile of its football program and things like this kind of make a mockery of what you're doing.
I don't fault Butler here. He's young and we were all immature at that age. And when you're being pulled in multiple directions, it gets pretty hard to stop the madness. But at the same time, Pitt (as Butler acknowledges) needs to do what's best for them, too.
Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.