Malik Newton, a running back who committed to Pitt in 2021, has been medically disqualified from playing at Pitt, according to Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi. The reason for the medical disqualification was not provided.
“I’m not going to get into what it is," Narduzzi told reporters on a Zoom call on Friday morning. "But I feel bad for Malik and his family. You come mid-year to college, you think you are going to play football. We got some of the greatest doctors in the world in Pittsburgh, and they find out some things that are not going to allow him to play football at Pitt.”
The news means the 5’11”, 225-pound running back’s athletic career at Pitt has effectively ended before he ever got the opportunity to suit up for the Panthers. However, he is still listed on the roster, and Narduzzi noted that he remains a member of the team.
Newton joined the program as a coveted three-star recruit last May. At the time, Rivals ranked him as the No. 20 running back in the 2021 class, and he chose Pitt over offers from programs like Clemson, Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.
Pitt has been in dire need of running back talent since the departures of Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison following the 2018 season, and Newton appeared to have the skill to become Pitt’s next great rusher. In 2019, which was his last season at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia, he ran for 2,060 yards and 32 touchdowns on 213 carries, and Lake Taylor went on to win a state title and finish 14-2.
While it appears Newton will not take the field for the Panthers, he will still get the opportunity to earn a degree if he stays at Pitt.