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Pitt’s Dior Johnson pleads guilty to two misdemeanors

Johnson could be back with the Panthers soon, comes down to board decision

Dior Johnson, the highest recruited player of the Pittsburgh Panthers 2022 recruiting class pled guilty today to two misdemeanors counts of domestic violence and will serve one year of probation.

This is the end result of a court case stemming from a September arrest in which Johnson slapped and punched a woman that he was involved in a relationship with on September 5th, per the Pittsburgh Police report.

Johnson’s sentence was reduced on account of a plea deal, as he was originally charged with a misdemeanor count of simple assault as well as a felony count of strangulation.

In the time following the arrest, Johnson was barred from all team activities, as well as the Pitt campus.

The status of Johnson’s indefinite suspension from the basketball team is now in the hands of the Pitt administration, as it is unknown at this point whether Johnson will be reinstated and allowed back, or if the suspension will continue. The University of Pittsburgh released the following statement in regard to Johnson.

“Pitt continues to follow University and athletic department protocols regarding Dior Johnson’s suspension. All parties continue to work through the process and will not comment until additional steps have been completed.”

What happens next will be an interesting reflection of the culture of Pitt sports, and of coach Jeff Capel IV and his Panther team. Before a loss to Vanderbilt in their last contest, the Panthers had won five straight and were looking like a team that was better than originally expected.

The introduction of Johnson could affect chemistry both on the court as well as in the locker room, as players may have different feelings about welcoming back a teammate with a history of violence against women into the locker room.

Would Johnson make the Pitt basketball team better? The short answer is yes, but there is certainly more to this than just basketball. A person’s ability as an athlete should not supersede the importance of a positive culture and respect toward others.