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Jeff Knox Booted From Pitt Football Team

Are the Pitt Panthers totally out of control? That's the question being asked around Pittsburgh after another player got into some hot water off the field.

Freshman DB Jeff Knox, who attended Central Catholic in his freshman and sophomore years of high school, has been dismissed from the team by coach Dave Wannstedt after a very ugly alleged incident with a woman at Chatham University last night.

According to a criminal complaint filed by university police, Mr. Knox met with a woman he knows at Fickes Hall at Chatham and they argued. At some point, the woman tried to hit him. Mr. Knox then slapped her in the head, knocking her to the ground. He jumped on her, grabbed her by the throat, picked her up by the throat and slammed her head into a wall, according to the complaint. Mr. Knox was charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
This is the fourth nasty incident for the Panthers since July, which now takes in Jabaal Sheard's South Side brawl, Jason Douglas' DUI/hit-and-run/underage drinking trifecta (which also took down Dan Mason), and Keith Coleman breaking a guy's collarbone in Oakland.
Paul Zeise wrote a long piece on the discipline issues going on at Pitt right now, which is a must-click for anyone with an opinion on what's going on in Oakland these days.  According to Zeise, "Often there are things guys do behind the scenes to get in trouble and they are never reported - then when they get into trouble with the law it may be their third or fourth offense." So I'm willing to guess that this was not the first misstep Knox made during his time at Pitt, being that Wannstedt has already taken the step to throw him off the team.
The timing of the latest distraction could not have come at a worse time for Wannstedt, who had to deal with this while preparing for tonight's ESPN-televised marquee matchup with Miami at Heinz Field. The Panthers, who will be without DE Greg Romeus, are 3.5 point home underdogs against the 1-1 Hurricanes. Miami leaads the all-time series with the Panthers, 21-9-1, and has not lost to Pitt since 1997.

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