After missing six of Pitt’s final seven games of the 2017 season, sophomore running back Chawntez Moss will not be back with the team next year.
Moss said in a Twitter direct message Monday he decided to transfer on his own, contradicting a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that stated he had been dismissed from the team. Pitt athletics spokesperson E.J. Borghetti stood by that report when reached for comment Monday morning.
“He was dismissed from the program and that will be our only comment on his departure,” Borghetti said.
Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi suspended Moss indefinitely prior to the team’s 27-24 loss to Syracuse Oct. 7. The running back then missed the team’s next three games before returning for Pitt’s 34-31 loss to North Carolina Nov. 9. Moss touched the ball once in that game — a 3-yard carry — then did not appear in the Panthers’ last two games of the season.
After rushing for 227 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries as a true first year, playing behind James Conner in 2016, Moss aimed to compete with Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall for the starting spot at running back in 2017. But Moss didn’t appear in the team’s season opener against Youngstown State and Narduzzi declined to say why.
He then played in the team’s next four games but struggled to match his production from last season behind a depleted offensive line. He ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries and added five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the five games played.
Moss, who will have to sit out the 2018 season because of NCAA transfer eligibility rules, said he hasn’t yet decided what school he plans to transfer to.