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Pitt running back Shell to transfer

| Monday, April 1, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt running back Rushel Shell takes a break during the first day of spring practice Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on the South Side.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt running back Rushel Shell celebrates with Jason Hendricks after beating Virginia Tech on Sept. 15, 2012, at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt running back Rushel Shell practices Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on the South Side.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt running back Rushel Shell takes a handoff during the first day of spring practice Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on the South Side.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt running back Rushel Shell works out during the first day of spring practice Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Former Pitt running back Rushel Shell said he will decide between West Virginia and Kentucky on Friday.

Pitt running back Rushel Shell told coach Paul Chryst he will transfer from the university, ending his stay with the team after one season, a source close to the situation told the Tribune-Review on Monday night.

Shell and Chryst will have further talks Tuesday to discuss releasing Shell from his scholarship and where he can transfer. NCAA transfer rules mandate that a student-athlete must receive written permission from his initial school before he can contact another institution.

Pitt also has the right to block Shell from transferring to certain schools. If he transfers to another FBS school, he must sit out the 2013 season.

Shell didn't return telephone calls Monday night to the Tribune-Review.

Shell, who would have been Pitt's marquee running back this year in its first season in the ACC, has missed the past three spring practice sessions. He pulled himself out of drills March 22 with an injury and has not returned, amidst a report he was upset with coaches' criticism after a scrimmage.

Four days after Shell's final practice, a source close to Shell said he was considering transferring. Chryst last week excused Shell indefinitely from team functions, saying in a statement that the rising sophomore running back was “working through some challenges.” The coach also offered his “full support” to Shell and his family.

Later, while speaking to reporters, Chryst declined to answer questions about Shell's possible return.

Shell was one of the centerpieces of Pitt's 2012 recruiting class, joining other prospects in helping keep the group together after the sudden departure of former coach Todd Graham in December 2011. Shell committed to Pitt during his senior season at Hopewell, where he set a state rushing record with 9,078 yards.

Last season, Shell rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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