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Thomas wants to stay at Pitt, his high school hoops coach says

| Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, 6:33 p.m.

Beaver Falls basketball coach Doug Biega said linebacker Todd Thomas, who quit the Pitt football team Wednesday, wants to return.

“Todd let his emotions get the best of him,” said Biega, who coached Thomas in high school. “He wants to come back. He is excited to be part of the Pitt program. Now the ball is in coach (Paul) Chryst's court.”

A source told the Tribune-Review that Chryst has not ruled out allowing Thomas to return. Chryst had no comment Thursday after practice, the second Thomas missed this week.

Biega has spent much of the past three days talking to Thomas, who started training camp Tuesday on the second team after making 13 starts the past two seasons.

“I tried to tell him life isn't always fair, and there are some things you have to deal with as a man,” Biega said. “Everybody is happier today. For him to walk away from a program he has invested so much into didn't make sense.”

Beaver Falls football coach Ryan Matsook said he was contacted by a representative from Indiana (Pa.), which has been recruiting Thomas since he said he wanted to leave Pitt.

Thomas, who was planning to meet with Chryst on Thursday, is scheduled to graduate from Pitt in December with a degree in administration of justice.

• Players wore shoulder pads for the first time in camp, and Chryst said there were mixed results. “I loved the way the guys came out and practiced,” he said. “I don't love all the results. They earned the right to practice again tomorrow. The meetings will be fun today. There was a lot of good teaching.”

• The first skirmish of training camp was a minor one, with redshirt freshman offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty getting into a brief shoving match with senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Bisnowaty said it was no big deal. “We're close inside the locker room,” he said.

• Freshman kicker Chris Blewitt hit 5 of 7 field-goal attempts, missing from 41 and 46 yards, but hitting the last one from 47.

— Jerry DiPaola

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