As many as eight members of the 2017-18 Pitt basketball team have asked for their release from the university, sources close to the team tell Pittsburgh Sports Now.
The requests came after a team meeting occurred on Wednesday. In addition to freshman point guard Parker Stewart, whose request for release was reported Wednesday evening, it’s believed that as many as seven other players requested their release en masse in response to last Thursday’s firing of head coach Kevin Stallings.
Of Pitt’s 11 returning scholarship players, 10 were recruited by Stallings (all but Ryan Luther) and 10 can transfer without losing a year of eligibility (all but Malik Ellison).
Players requesting their release doesn’t necessarily mean that they will transfer. When Stallings was hired, all three members of Jamie Dixon’s final recruiting class requested their release, only to all end up at Pitt.
But the timing of the requests, occurring before Pitt has made a new hire and coming in the fashion that they did signifies a serious level of discontent from within the Pitt locker room.
After the Panthers’ ACC Tournament loss to Notre Dame several players were outspoken in their praise of Stallings.
“We all believe in Coach Stallings,” forward Terrell Brown said. “He recruited all of us. He personally came to all of us. We were all freshmen. He came to us and we put our trust in him.”
Pitt has also previously had 2018 recruit Danya Kingsby from the College of Southern Idaho request his release. It is not known what type of time frame the requests will be turned around within.