Pitt freshman Dior Johnson will serve a year of probation after he pled guilty to two second-degree misdemeanor charges Friday morning, stemming from a September domestic abuse incident.
Pitt suspended Johnson indefinitely following his October arrest, as he faced six charges — including a felony strangulation charge. Four of his initial charges were dropped at his preliminary hearing on Oct. 20 and his felony strangulation charge was reduced Friday.
Johnson was charged with misdemeanor strangulation and simple assault. Pitt Athletics released a statement following Johnson’s trial:
“Pitt continues to follow University and athletic department protocols regarding Dior Johnson’s suspension. All parties continue to work through the process and will not comment until additional steps have been completed.”
The decision to reinstate Johnson now falls on the school board and the university athletic department. If he is reinstated, Johnson’s lawyer Robert Del Greco would have to file a petition to request for a travel permit for Johnson to travel with the team while on probation.
Johnson has been receiving mental health counseling from UPMC’s Tim Wimbush over the past few months (eight sessions), and the court ordered that he must either participate in a batterers’ intervention program or continue receiving counseling from Wimbush if Wimbush is able to certify that he can provide equivalent treatments to the batterers’ intervention standards.
“My understanding of the policy is an individual who is either charged with a felony or is convicted of a felony is, per se, ineligible to be on campus or to participate in those kind of matters,” Del Greco said. “He has now been convicted of two misdemeanors, which I think removes the blanket prohibition. Whether or not the dean of student affairs, the athletic director, or the coach, in consideration of what happened today, might revise their prohibitions — I don’t know. I have not been in touch with any of those. I am going to urge him to see if he can have those people revisit the prohibition in light of what happened today.”
Pitt is 6-4 this season, as Johnson has not played in a game, and it is uncertain if he will return to playing basketball at Pitt this season or at all.