24 hours after being arrested on a domestic violence charge in South Bend, Indiana, Michael Haywood has been fired as head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Haywood was just hired December 16 to replace Dave Wannstedt who resigned after 6 seasons on the job.
Haywood was freed from the St. Joseph County Jail Saturday afternoon after posting $1,000 cash bond. This comes after the charge was increased to a felony. Haywood is accused of pushing, grabbing and choking the mother of his 21 month old son during a custody dispute.
Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg issued a statement saying that after careful consideration of recent events the university dismissed Haywood effective immediately.......
“To be clear, the University’s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded. Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances.
“This is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him. However, head coaches are among the University’s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the University.
Nordenberg went on to say that the university is immediately re-opening its search for head football coach and expanding the process to include a larger pool of candidates. The statement said the goal is to move swiftly but prudently “ to find the right person to successfully lead the Pitt football program for what we hope will be an extended period of time.”