On Tuesday, Todd Thomas was a member of Pitt's football team. Wednesday, coach Paul Chryst announced that Thomas had decided to leave the program.
Now? He's somewhere in between.
The redshirt junior linebacker was not at the third practice of training camp Thursday, but his high school basketball coach told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Thomas intends to return to the Pitt football team.
When Chryst was asked after practice Thursday if there had been any change in Thomas' status, he declined comment.
"I told you when something changed, I'll talk about it," Chryst said. "And I promise you that."
Beaver Falls basketball coach Doug Biega, who coached Thomas in high school, said he has talked to Thomas frequently the past few days and said Thomas has set his sights on returning to the team.
Biega said Thomas was upset about being put on the second team when Pitt opened training camp Tuesday and likely overreacted.
"We talked through the last couple of days and I told him, 'Maybe you're just being tested. Maybe they're picking the biggest bully on the playground to try and get the rest of the guys motivated,' " Biega said. "Todd's an emotional kid, he maybe absorbed a little bit of what I said, hopefully, but he's right where he should be right now. There's no way he should've left the program."
Thomas could not be reached for comment Thursday. Tuesday, he said he planned to use the move to the second team as motivation.
"I guess that's how the cookie crumbles, and I just have to go out every day and work hard and earn a spot," Thomas said.
Instead, he did not show up for practice Wednesday. When Chryst announced Thomas' decision to leave the team, he did not answer when asked if Thomas would transfer, seemingly leaving the door open for a return.
Thomas finished last year as Pitt's fourth-leading tackler, with 59 stops, despite playing just nine games as he recovered from offseason anterior cruciate ligament surgery.
Biega said Thomas, who has come back from two ACL surgeries in his time with the Panthers, met with the coaching staff Wednesday night.
After a few days of thinking it over, Biega said Thomas fully intends to return to the team.
"It doesn't take much to push his buttons, and they've been pushed," Biega said. "He's ready to go.
"I just told him to be himself, be the guy they recruited and do it at 500 miles an hour. That's all he ever does."
Despite the melodrama of the past few days, Biega praised Thomas' character dating to his time at Beaver Falls.
"He fought through all the injuries, stayed loyal to the school through the coaching changes, was due to graduate, hasn't gotten into one ounce of trouble," Biega said.
"This is just another step on his journey, and I hope he continues his path."
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SWernerPG. First Published August 9, 2013 4:00 AM