Pitt football: Backup quarterback says arrest, suspension a learning experience
Pitt head coach Todd Graham poses with quarterback Anthony Gonzalez during media day Monday afternoon.
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Anthony Gonzalez knows he made a mistake, but he refuses to let that lapse in judgment define who he is or derail what he hopes will be a long, productive career with Pitt.
The Panthers backup quarterback spoke publicly Monday for the first time since he was arrested May 20 in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pa., on charges of marijuana possession.
Gonzalez was suspended for the first two games of the season and also had, as coach Todd Graham described it, some "internal accountability."
"I deserve what I got, and I've learned from it," Gonzalez said.
"I should have never put myself in that situation. I should not have never been there [in a car with some friends, where the arrest occurred]. I'm just ready to move on and be a part of this team."
Gonzalez, who applied for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition of his possession charge and will be arraigned Sept. 1, said he felt like he let the team down.
He knew it was an especially bad time to get in trouble because it came on the heels of a Sports Illustrated article, published in March, which reported that Pitt had the most players arrested (22) of any program ranked in the magazine's 2010 preseason Top 25 poll.
"With Pitt being the No. 1 team [in players arrested], then me just adding on to that ... I was disappointed in myself and also disappointed in doing that to the team and the coaches," Gonzalez said.
"I also had a big chance of playing and being productive ... but it is all over with now.
"I just need to learn from it and keep moving on, and when something sets you back, you have to keep pushing forward."
Gonzalez said he is lucky in that he didn't throw away his entire career and will make the most of the second chance granted to him by Graham.
"Being out late, being the wrong place at the wrong time, especially with the wrong people, I just can't do that," Gonzalez said.
"I need to be mature, I have too much to lose. I'm suspended for two games, and that set me back some, but I just need to keep pushing forward."
First Published August 9, 2011 12:00 am