Todd Graham told Pittsburgh Panthers AD Steve Pederson Tuesday evening that he was not allowed to speak with any other university about a coaching vacancy. Wednesday, Graham resigned and took the vacant Arizona State coaching job.
Pittsburgh made an official announcement Wednesday, which opens with a rundown of the events that led to Graham's sudden departure.
Mr. Graham first advised Mr. Pederson of his intentions via telephone Tuesday evening. During that conversation, Graham requested permission to speak to another institution. That permission was denied and he was asked to sit down in person to discuss everyone's best interest in this situation. There had been no earlier indication of a desire to leave his position at Pitt. In fact, he expressly stated that his coaching experiences at the University of Pittsburgh had been entirely positive and that his decision was based solely on personal family reasons.
Pitt executive vice chancellor and general counsel Jerry Cochran was quoted in the statement with what might be the prelude to legal action.
Obviously this is not the way we would have expected Mr. Graham to handle any possible departure...Beyond normal expectations with respect to professional conduct, he has failed to comply with the terms of his contract.
Pederson added that the search for the fourth Pitt head coach in a year has already begun.