Pitt's Ian Troost kneels during anthem; coach fine with it

Pitt third-string placekicker Ian Troost took a knee during the national anthem, a decision that was fine with coach Pat Narduzzi and the rest of the Panthers.

"I'm never going to tell a guy you can't do something," Narduzzi told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review after Pitt's 35-17 loss to NC State.

Narduzzi said he would continue to stand for the anthem with his hand over his heart.

Said offensive tackle Brian O'Neill: "We know as players on this team, with this coach and this AD, we have the freedom to express ourselves."

Senior offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith stood behind the walk-on Troost with his hand on his teammate's shoulder during the anthem.

"What we've talked about is if you're going to do that, you're trying to make a statement, we're going to stick together," Narduzzi told the newspaper. "Someone had his hand on his shoulder saying, 'We're with you.'''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.