The consequences of breaking Charlie Strong’s core values has taken center stage this week on the University of Texas campus.
The casualty list is long, and could grow.
First Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were suspended indefinitely on Thursday following their arrest for sexual assault in Meander’s dorm room. UT Police completed a month-long investigation, and have charged the players. If the details released are true, both players will see their Longhorn college careers end.
Then late Thursday night – as Longhorn fans tried to digest the Sanders/Meander news – reports came out that three more players were under scrutiny. This news was later confirmed by Orangebloods.com, and that Josh Turner, Jalen Overstreet and Chevoski Collins were removed from the team for rules violations. Later in the day on Friday it was announced that Joe Bergeron has also been dismissed from the team. That makes six players either dismissed or suspended from the football team in less than 24 hours.
If Strong is trying to make a statement, it should be received loud and clear by the rest of the roster. Playing for the Texas Longhorns is a privilege, not a right.
The men’s basketball and baseball teams had to deal with entitlement running throughout both programs. Rick Barnes jettisoned several players from a 16-18 team who didn’t buy into his style. The end result? A rejuvenated program that made a return trip to the NCAA tournament. Augie Garrido focused on team building exercises, not baseball drills, in the offseason. He then took a refocused team to within a game of playing for the College World Series championship.
Strong came to Texas ready to shake the program up. The team needed it. He laid out how things were going to be done under his watch. His core values were one of Strong’s first lessons. The players were given the chance to buy in, or hit the road.
The timing of the dismissals makes sense. Big 12 Media Days had just wrapped up, so Strong was able to avoid an onslaught of questions in Dallas. Fall practice starts Aug. 4. You can bet this will be a focused group on that day.
This is a very fluid situation, and things can change for the better or the worse.
One thing is for sure – Strong means business, and his core values have teeth.