NCAA F

Charlie Strong sends three more Longhorns players packing

Charlie Strong dismissed six players from his Texas Longhorns squad since becoming coach. (©GettyImages)
Charlie Strong dismissed six players from his Texas Longhorns squad since becoming coach. (©GettyImages).

When Charlie Strong left Louisville this offseason to head the Texas Longhorns, he said he wouldn't take it easy on his highly-regarded squad.

After dismissing six players from the team since becoming coach, it's clear that Strong is living up to that promise.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com Friday that safety Josh Turner, running back Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins have all been dismissed for the always-nebulous crime of "violating team rules."

That adds to a list which includes senior running back Joe Bergeron, also dismissed from the program Friday, and two Longhorns receivers who were suspended Thursday after being arrested on sexual assault charges.

With each case comes a different set of circumstances, each perhaps warranting dismissal.

But surely Strong has to be worried about what will happen if he guts the team too much?

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Seniors and starters

Turner was a senior who was expected to start at safety, after already notching five previous starts in his career with 81 total tackles and two interceptions. Bergeron was entering his final season after accumulating 1,392 yards and 25 touchdowns in his time in Austin.

It's one thing to be giving up on young recruits or backups who aren't expected to contribute on Saturdays. But kids with this much experience usually don't fit the mold of a rule-breaking renegade.

Two juniors were also kicked off in March, fullback Chet Moss and defensive back Leroy Scott. 

Strong debuted a list of team rules which some said marked a "culture change" for a Texas team that hadn't lived up to expectations since reaching the national championship game in 2010.

Too tough?

But is Strong being too hard on his players?

The rules include some seeming no-brainers: attend classes, don't wear headphones and don't text in class. There were some iffy demands, such as "no earrings in the football building" and forced sprints for the position units of players who miss class.

And then there were a couple of curious demands.

For one, Strong made a rule that players could not live off campus anymore, unless they're a senior with "certain academic standards." He even got the University to buy out the leases of players who had already signed up to live off campus.

Secondly, he wrote the following: "The focus is on winning and graduating. Anything extraneous to that is a distraction and will be stamped out or removed." 

That seems fair enough - you'd be hard-pressed to find a coach who would say something different - until you remember that these are college kids who are expected to spend every waking breath focused on football despite not being paid.

Strong made it clear that he's all about winning and winning now. 

However, he is being paid $9.375 million this year to do that.

If he's not careful, that no-excuses approach to discipline could impact the team negatively.

Sure, it might toughen his athletes up.

But if there are no talented players left to play on gameday, no amount of toughness is going to be enough to win in one of college football's most competitive conferences.




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