Longhorns' Charlie Strong announces more injuries, more suspensions

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Charlie Strong probably didn't want it this way.

We let you know in early August when the former Louisville coach dismissed and/or suspended six players for various team offenses.

Strong tactics

Now the heads keep rolling: Strong announced two more suspensions, this time for his two starting offensive tackles, heading into Texas' big matchup against BYU on Saturday.

Though Strong did say he was planning to bring discipline to the Texas Longhorns, who severely lacked any semblance of consistency in the last few years of coach Mack Brown's tenure, this can't be part of the  plan.

That's not to claim any sort of preternatural ability to read the head coach's mind.

It's simply an assertion that most coaches, if given the choice, wouldn't want to gut half their roster and multiple starters before their inaugural season.

But if that's required to fulfil Strong's vision for his team, well, so be it.

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Insults and injuries

It's hard to discern whether Strong still has the locker room behind him after levying multiple suspensions and releases that will probably affect the team's ability to win games this year.

It certainly doesn't help when he downplays the ability of his players.

After hearing that starting quarterback David Ash will be out with concussion symptoms against BYU — a team that destroyed the Longhorns 40-21 last season — Strong remained unworried.

After announcing that he had suspended starting tackles Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle for "team rules violations," the coach once again said he was unconcerned.

"It's not like it's the end of the world," Strong said to ESPN and other outlets.

"We know we have got to go play a football game, and that's what we're going to do."

The thing is, going and playing a football game is much easier when you have the best players on the field.

In the chess match that pits talented athletes against other talented athletes, starting a backup quarterback behind an offensive line that is missing two experienced starters might be ceding checkmate before the game has even started.

Ridiculous Rules

What's especially troubling with Strong's tough stance is that his players may be suspended for seemingly innocuous offenses.

Among the new coach's team rules, as we reported months ago, are a series of stipulations that some would call micro-managing at best, absurd at worst.

They include the following: players must sit in the front rows of classes, are not allowed to live off campus and cannot have "cliques."

If those are the coach's listed rules, you can bet that he has a number of more serious punishments for other transgressions.

The problem is, we don't know why these players were suspended this time.

All we know is that Strong is a disciplinarian who is willing to shoot his own team in the foot over rule-breaking.

Only time will tell if that strategy translates to success on the football field.

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