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Texas opens camp with suspensions, dismissals

Strong Confirms Dismissals, Suspensions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- New Texas coach Charlie Strong opened his first Longhorns training camp with a tough message for his players: break the rules and there will be consequences.

Strong announced that three potential starters will miss at least one game for team rules violations and confirmed several other players had been dismissed.

Offensive lineman Desmond Harrison, wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner all will miss at least one game for rules violations but will be allowed to practice. Strong said he hasn't decided yet if they will miss more than one game.

Texas opens the season Aug. 30 at home against North Texas. The Longhorns play BYU and UCLA the next two weeks in state.

Dismissed from the Longhorns and released from their scholarship were running backs Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet, both of whom would have struggled for playing time in a crowded backfield, and safety Chevoski Collins. Bergeron had 1,392 career rushing yards with 25 touchdowns but shared carries with Malcolm Brown and Jonathan Gray last season as his role diminished.

Strong wouldn't detail the rules violations other than to say the players broke the core values he stresses of honesty, treating women with respect, no guns and no drugs.

"You have 85 guys on scholarship. If 80 of them are doing it the right way, why can't the rest of them do it the right way?" Strong said. "They knew the first day I took the job, when I laid out the core values in that first team meeting, what the program is all about."

Strong also said wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, who were suspended in July after being arrested on rape charges, will not be allowed to return regardless of how their legal cases turn out. Both are scheduled for court appearances next week.

"They can't work their way back," Strong said.

Texas hired Strong away from Louisville to replace Mack Brown after 16 seasons and four straight years without a Big 12 title. He signed a 5-year contract worth more than $25 million.

While player attrition can be a natural part of a coaching change, Strong said he didn't try to run anyone out of the program.

"We're not in the business of kicking young men out," Strong said. "The three that were dismissed were repeat offenders. It was constantly over and over and over. At some point, you have to do something."

Strong shrugged off the idea that the suspensions would hurt the Longhorns on the field. The roster still has plenty of talent, Strong said.

"It's not like because we suspended some guys we're going to walk in without players," Strong said. "We have players, now it's about developing them."

David Ash starts training camp as the projected starter at quarterback despite missing most of last season with concussion symptoms and part of spring with a broken bone in his foot. Strong said Ash has been cleared to fully participate in practice but that he's talked to Ash about trying to avoid tackles.

Strong called his first seven months on the job exciting and enjoyable but that he's ready to put a team on the field.

"Now it's time to go build this football team," Strong said.

Join the discussion

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BILLY August 03 2014 at 6:53 PM

Great job Coach !!!!These thugs and hooligans need the boot.

Coach Strong is a real man.He has core values.He is full of Integrity.
Texas got them a new fan today.
Hook 'Em Horns.

Flag Reply +58 rate up
4 replies
billcdaly August 03 2014 at 6:57 PM

Applause for this coach.
Finally someone who sees the bigger picture.

Flag Reply +46 rate up
3 replies
Lito Abelardo August 03 2014 at 7:37 PM

About time we have a straight forward and honest to goodness coach who could bring the lost good image to this field of sports. In fact anybody who has been criminally charged should be out of the game until cleared. Felony= dismissed, Traffic violations such as DUI-suspension. He is responsible not only to build a winning team but a role model for the youth.

Flag Reply +41 rate up
3 replies
rb August 03 2014 at 7:59 PM

I'm not a Longhorn fan, but I am a Coach Strong fan.

Flag Reply +39 rate up
investigatorkch August 03 2014 at 7:31 PM

good for you coach

Flag Reply +36 rate up
Jim August 03 2014 at 8:20 PM

Now if more collages would follow suit and dump the turds. ( hint hint Florida state )

Flag Reply +32 rate up
8 replies
John Roberson August 03 2014 at 7:25 PM

a no nonsense coach at Texas, will miracles happen at other schools?

Flag Reply +29 rate up
2 replies
Carol John Roberson August 03 2014 at 7:31 PM

yes, yes, yes-----about time!!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Marquita John Roberson August 03 2014 at 8:46 PM

Not if it takes $5M a year to get a coach like this.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
mociambz Marquita August 04 2014 at 9:48 AM

another liberal democrat I see. all you ever think about is if they make more money than your worthless butt

Flag +2 rate up
brenhatestwinkie August 03 2014 at 8:13 PM


Flag Reply +24 rate up
torp8r August 03 2014 at 8:18 PM

Good decision coach !

Flag Reply +22 rate up
runswthscisors40 August 03 2014 at 7:03 PM

In the words of Steve Harvey......"Well, now that we have that boooolsheeeit outta da way........."..........

Flag Reply +18 rate up
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