Cover your eyes, Texas fans.
Just when Saturday’s mind-boggling overtime loss to Kansas was the low point in the Charlie Strong era, the school’s athletic department seems poised to further drive this spiraling disaster into the turf.
On Sunday, news of Strong’s alleged dismissal spread like wildfire on social media. Within minutes, just about every major sports media outlet – which of course used “sources” – said Strong’s tenure on the Forty Acres was at its end.
And then the circus began.
Mike Perrin, Texas men’s athletic director, put out a statement calling the news “rumors.”
Strong, to his credit, deflected questions about his future until his weekly Monday press conference, which was attended by players in solidarity. Strong, according to reports, doesn’t believe the administration has made up their minds on his future just yet.
How Texas decides Strong’s tenure isn’t the issue anymore.
The problem becomes Texas’ approach, or lack thereof, regarding Strong’s retention or dismissal.
To wait a full week without giving Strong a definative answer to his future is heartbreaking.
With everything the man has done during his time at Texas, Strong should have been given notice of the administration’s intentions after the Kansas game.
Yes, there is one last game left in the season. Texas, however, shouldn’t wait to make a decision.
In my mind, Strong should have coached his final game at Texas on Saturday.
The loss to Kansas was a total debacle for a coach who’s teetered on thin ice for much of this season.
Texas, a team that’s waffled between good, better-than-mediocre and terrible at times this year, took several steps backward against a woeful one win Kansas team.
Kansas had no business competing with Texas. And yet, Kansas, which saw Saturday’s game on its senior day as the Super Bowl, took the initiative to outplay and outcoach Texas.
The struggles were a microcosm of the issues Strong has been unable to rectify on the field.
Texas looked listless and outclassed. Strong, as many head coaches are prone to, will take the brunt of the criticism.
Perhaps that’s rightfully so, as Strong’s struggles were apparent early on. The revolving door of assistant coaches over his three years was one major indication of issues.
Another is the inability of the team to be consistent.
While there is a lot of youth on the team – Texas is starting a true freshman quarterback – Strong and his assistants haven’t done the best job of coaching them.
Yes, the Charlie Strong era may be at its end.
It’s also a rather heartbreaking moment for myself and many others as well. He is, after all, a pioneer as he’s the first black head coach to take the reins at Texas.
Additionally, for all of his struggles on the field, Strong has done a fantastic job of molding Texas football off of it.
His five core values he instilled on the program when he was hired were exactly what the program needed.
They needed a disciplinarian and they sure got it.
Sadly, that didn’t translate on the gridiron.
We’ll have to wait and see what Texas’ ultimate decision will be.
The thing is, we probably should have known by now.