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The rumors of Louisville’s Head Coach Charlie Strong were discussed --- and not discussed at his Monday Press Conference that was the most highly attended meeting of Charlie’s weekly noon Monday meetings of the year with all the different media outlets in Louisville.  The topic was breached with the first comment made by Charlie as he started his press conference: “Lately, there have been a lot of rumors about my name surfacing about these job openings but I am not here to discuss the rumors I am here to talk about our Football Team ……..”


Much more transpired during the next 38 minutes but within 20 minutes after his press conference was finished, a radio show was asking what was Charlie holding back and why had he dogged the Cardinal fans.  There was a seasoned vet who is also regularly seen and/or heard on a national venue that was co-anchoring this particular sports show.  He immediately started questioning whether Charlie would have ripped the fans the way he was being portrayed to have done.  In the next day or so, we will revisit what Charlie said about the fans but make it known now, he was not bashing them.  C.D. will present more of that conversation and his other points in his Monday Press Conference in the next day or so.


However, today, the hot issue is the Coaching rumors that are swirling --- and Charlie did get around to commenting on those innuendos. 


His first comment had to do with a question about what he tells his recruits:  “I just tell them I am the University of Louisville Head Football Coach.”  He was asked about if would be the coach in the future and other questions arose but Charlie just said he wasn’t going to comment on rumors.  But then he did say something that has been dwelt upon in the past: “But you know what?  …. I have a great job here so why do I ever have to answer questions.”


Charlie was asked if he is getting annoyed with all the rumors.  He responded: “I get annoyed, very annoyed because a lot of times when those rumors come out, those people don’t know exactly what they are talking about so why get started? ….. why would you (sports reporters) start running with something that you have no idea what you are running with?” 


Charlie then talked about fans have got to respect the program more.  He commented that he knows  a couple coaches ran out and further stated “but you need to respect your program or the rumors do happened …… why would you guys (the reporters) keep putting it out there for no reason.”


Then there was some fast exchange mostly about the report that was generated by Auburn sources and someone said Charlie should have clarified that he wasn’t contacted.   Charlie said “I never needed to clarify that because they (Auburn) never asked me that so I didn’t need to clarify that --- and that is what I said (earlier) ‘I am never gonna deal in rumors.’  So people can say whatever they want to about me.  They have always said it.  But if I didn’t say it, I am not gonna deal with it.”


Someone brought up that different coaches had made statements that turned out to be false and that is why people think that Coaches do not have a great deal of credibility.  Strong chuckled and said “the guys who write the articles have got to have the credibility, too.” 


When Charlie was asked if he would be willing to put all the rumors aside and say he was going to be the Head Football Coach at the University of Louisville next year and Charlie related: “… I will say that at the right time.”    


The comment was made that this is causing more speculation and Charlie said “I know that but let’s get on with the game (Rutgers/Florida).” 


Charlie’s conversation with the press causes different thoughts to be conjured up in many peoples’ minds.  First, he could cause himself a lot less frustration if he would just come out and say he was staying.  So is the reason he does not say he is staying is because he is speaking to other sources?  Or second, is he sincere about his statement about not making comments about rumors? 


He is definitely --- as he said in his own words, “annoyed.”  Also, Charlie has shown through numerous instances (Darius Ashley, B.J. Dubose, the Clemson transfer Bryce McNeal, etc.) that he is highly principled.  His reputation and his word are his most closely held assets.  Most things are right or wrong and there is not any gray area.  Regarding the current situation, a person could quickly say Strong does not want to say something false so he won’t comment on having discussions with other schools.  However, another logical person could also see that Charlie abhors rumors and since he has said he will not comment about them he won’t.    


Personally, both scenarios work for me.  Firstly, he is very principled and he doesn’t want to make a false statement --- but I am referring to the statement when Strong said that he has told these kids that he is not going to leave Louisville in the near future.  Charlie is a father figure to many of these guys and he knows it.  He is a principled person and I just can’t imagine that he would have told them that if he didn’t mean it.  Secondly, at this point in his career, he just wants to focus on the next game and keep his guys aimed in the correct direction --- and he doesn’t want to deal with these rumors --- and he is a bit miffed with sports reporters for continuing to talk about these rumors. 


If that is the case, does it mean that the fans are just too paranoid?  A discerning person could say “Yes, they are.”  I say “Yes we are but we have a right to be paranoid.”  We’ve been mislead a number of times --- however, we have to learn how to handle it better.  Jurich said it best: “At some point in time, the person has to want to be here.”  I wonder if our paranoia is making it harder and harder for Charlie to want to be here.  



Views: 590

Comment by Shane Stovall on December 4, 2012 at 11:58am
Nice post Lak. I for one wish the fan base could just look past the rumors and believe Strong until he gives us reason not to.
Comment by Lakinit on December 4, 2012 at 3:12pm

It's hard to do.  It will work out.  I'm sure this hasn't been a picnic for Charlie.

Comment by Jim Wetherton on December 4, 2012 at 9:22pm

We have been s stepping stone since Lee Corso.  However, we now have made a landing in a Conference that has it's own recent Championship history with FSU.  This will help both recruiting and reputation.  The Jurich comment about wanting to be here is the key. 


Now, Charlie knows the SEC as well as anyone having spent most of his coaching career there.  he knows which programs bring the same strength to the table  as Tom J does and which are occasionally featured as replacements for Elmer Fudd on Looney Toon reruns.  Having said that, UK, ARK & Auburn have made their decisions which leaves TN and I just don't think Knoxville and Rocky Top are a mix for Charlie.  UL and ACC provides a much better oppportunity to move into national championship discussion and contention.  So, I say give Charlie a break for what he has said, very succintly I might add, and for what he knows about college football and therefore what he does not say.


Finally, sports writers are taking to the edge and several respected coaches are taking it back to them (finally) as in mark Richt at GA (did you see that press conference and his exit and return?)  Read and listen to what you reported on Charlie in this article..."

Someone brought up that different coaches had made statements that turned out to be false and that is why people think that Coaches do not have a great deal of credibility.  Strong chuckled and said “the guys who write the articles have got to have the credibility, too.”

Nuff Said.  Welcome to CharlieVILLe

Comment by Lakinit on December 5, 2012 at 9:40am

You know, Jim, you are right.  A number of times Charlie turned it to the press with comments about he has to be accountable and the press should be to.  There was a huge disservice paid to Charlie and to the UL fans by a couple of people of the media.  But what is so hard is separating the true media and the sports"trash jocks."  Think of the uk trash jock --- you know who I mean --- is he media?  No. Not really. He's a trash jock.  What fans have to remember is some of the sports shows are deemed successful only if their program is tuned in by a fan and how many times listeners respond.    Some of those people are really excellant and use their expertise to provide ideas and events --- Bob Valvano is one.  But some will play on your emotions in search of ratings.  I know that happened the other day.  And many people did not separate the real truth from the fanatical sports trash jock approach to improving listenership.

Comment by Jim Wetherton on December 5, 2012 at 9:55am

Good Calll Rick...trash jock...copyright the phrase...they can say anything they want becasuse there are no accountability standards.  Also seemed to be hooked into folks with same lack of mentality or honor (from TN for example) so they can get feedback on their articles.  Plus, they will do anything they can to run down schools they do not like...prob did not say much about UK falling out of top 25!


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