The UT System Board of Regents passed a motion Friday afternoon leaving no doubt they support first-year football coach Charlie Strong, who has generated national headlines with his five core values and nine player dismissals.
The board passed a motion that said, “As a leader and mentor, coach Strong is delivering a compelling but fundamental message that success starts with living up to basic principles in life.”
Regent Gene Powell, a UT graduate who once played for Darrell Royal, referenced some of the national media reports that have questioned whether Strong was the right hire at UT or whether administrators will give the 54-year-old enough time to build a championship program.
Strong has dismissed nine players and suspended two more for violations of his five core values, which include be honest, treat women with respect, no guns, no stealing and no drugs.
“I’ve been impressed with coach Strong,” Powell said. “I wanted today to offer for the board’s consideration a motion that allows us to show our support for what coach Strong and his staff are doing for UT-Austin.”
After the motion passed, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson issued a statement thanking the regents for their support. “We are extremely proud of coach Strong’s leadership and integrity in building our program,” Patterson said.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in Austin last weekend to visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline in West Lake Hills. Before leaving town, Goodell was part of a small group of league executives who met with Strong last Sunday morning for about an hour in the coach’s office.
Goodell referenced that meeting with Strong in his latest letter to all 32 NFL owners. Goodell has tried to show both league owners and a critical public that he takes domestic violence seriously.
The league has been besieged by multiple off-field incidents, including one with the Cowboys. Dallas media outlets have reported that C.J. Spillman was questioned in connection about a September incident at the Gaylord Texan.
“We have all watched in horror the last few weeks things have happened in the National Football League,” UT regent Steve Hicks said. “There’s a reason the commissioner of the NFL sat down with coach Strong. It’s because of things he believes in are the right things.”
Strong and the Longhorns face No. 7 Baylor at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
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