With two more Texas player suspensions this week, the tough-on-crime narrative persists for new Longhorns coach Charlie Strong. That's seven dismissals and four suspensions levied by Strong since taking over the job in early January.
But precedent is good to have when breaking down player discipline. Cleaning house can't be rare for a first-year coach, right? Sometimes coaches have no choice, inheriting players that are on their way out or face academic ineligibility that will crush team APR. Coaches might want to make room for better players.
That's difficult to know since Texas and other programs can use the "unspecified rules violation" label as cover.
Regardless, Strong has been the busiest by a large margin with player discipline among this year's new power-conference coaches.
Strong's suspension total eclipses Louisville's Bobby Petrino, Penn State's James Franklin, USC' s Steve Sarkisian, Wake Forest's Dave Clawson and Vanderbilt's Derek Mason combined. This is a good or bad thing for Texas, depending on what type of rosters these other coaches inherited. It's worth noting some coaches handle suspensions internally and don't disclose for public consumption.
Only Washington's Chris Petersen gets close to Strong's discipline with seven total dismissals or suspensions since taking over in December.
Here's a breakdown of the numbers gleaned through school athletic departments and independent research.
Louisville (2): Two suspensions, names undisclosed.
Penn State (1): Guard Anthony Alosi suspended.
Wake Forest (4): Two suspensions for violation of team rules, two reported dismissals (DeAndre Martin, Sherman Ragland III).
USC (1): Cornerback Josh Shaw suspended following a fabrication of the public story that he saved his drowning nephew and sprained both ankles during the heroic act.
Washington (7): Quarterback Cyler Miles among four Huskies suspended under Petersen, who has dismissed three players.
Vanderbilt (2): Two players suspended for last week's opener against Temple, per university rules.
Texas (11): Dismissed -- Joe Bergeron, Jalen Overstreet, Chevoski Collins, Kendall Sanders, Montrel Meander, Chet Moss, Leroy Smith; Suspended -- Daje Johnson, Desmond Harrison, Josh Turner, Kennedy Estelle
Conclusion: The tough-on-crime hype can be overplayed because sometimes a coach has no choice. But one thing seems clear: Strong is trying to set a tone.
If he was in win-now mode, some of these players might still be here (Kendall Sanders was slated to be a key receiver this year, for example). Instead, Strong's in win-in-the-next-three-years mode.
This could come back to haunt Strong with APR, so depending on the nature of the suspensions/dismissals, Texas might have to work to sustain a perfect APR score of 1,000.