Players react to Strong dismissal rumors

Michael Shapiro

While the support for Charlie Strong from the Longhorn administration has been questionable over the weekend, Texas’ head coach still seems to have the support of his players.

The adulation for Strong from Texas players began over the weekend on Twitter, as numerous current and former Longhorns sent out tweets defending their embattled leader.

“The worst part is that young men were actually having their lives changed in a positive way,” sophomore running back Chris Warren III tweeted. “There has been growth in all aspects of life.”

The players continued to relay their message on Monday. Dozens of Longhorns showed up to Strong’s regularly-scheduled press conference at 11 a.m., standing in the back of the room. And they continued when speaking with the media, stressing the impact Strong has had on their lives.

“We just wanted to come and show support for Coach Strong,” senior safety Dylan Haines said. “We’re all behind him as much as he’s behind us … He’s never given up on us and we’re not going to give up on him”

Perhaps the most affecting display of affection for Strong came from defensive lineman Paul Boyette Jr.

The senior from Humble has talked at length throughout the season on his close relationship with Strong, and Monday was no different. Boyette addressed the media while fighting back tears, clearly affected by the reports of Strong’s dismissal over the weekend.

“My heart hurts for [Strong],” Boyette said. “People don’t understand what we go through and what he goes through… Wins and losses, they do matter, especially at the University of Texas. But I just don’t think you can give someone 36 months to turn a program around.”

Both Strong and athletic director Mike Perrin have said that Strong’s job status will be evaluated after the season. But if it were up to Texas’ players, there would be no evaluation at all.