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From his blog at gscruggs.blogspot.com to Louisville football fans …
Where do I begin? After looking at my family, coaches, and teammates in the eyes after such an embarrassing incident, I now have to speak to you. I guess there is no other way to start this other than to say that I apologize. I apologize for the embarrassment that was caused to the University, my family, my team, and most of all, to you. For four years you have been in my corner through thick and thin, hell and high water, and though we may have not always seen eye to eye at times, our bond has only grown stronger. I have strolled the streets of Louisville smiling wide, and trying to be nothing but a great representative of my team, family, as well as an ambassador for the city.
Though I know most were disappointed, shocked, and in disbelief, I can sit here as an honest man and say that I made a mistake. Fortunately for me, this was a mistake that did not cost me my life, or anyone else’s. There is no justification for what happened but I must say that I was simply trying to to get someone else home safely (which I did). Hindsight is always 20/20 and after quite sometime for reflection, there were many other options that could have been explored but the fact of the matter is that it happened. I send my sincerest apologies to you in hopes that this won’t be how you remember me. However if it is, I can only pray for your forgiveness.
As for me, moving forward, I will be leaving the train to embark on a journey to hopefully better life for myself and for my family. I am joining the MADD movement as well as setting up my own engagements to speak to younger kids not only about choices, but about my journey and how they can help themselves. Despite this shameful moment, I am still proud to say that I am a graduate of the University and first in my immediate family to do so. So before I get long-winded, I just felt that it was only appropriate that I extend my sincerest apologies to all those who have been in my corner for my years at the school.. This blog wasn’t prompted by anyone but my gut instinct. I feel I owe it to you all for everything that you have done for me… Well.. I’m logging off.. My best wishes to all of you who read this… Happy New Year and may God continue to bless all of you all… Oh last, but CERTAINLY not least…. Go Cards.
Thanks, Greg. We all make mistakes. Go take care of business.
Greg Scruggs, more so than any other player, has been the voice of the Louisville football program this season.
A model student and football player, Scruggs was present at the press conference when Charlie Strong was introduced as the new head football coach in December 2009. He bought in early, expressing confidence in the new direction.
When he speaks, fans listen. When Charlie Strong wanted fans to turn out in greater numbers for Card March, Scruggs tweeted that the budding tradition could become history. Fans responded, arriving at 9:45 a.m. for noon kickoffs.
When Scruggs indicated that Charlie Strong wanted to build something at Louisville, fans relaxed a bit, being given a glimmer of hope that Strong might not be interested prominent coaching vacancies.
But over the weekend, our role model got into a bit of trouble, cited for allegedly driving a vehicle while intoxicated at 5:30 a.m. after running into a light pole after falling asleep. He had just received his degree from U of L the previous evening.
One has to feel sorry for him, having let himself down, as well as the coaches, his teammates and the fan base. Scruggs is fortunate to have survived and not having harmed anyone, and he has probably forfeited the opportunity to participate in another bowl game.
The biggest decision for the coaching staff may be whether or not he is even allowed to travel with the team or to attend the event — a distraction Charlie Strong’s team doesn’t need at this time. The fact that he’s such a nice kid doesn’t make the decision any easier.
Scruggs can partially maintain his leadership image by admitting he made a foolish mistake, which he may have already done. He’s setting an example for his teammates and people who looked up to him, just not the example he wanted to be remembered for at the University of Louisville.
Charlie Strong said his University of Louisville football team is growing physically, intellectually, emotionally and spritually. There’s no better example than defensive end Greg Scruggs who seemed to have trouble finding a classroom before last season.
Strong said he attended one of Scruggs’ classes last season where a teacher recognized the U of L coach and asked him he would like to speak to the class. “I told her I didn’t want to speak, that I was there to make sure the kid in the gray sweats was present.”
Scruggs in excellent standing accademically this season, sitting in the front row of every class. When he joined the team, he was a tall, lanky kid weighing 260 pounds. Today Scruggs is a man, weighing in at 288 pounds of solid muscle.
“He will graduate this December,” said Strong. “He’s doing everything we’ve asked and he’s doing what’s best for him.
“A team that’s doing poorly academically is a bad football team. A team that does well in the classroom will be a good football team.”
Johnny Unitas’ long-standing mark of touchdown passes in 47 consecutive games has fallen. Drew Brees of New Orleans connected in game 48 Sunday to claim the record.
That’s why they keep track, but there will never be another Johnny U
Five games into the season is a good time to catch up with how some former University of Louisville players are performing in the National Football League. There are 18 of them on the rosters of 17 of the league’s 32 teams.
- David Akers, who’s been around since 1997, made good on his only field goal attempt and added six extra points in San Francisco’s 45-3 rout of Buffalo Sunday. Through the first five games, he has nine of 12 attempts, including five over 40 yards. The one people remember was his NFC record-tying 63-yard kick against Green Bay in the opening game. The field goals and extra points add up to 38 points.
- Michael Bush, in his first season with the Chicago Bears, had four carries in a 41-3 win over Jacksonville. After five games, he has amassed 180 yards rushing on 54 carries and has scored three touchdowns.
- Harry Douglas, with the Atlanta Falcons, had two receptions for 34 yards in a 24-7 win over Washington. For the season, he has nine catches for 78 yards but has yet to score.
- Elvis Dumervil, with the Denver Broncos, assisted on seven tackles in a 31-21 loss to New England. For the season, he has made 10 solo tackles, assisted on six others, and only 2.5 sacks. His best year was 2009 when he had 42 solos and 17 sacks.
|David Akers||San Francisco 49ers||Place kicker|
|Gary Barnidge||Carolina Panthers||Tight End|
|Brock Bolen||Jacksonville Jaguars||Fullback|
|Deion Branch||New England Patriots||Wide Receiver|
|Michael Bush||Chicago Bears||Running Back|
|Harry Douglas||Atlanta Falcons||Wide Receiver|
|Elvis Dumervil||Denver Broncos||Defensive End|
|William Gay||Arizona Cardinals||Cornerback|
|Breno Giacomini||Seattle Seahawks||Offensive Tackle|
|Brandon Johnson||Pittsburgh Steelers||Linebacker|
|Amobi Okoye||Chicago Bears||Defensive Tackle|
|Johnny Patrick||New Orleans Saints||Cornerback|
|Bilal Powell||New York Jets||Running Back|
|Kerry Rhodes||Arizona Cardinals||Safety|
|Greg Scruggs||Seattle Seahawks||Defensive End|
|Jason Spitz||Jacksonville Jaguars||Offensive Guard|
|Byron Stingily||Tennessee Titans||Offensive Tackle|
|Eric Wood||Buffalo Bills||Center|
So how will Charlie Strong respond when offers start coming in from other college football programs?
His name has already been mentioned in connection with vacancies at Penn State, Texas A&M and Mississippi. Openings also exist at Illinois, Arizona State and UCLA. Charlie Strong will be getting some feelers, if he hasn’t already.
University of Louisville fans have been through this before, much too often, usually coming out on the losing end. Howard Schnellenberger, John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino, coaches who said they loved this community, a great place to raise a family, each of them quickly making decisions to leave when so-called opportunity knocked for them.
Greg Scruggs: "It's not like this is a stop-and-go for anything. Coach Strong wants to make this his empire. Coach Strong wants his mark to be on this university."
Football coaches, it seems pretty obvious, are driven by a powerful urge to be members of the old guard, to be included in college football’s inner circle, the predictable, the traditional powers, largely state schools. They relish the speculation, the attention, the recognition, and all the dollars that go with the adulation. While they may enjoy their current positions, they rarely are able to resist the appeal of schools with better established tradition.
They all want to be the next Knute Rockne, whether they’ve seen old movies or not, all except Schnelly, who is happy being Schnelly, having created his own legendery mystique.
The opportunity of taking a program they have nurtured and developed to another level, possibly creating another national power, proving themselves capable of competing and winning anywhere never seems to occur to them. The idea of remaining loyal to a non-traditional power that took a chance on them doesn’t hold any sway of the typical coach. They will swear their undying love to a school and a community until they sign the new contract that takes them elsewhere.
Is Charlie Strong any different? He’s obviously a good teacher and an exceptional individual, qualities that Tom Jurich recognized early on by renegotiating the terms of his contract, raising his annual base pay from $1.6 million to $2.3 million and extending his contract by seven years. We believe Jurich would be willing to go back to the well in an effort to hold on to Strong, if he is given the opportunity.
Some want to believe that Strong has a special bond with U of L, which gave him his first head coaching opportunity after many other schools has chosen to bypass him. He was, indeed, grateful. That was Charlie Strong choking up, shedding real tears when he was announced as the new UofL coach in December 9, 2009 at the Brown & Williamson Club.
Defensive end Greg Scruggs was there that day, celebrating the new coach, and he was there a month or so ago when Jurich announced the pay increase and the contract extension, telling ESPN: “This is what Coach Strong wants to build up,” Scruggs said. “It’s not like this is a stop-and-go for anything. Coach Strong wants to make this his empire. Coach Strong wants his mark to be on this university.”
Charlie Strong, however, hails from the old guard, having tasted success at the highest level of the college football world and, if he is like the average Joe in the coaching fraternity, he most likely will take advantage of the opportunity to prove that he belongs at a perceived higher echelon.
We would like to believe he is different, and will likely know for certain very soon.
Greg Scruggs tweeted Wednesday he had heard from the Louisville football coaches that if there isn’t a good turnout for Card March Saturday for the Marshall game, there may not be any more Card Marches.
Seems a bit drastic considering the conditions for the two home games this season. Those games, remember, were played on Thursday and Friday nights, making it difficult for working fans to get there in time for the kickoff, muchless two hours and 15 minutes beforehand.
It would help if the Louisville Metro Police would get started a little earlier directing traffic instead of watching cars idle on the Watterson exit.
Want to save Card March? Be there 1:15 p.m.