Charlie Strong is still keeping everybody guessing.
One thing Strong has made clear is that he doesn’t like to discuss football coaching rumors, wanting to hold people accountable for spreading them. He will not be rushed into making a decision, or even admit that he is considering making a change. It’s all just speculation, as he keeps reminding us.
But whether he admits it or not, Strong is in serious deliberations right now with the universities of Louisville and Tennessee. At this point, Strong will already be making more money than Rick Pitino and could become one of the best compensated football coaches in America, whether he stays or goes.
Strong never wanted to be put into the same category as a Bobby Petrino or John L. Smith, rushing out to take another job after telling players and recruits that he was staying at Louisville. If he makes good on that promise, he is in a unique category as a college football coach. Whether or not it was his intention, he did finally got the attention of soft core UofL fans. His reference to the devotion of Big Blue Nation fans will have a lasting impact.
Equally important, he may have finally brought some reality to a community so devoted to basketball. The success or failure of the football program reflects more on a university than any other sport, specifically basketball. Take football lightly, and you will be branded a basketball school, and you will keep losing good football coaches indefinitely.
Strong expects greater loyalty from the late arrivals, those easily discouraged by cold or damp weather or noon kickoffs, those who wander aimlessly through the concourses, and those leave games early. Strong, his coaches and players notice those things, as do all football people, and they are personally offended.
The marketing model of football games at UofL being primarily social events was outmoded and out of date several years ago. It is being replaced by one that recognizes that football is the heartbeat of collegiate athletics.
Filed Under: Football