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Incident tarnishes Greg Scruggs’ role as a team leader

December 18, 2011

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.

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