Darius Ashley likely won’t be available next season for University of Louisville football.

Maybe never again.

Ashley is the last player anyone would expect to be a problem. A good student, a team guy, a likeable individual, the kind of person one wants representing the school. One of the most talented running backs in Ohio during his high school days, Ashley agreed to switch to defense during his sophomore year. No hesitation, doing it for the good of the team.

Darius Ashley

But then there are the incidents. Is this is the same Darius Ashley? Surprise and shock the first time. Disbelief that it could actually happen a second time. Within a few months.

He has been suspended indefinitely by Charlie Strong. The coach has made it clear that the player’s future in college football is up to Darius Ashley. The easiest thing Strong could have done was boot him off the team. But he recognizes that Ashley has many redeeming qualities and wants to help him improve his decision making abilities, especially when it comes to drinking and driving.

“Here’s a young man who has never been an issue on our team until those two issues that he had, which are two serious issues, but he’s a young man, he went to class, never had a class issue with him, did all the right things,” said Strong. “It wasn’t where I was going to walk in and say you’re out of this program. We have to help young people. Now, he may not ever play here again, but he’s going to be provided the right resources and enough help to get his life straight.”

We hope Darius Ashley makes it, whether or not he ever plays football again at Louisville.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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