Strong clarifies Mike Sanford’s situation

Somebody who wasn’t there got carried away, a self-inflicted victim of an over-active imagination.

A mystified Charlie Strong felt compelled to clear the air on issues involving himself and former offensive coordinator Mike Sanford during the University of Louisville head coach’s weekly press conference.

Reports of a verbal clash at a football practice session, even of a physical altercation from a University of Kentucky fan site (which shall go unamed and unlinked here), were greatly exaggerated. Never happened, in fact.

“I just want to clear the air because I know it’s become a hot topic,” said Strong. “There was no physical or verbal confrontation between Mike Sanford and myself. We are both professionals and have been in this business for a long time.

“There are going to be arguments, there are going to be disagreements. I respect Mike, I respect his character, I respect who he is. The decision I made was in the best interests of the program, for us to move forward. Mike is still a part of the staff. I have not reassigned him a role yet but he will be a part of this staff.”

Before the U of L coach arrived, Rocco Gasparro, assistant sports information director, had also indicated that the reports of a confrontation were erroneous. “They were completely false,” he said. “Some people who should have known better made no effort to verify the information. Very unprofessional conduct.”

In a hallway after the press conference, Strong was asked if he was surprised that the report of a fist fight originated with a UK blogger.

“No, not at all,” he said, managing a smile.

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Charlie Springer

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