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The Charlie Strong saga continues.
Despite multiple reports Sunday indicating that Texas officials have already made the decision to fire Strong after Saturday’s loss to Kansas, Strong told reporters in his Monday news conference he was told by athletic director Mike Perrin he would be evaluated after Friday’s regular season finale against TCU.
That jibes with a statement released by Perrin Sunday night.
“There are a number of rumors out there about the status of Coach Strong. I’ve said it all along, we will evaluate the body of work after the regular season,” Perrin’s statement said. “We have a game to get ready for against TCU on Friday, and I hope our fans will come out and support our team. We’ll discuss where things stand after that.”
Strong said Monday the school has been “upfront” with him and reiterated that it’s his understanding he will be evaluated after the regular season ends. With nothing official (publicly at least), Strong says he hopes to return in 2017.
“Next year, I want to come back,” Strong said. “I look at the job this staff has done and look at the players they’ve put in place. The wins and losses, they don’t stack up, but you’re looking at a young football team, a team that when you get everything back for the coming year has a lot of talent.”
Even though there are plenty of reports to the contrary, Strong said he believes a decision has not yet been made by Texas officials.
“I don’t really think so,” Strong said. “And I’d like not to think it has.”
The rumors of Strong’s status have been hard on the Texas players, many of whom expressed support for their coach on social media on Sunday. With his team sitting at 5-6 and a win away from bowl eligibility, Strong said he told his team not to worry about him.
“I told my players there is no reason to worry about me. It is important to play this game and important for our seniors,” Strong said.
There was a report Monday morning that some players were considering a boycott of Friday’s game in response to the purported decision to fire Strong. Strong said it won’t happen.
“They won’t boycott. That’s not going to happen,” he said. “They know how important it (the game) is to the seniors.”
Many of Strong’s players attended Monday’s press conference to support their coach. And when Strong stepped down from the podium, they were there to embrace him.
The outpouring of love and respect from Texas players after Charlie Strong press conference on Monday pic.twitter.com/yCGQEMjJ1f
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) November 21, 2016
Strong has a 16-20 overall record during his three years at UT.
For more Texas news, visit Orangebloods.com.
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