I'm still not sure how to feel about these latest Strong quotes from an interview with the C-J's Adam Himmelsbach.
"It's really tough on me," Strong told The Courier-Journal in a phone interview. "It's tough because I recruited them and I don't want anything but the best for them. It's hard for me. It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever made."
"I know there's some hard feelings, and that's what I didn't want is hard feelings. I just don't want them to feel like ‘Coach Strong ran out on us.' Some people are going to feel like that, but I don't want that feeling."
"You always want to feel like the program is in better shape than it was when you went into the program, and that's what we've done," Strong said. "It's only going to get better. The next coach that comes in there, there's a lot already in place for them."
"There have been so many great memories," Strong said. "And the fans, I'm so glad for the support you gave us over the four years. That's why we won the games we won, because of the support you gave us."
Sounds like someone who pretty much knows he royally effed up his exit, but who also knows there's not really a way to fix that.
On Sunday, the website FooballScoop.com posted a quick report saying that Tom Jurich's list of potential coaching candidates "begins with Rich Rodriguez." I can say with 100 percent certainty that this report is not accurate. While Rodriguez was definitely an initial candidate and might still be, this was never a situation where Jurich was "starting" with the Arizona coach and then working his way down.
Its not that he left, it's the fact that prior to him leaving he told me not to worry because he wasn't going anywhere. #LiedToMeStraight— Lorenzo Mauldin (@94sWorldPremier) January 5, 2014
The worst thing about this weekend's events might be the effect it has on the 2014 recruiting class. Remember that after a purposefully small haul a year ago, this was supposed to be the monster class that Strong brought in to head into the ACC with. Instead, a few commits have already fallen, and more are on the fence.
A quick rundown:
--Kavaris Harkless has decommitted and now plans to enroll early at Florida.
--Isaiah Ford, the four-star wide receiver who was also planning to walk-on to the basketball team, decommitted and posted the following message:
--Henry Famurewa says he's "85 percent sure" he'll sign with Louisville, which is hilariously specific.
As you might expect, several members of the class have said that they remain committed to Louisville, but are also waiting to see what's going to happen in the coming days and weeks. The C-J's Steve Jones has a nice extended look at the state of the things.
This was one of our posts on the day Charlie Strong was hired at Louisville. Things have (viciously) come full circle.
Eric Crawford writes about Strong's legacy at Louisville.
Pat Forde says Charlie Strong has earned a job like the Texas one, but that doesn't mean it isn't an awful fit.
How will Strong handle the initial disappointment from some entitled fans who had their hearts set on Nick Saban, or Jim Harbaugh, or Jon Gruden? How will he handle it the first time the entire state questions his choice of starting quarterback? How will he handle the first time the Longhorn Network lays out a schedule requesting several hours of his time in a week?
The Charlie Strong at Louisville wouldn't handle any of those things particularly well. Maybe the Charlie Strong we see at Texas will be different.
But it's hard to change a man at age 53. And hard to make him act like something he is not.
The Texas media also offered up a couple of reasons why this might not go so well on Sunday.
Michigan State beat writer Mike Griffith takes a lengthy look at the possibility of Spartan defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi coming to Louisville.
There was a "Bring Back Bobby" banner hanging above the SAC on Sunday morning, which naturally turned into a national "Louisville students are clamoring for Petrino" story.
If it happens, one of our demands would have to be more slapdick stories. By the way, we all get to make demands in this scenario.
Louisville/Michigan tops NBC's list of the top college basketball games of 2013.
1. Luke Hancock outshines Spike Albrecht: In the most exciting national title games this side of Mario Chalmers, Spike Albrecht, Michigan's no-name back-up point guard, did his best Trey Burke impression as he scored 17 first half points to give the Wolverines a double-digit first half lead which was erased in the span of two minutes as Luke Hancock went all Spike Albrecht on Michigan, hitting four threes and turning this back into a ball game.
U of L/Notre Dame checked in at No. 3.
Louisville is No. 19 in the latest CBS top 25 (and one).
The Cards are also 19th in Luke Winn's latest power rankings for Sports Illustrated.
Being ACC bound with a head coaching vacancy isn't an ideal scenario.
Despite some previous reports to the contrary, Chane Behanan's mother told WDRB that Bradon Bender will play no role in her son's future plans, but that he has tried to insert himself in the process through text messages.
Never change, Brandon. Actually, change. Change a lot.
Last chance offer was Jan. 3. Same day Strong announced his leaving. pic.twitter.com/CP3S3NNPcy— Matt Stone (@mattstonephotog) January 5, 2014
Josh Pastner delivers the ultimate AAC quote to date.
"Cincinnati deserved to win that game," said Memphis coach Josh Pastner. "They straight-up out-played us....I told our guys, this is the American and it's going to be tough. If they play the way we played today, it is not going to work."
Ah, that old, rugged AAC reputation. Built on a solid foundation of one week of conference play.
The Tucson Citizen is already saying that Rich Rodriguez needs to finish the job he's started at Arizona rather than consider a move to Louisville.
USA Today offers up a "coaching job evaluation" of Louisville.
The fact that all this Strong news overshadowed Flyin' Alabama Lady is the real shame here.
EVERY piece of fan headgear was doing it. It was the norm. Get over it. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins and you don't see the CCBM on your ass for your lack of portion control.
Judge less. Love more. Do drugs if you're still living in 1980.
U of L has finally fallen from No. 1 in Ken Pomeroy's rankings, dropping from the top spot to No. 3. Ohio State is your new No. 1, with Arizona just behind them.
If he enters, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. If not, Calvin Pryor RT @1509lucky: Who's the Best Free Safety prospect this year?— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 5, 2014
Crazy stat: Louisville used 10 different lineups against Rutgers that had never been on the floor at the same time before Saturday's game.