After losing to Oklahoma State this past weekend, Charlie Strong – if you read the big, bold writing on the wall – is likely going to be fired by the University of Texas. It might happen this week; it might happen at the end of the season. But it is almost assuredly going to happen.
And Texas is okay with you knowing that.
But why? Why would Texas tip off that Strong is on the hottest of hot seats?
“To get him out,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “If you want to look for an immediate comparison, go to LSU last year and Les Miles. It took awhile for boosters to tire of Les Miles and the narrow wins and the fact that he didn’t beat Alabama every other week and didn’t win a national championship every year and didn’t go 15-0 in a 13-game season. That took awhile. But with Charlie Strong, first of all, he was the hire of an AD who was roundly despised and disliked in Steve Patterson. He was not a popular choice because he wasn’t Nick Saban and he wasn’t any of the top-tier choices that Texas felt like it deserved. I don’t think it had anything to do with race. I don’t buy that. I think we are in a day and age when everybody realizes – (regardless of) whether you were raised in 1920 in (the) deep South – that there are successful people in sports and all walks of life of different colors, creeds and nationalities. I don’t think this is about race. I think this simply has to do with they’re tired of losing, they didn’t want him in the first place, and now they’ve got the flavor of the month a couple of hours down the road in Houston, and they want to go get Tom Herman before USC does. They leaked this for a reason, and they only have themselves to blame.”
Mike Perrin, especially.
“The AD deserves a little bit of blame on this too because he didn’t kill it,” Engel said. “He didn’t kill it right away when he was asked about it . . . after the loss to Oklahoma State. He said, ‘Hey, we have to find out why this happened. We’re evaluating everything.’ You can’t say that in October. You’re still recruiting kids, dummy. You can’t say that, even if it’s the truth. And UT looks like yet another one of these big, giant athletic departments that is run by a bunch of fat-cat boosters who bought a voice because they have so much money and they know, deep down, they can swat Charlie like a fly on a table and make him go away with a phone call and a $15 million buyout. Ultimately, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Still, why make this so public? Why not just reach out to Herman behind the scenes and keep Strong’s job status close to the vest? Why treat your head coach so disrespectfully?
“Because you can,” Engel said. “Because I think you want to show everybody how important you are. I think if you look at the men involved, these are big-ego men. . . . They know they have power, they know they have leverage, and they know at the end of the day that Mike Perrin, the University of Texas president, Greg Fendes, and all these other guys can’t do anything to stop them. So that’s why they do it.”