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Texas' Strong confirms dismissals, suspensions

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 04 2014 06:41:56 AM AKDT
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Texas coach Charlie Strong on Sunday confirmed earlier reports that he dismissed five players and suspended three others indefinitely.

Strong announced that running backs Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins were kicked off the team.

He also said offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, running back/receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner are suspended for at least the first game of the season. All three players will practice with the team when it starts training camp on Monday.

Each suspension was for the same undisclosed violation. Strong did not say how many games the players would missed.

It was the first time Strong has spoken publicly since reports surfaced in July that Bergeron, Overstreet and Collins were dismissed. They were granted a release to transfer.

"We have core values within this program. We expect our players to abide by those values," Strong said. "You take away something that's important to them -- and football is really important to a lot of these players -- and you make sure that with the games taken away from them, they understand how important it is to represent this great university not only on the field but off.

"With the core values, I say it all the time -- if a young man doesn't want to be part of this program, just go break a core value of this program. You'll be telling me a lot about where you want to stand."

Harrison, Johnson and Turner were likely starters for the Longhorns this season. Johnson, a junior, has 1,330 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Harrison, a senior, started at left tackle during spring practices and Turner, also a senior, played 37 games with five starts.

Strong also confirmed that wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, who were arrested in July on sexual assault charges, were permanently dismissed from the team.

Strong has kicked seven players off the team since his hire in January. Fullback Chet Moss and cornerback Leroy Scott were dismissed in March. Strong said that Bergeron, Overstreet and Collins were "repeat offenders" who broke team rules "constantly, over and over and over."

"We have 85 guys on scholarship," Strong said. "If you look at it and 80 of them are doing it the right way, why can't the rest of them?"

The Longhorns will be without senior linebacker Kendall Thompson this season. He is taking a medical scholarship, ending his playing career. He has had concussion problems.