Joe Bergeron earned himself a spot in the Spring doghouse and, based on Charlie Strong's most recent comments at Big 12 Media Days, had appeared to work his way out. The senior, a career 1392 yard, 25 TD, 5.1 yards per carry rusher was expected to help carry the load in the Longhorn running game.
Not anymore. Clearly some information came to light that didn't sit well with Charlie's core values. And it happened very recently.
Bergeron is the 5th Longhorn player dismissed in the last 24 hours.
So what does it mean?
1. In the big picture, it's clear that Strong will play with five freshmen and six walk-ons going both ways if that's what it takes. His discipline is not subjective once you cross a certain threshold. Special treatment is gone. Some good football players are going to run afoul of this until the new culture penetrates some thick skulls. If that causes you discomfort and uncertainty about the 2014 season, get used to that feeling.
2. The dearth of Longhorn depth at RB means that the Horns will rely on Malcolm Brown, a post-Achilles recovery Johnathan Gray, true freshman Donald Catalon and possibly a dose of Daje Johnson. Brown has his own injury history but exhibited durability last year while averaging 24 carries a game over the backstretch of the season, Gray may not be the same guy, Catalon is a skilled, but slight, freshman unprepared for a big college load and Daje Johnson can be a shaky vessel his own self. The depth here is now more shallow than my intentions at a sorority happy hour.
3. The 2015 Recruiting class is taking a minimum of 25 athletes. Bank on that. 2016 will do the same.
4. The bleeding isn't quite over. Charlie wants to enter Fall Camp with his band of brothers, devoid of distractions. Expect more housecleaning over the following week or so. There are more names on the docket. Trust me.
5. For the last few years, Texas football players have existed in an environment where follow up and follow through were rarely exercised. The staff talked a good game, but had little insight into what the players were up to and certainly didn't do the dirty work of following up and digging in to the root of problems. Real learning is only absorbed through actions, not more talk. The players had learned to tune out talk. Strong is communicating with his actions. It's up to the athletes to hear it. I imagine even the most dim-witted are starting to take notice.
6. The most common complaint from UT players (and assistants) of the last few years is that the Texas culture had grown fake. Everything was manufactured, stage-managed, about managing perceptions. Real emotion and passion was blunted. Nothing was ever out in the open.
Well, things just got real. And transparent. And they're out in the open. Whether the team rallies or folds will be an interesting referendum on their collective character.