When Charlie Strong was hired to be the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, he laid out five core values that each Louisville football player would be required to adhere to. You might assume that these core values would be likely to include lofty goals that any good human being would aspire to–honesty, integrity, humility, being charitable with their time, etc. To be fair, Strong’s first “core value” is honesty. After this solid start, Coach Strong’s list derails out of the realm of values and into the realm of the obvious. When his values are violated, Coach Strong says that players are saying that they “don’t want to be a part of this program.” They are as follows:
- No hurting women
- No drugs
- No stealing
- No guns
Well, if a player violates any of these core values (United States laws), he is not only saying that he doesn’t want to be a part of your football program, he is saying that he doesn’t want to be a part of our civilized society. How’s that for setting the bar high? Now, it surely won’t be a problem for current and potential Louisville football players to maintain these standard societal rules, right? And if any of these Louisville players, current or potential, violate one or more of these core values, surely Strong will act swiftly to remove these violators from his program. These are core values after all, not a few loose principles that Strong would like for his players to follow. Enter embattled star running back, Michael Dyer.
I will keep this simple. Michael Dyer has been kicked out of two schools. His first dismissal, was for a failed drug test at Auburn. After his dismissal, he testified in court after his gun was used by teammates in a robbery. A triple whammy for Charlie Strong’s core values. If this was the end of the story, perhaps, it would be easier to understand how Strong looked past Dyer’s questionable past–maybe it was a momentary lapse in judgment for the young man. Shortly after Dyer’s dismissal at Auburn, he ended up at Arkansas State. Before he played a single down, however, he was once again dismissed for similar issues. Dyer was pulled over at 2:20 a.m. for doing 96 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone. In the car with Dyer was weed and a pistol. If his issues at Auburn weren’t enough it would seem safe to assume considering Strong’s values that Dyer’s violations at Arkansas State would rule out any chance of Dyer suiting up in a Louisville uniform. Michael Dyer is a card now
I don’t mean this as an attack on Michael Dyer’s character–people make mistakes. I do, however, think that it’s wrong and worthy to point out when a coach lays out a set of laughably simple laws that his players must live up to only to disregard nearly every single one of these rules when a talented player falls in his lap thanks to issues with drugs, weapons, and connections to theft. No one told Strong that he had to make no guns, stealing, or drugs a part of his core values. When he explicitly stated that these things were his core values, I guess the cynic in me believed that the only reason he’d done something so obvious was because he was more against these things than even the rest of us. I guess you’re exempt from Coach Strong’s Five Core Value’s if you’ve been the MVP of the national championship. If people really paid attention or cared about contradictions or lies from college football coaches, I’d say that Coach Strong sacrificed a good piece of his integrity for Michael Dyer. But hey, the Cards got a good one.