Well, this is a plot twist most wouldn’t necessarily see coming.
Last Friday, multiple media outlets reported that Joe Bergeron had been dismissed by new Texas head coach Charlie Strong. The only reason given was the standard “violation of unspecified team rules.”
Five days later, the Austin American-Statesman is, citing unnamed family sources, reporting that Bergeron is “actively seeking a release from his scholarship.” It’s unclear why a player who has been dismissed would need to actively seek a release — speculation is that he’s been granted an unconditional one — especially considering said player’s next reported stop.
Again per the American-Statesman, Bergeron is looking at moving on to West Texas A&M to continue his collegiate playing career. That school’s athletic director confirmed that portion of the story to the paper.
Because that A&M is a Div. II program, Bergeron would be eligible to play immediately in 2014. Perhaps the release is a mere technicality, although, again, it’s unclear.
(Writer’s note: I’ve put out multiple feelers to divine what if any meaning this whole “release” angle has.)
The American-Statesman, though, sums up the overall situation very nicely:
Bergeron’s situation is perplexing. He was sent home from spring football practice for undisclosed reasons. But Strong talked up Bergeron during the coach’s bus tour in April and May and always included him in any discussion about the depth at running back.
Then prior to his appearance at Big 12 media day, Strong told the Statesman, “Joe’s back.” By week’s end, Bergeron was gone from the team for good.
Bergeron was one of four Longhorns reportedly dismissed late last week by Strong. The school has yet to announce the forced departures.
All told, seven players have been dismissed since Strong took over for Mack Brown.
Additionally, three more UT players are facing suspensions as the new football sheriff in Austin looks to open the eyes of his players to a new, and more demanding, style of discipline.