Texas Longhorns Football Coach Reveals Anti-Gun Bias

University of Texas head coach Charlie Strong (courtesy bigcountryhomepage.com)

For those of you who don’t follow college football (people who think “hook ’em horns!” is something Lionel Ritchie said to the brass section before Kool and The Gang played Jungle Boogie) know this: since January, University of Texas Coach Charlie Strong has dismissed five players and suspended three more indefinitely for bad/criminal behavior of one sort of another. In confirming the most recent player ejections, “Strong laid out his five core values — honesty, treating women with respect and no drugs, stealing or guns.” espn.go.com doesn’t mention any potential blowback from that anti-gun statement, but one of our regular readers and UT grad sees Strong’s strong stand against guns (in general) as a potential problem for Lone Star State UT supporters . . .

While Coach Strong may come from a culture/area where guns = bad (at least in the minds of the elite), that ain’t Texas. [ED: Strong hails from Batesville, Arkansas.]

It would be one thing if the coach was referring to *illegal* possession of guns; i.e. “no guns in the football building” (they’re banned from campus buildings anyway). But is he saying that anyone who goes hunting with his family is off the team? If his family lives in low income housing in a high crime area, they are not allowed to legally possess defensive arms?

A small point, perhaps. UT has a $5m per year investment in Mr. Strong’s coaching abilities; they’re not going to go off him for a little by-the-way gun-bashing. At least not until after a few losing seasons. Still, it’s worth pointing out. ‘Cause when Texans say “don’t mess with Texas” that includes the right to keep and bear arms. Just sayin’ . . .


  1. avatar Mike Crognale says:

    The keyboard coaches who write for the local rags here in Ft. Worth and Dallas think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Of course being hired to undo the mess that Mack Brown left is going to make anyone look good at the beginning.

    1. avatar dakiwi13 says:

      mack brown left a mess at texas? u mean like winning a national title? 20 consecutive winning seasons? 18 bowl appearances? and numerous other accolades? yea a real mess

      1. avatar Mike Crognale says:

        If I recall correctly, he was fired from the job for various problems with his players. And wasn’t there some report about recruiting violations? So yeah. a mess.

  2. avatar DavyJones says:

    Mac Brown was/ is better

  3. avatar El Mac says:

    Well, he is the coach of Texas-Bekley U. What did you expect?

  4. avatar v v ind says:

    I think you meant treat Everyone with respect coach. Equality and all you know. What about grades? It is a school after all.

    1. avatar Mike Crognale says:

      One of the articles in the local paper emphasized that he is requiring his players to attend all their classes and get passing grades. No excuses.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Or double secret probation?

  5. What happened to the rainbow coalition that would protect gun rights? Black leaders oppose the 2nd Amendment. Time for people of the gun to get into the battle regarding affirmative action, the crime problem in the black community, and Obama.

  6. avatar 5Spot says:

    Awesome, “that ain’t Texas”. I need to move.

  7. avatar Zach says:

    Gonna suck when BYU pounds them next month (again). Last year, Taysom Hill put up 259 rushing yards on them and got their defensive coordinator fired. There’s a pun there about defense/self-defense, but I’m worn out after work and someone else can figure it out.

  8. avatar tdiinva says:

    UT would be facing some serious legal action if he dismisses a player who legally possesses and uses a firearm. He may have a preference that his players don’t have guns but he cannot prohibit legal activities.

  9. avatar Dev says:

    I may be reading into it a little but it seems like he means illegal guns, since they are mentioned with drugs and stealing. Basically the gang banger crap that some of these kids take with them.

    1. avatar Jolly Roger That says:

      It could be interpreted that way, or he could just be lumping in guns with other things he sees as bad. I think that the only thing that would really put his “policy” to the test is if one of his players puts up range/hunting photos on Facebook or some such. I’d love to see the reaction in Texas if one of their players got booted for sharing a picture of the buck he took with the .30-06 his Pa handed down.

      Either way, it’s deplorable that a coach needs to remind his players not to be criminals, regardless of his definition of criminal behavior.

    2. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I think you have to read it that way, especially in light of the crap that NFL players seem to do – Aaron Hernandez anyone?

      I can’t see even the most lefty coach caring if his players use the family .308 to bring home a buck, unless they are skipping practice to do it.

    3. avatar Scottlac says:

      Dev, can you define illegal gun? It probably wouldn’t be the same as Charlie Strong’s definition.

      1. avatar Dev says:


        I don’t think his anti-gun “core value” is anti-gun, it’s anti-crime. He’s taking kids, some of them from bad neighborhoods and trying to instill a sense of pride, of ethics, responsibility for their actions and commitment to the football team. I’m not even a college football fan but I see the value in what he is trying to do as explained in more detail in the link I provided. The kids at Texas are there to play football and to get an education. Some of them are looking towards becoming pro football players. I think they can make a choice to commit to the football team for a few years, and I don’t think having to choose football over guns is an anti-gun message.

        1. avatar Robb says:

          ^This. But, I have wondered what his take on responsible gun ownership is and if his student’s participation in gun activities (hunting, IDPA, skeet, etc) would be cause for dismissal from the team.

        2. avatar Scottlac says:

          Yes, there is a thug culture that Coach Strong is trying to get young men out of. But, you still didn’t answer the question. Maybe you didn’t understand what I was asking.

          When you said “illegal gun”, I contend that there is no such thing as an illegal gun. We have made it illegal for certain people to “possess” guns. It is a fine distinction but it’s an important one.

          People assume Charlie Strong isn’t talking about recreational/sport/hunting guns. Are you sure? He had a very anti-every-gun attitude here at Louisville. And besides, the 2A isn’t really about recreational/sport/hunting guns either.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Hmmmm…I read the link. Don’t see anything but anti lowlife criminal behavior. I don’t see any overt bias against legally owned guns here. Expecting aggressive & violent young men to “turn it off” is a mite unrealistic too. Whatever…they get a free ride. No sympathy here.

  11. avatar Publius says:

    “‘Cause when Texans say “don’t mess with Texas” that includes the right to keep and bear arms.”

    Just as no one SEE’S those evil guns.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    “Honesty, treating women with respect and no drugs, stealing or guns?” Sounds like Charlie might want to consider coaching the Chess Team.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Except in chess, the opponent is always trying to kill the queen.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        “Kill the Queen” reminds me of a great line from Shawn of the Dead.

        1. avatar Robb says:


  13. avatar Garibaldi says:

    Now this is precisely the sort of thing I was referring to in my other post in the Pink Pistols article. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had said “no gays” instead of “no guns”?

    The Pink Pistols should have no problem figuring out which side they are on…

  14. avatar DrewR55 says:

    I know it is off topic but…

    Boomer Sooner!!!

  15. avatar Chris says:

    I work in college athletics and can understand what he’s trying to do here. He’s not going to kick someone off the team for hunting or such. Some reports and issues at Texas had players carrying guns, doing drugs, even showing up to practice high. He’s just trying to cover his bases and strip everything they were doing out.

    He won’t throw a player out for hunting. But he will for showing up to Football Operations with a Glock 19 tucked in their shorts. And believe me it happens.

    1. avatar dakiwi13 says:

      which player and at what school showed up to practice with a g19 in their shorts?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        A G19 is too chunky and clunky to fit in anybody’s shorts. It was probably an XD.

  16. avatar dh34 says:

    My read is that he’s trying to create a pattern of responsible behavior in a “industry”, and yes college sports is business, that does not promote good behavior. Pro and college sports has been producing some real banner role models of late.

    In short don’t act a fool and do something to embarrass yourself or the team.

  17. avatar BigTex says:

    I was actually giving this some thought this evening while washing the car and listening to ESPN radio. I’d heard these comments before, and then again recently.

    I think it’s appropriate for People of the Gun to press him on this issue, and ask for a clarification. However I also think that, absent absence to the contrary, we can give him the benefit of the doubt.

    His target audience is not exactly wearing camo to practice and living in private housing. Context matters.

    Still, he should be asked nicely to clarify these comments. If that doesn’t work, he should be asked less nicely, and then we can break out the torches, pitch forks, and start writing letters to the UT chancellor. Assuming they don’t fire another one this week for doing his job.

  18. avatar Doug Knaus says:

    A year ago, Alabama Nick Saban kicked three players off the team because a cop found a handgun in their car after a convenience store said they had acted suspiciously. Pretty slim probable cause unless you knew that Saban regularly keeps 100 or more scholarship athletes on the roster until the (March?) requirement to drop to 85. I looked at the stats of these three players. Only one got playing time and he gained something like 21 yards in eight carries against Appalachian State. “Three down and 12 to go.” I bet strong has more than a dozen “violating their scholarship agreement” before March.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Really? Thats a bit rich… they found a handgun in the car? How old were they? Did they get it legally? You have to ask yourself these things because there is a 75% chance these kids (thats what they are) were under the age of 21 and couldnt legally own a handgun so why did they have one Einstein?

      Maybe Satan… err I mean Saban cut them because he didnt want to deal with a bunch of wannabe Aaron Hernandez’s in the middle of the season.

      1. avatar Alajersey26 says:

        You can own a hand gun in Bama at 18, just can’t buy from an FFL till 21.

  19. avatar Pro2A FLA says:

    Have to take his statement in context. Should the AMA be upset because he is against drugs (pharmacutical medications are drugs). Would a player/student get in trouble for taking an aspirin or antibiotic?

  20. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    I think you are looking for trouble on this one Robert. Think about it… these are kids, most of them will have been 21 for only year before they graduate. So thats only one year of eligibility to even legally own a handgun, and lets be honest coach Strong probably doesn’t care about these kids owning hunting rifles and shotguns for the weekend during hunting season. I know he didnt specify, but regardless UT has a no weapons on campus policy so this is if nothing else just keeping the boys on the right side of the line. I see it more as he is trying to combat the Aaron Hernandez syndrome of a bunch of wannabe thugs ruining their chances of a future either in the sport or just in life in general.

    So on the face I have no problem with Coach Strong keeping the boys focused on the prize and not getting caught up in the sideshow. I think you are way off base with this one… sometimes your rants remind me of a dog chasing cars. Sometimes you are right, but often just out making noise. This time is the latter.

  21. avatar PNG says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve been somewhere by Batesville, AR at some point in my life. It’s the sort of place that would ride people out on a rail for harboring anti-gun tendencies. I could be wrong but he might have meant “guns” solely in the context of criminal activity with drugs and stealing.

  22. avatar mike says:

    Dumbfounding, considering that Strong used to coach at Florida, Kentucky… and now Texas.

  23. avatar Gregory says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, this is a civil rights violation. Where is the ACLU?????????????

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Last I checked the ACLU doesn’t consider gun ownership to be a right.

  24. avatar Anonymoose says:

    C’mon guys, I think it should be obvious from the context that this guy just doesn’t want to deal with a Pacman/plaxico situation on his team.

    A lot of his players are bound to have one foot in the ‘hood, with all the yes-men and gangbanger hanger-ons that come with it.

    This kind of thing has destroyed many a good athlete, especially boxers.

  25. avatar The dude says:

    Yea PNG, I live near batesville, and it’s most definitely very gun friendly as most of arkansas is as a matter of fact, the coach must be fearful of another Aaron Hernandez episode….

  26. avatar Jeff says:

    Organized sports as a whole is anti-gun. From college on up, it’s all a mainstream media enterprise.

    We would be better off as a country if the distraction of sports didn’t even exist.

    Lots of important issues going on in this country, but FOOTBALL

  27. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    Gig Em!

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Why do I get the feeling a TAMU couch wouldn’t be saying this?


  28. avatar wvumounties8 says:

    He is really going to be pissed off when the West Virginia University Mountaineers play UT on Nov. 8th at Royal Texas Memorial Stadium this year. Our Mountaineer Mascot will be firing his Kentucky Long Rifle all day long. On kick offs, TD’s, FG’s, PAT’s and end of each quarter. So he better get used to it!! lol.

  29. avatar Brad says:

    I’m from Louisville, KY where Coach Strong previously coached. He is a stand up guy, who does not tolerate his players being anything that is not on the straight and narrow. He is not a swordsmith, I really believe that he is speaking to illegal behavior. Texas has a quality guy in Coach Strong.

  30. avatar 36IDRedleg says:

    Darrell Royal is rolling over in his grave!

  31. avatar 3006Al says:

    I hope he loses 75% of his games! Then they will get rid of him. Maybe “Don’t mess with Texas” Texans will demand his firing. This coach demonstrates his total anti-gun bias. Brad, he is not speaking to illegal gun owners; he is speaking to all law abiding gun owners. His core values end in ; — STEALING AND GUNS. “AND GUNS” MEANS ALL GUNS. He cannot dictate that his players cannot own firearms. He may be a “quality coach” but his anti-gun statement says otherwise.

  32. I find it sickening how people will read this article and start making excuses for the guy because he is a college football coach. Several people wrote, without knowing whether it is a fact or not, that the coach must mean illegal guns. Rubbish! He said he is against guns. Period. If Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi had said it, there would be no excuses; there would be an uproar. But because he is a sports figure, it blows over. It sounds like a lot of you need to check your moral compass since it seems to be off due to this punk being a college football coach.

  33. avatar Larry says:

    I like nothing more than all football to go away,as it often displaces tv shows I’d like to see.

    But then I’d guess we’d have to deal with a bunch more large criminals on the street .

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