LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - At a news conference on Monday to celebrate U of L's bid to the Sugar Bowl, Cards head football coach Charlie Strong tried to diffuse rumors about his job status
"Lately there has been a lot of rumors about my name surfacing with many of these job openings, but I'm not here to discuss the rumors," Strong said in his opening statement. "I'm here to talk about our football team and just our selection of being selected to the BCS Sugar Bowl."
Strong said that he would not address the rumors.
"I have a great job here, so why do I ever have to answer questions? I say this to you, if I didn't have a job, if I wasn't a head coach, then you would address those issues, but I have a job," he said.
The most revealing comment may have come when Strong was asked if he was willing to put all the rumors aside and say that he would be coaching at U of L next season.
After hesitating for a second, Strong said, "But, I mean, I will say that at the right time."
Comments like that figure to lead to even more speculation.
U of L president, Dr. James Ramsey, and vice president of athletics, Tom Jurich, have both told WAVE 3 Sports in the last week that they will do everything they can to keep Strong at U of L.
So why would he even entertain other offers?
One reason could be that for a team playing in a 56,000 seat stadium, that started off 9-0, they only averaged just under 50,000 fans a game. That includes an announced crowd of 45,618 on "Senior Day" against Connecticut.
"You want the passion from the fans and you want the support, I tell you this and this frustrated me more than anything, we have great fans here,. but when we came here on "Senior Day," we get off the bus and I don't care what time Card March, heck if it's 8 o'clock in the morning, it's 8 o'clock in the morning, but no one came out, for it to be the seniors, we had a few people out there, we had the real fans out there, I'm not saying we didn't have anyone," Strong said.
Then he added, "Not to throw salt in the wound, but Kentucky can travel with the Big Blue nation, they go take over, we should have that same passion here and go take over, when we go travel. There's no reason why we shouldn't. Someone told me that we are such a young program and we have a young fan base that that doesn't happen, but I don't buy that, I just think that if you're passionate about something, you go support it."
Strong made it clear that he doesn't have anyone representing his interests, he says he makes decisions for himself. When I asked him if he had talked to Tennessee, he said, "No."
The Cards play #3 Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 2, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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