Texas head coach Charlie Strong has dismissed nine players from his team so far this year, leading most of the football-viewing public to wonder what the fuck is going on at Texas. Thanks to the Austin American Statesman, we seem to have at least a partial answer to that question. The players are getting drug tested at an extremely high rate.
Through an open records request, the Statesmen discovered that Texas football players have been tested for drugs 188 times during the first eight months of Strong's tenure. Under previous head coach Mack Brown, players were only tested an average of 104 times per year from 2010 to 2013.
The Statesmen's article is behind a pay wall, but ESPN provides a few specifics:
According to data the newspaper acquired through an open records request, Texas drug tested every player after spring break in March. Players who were considered at-risk were then subject to more frequent testing.
A total of 18 Longhorns players were tested again April 11, and 15 were tested July 19 during summer conditioning. Five days after that round of testing, three Texas players — running backs Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins — were dismissed from the program for violating team rules. Three more players were suspended indefinitely. Texas continued to drug test during fall practice — two tests Aug. 11, seven Aug. 22 — and seven tests were administered the day before the Longhorns' season-opening win over North Texas.
Shortly after the final preseason drug test, Strong suspended starting linemen Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle indefinitely and kicked backup linebacker Deoundrei Davis off the team. Estelle was dismissed from the program Tuesday after another rules violation.
Playing football at Texas sounds like a real damn drag this year.