Meeting with the local media for the first time since his name has been mentioned for several job openings, University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong opened his Monday new conference with a simple statement:
"I am not here to discuss rumors," Strong said.
And for the next 10 plus minutes, Strong talked about and answered questions about the programs appearance in the Sugar Bowl, the victory over Rutgers last week and Teddy Bridgewater's heroic effort in the game.
But then Strong was peppered with questions about his future. He was asked about rumors that he had interviewed for other jobs and his future at U of L.
Strong said the only person that represents Charlie Strong "is Charlie Strong," noting that he doesn't have any "representatives."
"I'm never going to deal in rumors, so people can say whatever they want to about me," Strong said. ". . . I'm not going to deal with it so people can say and write whatever they like. It is a no-win situation."
The speculation began last week when Strong was rumored to have been contacted by and interviewed by Auburn. He denied those rumors after U of L beat Rutgers 20-17 on Thursday night. Strong was then rumored to have been in contact with Tennessee over the weekend.
Strong denied during his news conference that he had been in contact with Auburn and after the news conference WAVE-3 sports director Kent Taylor asked him about Tennessee and Strong said he hadn't been in contact.
"I get annoyed, very annoyed, because a lot of time when those rumors come out people don't know what they're talking about," Strong said. "So why discuss them?
"(Reporters) are not talking to me, you're not getting it from me. So why would you ever just start running with something that you have no idea what you're running with. What's got to happen here is people have to start respecting this program. I know what happened here in the past."
Strong went on to talk about former coaches "running out or whatever" and then went on say that he had a "great job" at U of L.
"I have a great job here so why do I ever have to answer questions?," he said. "If I didn't have job, if I wasn't a head coach then you would address those issues.
"But I have a job."
A reporter then asked Strong if he would put all the rumors to rest and say he would be coaching at U of L next season.
"I will say that at the right time," Strong said.
Strong told Gadsden, Ala., defensive end Finesse Middleton on Sunday that he would be coaching at U of L next season. Middleton made a commitment.
U of L coaches were on the road Monday recruiting and are expected to have several official visitors on campus this weekend.
"I just tell (recruits) I'm here at the University of Louisville," Strong said. "That's where I am at and that's where I am coaching."