Cards have 'no hard feelings' towards Strong

Cardinal Authority brings you reaction to Charlie Strong leaving for Texas from players on the University of Louisville roster. We continue our reaction with a story from an interview with senior-to-be center Jake Smith.

Expected to be one of the top senior leaders in the locker room next season, University of Louisville center Jake Smith said most of the current players saw the news of Charlie Strong leaving on social media.

But Smith said there are no hard feelings.

Strong left or Texas on Saturday night and on Sunday the players had a team meeting and heard athletic director Tom Jurich's plan for the future.

"It was tough for coach Strong to tell us through this process because there was a lot of guys not in town," Smith said. "He really couldn't call a meeting. It was understandable the way we found out.

"There's a lot of emotions you can have in a situation like this but we have to remember coach Strong has given us a lot in four years. He's given a lot of us guys opportunities that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. He's had a profound effect on so many guys' lives and in a positive way."

Smith said the veterans on the team were going to need to step up and show some leadership in the void of having a head coach for the time being. The semester begins this week with guys back in the weight room also this week.

Several players have talked about the closeness of the players on the team and trying to keep that going in the future.

"At this point we have to really emphasis sticking together and moving on," Smith said. "It's a players program. As a leader, myself and a lot of other guys are going to have to really pull the team together."

Smith said any thoughts of his on hiring a new coach were "above his pay grade" but noted Jurich was "going to find the right guy for this program."

"We're going to continue to build on what we have been doing the past four years," Smith said. "We are going to try to keep everybody here, keep it going."

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