Strong's heavy hand is reminding Oklahoma State fans of Mike Gundy's first season and more precisely the lead up to his first season on the job.
Gundy took the Cowboys head coaching job knowing he had some discipline issues. Previous head coach Les Miles had allowed Gundy a lot of access to the head coach's office and what was going on within the team. Miles shared decisions he was making with Gundy and told him he was doing so because in time that role would belong to Gundy.
Gundy did not always agree with Miles' decisions, but it helped that he was aware of them. When Gundy became head coach he very quickly sent defensive tackle Brad Girtman, cornerback Andrew Alexander, defensive end William Bell, offensive lineman Doug Bond, and spectacular offensive and special teams playmaker Prentiss Elliot on their way out of Stillwater and out of the Cowboys program.
In later weeks, highly productive running back Seymore Shaw and safety Thomas Wright were kicked off the team. Even later defensive tackle Walter Thomas and linebacker Jeremy Nethon were dismissed with Nethon allowed back as a walk-on that redshirted that season and literally worked his butt off to get back on the team. The Cowboys also lost offensive lineman Corey Curtis, who left the team on his own.
All of the departures from the OSU roster called local media to nickname Gundy the sheriff and Marshall Dillon. If a lot of those names sound familiar they should as Shaw, Wright, Girtman, Alexander, Bell, and Bond resurfaced last fall as the main interviews and accusers in avowed Oklahoma State hater Thayer Evans' trumped up and hole ridden series "The Dirty Game" which he brought to and convinced Sports Illustrated to go with.
Seeing this all laid out shows even more how the players making accusations to Thayer and the SI team that bumbled the piece were jaded and had an axe to grind. Charlie Strong may want to beware of Sports Illustrated here in a decade or so.
Strong booted sophomore running back Jalen Overstreet and redshirt freshman safety Chevoski Collins on Thursday before announcing the departure of Bergeron and Oklahoma City Millwood product and likely starting safety Josh Turner on Friday.
Earlier in the spring Strong dismissed safety Leroy Scott and senior fullback Chet Moss for violation of team rules. Offensive tackle Josh Cochran (shoulder) and linebacker Kendall Thompson (concussions) have also left the team for health reasons.
The scoreboard reads: 2005 Oklahoma State Cowboys and new head coach Mike Gundy with eight dismissals, one suspension, and one departure and the 2014 Texas Longhorns and new head coach Charlie Strong with six dismissals, two suspensions, and two departures. Pretty close, huh?