In a two-day stretch, Texas Longhorns football coach Charlie Strong has eliminated five players from the team’s 2014 roster, according to multiple media reports.
The latest departee, running back Joe Bergeron, was dismissed Friday morning for an undisclosed violation of team rules, based on media reports, including one from the Austin American-Statesman.
The newspaper confirmed reports from two websites — Orangebloods.com and HornsDigest.com — about the Bergeron dismissal, as well as the late reports Thursday night on the dismissals of running back Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins.
The reports said Overstreet and Collins were dismissed for unspecified violations of team rules.
Texas athletic department officials have not issued an official confirmation of those three departures.
Strong issued a statement Thursday about the indefinite suspensions given to receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrell Meander, who have been charged with felony sexual assault of a female student who said she was raped in a campus dormitory last month.
The timing of Bergeron’s dismissal comes just three days after Strong told reporters at Big 12 Media Days that he envisioned the senior being “back in the mix” this fall after being held out of spring drills to concentrate on academics.
The departures of Bergeron (362 yards, four TDs) and Overstreet (102 yards, two TDs) eliminate two of the Longhorns’ top four running backs on the projected depth chart for the upcoming season.
That leaves the rotation to top returning rusher Malcolm Brown (904 yards, nine TDs) and Johnathan Gray (780 yards, four TDs), a former Aledo standout coming off surgery to repair a torn Achilles.
Donald Catalon, a true freshman, projects to be the No. 3 running back in Texas’ rotation in light of the latest departures.
Texas football officials said two players who received a meal from an agent will be eligible to play when the season starts.
According to a statement by the school, Texas reported the meal to the NCAA, the situation was resolved and the players won’t have to miss practice or any games.
The players involved were not identified in the school’s statement.