Austin, Texas — College football programs need to do a better job of molding players into responsible adults, Texas coach Charlie Strong said Monday, a day after he visited with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Goodell and the NFL have been under fire for the league's handling of players involved in domestic abuse cases. Goodell spent three hours visiting a domestic violence hotline headquarters in Austin on Saturday, then met with Strong on Sunday.
The first-year Texas coach has dismissed nine players for rules violations or legal problems and has become renowned for his program's five core values: honesty, treating women with respect, no drugs, no guns and no stealing.
"(It) was not so much about our core values, but also we just talked about the character of athletes," Strong said of his discussion with Goodell. "I said to him what is happening in the NFL is we're sending you some players that have questionable character, and I said you're giving them a lot of money.
"You give somebody who has bad character a lot of money, that's a situation probably you want to avoid," Strong said. "We have to do a better job in college of just preparing young men and doing a better job with their character."
Strong hasn't been afraid to discipline some of the best players on his roster. He has dismissed and suspended several potential starters this season.
"When a young man knows you care about him and he can trust you, you can get a lot of things done with him," Strong said. "When you have 95 percent doing it right, and five percent who aren't, they're looking like what are you going to do about it?"
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent told The Associated Press on Sunday that Strong and Goodell discussed setting standards and taking a stand as football leaders.
"We discussed setting standards, and taking a stand on who we are as football leaders," Vincent said. "Charlie Strong is doing that. It is a difficult process changing culture, not for the light-hearted. But, as we know at the NFL, it is a process that must be endured with the goals of high standards, excellence and accountability."
The NFL is re-evaluating its personal conduct policy after Goodell admitted mishandling the disciplinary process for former Ravens running back Ray Rice, who struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.
Illinois coach Tim Beckman expects quarterback Wes Lunt to play Saturday against Purdue.
The quarterback missed Saturday's 45-14 loss at Nebraska with a knee injury. Illinois didn't announce Lunt wouldn't play until just before kickoff.
Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said Monday that Lunt's injury is "a little bit like a sprain" in his right knee. It happened when a teammate fell on him in Illinois' win over Texas State.
... LSU coach Les Miles announced true freshman Brandon Harris will start at quarterback against No. 5 Auburn on Saturday.
It will be Harris' his first career start after sophomore Anthony Jennings started the first five games for LSU (4-1). LSU scored touchdowns on nine of the last 10 series Harris has played in relief of Jennings.
... Memphis must play the rest of the season without injured running back Doroland Dorceus.
Tigers coach Justin Fuente announced Monday that Dorceus would miss the rest of the year, but did not say what say what injury had sidelined the sophomore running back. Dorceus had rushed for a team-high 237 yards and four touchdowns on 46 carries through Memphis' first four games of the season.