Louisville junior cornerback Darius Ashley recently received his second DUI in six months and usually that spells doom for a student-athlete. You know how it goes, player committs crime or in this case gets a second DUI and gets kicked off the team and is left trying to find a school and convincing the adminstrationn that he’s worth the risk.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong is taking a different stance with Ashley. Instead of giving Ashley the boot, he’s suspending him indefinitely. This doen’t mean that Strong will let him back on the football field. Instead Strong sees this is a bigger issue. The issue of fighting alcohiolism and trying to get Ashley’s life back in order.

“He may not ever run down that field and make another tackle; he may not make another interception on this football field,” Strong said at a Friday news conference. “But our major concern right now is to help him tackle what he is fighting right now, and that’s the issue of alcoholism.”

“Any time you talk about do you dismiss a young man,” Strong said, “when you see what has happened, two within seven months, you dismiss him from the team — What does he become? Just another statistic in society? So what did we accomplish and how did we help him? You have to help people. Here’s a young man who has never been an issue on our team until those two issues that he had, which are two serious issues, but he’s a young man, he went to class, never had a class issue with him, did all the right things. … We have to help young people.”

I won’t agree or disagree with what Strong is doing here. I do think what he’s doing is pretty noble. He doesn’t want to leave the young man on an island and take away his support system which is the sport of football and the football team. On the other side is that Ashley did this to himself. He knew what he was doing when he went and got loaded and decided he was going to drive home or wherever he was going.

All in all let’s hope Strong can turn this negative into a positive and Ashely can beat his alcoholioc demons.


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