Charlie Strong does seem to be changing the way things are done at Texas, a very good thing for the Longhorns. Yet, that process of change just isn’t going to be a swift one. It will take time, and Saturday night’s loss to UCLA affirmed as much.

What Can Roger Goodell Learn From Charlie Strong?

A bizarre–if not laughable–report began circulating last week that beleaguered NFL commissioner Roger Goodell planned to hold a meeting with first-year Texas head coach Charlie Strong to discuss his approach to player conduct. At the time, it sounded as though an overeager Chip Brown of Horns Digest had been last in line in a game of telephone around Austin.

Yet, Goodell and his lieutenant Troy Vincent did in fact meet with the Longhorns’ coach over the weekend. On the agenda: Strong’s “five core values” and, in the words of Vincent, “setting standards and taking a stand on who we are as football leaders.” OK, then.

It speaks to the NFL’s fitness to play morality police that its supreme commander would need instruction in revolutionary precepts such as “no stealing.” Then again, he’s also the one commissioned to run the league by a group of billionaires who routinely hold fans hostage over everything from parking to new stadiums.

Personally, though, I’d like to know what value the NFL sees in Strong’s model.

Strong’s predecessor didn’t leave the 40 Acres under a Barry Switzer-like firestorm.

Mack Brown got the axe because he parlayed Texas’ vast resources and unending supply of talent into a consistently mediocre football team. He might have turned the program into a country club, but there was no Ray Rice scandal hanging over it.

If Strong inherited a roster full of hoodlums, there was scant evidence available to the public to support that. However, since Sheriff Strong rode into town, nine players have left the program. A similar exodus occurred when Strong took over a foundering Louisville team in 2010.

Does that sound more like purging your roster of a bunch of losers, or getting tough on crime?

The reality is that college football coaches get to live out Goodell’s wet dream. They play  judge, jury and executioner with rules of their own making. Their seven-figure salaries hinge on having the best roster possible, and they essentially have the authority to fire players as they see fit. A system like that is begging for abuse, even when it’s dressed up in high-minded talk about molding young men.

None of this is to say that Strong and other coaches don’t have good intentions or don’t believe in what they’re doing. But there’s that thing about good intentions and paving a path to hell.

I’d simply like to know why we take it on faith that talking tough and running off players make someone a role model for authority figures. The same goes for coaches who set up their programs as a refuge for wayward souls. What qualifies Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, for example, to rehabilitate a player like Dorial Green-Beckham?

Strong has been on the job for less than a year. Aside from tough talk and the admiration of a bunch of middle-aged sportswriters, what evidence is there that what Strong is doing is producing positive outcomes? More importantly, what would those positive outcomes even look like?

We should probably answer those questions first before we go about anointing football coaches as moral authorities.