UT’s Coach Strong suspends Sanders, Meander following arrest

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Charlie Strong has indefinitely suspended wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander following their arrests on charges of sexual assault.

“It’s been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I’m extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that,” Strong said through a statement issued by the University of Texas.

Strong spoke to the media Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. While not speaking directly about Sanders or Meander, Strong said a violation of his core values was the quickest way for a player to prove he did not want to be a part of the team. Strong’s five core are posted throughout the Longhorns’ football facility and include treating women with respect.

When asked about the investigation Tuesday, Strong said the two players were working out separately from teammates but continued to be a part of the team and would not face potential discipline until the investigation was completed.

FILE - In this April 19, 2014 file photo, University of Texas football player Montrel Meander comes down with a pass during the first half of the Orange and White college football game, in Austin, Texas. A University of Texas police spokeswoman says two Longhorns football players have been charged with felony sexual assault and their arrests are pending. Spokeswoman Cindy Posey says the players charged Thursday, July 24, 2014,  are wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File)
FILE – In this April 19, 2014 file photo, University of Texas football player Montrel Meander comes down with a pass during the first half of the Orange and White college football game, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File)

Sanders, a junior from Athens, Texas, figured to be a starter at wide receiver in the fall. As a sophomore he had 37 catches and one touchdown but saw his production dip in the second half of the season.

Meander, a redshirt freshman from Amarillo, Texas, did not play in 2013. He was a three-star rated recruit out of Palo Duro High School.

Strong pointed to wide receiver as potential question mark for the team heading in to fall camp and emphasized the need for a playmaker to emerge from the group while speaking at media days. The departure of Sanders means Texas returns only two wide receivers who caught a pass in 2013, senior Jaxon Shipley (56 catches, 1 touchdown in 2013) and junior Marcus Johnson (22 catches, 2 touchdowns in 2013.)

UT begins the season at home against North Texas on Aug. 30.

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