LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville football players had a big surprise waiting for them at the Howard Schnellenberger Complex on the first day of practice Tuesday.
Cardinals' assistant Clint Hurtt rejoined the team for on-the-field duties only while he awaits an NCAA ruling for his part in alleged violations at the University of Miami.
Hurtt was placed on administrative leave in March. Cardinals' coach Charlie Strong said he was being taken away from his coaching duties to "concentrate on his case."
On Tuesday, when asked why Hurtt had returned -- just one day after Strong said he was prepared to coach the defensive line by himself -- Strong said nothing had changed with Hurtt's NCAA situation, but that he will resume his coaching duties, but not go on the road recruiting.
"Hurtt took a leave of absence to let him get through this case," Strong said. "No decision has been made yet by the NCAA, but we allowed him to come back. He's just working on the field."
The NCAA's timetable on a decision still isn't known. August 9 will mark the eight-week mark since the NCAA heard arguments from Miami and Hurtt, which reported lasted more than 16 hours. The NCAA forbids anyone involved from talking about the hearing.
When asked about Hurtt at the annual Governor's Cup press conference two weeks ago, Strong said he was "waiting for the investigation to clear itself."
A day before the start of camp, Strong talked as if he planned to coach the defensive line himself.
Hurtt is accused of providing impermissible benefits to recruits while recruiting coordinator at Miami, as well as receiving impermissible benefits and providing misleading information to the NCAA.
That unethical conduct allegations, that stems from providing false testimony to the NCAA, is the only one that involves Hurtt's time at U of L, which has been notified formally that it is not a subject of the investigation and is not subject to any NCAA penalty from proceedings against Hurtt or Miami.
U of L players said they were glad to see Hurtt back on the field.
"It was a great feeling seeing the big guy out here," U of L quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said. "I know it's been a long process for him, but I'm pretty sure he's glad to be back out here also."
Preston Brown said, "Just when he walked in the locker room, everybody was jumping around and giving him hugs. He's a great coach."