Louisville's Patrick charged with assault

Louisville cornerback Johnny Patrick was in court Thursday to answer a misdemeanor assault charge, according to The Courier-Journal. The charges allege that Patrick threw a woman to the ground after an argument, leading to his arrest on June 27.

Patrick's attorney said the player and his girlfriend were wrestling over a cell phone when she slipped and fell, hitting a table. The woman suffered scratches on her knee and elbow, according to the charges. The attorney said Patrick is "on hold" by coach Charlie Strong until the case is resolved. The team had no official comment.

This will be an interesting early test case for how Strong will handle disciplinary issues. If Patrick's version of events are true, then it doesn't seem like a very serious matter. However, Strong has made treating women with a respect a cornerstone of the principles he hopes to instill with the team.

Patrick, a two-year starter, is the team's most experienced defensive back and arguably the most important player on the entire defense. He has the ability to be one of the Big East's top cornerbacks. He had 53 tackles and two interceptions last season.

Louisville is thin and untested elsewhere in its secondary and could ill afford to lose Patrick for any major time span.