Judge Has Harsh Remarks For Coach Charlie Strong Following The Arrest Of Second USF Player
When Charlie Strong came to Tampa it seemed he was inheriting a talented group of players from former head coach Willie Taggart. However, in the past two months two USF football players have been arrested and charged with violent crimes.
At a hearing for defensive end LaDarrius Jackson Judge Margaret Taylor, an alumnus of the university, had some harsh remarks for the former Texas coach and Jackson.
“I graduated from USF in 1989, long before there was a football team. And while USF may not be the top-ranked school in the nation, I was never ashamed of being an alum until now,” Taylor said in video of the hearing posted by WTSP-TV. “I’m embarrassed and ashamed, Mr. Jackson. Let’s just say my USF diploma is not proudly hanging in my office right now.”
Jackson was arrested and charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment from an incident early this week. In late March defensive back Hassan Childs was charged with aggravated assault and marijuana possession in a separate incident, which involved him shooting three rounds from a firearm he was carrying at the time. Childs and Jackson were both dismissed from the team by Strong.
But Judge Taylor had some thoughts for Strong as well.
“Coach Strong, if you are listening, in the last couple of months there have been two arrests of your players for very violent felonies. This court, and I’m sure I’m not alone, questions whether you have control over your players. It’s fairly clear you do not have control of them off the field, and I guess only time will tell whether you have control over them on the field.
“I would implore you to think long and hard about whether being head coach at USF is a good fit for you before any other members of this community have to suffer at the hands of one of your players,” ESPN reported.
Wednesday afternoon Strong released a statement addressing the topic and highlighting his “disappointment” in the matter.
“In the short time I have been here our program has been built on character, discipline and family. We have wonderful young men in the USF football program who choose to do the right thing every day. We are dedicated to recruiting young men of high character, and to consistently developing them with structure and frequent education regarding appropriate conduct and behavior, on and off the playing field. While I am shocked and saddened at the recent arrest of a member of our team, I am disappointed that the actions of two players over the last two months have harmed the reputation of our program, of our wonderful university and of my character. We have high expectations of our coaches, staff and student-athletes and we hold accountable those who act contrary to our values.”
Video is from WTSP.