Judge calls out USF Coach Strong for players' behavior
TAMPA, Fla. -- Judge Margaret Taylor called out USF football Coach Charlie Strong Wednesday morning in court for the arrests of his players during the first appearance of Ladarrius Jackson. Jackson is accused of sexual battery.
Jackson, 22, of Birmingham, Ala., was arrested about 11pm Monday. Police say the victim and Jackson are acquaintances. Jackson, a defensive end, was charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment. Jackson has been removed from team activity.
Jackson is the second Bulls player to be arrested recently. In March Hassan Childs was charged with aggravated assault and possession of marijuana. Coach Strong kicked him off the team.
"I graduated from USF, I'm an alumni, graduated from USF in 1989, long before there was a football team," Taylor said to Jackson. "And while USF may not be the top-ranked school in the nation, I was never ashamed of being an alum until now.
"Embarrassed and ashamed, Mr. Jackson. Let's just say that my USF diploma is not proudly hanging in my office right now.
"And, I have a message for your coach, 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.
"Mr. Jackson, again assuming the facts surrounding your charges are true, your behavior is reprehensible."
Strong released a statement, addressing the judge's comments.
“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.”
Charlie Strong's response to Judge's comments pic.twitter.com/xKeMCRELYz— Ryan Bass (@Ry_Bass) May 3, 2017