“I was never shamed of being an alum,” the woman says, “until now.”
The school in question is South Florida, and the woman is Judge Margaret Taylor. A 1989 USF graduate, Taylor presided over a hearing in which South Florida football player LaDarrius Jackson is accused of sexually battering and falsely imprisoning a woman he knows. Hassan Childs was arrested in March on three felony counts of aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession, accused of brandishing a handgun at a car containing a 3-year-old child.
“Let’s just say 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 — 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 that you do not have control over 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.”
This is the harshest language an authority figure has used to criticize a college football coach I can remember. It’s worth noting Strong did not recruit Jackson; Willie Taggart did. Still, for a coach who patterns himself as a disciplinarian and father figure, it’s impossible to write Judge Taylor’s comments off as a positive. These are quotes that will circulate against USF on the recruiting trail.
Watch for yourself below.
Strong has suspended Jackson indefinitely following the arrest.
Update: Strong has released a statement in response to Judge Taylor’s remarks.
Charlie Strong statement on multiple offseason arrests. A Tampa judge and USF alum Wednesday questioned whether he had control over players. pic.twitter.com/WeoP2Yw3b9
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) May 3, 2017
Meanwhile, the judge’s comments are picking up steam nationally.
"I would implore you to think long and hard about whether being head coach at USF is a good fit for you …"https://t.co/yo4TZwDLBR
— ESPN (@espn) May 3, 2017