On December 11, 2016, just 15 days after he was fired by the University of Texas, Charlie Strong was hired by the University of South Florida as its new head football coach. Strong hasn’t coached a single game at USF, but he’s already having issues with his players.
On Wednesday morning in Tampa, Florida, USF defensive end Ladarrius Jackson appeared in court after he was arrested on Monday. Jackson, 22, was charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment. Jackson has since been removed from team activity, but that didn’t stop Strong from getting an earful from the judge hearing the case.
According to to WTSP, during Jackson’s court appearance, Judge Margaret Taylor took the opportunity to blast Strong for the arrests of his players. While one could argue Strong didn’t recruit these players and may not be an advocate for their personalities, they are still his responsibility.
Judge attempts to "send a message" to Charlie Strong and asks if he has control over football players after recent arrests.
(?: r/CFB) pic.twitter.com/Ra8nhCK7BD
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) May 3, 2017
The judge also went after Jackson.
“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.
Ouch…I would not want to be in her court room.
The defensive end is the second USF player to be arrested in the last two months. Back in March, defensive back Hassan Childs was charged with aggravated assault and possession of marijuana. Strong subsequently kicked him off the team.
Here are more of the judge’s quotes directed towards Strong, transcribed for your reading pleasure:
“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.”
These aren’t the first two instances where a player under Strong’s supervision has been arrested. While he was the head coach at the University of Louisville from 2010-2013, Strong saw four players get arrested. During his three years at the University of Texas from 2014-2016, Strong oversaw a program where four players were arrested.