That certainly didn’t take long.
Wednesday morning, a judge presiding over the case of a USF football player charged with two violent felonies issued a blistering rebuke of Charlie Strong, questioning whether the head coach has control of his players off the field because of two recent arrests. Additionally, she implored Strong “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.”
The judge, a USF alum, launched the diatribe at the preliminary hearing for LaDarrius Jackson, the Bulls defensive end who was arrested Monday night on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment. Not long after her speech went national, the football program issued a statement, attributed to Strong, addressing the imbroglio.
Below is the statement, in its entirety:
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.
Neither of the two players arrested in connection to violent incidents over the last month were recruited by Strong, who inherited them from his predecessor, Willie Taggart. The first, defensive back Hassan Childs, was dismissed by Strong on the same day he was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession in connection to a road-rage incident, while Jackson has been indefinitely suspended.