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USF Football Follies: How Much Is This On Charlie Strong?

Charlie Strong got called out by a judge for the state of his program.

Last year, Charlie Strong was a man in big trouble as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Now, a county judge is pointing the finger at him.

Poor Charlie (in spirit, not in money) can’t catch a break. He hoped to land on his feet at South Florida after Texas cut him loose. Since taking over the Bulls program, there have been a few incidents involving his new players.

Following the second recent incident, in which DE LaDarrius Jackson was charged with sexual battery, Judge Margaret Taylor called out Strong. Saying that she was not exactly the proudest USF alumnus in the world, Judge Taylor, in her embarrassment with the program, questioned in open court whether or not he had the chops to keep his players in line.

In response, Strong issued a short statement denouncing the alleged incidents.

Is It Really On Charlie Strong?

If you’re going to try to be fair, you can see both sides of this issue. On Judge Taylor’s side, the head coach is like the CEO of the program. Or, in a Star Trek analogy, Charlie Strong is Captain Kirk. You know damn well Kirk would take responsibility for the actions of his crew. Likewise, some out there will feel that Strong is responsible for the character of his players. Whether you like it or not, it does reflect on the program and on him.

On the other hand, there are a few counterpoints. First, Strong did not recruit these players. He’s only been in town for six months and has yet to coach a game at USF. It’s like buying an apartment building and finding out a couple of the tenants are a problem. Second, to Strong’s credit, the first player in trouble, Hassan Childs, was kicked off the team. One would hope Jackson is next.

The judge no doubt is aware of ongoing legal issues surrounding football players at both the professional and collegiate level. It’s a disturbing trend that continues. As an alumnus and concerned citizen, perhaps she felt it was her duty to speak out. She has every right, and it does have to stop.

It just might not be a problem to pin on Charlie Strong right now.

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