Yes. Judges can be idiots just like everyone else. They can be bought and sold and motivated by future selfish economic and political agendas. They can be driven by racism and a hate of black men that is as prevalent and indigenous to this country as apple pie and religious worship.
Wednesday morning, a judge presiding over the case of USF football player LaDarrius Jackson, who was arrested Monday night on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment, got personal with a low blow rebuke of newly appointed head coach Charlie Strong, one of a handful of African-American Division 1-A sideline stalkers, at a preliminary hearing for the Bulls defensive end who is facing two violent felonies.
Judge Margaret Taylor, a USF graduate, questions Strong’s integrity, values as a man, his professionalism as a seasoned head coach, and in light of the arrests, his control over his team and players.
According to collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com, “The judge also implored Strong, long admired by those inside college football and even out for his strict adherence to his ‘Five Core Values,’ 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.”
Below is the transcript of Judge Taylor’s attempt to put the alleged actions of Jackson, the legacy of Charlie Strong and the USF football program into one big disgusting pot.
“I graduated from USF, I’m an alumni, graduated from USF in 1989, long before there was a football team. 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."
This is totally offensive and unprofessional on many fronts. Judge Taylor obviously didn’t do her research before taking an opportunity to grandstand and push personal agendas at the expense of a university and head coach’s reputation.
Strong didn’t recruit any of the players who have gotten into trouble recently. They were recruited by ex-coach Willie Taggart, who is known to value talent over character in his recruiting process, yet had the greatest season in USF history and the Oregon Ducks felt confident enough to give him the keys to the kingdom.
In fact, according to nbcsports.com, 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. Jackson has been indefinitely suspended.
Strong is actually one of the strictest coaches in the country with his disciplinary approach and he stresses the importance of having good character, scholar athletes on his team. Strong's gutting of the bad seeds at Texas was as much a reason for his dismissal as his disappointing win-loss record.
Not long after her speech went national, the football program issued a statement, attributed to Strong, addressing the attack.
“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.”
This Judge is a disgrace to her profession. She saw a bunch of young black faces and a football program run by a black head coach and decided to use this tragic moment as a platform to promote her intolerance for such accused crimes.
That wasn't the time nor the place.
The players haven't even been convicted of anything and have not been awarded a trial yet. Talk about jumping the gun. But if that's the type of attitude they have to endure from the judge overseeing their judicial process, then they are already convicted.
This type of self-promotion, political grandstanding and racist philosophy shouldn’t be allowed in a court of law. And it certainly shouldn’t be displayed by judges, the supposed gatekeepers of morality.
Now that Judge Taylor intends to follow her alma mater's football team so closely and critically, she will soon find out that if integrity, class and character is the goal of the program and those qualities will truly be valued over Strong’s win-lost percentage, then Taylor can expect the best leadership in USF's football program's 21 years.