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Charlie Strong's record on discipline defended

Many who have followed the career of Charlie Strong say a local judge was misguided in her public reprimand of USF's new football coach.

CHARLIE KAIJO | Times

Many who have followed the career of Charlie Strong say a local judge was misguided in her public reprimand of USF's new football coach.

General sentiment is, Judge Margaret Taylor blasted away at the wrong target.

In publicly reprimanding new USF coach Charlie Strong in the wake of Bulls DE LaDarrius Jackson's arrest on sexual-assault charges, Taylor lashed out at a coach with a history of zero tolerance for such behavior.

Not to mention minimal tolerance for other off-field malfeasance.

A USF alumnus whose remarks from the bench drew national attention, Taylor declined an interview request Thursday morning, and has removed herself from the case involving Jackson.

Meantime, many have rushed to Strong's defense, citing his disciplinary track record that includes nine player dismissals in his first eight months as Texas coach.

"You can say a lot of things about Charlie Strong: not enough attention to detail, not good enough coaching hires," said Chip Brown, an Austin radio host who covers the University of Texas for HornsDigest.com. "But the one thing you can't call him is someone who ignores discipline."

Two Bulls players, Jackson and S Hassan Childs, have been arrested since Strong's hiring in December. Childs, who suffered a gunshot wound during a road rage incident in which he was charged, was booted off the team while still hospitalized.

Jackson has been suspended from all team activities for the time being. Neither player was recruited by Strong.

His swift action following the players' arrests follow his well-chronicled pattern of strictly upholding the "core values" he has instilled at all three of his head coaching stops.

Those values: (1) honesty, (2) treat women with respect, (3) no drugs, (4) no stealing, (5) no guns.

"Core values are something that has always been a part of us," Strong told Texas Monthly in July 2014. "It’s the way we’ve been raised."

He seems especially sensitive to core value No. 2. A married father of two girls, Strong dismissed two Texas receivers -- Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander -- after both were arrested on sexual assault charges in July 2014.

Sanders was acquitted months later, while prosecutors dismissed the case against Meander. Still, neither played for the Longhorns again.

"If anything, (Strong) was overly aggressive there," Brown said.

Former Zephyrhills High star Bryan Thomas, a University of Florida defensive back when Strong was Gators co-defensive coordinator a decade ago, said he recalls the UF staff requiring players to attend an etiquette class that taught -- among other things -- proper conduct around women.

"(Strong) always told us to treat women with respect," Thomas said. 

If history has shown anything, it's a virtue Strong holds sacred.

Right to his core.

"The thing I remember about Charlie -- and again, it's been a long time -- but the thing he got maddest about was things off the field," Tusculum College coach Jerry Odom, a former Gators linebacker and assistant, said shortly after USF hired Strong.

"We're talking mistakes that are things he doesn't believe in, and how you're gonna act off the field."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 4, 2017 2:27pm]

    

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