Judge disqualifies self from player's case after criticizing USF football coach Charlie Strong

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A judge who criticized University of South Florida football coach Charlie Strong for the actions of his players Wednesday has disqualified herself from a case involving a player.

Hillsborough County Judge Margaret Taylor blasted Strong, even questioning if he is fit to lead the Bulls.

"While USF may not be the top-ranked school in the nation, I was never ashamed being an alum until now," said Judge Taylor.

Taylor was presiding over a first appearance hearing for defensive end Ladarrius Jackson, who's been accused of sexual battery and false imprisonment.

In another incident, Tampa police arrested former player Hassan Childs after he was shot during a road rage incident in March.

The judge's decision raises questions over why she recused herself to begin with.

We asked Charles Rose of the Stetson University College of Law if he believed the judge may have done something wrong.  "No," he said.  She did what judges do all the time.  She expressed an opinion on an issue that's important to society."

Rose says the Judge merely expressed her opinion, and that's what judges do.

He believes the main reason Judge Taylor spoke out and then recused herself was because of the media spotlight.

"You gotta' remember," Rose told News Channel 8.  "These judges say these things to parents who are responsible for children all the time and in a very real sense a football coach is the local parent for a football player."

The attorney representing LaDarrius Jackson told News Channel 8 that her client will have a bond hearing as early as next Monday.


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