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UT’s Jackson Withdraws From School

Until now, junior-to-be safety Janzen Jackson has been the exception to the rule — the big-name signee from Lane Kiffin’s first signing class that had panned out on the field.  Sure Jackson has had his share of troubles off the field:


* Arrested but not charged in an attempted armed robbery as a freshman (two other players were charged and dismissed from the team)

* Kiffin hit him with an additional suspension for a violation of team rules during his freshman year

* He has undergone drug rehab (at least once)

* He was on-hand (but uncharged) for a much publicized brawl at Knoxville bar last summer

* In December, there was another drug-related dorm room incident in which he set off a fire alarm in his dorm — take a guess which leafy, green drug might’ve been involved.


Through it all, Jackson has been kept on the team.  In December, between the dorm room incident and the Music City Bowl, Jackson went back to his home state of Louisiana for personal reasons.  UT coach Derek Dooley said at the time that Jackson was not being disciplined and indeed he did start in the Vols’ bowl game when he returned.

And now Jackson has withdrawn from the University of Tennessee.  That news broke in Knoxville last night with Dooley once again saying that this move is about Jackson, not discipline.

“Janzen continues to battle personal issues of which our program is always going to be very supportive of,” Dooley said.  “His decision to withdraw and his issues are not disciplinary by nature.  His withdrawal from school has nothing to do with disciplinary reasons on the football team and everything to do with a continuing battle of deep personal issues, of which we’re very supportive of.”

“His leaving for bowl practice was not a punishment, and as long as he continues to manage his personal issues and football and school, he’s going to be welcomed back in the program,” Dooley added.  “He’s clearly reached a point where the personal issues have become much greater than his ability to manage workouts and school.  Until he gets a little clarity on those issues, we’re going to support him.”

At MrSEC.com, we’re all for supporting players.  We believe in second chances because a few of us around here — like the guy at the keyboard now — has gotten them.

But we also can’t help but wonder if Jackson’s status as UT’s only All-SEC performer in 2010 might have something to do with his ability to leave the team and now leave school with no reduction in his playing time.  I think it’s safe to say a walk-on or an unproductive, third-string lineman might not get the same treatment.

If/when Jackson returns — after this semester — he’ll need to get a one-time only “missed-semester” waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to compete in the fall.  He will also have to be cleared by UT’s student judiciary committee for the dorm room incident in December.  Get through all that and it sounds like he’s in the clear.  Because Dooley is standing by his man no matter what.

Jackson’s continuing issues might be part of the reason the Vols signed five defensive backs last Wednesday.

 


9 comments
Ben
Ben

John,

The fact of the matter is that top athletes will always get benefits that others don't. It doesn't just apply to athletes. I seem to remember a President getting off fairly easy for using his public office for an extramarital affair. For some reason i don't think the janitor would have been given the same benefit. I will agree that it is time for the young man to grow up or move on. At some point it is time to fish or cut bait.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Ben...

I understand that stars get more chances. And I'd not say a word if certain coaches -- Will Muschamp, Derek Dooley -- hadn't come out and made such a big deal about what disciplinarians they would be. If you say you'll be different than the next guy, then we're going to hold you to it. Better to NOT make those claims and look the other way for stars than to talk tough and then disappoint. That's the stance of this site anyway.

Thanks for reading,
John

Matt
Matt

John, here's something I've been wondering for a while. What makes media members believe they are moral authorities over people they cover? In your response you say "we're going to hold you to it". Where do you guys get the idea that you are in a position to "hold someone" to something they said? You're just a guy that writes stories about events. You can be replaced by someone that can write stories just as good as you. So what are you that makes you so important and morally superior to coaches, players, and fans?

Media guys have really been on their high horse lately whether it be in the newspaper, or on their radio shows, TV interviews, etc. It seems like you guys really have been going out of your way lately to implant these little nuggets to create something more than just reporting the facts.

Matt
Matt

Ben, you're probably right about this being an opinion piece, but this is a trend I've been noticing crop up more and more. And if it is an opinion piece, shouldn't it be prefaced with that fact? Even in the so called completely unbiased journalism pieces, the writers seem to feel like they are perfect and are more than willing to point out the flaws of others, sometimes looking for something to stir up.

I believe it goes hand in hand with the newly found stardom these media types have stumbled onto. A lot of times these journalists believe they're as much of a star as the subjects of the story! Maybe I'm alone, but I read SEC stories because of the stories themselves, not because of who wrote it. I think a lot of writers these days think it's about them a little more than they should. This is something that's bigger than this particular piece, and at this point there's no reigning it in.

Ben
Ben

Matt,

I think the mistake you make is thinking this article is something that it is not. This is purely an opinion piece. He is no more on his "high horse" then you are. You don't have to agree with the piece, but to think this is something more than an opinion piece is interesting. He merely stated facts to back up his opinion. While I don't necessarily agree with his take on Dooley, I think it is too early to tell, I do recognize this for what it is.

Ben
Ben

I agree 100% percent with your statement about coaches preaching discipline. Unfortunately they are almost forced to do so by fans reactions and expectations. Now, if the same coach kicks a player off the team, see Johnny Majors dismissal of Reggie Cobb, the fans will be in an uproar over that as well. It appears to not be much of a win for the coaches either way. I also don't think that you can judge the coach on his handling of one player. I understand that is what is going to happen, but it is also not fair to the coach or the player. I think we should let the student affairs rule on the issue and then see what Dooley's discipline will be. If he turns out to be a lax as Urban Meyer was then I will be one of the many to jump on the bandwagon. Keep up the good work. love the site.

movers
movers

Jeeesss this guy either has really bad luck or needs to learn how to make better decisions. I just don't see how they ever learn the lesson when they are basically welcomed back after each issue.

Kris
Kris

I guess the FACT that he's dealing wtih very personal family issues back home has nothing to do with this. I know you're not all about facts, which this article definitely shows, but it's well-known he's having issues with his family and has been dealing with them since before the Music City Bowl. At least show some sympathy towards the kid instead of just bashing him up and down without knowing all the facts. Then again, why would you do that? God, you're a shame.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Kris...

Neither Jackson's father nor mother lives in Louisiana. He does -- reportedly -- have a child in Louisiana. But the majority of Jackson's issues have dealt with repeated drug issues. You may not want to accept that, but it's a fact. And that's why he'll face the UT student judiciary committee when he returns... not because of family issues.

Also, as we stated pretty darn clearly in the piece, we're fine with second chances. We're not fine when stars get them and non-stars don't. And we don't think Jackson would be on UT's team at this point if he weren't an All-SEC performer.

I don't believe that's "bashing" Jackson.

John

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MrSEC, Tommy Wilson. Tommy Wilson said: RT @MrSEC: UT’s Jackson Withdraws From School: Until now, junior-to-be safety Janzen Jackson has been… http://goo.gl/fb/hbk0v [...]

  2. [...] John Pennington looks back at the mistakes made by Jackson since he arrived at UT in 2009. (MrSEC) [...]



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