With freshman guard Josh Jackson set to return from a one-game suspension, Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self was asked on Monday morning’s Big 12 coaches teleconference if he, for any reason, had seen or known of anything at all that might keep Jackson from playing for the Jayhawks moving forward.
“Hell no,” Self said. “OK? That answered your question.”
Jackson was suspended for last week’s TCU loss in the Big 12 tournament after information surfaced about Jackson backing into a car in a parking lot and not leaving his information or telling a representative at KU about the incident. Self said then that the suspension essentially was handed down because it was Jackson’s second offense.
In February, the 6-foot-8 freshman from Detroit was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage of property for kicking the car of women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert, who has since gone on the record about the incident. Calvert’s father, Tim Calvert, also has spoken to multiple media outlets about the incident.
Last Friday night, Scott Boatman, an attorney representing Jackson, released the following statement in reaction to Tim Calvert's claim, published in The Kansas City Star, that Jackson’s family "wanted to pay to make it all go away.”
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Calvert is single-handedly creating a narrative that is not accurate,” Boatman said. "It is clear he is frustrated with several parties and with matters unrelated to Josh, yet he continues to manipulate the facts as it relates to an offer of restitution. Mr. Calvert specifically requested that we discuss restitution with his attorney and we complied with his request. Because of the pending criminal case, we are ethically bound not to comment further on this matter but it is our hope that any further reporting will authenticate statements with fact and not emotion. Josh looks forward to moving past this so that he is able to focus on school and basketball.”
In an interview following the KU women's team's loss in the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City on March 3, Mckenzie Calvert said Jackson offered to pay for damages before any charges were issued.
Jackson's offer "was close to when the DA was ready to make a decision,” Mckenzie Calvert said. "So it wasn’t like he was trying to pay for it right when it happened. Because if that was the case, none of this would have happened."
Self said he couldn’t and wouldn’t respond to Tim Calvert’s concerns.
“To be real candid with you, I’m mad at the situation but I’m not necessarily pointing fingers and saying that I’m mad at an individual or a parent or anything like that,” Self said. “Here’s the reality of it: You don’t know, I don’t know, he doesn’t know everything that has transpired. Nobody knows. And I can’t talk to him, nor would I ever attempt to do so, nor would I ever talk about a student-athlete from another program. Never. We would never do that. But the one thing is, I don’t know what the women’s basketball program has told those parties or educated them to the different things that were going on, if I’m a parent and I hadn’t been educated, I could see being very upset. Totally, if nobody from the university or the women’s basketball program has shared with them what’s going on."
Self said from his perspective, Jackson and his family have worked with an attorney to address the incident appropriately.
“Josh and his mother have acquired representation and those attorneys are held to a certain code,” Self said. "There’s absolutely nothing that I would be remotely concerned about as far as unethical things taking place. I don’t believe that to be the case. And having read Josh’s attorney’s statement, I certainly feel stronger about that now than ever.”