Saturday, March 4, 2017

McKenzie Calvert speaks about incident that led to Josh Jackson facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly damaging her car

Kansas guard McKenzie Calvert (2) starts a fast break after a steal in the Jayhawks overtime UC Riverside at Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Kansas guard McKenzie Calvert (2) starts a fast break after a steal in the Jayhawks overtime UC Riverside at Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday, Dec. 21.


— After not playing for the sixth time in eight games in Friday night’s season finale, a 79-75 loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament, Kansas sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert discussed with two reporters a Dec. 9 incident that led to KU men’s player Josh Jackson being charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to her car.

“I was kind of shocked that I got suspended and he didn’t get anything, but that’s coach Self’s decision,” Calvert said.

By not getting “anything,” Calvert meant that Jackson was not suspended. Kansas men’s coach Bill Self said that his punishment of Jackson was handled in-house and would not be made public.

Calvert said she initially was suspended for the Rhode Island game Dec. 11, but then received a phone call informing her that she would not be suspended for the game. She opted not to play in that game and then averaged 22.9 minutes in the next 11 games.

Her production dropped off severely once Big 12 play arrived, and enventually her playing time dwindled and then more often than not vanished.

Asked if she thinks she has been treated fairly this school year, Calvert said, “No, I don’t.”

Asked to identify whom she thought had treated her unfairly, she couldn’t name anybody.

“I don’t know, because a lot of things, a lot of people, come into play with these types of things, punishments and stuff, so I can’t say, but I don’t feel I’ve been treated fairly at times,” Calvert said.

Has coach Brandon Schneider treated her fairly?

“I don’t really think coach Brandon had much say in a lot of things that happened with me,” Calvert said. “I feel like it was a lot of upper people because I know coach Brandon. He wants to win. He recruited me to come here to play for him, so I can’t imagine him not wanting me to play.”

She did not cite any specific instances of anything she thought had come from above Schneider.

“Just 'cause he has a boss,” Calvert said. “Everybody has a boss.”

Schneider has detailed the reasons that go into his playing decisions and has done so in a way that he makes it clear nobody influences those decisions.

In non-conference play, Calvert shot .355 from the field, .298 from 3-point territory and .679 from the free-throw line.

In Big 12 play, she shot .232 from the field, .155 from 3-point distance and .375 from the line.

“Some of the reasons why I’m not playing that have been stated don’t make sense,” Calvert said. “Chemistry on my team is fine. We’re close. In practice I go hard, do what he tells me to do. I don’t see what the issue is. I’m not making that many shots but as a unit we’re not making that many shots.”

Calvert said she has no plans to transfer again. Why not?

“Because I love my team and I just have a good feeling,” she said. “I’m going to go in the gym and I’m going to work on everything he gives me, take everything he says and I’m going to do the best I can in the summer to show him I’m here to play for him and for KU to get on the court and win with my team.”

Calvert said an attorney made a phone call on behalf of Jackson to her attorney in February and relayed that he had agreed to pay for the damage. Jackson issued a public apology through a third party to the Journal-World and a promise to pay for the damage.

“But the incident happened in December,” Calvert said. “(The offer to pay for damages) was close to when the DA was ready to make a decision, 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. I’m not the type of person that wants to be in the media. I want to be in the media for scoring 30, for winning a national championship. If that would have happened as soon as the damage happened, we wouldn’t be here right now.”

Calvert said that the night of the incident, she threw a drink in the face of KU men's basketball player Lagerald Vick.

"He knows (why)," Calvert said. "People there know. As you see, he didn't retaliate."

Calvert had been in a relationship with Vick, but declined to say whether she still is.

"I can't comment on that," she said. "I can't comment on that."

Calvert remained calm throughout the post-game interview, losing her composure only when she spotted a rat in the corner of the locker room.

"A what?" a nearby teammate said.

"A rat," Calvert said. "A rat. R-A-T. Rat."

Calvert continued to talk about her frustrating season without taking her eyes off the hole into which the rat escaped.


Joseph Bullock 5 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I have seen quite a few women's games this season, and I inquired about her and a couple other players (long before I knew anything about the incident with her vehicle), and a lot of people said she has a terrible attitude. But I don't take everybody at their word, and I watched her very closely, and they were right! It was obvious that there was not the team chemistry she talks about, at least not with her and some other players. When she would go out of the game, there was usually no slap of hands (and it seemed like she thought she was too good to be taken out. And she did not play well at all! Also, in reading her account of what happened, if she was dating LaGerald, and threw a drink in his face, she seems to think that is ok, saying he knows why she did it. She sounds like a very immature child. Just because someone makes you angry is no reason to throw a drink in their face, or on them, period. And it seems she is trying to hold the University hostage, by going Public, hoping to put pressure on them to give her more playing time. They should not renew her Scholarship! Also, she is the 'Rat'!

Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's be clear, damaging a car is much worse then throwing a drink in someones face.

Sae Thirtysix 5 years, 5 months ago

This message board will be interesting to follow. Gonna get all sides on this one. Rock Chalk.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't think anyone was saying otherwise. However, throwing alcohol (was it alcohol?) in someone's face just might create some damage to an eye. I would consider that far worse than kicking in the door of a car and smashing a taillight. This young lady obviously has some problems. That does not make Josh's actions ok but it does make it pretty clear she's not the young innocent she wants us to think. Also, her performance degraded prior to this incident and she was removed from the starting lineup before the incident. When you see the continual slide in performance the reason for less playing time becomes pretty clear. If that's not true, then Carlton sure ought to be complaining that he's being treated unfairly. But, no, he's working to improve, not looking to blame someone else.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's be clear, the police aren't sure what damage was caused by Jackson.

Dan Burns 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's be clear... both are acts of anger, maybe you've never had a drink in your face or the words that "Miss attitude" included with it. Good for Lagerald for not retaliating.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 5 months ago

I dont think she's helping her self here either.

Chuck Woodling 5 years, 5 months ago

Notably, Calvert is by far the worst shooter on the worst shooting team by far in the Big 12. her FG pct is .294 and her 3 put pct is .226. Her FT pct is .611. Just saying.

Brianna Zaleski 5 years, 5 months ago

"In Big 12 play, she shot .232 from the field, .155 from 3-point distance and .375 from the line."

Makenzie, you're right, your coach does have a boss and he or she is not likely to be very happy with your coach if he keeps rolling you out there with those shooting %'s.

Joe Joseph 5 years, 5 months ago

Calvert chose not to play in the game immediately following her two-day suspension from practice and team activities.

Not because she was protesting, but because she felt ill prepared.

What type of athlete does that?

Without excusing the actions of JJ and Vick - they deserve(d) their punishments - there are clear character/personality conflicts with this young lady.

I'm not buying this at all until there is some actual evidence. Not a single thread of evidence has been provided across all media outlets...

Barry Weiss 5 years, 5 months ago

good grief, why even write a story about this and give a platform for this tabloid stuff. I get it that Jackson was in the wrong, but all one has to do is look at those shooting stats to understand why this player should not be playing many minutes until those improve. Now if she was lighting it up every game, okay, make some story out of this, but this is garbage. We don't need to know about the dating problems of our athletes in my opinion.

Mike Riches 5 years, 5 months ago

This is probably the weirdest story I've ever read on this site...rats and girlfriend spats? It's March....can we just talk basketball?

Barry Weiss 5 years, 5 months ago

right! what's next....Kansas hires exterminating company to take care of spider problem in Allen Fieldhouse...

Creg Bohrer 5 years, 5 months ago

What I don't understand is why Vick doesn't press charges on her for assault? Don't get me wrong Josh shouldn't have kicked her car.. This year has been so good basketball wise, but the off the court issues are getting ridiculous.

Craig Alexander 5 years, 5 months ago

Just when you thought an issue would die...

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 5 months ago

Well, if it's attention she wants then it's attention she shall get after this article. Also, so disappointed that a guy like Jackson would vandalize someone's vehicle. I get that he was standing up for his teammate but do one better and just get him the heck away from that situation. And he should have been suspended. It would hurt the team no doubt, but KU can't condone this type of behavior regardless of who they are or what it does to the team.

Humpy Helsel 5 years, 5 months ago

Yuk! It's all bad. It's all sad. Kids. Pressure. Attraction. Late nights in clubs. Alcohol. Social media. Happens every day in every city and town. This is just happening on a very big stage. Hope it ends soon for everyone involved.

Greg Lux 5 years, 5 months ago

I said it before and I will say it again. Almost nothing positive happens after midnight in college towns. Scholarships should have requirements. One of those requirements should be a midnight curfew for all Scholarship athletes. Almost all the problems I have seen happening over the last few years with KU Athletes have happened in the early hours of the morning. For the benefit of all make them be in their residents by Midnight.

Jim Baker 5 years, 5 months ago

Most of the principal's involved probably shouldn't be allowed into the bar(s) anyway! JJ is only 20 years old, and Vick and Calvert are only sophomores, so why in the world aren't they catching hell-or the bars, for that matter-for being somewhere they have no business being in the first place? I'm pretty sure JJ is a little too recognizable to have himself a fake ID. Just sayin...

Deb Engstrom 5 years, 5 months ago

Anyone over 18 can get into a bar, just need a wristband to identify that they are under 21. What happens once they are in the bar is anyone's guess. They can't buy liquor, but certainly can find someone who will buy it for them.

Do we know that this incident took place after curfew?

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 5 months ago

Such a dumb story LJW, disappointed in this amateurish, blog-like, he-said she-said type of "journalism ". It's okay to get an interview full of hearsay and just walk away without publishing it.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

There's spiders in Allen Field House??!!!

Bill McGovern 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah nobody cares about women's basketball.

Dan Burns 5 years, 5 months ago

Unless a loser on the team disrupts the Men's team which is the only reason you and I are reading this.

John Brazelton 5 years, 5 months ago

Now you know why the KU men's and women's teams don't live in the same building. Half the women's team would be pregnant by mid-season. It use to be that basketball and football coaches had a bed check at mid-night as part of scholarship requirements. Apparently now days athletes are allowed to run wild!

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 5 months ago

While it is difficult to do, I'll give all parties involved the benefit of the doubt although clearly there are different versions of the facts. The bottom line however is that, if she thinks that she will be on the team next year, she can forget about that. It simply may be "wishful thinking" on her part because I question what program would want to take her on.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 5 months ago

In her defense, I should add that her performance numbers as the season progressed were undoubtedly impacted heavily by these events, so we should cut her a little slack.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

No, it is because you play North Dakota and UC Riverside early in the season, then the Big 12 comes and every game is hard.

Mike Greer 5 years, 5 months ago

Heaven knows, I'm too long removed from the college bar scene to know anything with certainty, but I know in some college towns there are "bars" where wrist bands are issued for 21 and over. I guess these are more frequently referred to as clubs. Their main purpose is dancing. I don't know if this applies here or even in Kansas. But this would explain how under 21s would be in a bar.

Ralph Gage 5 years, 5 months ago

Uh, what were they all doing out in a bar at that time of night?

Dirk Medema 5 years, 5 months ago

Hearing her account here makes me believe that maybe Vick wasn't as guilty as some people insist last year.

It is also worth noting that the story was written in OKLAHOMA; no rats in AFH.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 5 months ago

It is also worth noting that some people initially blamed Josh for all the damage (per KCStar), when it has since been revealed that he was likely responsible for significantly less. Maybe that's why he didn't initially offer to pay. Some might even say that offering to keep quiet in exchange for a large sum of money is called extortion. Maybe.

I would also say that this is an important article that needs to be written. Not the sort of news I want to hear but certainly important.

Bob Zielinski 5 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like she has her internal ideas on how things outside of her control or concern were handled. Self should have suspended Jackson, Jackson and his lawyer should have reached out sooner. Higher ups are making decisions and tying the hands of her coach.

Seems like a lot of smoke and very little fire. It's life and it is a lesson for her to learn about push coming to shove. Bad attitude female basketball player stomping her feet because she does not get her way versus how KU and Bill Self handle their own employees and players equals bigger picture decisions for greater good.

She's free to voice her displeasure. KU and it's staff are free to do what they see fit.

KU, the legal system, police, other players and attorneys are not bound by the rules or notions that Calvert wishes would be in play or acted upon.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 5 months ago

I do think Self should have suspended Jackson for a game, but there's probably things we dont know about the whole situation still. Clearly there are things happening with this via back channels.

But I'd also argue this chick isnt doing herself any favors with this. This situation does not "sound better" with her discussions of it. Im confident folks in her camp think the only way to do something about it is what she's doing. We'll see if that's in the right eventually.

To me, there's no real winners here though.

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