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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Kansas basketball forward Jalen Wilson suspended 4 games for weekend DUI arrest

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) gets under Washburn forward Will McKee (23) for a shot and a foul during the first half on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) gets under Washburn forward Will McKee (23) for a shot and a foul during the first half on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas sophomore Jalen Wilson has been suspended four games — Wednesday’s exhibition and the first three regular season games — after a weekend arrest for suspicion of DUI.

Kansas coach Bill Self announced the suspension at the conclusion of Tuesday’s media day at Allen Fieldhouse.

“We’re going to suspend him tomorrow’s game, the exhibition game, we're going to suspend him the first three games in the regular season, and he will also do some community service during his suspension,” Self said.

Prior to the start of media day, Wilson released an apology on Twitter, saying he was “truly sorry.”

“I accept full responsibility for my actions,” Wilson wrote, “and am extremely remorseful in my lack of judgment. “I know it wouldn’t be fair for me to ask for forgiveness right now, so instead I plan to show you the true man I am and my true character through my actions and behavior moving forward.”

Wilson was made available for interviews during Tuesday’s media day session and he emphasized both his disappointment in himself and his desire to make up for it.

“My main focus now is just to really take responsibility and own up to what I've done,” he said. “And really just to gain the trust back of the community, my coaches, my teammates, my family (and) everybody in Lawrence. I know I let them down.”

Wilson said he spoke with his teammates in the days since the arrest to convey his disappointment in himself and pledge to continue to find a way to help the team during his suspension.

“We’ve all got to talk,” Wilson said. “And we’re all on board for my mindset moving forward and (me) just being the best leader I can be.”

Self said Wilson’s absence will allow the Jayhawks to go with a starting lineup of Dajuan Harris Jr., Remy Martin, Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun and David McCormack during Wednesday’s exhibition game against Emporia State at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

It remains to be seen if that same group will start KU’s regular season opener next Tuesday against Michigan State at the Champions Classic in New York City.

Self said Tuesday that he thought the punishment was “fair” and that he believed Wilson would do everything in his power to return to the team in good standing as soon as possible.

“The decision he made was obviously very poor,” Self said. “He’s owned it. He’s acted like a man, and he’s determined to spin it into a positive over time in some way, shape or form. And I know he’ll work hard to do that.”

Wilson, who will turn 21 on Thursday, was pulled over just before 2 a.m. on Sunday morning and booked into Douglas County Jail a little while later before being released on $250 bond around 4 a.m.

The Denton, Texas, native started 26 of the 29 games he appeared in for the Jayhawks last season and led the team in rebounding. Wilson is no stranger to sitting out games. He missed nearly all of his true freshman season in 2019-20 because of ankle and back injuries and also was sidelined by injuries prior to his arrival at KU.

While this experience of sitting out in street clothes will be different than those, Wilson said Tuesday that he was happy to have the support of his teammates and coaches and vowed to not let them down again.

"Adversity is what happens throughout life," he said. "I'm just blessed to be in my position and blessed to still be a part of my team."

None by Matt Tait

Comments

Matt Gauntt 9 months, 1 week ago

Seemed like a meaningful apology.....young man...learned his lesson. Coach handling it well. Better things in store - hopefully he will be a better man, and move on.

Marc Frey 9 months, 1 week ago

Short term fun, long term consequences.

Sam Meyer 9 months, 1 week ago

4 games seems fair, possibly a tad lenient. I’m glad we’re taking this more seriously than Gonzaga did.

Bryce Landon 9 months, 1 week ago

Lenient compared to Brady Morningstar's suspension. Why did Brady have to miss an entire semester's worth of games, but Jalen only gets four games? I really don't see the rhyme or reason behind this, but if someone wants to open my eyes and show me, I'm willing to look and see.

Jerry Walker 9 months, 1 week ago

Referencing that great legal scholar, Dwight Yoakam, when he sang "Well baby things change".

Benny Armstrong 9 months, 1 week ago

Anytime you can work Dwight into a conversation is a success.

That being said, and I want to be clear that I'm not excusing what Jalen did or lessening the danger, but I recall that Brady was on the turnpike when his DUI occurred. So the only rationale I can give for the difference in punishments is the location and speed involved. Again, bad things could happen at any speed or in any situation involving suspected drunk driving, but that's the major difference (for me) that would possibly impact the suspension.

Creg Bohrer 9 months, 1 week ago

I'm not sure any basketball player or coach should be punished by their school or league.. Unless you drive something for a living it seems pointless. How many people get DUI's that don't drive for a living and get fired or punished because of it?

Mallory Briggans 9 months, 1 week ago

As far as Morningstar and Wilson it was simply the coaches decision not that one DUI is less important than another . Self was the judge and jury so Wilson received his punishment swiftly from Self which is what needed to be done .......no dragging it out . Jalen will have to live with his mistake long after he's gone ,and as far as this season the media and road game crowds wont let us and him forget.......so to the team , stand behind your teammate and and when the students especially at Iowa State and K-State start heckling Jalen .....just kick their asses on the court and in the end Jayhawk nation will have the last laugh.

Rock Chalk

Rodney Crain 9 months, 1 week ago

Ok. Hard to really comment on if this is right or not with the limited information we have. Am wondering what his BAC level was.

Not sure why his apology was in ALL CAPS on social media.

Hope JW has seen what happened to H. Ruggs III earlier this morning. If that does not show you how serious and life changing driving impaired can be, then nothing will.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 1 week ago

Rodney C - I had read about Ruggs (facing felony charges because he ran into another vehicle while impaired and the other driver died in the accident) this evening and crazy coincidence. Glad it wasn’t that serious but even more so that Jalen does appear to be taking it that serious.

Bryce - I’m definitely not recalling all the details of Brady’s case (?driving on the highway from KC?) but do have a vague recollection that other incidents by other players earlier in the season had ratcheted the tolerance a bit tighter than normal. Sorry about the lack of detail or more cogent thoughts. Maybe someone else has a better memory or more initiative to research.

Bryce Landon 9 months, 1 week ago

That would make more sense, Dirk. Now that you mention it, I do recall the season Brady got popped for DUI was also the season the basketball team got into a series of on-campus fights with the football team - almost like turf wars between rival gangs. It's coming back to me now, the 2009-2010 season. In that context, a stiffer punishment for Brady Morningstar makes more sense. Thanks for helping me see the rhyme and reason of Jalen's punishment vs. Brady's punishment.

Brian Mellor 9 months, 1 week ago

I think under 21 is a 0 tolerance BAC in Kansas if I recall. Might have been okay if he’d waited to the arbitrary age gateway. But who knows. Leniency of the punishment suggests under 0.08.

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