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.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

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."