LAWRENCE, Kan. -- University of Kansas forward
Darnell Jackson has been suspended for the first nine games of the season for NCAA violations involving impermissible benefits worth about $5,000 received from a booster, the university announced Tuesday night.
The university said it reported the matter to the NCAA in June
following an anonymous tip, rendering Jackson ineligible from
competition but not practice. It said it got word Tuesday that the
NCAA Reinstatement staff had restored Jackson's eligibility
providing he sit out the nine games, starting with Friday's season
opener against Idaho State.
Jackson, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, averaged two points a
game last season. He sat out the first exhibition game this year
but the NCAA allowed him to play in the second on Monday night, and
he had eight points and seven rebounds in the 73-47 victory over
The violations involved benefits that Jackson and his family
received between the fall of 2002 and April 2005 from Don Davis, a
University of Kansas graduate who lives in Oklahoma City. The
university said the benefits included transportation, meals and
lodging, gifts and a personal loan.
Jackson, who will be allowed to practice but not travel with the
team during his suspension, is required to repay the full value of
the benefits. He'll be eligible to play again when the Jayhawks
meet Northern Colorado on Dec. 22.
Jackson was a junior in high school in Oklahoma City when he met
Davis. Davis said he took an interest in the young player after
seeing a United Way video featuring him as someone who had overcome
During Jackson's freshman season at Kansas, Davis drove his
mother, Shawn, to games in Lawrence on a number of occasions, and
those rides were among the secondary violations that the university
reported to the NCAA.
"Mr. Davis has been a friend of my family, a mentor and a
positive influence in my life," Jackson said in a statement issued
by the university. "I didn't realize at the time that certain
aspects of our friendship violated NCAA rules. I understand that
now, and I regret any embarrassment to my family, my university and
"This is a trying time in my life," Jackson said. "I accept
this decision and look forward to competing again for KU
"In my opinion, Darnell Jackson and his family are as fine of
people as you'll ever meet," Davis said when The Kansas City Star
reached him by telephone. "That's all I can really say."
In a statement issued by the university, Davis said he was
uncertain whether his conduct involving Jackson violated any NCAA
rules, and that he was wrong in not contacting the university or
the NCAA for a determination.
"As a result of my actions, I have been disassociated from the
university," Davis said. "I have no ill-will toward the
University of Kansas, for which I have always had and will continue
to have a great affection and respect."
When The Star asked him for further information on his
relationship with Jackson and specifics on the benefits he
provided, Davis said: "The press release is what it is. It's going
to look how it's going to look. That's really all I can say."
Kansas coach Bill Self and athletics director Lew Perkins both
said they thought the punishment was fair.
"We're disappointed that we have to deal with this situation,"
Self said in a statement. "Although inappropriate by NCAA rules, I
believe that Mr. Davis' intentions were sincere and were intended
to be in the best interests of Darnell and his family."
"We believe the NCAA acted very fairly and in a timely
manner," Perkins said in a statement. "We are committed to
following the letter and spirit of NCAA rules. We look forward to
putting this behind us."
Last summer Perkins announced several secondary NCAA violations
in the athletics department and imposed sanctions on football and
women's basketball, which had scholarships reduced. That matter is
under review by the NCAA, which will determine whether the
university's self-imposed sanctions are enough.