AP All-Big 12 Basketball

Kansas suspends star freshman Jackson for Big 12 opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)(STL.News) — Kansas suspended star freshman Josh Jackson for the opening game of the Big 12 Tournament Wednesday after he backed into a parked car last month and fled the scene, the latest in a string of legal troubles for the top-ranked Jayhawks.

Jackson will miss Thursday’s quarterfinal against eighth-seeded TCU or No. 9 seed Oklahoma. He would be eligible to play in the semifinals if the Jayhawks advance.

Coach Bill Self said the incident occurred on Feb. 2, when Jackson backed into a parked car on campus.

“Although Josh has acknowledged his responsibility and handled it himself, he didn’t tell me about it until Monday,” Self said. “He should have left his contact information at the time and notified us.”

Jackson received three citations for the incident. He is scheduled to appear in court March 27.

The likely NBA lottery pick also faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property after he allegedly kicked the car of a female student in early December. Jackson issued a statement shortly after he was charged, apologizing and saying he had “offered to pay for any damage that I directly caused.”

His arraignment is scheduled for April 12 in Douglas County District Court.

On Monday, Jackson was voted the AP’s newcomer of the year in the Big 12 and joined teammate Frank Mason III on the All-Big 12 first team. Jackson is also a Wooden Award finalist.

The traffic incident is only the latest headache for Self, whose team rolled to its 13th straight regular-season Big 12 title and could be the No. 1 overall seed in next week’s NCAA Tournament.

The trouble began weeks ago when police investigated a reported rape at McCarthy Hall, the new $12 million dormitory that houses the men’s basketball team and other students. No suspects have been identified in connection with the incident the night of Dec. 17, though five players are listed as witnesses.

Police also uncovered drug paraphernalia during the investigation and sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. was charged with possession. He was briefly suspended before being granted diversion.

Bragg also was suspended in December after he was arrested following an altercation with a woman. That charge of domestic violence was dropped when video evidence suggested he was acting in self-defense.

The Kansas City Star has reported that Lagerald Vick, who will start in Jackson’s place in the Big 12 opener, may have struck a female student two years ago. The school’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access investigated and recommended Vick receive school probation.

Then last month, hours after the Jayhawks wrapped up the Big 12 title, junior guard Devonte Graham was arrested for failing to appear in court. Graham had been ticketed for driving with expired license plates, and said that the car belonged to an ex-teammate and he thought the ticket had been paid.

Self chose not to suspend Graham in that case.


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