Zay Jackson

VIDEO: Murray State’s Zay Jackson runs down couple in Walmart lot

1 Comment

Before we get to the discussion, the video. Be warned, it’s quite disturbing:

The man driving the white car is Murray State guard Zay Jackson. You can read the entire back story here, but the Cliff Notes version is simple: Jackson pushed a shopping cart into a parked car, and when he was confronted by a couple of bystanders, his reaction was to hit them with his car.

Jackson, a first-time offender, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to wanton endangerment. He was initially charged with assault. In the eyes on the legal system, he’ll have paid the price for his crime as long as he avoids getting in trouble for the next four years, attends anger management and driving classes, and pays restitution to the victims in the form of an apology letter and a fine to be determined.

The bigger question, at least in our eyes, is what Murray State will do with Jackson. After averaging 4.9 points and 2.3 assists as a freshman, Jackson was expected to play a much-expanded role alongside Isaiah Canaan for the Racers this season. And, as of now, there is still a chance that he will suit up before the seasons is over. He’s scheduled to be released from jail on November 11th, and as of the time of this posting, the only comment that the school has made on the subject is as follows:

“I’ve been asked the question plenty of times what Zay’s status is with our program, and I just want to be very clear that Zay’s status hasn’t changed,” Allen Ward, director of athletics for MSU, said in the statement. “He has been suspended and he continues to be suspended, but I want people to understand that Zay’s still a very big part of this program, that he made a mistake, he’s taken responsibility for that mistake, he’s been accountable for it, and we’re going to do everything we can to help him through this and let him know that he has the support of the Murray State program, the campus, the community, the students that have all shown him a lot of support. He’s got some tough days ahead of him. It hasn’t been easy on him, these last couple of months, not being a part of the team activities, but we will continue to work through those times and we’ll be there for Zay, and he’s going to be a very big part of this program, and he will be part of the team this year.”

You’ve now seen the video, which means that we can assume that the Murray State decision makers now have, if they hadn’t previously.

Jackson ran over two people in a parking lot, driving through the lot with one of them clinging to the hood, all because they called him on ramming a shopping cart into a car.

Maybe there are mitigating circumstances — it is Jackson’s first offense; maybe he’s been a model citizen that simply made a mistake; there were accusations and rumors that the victim use a racial slur prior to getting run over — but Murray State would be hard-pressed to present a valid reason for Jackson to don a Racer uniform this season.

I’m all for giving 20 year olds second chances, but they shouldn’t be given that chance until they’ve paid the price for what they’ve done.

(h/t Jeff Eisenberg)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

Leave a comment

Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.

St. John’s hires Mitch Richmond as a special assistant

AP Photo
Leave a comment

St. John’s added its second Hall of Famer to the coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing Mitch Richmond had been hired as a special assistant to first-year head coach Chris Mullin.

Mullin and Richmond, along with Tim Hardaway, made up Run TMC, the short-lived, high-scoring offense the Golden State Warriors played from 1989-91.

Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2011. Three years later, he was a presenter to Richmond’s enshrinement in Springfield.

“Mitch is committed to helping us build this program and develop an environment for sustained success at St. John’s,” Mullin said in a statement. “He has tremendous basketball insight, a vision for the game and a passion to share his knowledge. Obviously, his experience in different roles throughout his career as a player, scout and mentor will have an impact in many areas.”

Earlier this summer, Mullin bolstered his coaching staff with the additions of associate head coach Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih. Greg St. Jean was hired later in the summer.

The Red Storm open the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Wagner.