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Jackson Suspended for 2012-13 Basketball Season

Lance Allison,

Murray State University basketball player Zaveral “Zay” Jackson isn’t playing in this year’s basketball season. Director of Athletics Allen Ward says he will still attend team activities such as practice and conditioning. Ward will assess Jackson’s behavior at the end of the season to decide if he'll come back to the court next year. Jackson pled guilty earlier this month to attacking two people with his car in the Murray Walmart parking lot in September. His sentencing is scheduled for November 13.

Following are statements from Ward, Head Basketball Coach Steve Prohm and Murray State University President Randy Dunn:

Ward's Statement

“The recent delay in the legal proceedings was unexpected; however, we respect the process and will continue to monitor it closely.  My examination and evaluation of the events have been ongoing and I believe it is in the best interest of all concerned for me to formalize a course of action as it relates to Zay’s participation with the team this season.”

“Zay’s suspension will remain in effect during the 2012-13 season.  He will not be allowed to participate in any contests during the upcoming season.  It is my expectation that Zay will concentrate on getting the help he needs, fulfill the requirements that will be dictated by the court, go above and beyond the necessary steps required to become an exemplary citizen and prove to me and others that he is deserving of this opportunity to remain part of our program and university.   Only because of the importance of having an established support structure during this time, I will allow Zay to return to team activities such as practice, study hall and conditioning.”

“Although I believe we have an obligation to provide one of our own the opportunity to learn from his mistakes and redeem himself, it goes without saying that Zay showed a considerable lack of judgment that has not only embarrassed himself, but his team, the university and our fans as well.  I will not condone such behavior.  He is fortunate that the results of his actions were not more harmful than they were.  But if we truly care about making a difference in his life, it is imperative that he spends this year showing me and Coach Prohm that he is remorseful, getting the help that he needs, and deserving of a second chance.  There are other things more important than basketball that Zay needs to focus on at this time.”

“After the season, I will assess whether or not Zay is exhibiting the traits and behavior that are worthy of the privilege to be a student at Murray State and participate in intercollegiate athletics.  I am hopeful that I will find that he is.”

Prohm's statement:

“I care a great deal about Zay and am committed to seeing that he gets the help that he needs.  What he did was wrong and I want to apologize to everyone that has been negatively affected and embarrassed by his actions.   It’s not representative of our program and the impact we try to make in the community each year.” 

“Although the impact on our basketball team is something we’ll have to work hard to overcome, I support the direction we are taking with this matter.   I know we have a good group of young men that will work hard to represent Murray State the right way this season.”

Dunn's statement:
“I support the actions being taken in this matter by Director of Athletics Allen Ward and Head Coach Steve Prohm.   This type of behavior is not what we’re about here at Murray State and there are consequences to bad choices.   I’m hopeful the year long game suspension, coupled with the humanitarian efforts, proves effective in turning things around for Zay.”   

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
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