Kansas' Darnell Jackson's Eligibility Restored; Will Miss Nine Games

Nov. 15, 2005

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The NCAA and the University of Kansas have concluded a review of an eligibility issue concerning sophomore forward Darnell Jackson of the men’s basketball team. Consistent with NCAA procedure, Kansas declared Jackson ineligible when it was determined that violations had occurred.

The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff has notified Kansas that it has restored Jackson’s eligibility on the condition that he sit out 30 percent (nine games) of the 2005-06 regular season. During that span, Jackson may practice with the team but may not travel for competition. In addition, Jackson must repay the full value of the benefits.

The violations include impermissible benefits provided by Kansas booster Don Davis of Oklahoma City between the fall of 2002 and April 2005. The benefits include impermissible transportation, meals and lodging for Jackson and his family, gifts and a personal loan. The university and the NCAA have determined that the value of these benefits is approximately $5,000.

Davis met Jackson prior to Kansas’ recruitment of Jackson. No one associated with Kansas Athletics was aware of the relationship during the recruiting process.

Darnell Jackson:
“Mr. Davis has been a friend of my family, a mentor and a positive influence on my life. 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 Mr. Davis. This is a trying time in my life; I accept this decision and look forward to competing again for KU basketball.”

KU Head Coach Bill Self: “We’re disappointed that we are having to deal with this situation. I believe that, although inappropriate by NCAA rules, Mr. Davis’ intentions were sincere and were intended to be in the best interests of Darnell and his family. This is a rough stretch for him and his family, but Darnell has handled it very maturely. He understands that he has to accept responsibility, and he has done that.”

KU Director of Athletics Lew Perkins: “The university appreciates the cooperation of the NCAA in this matter. We believe the NCAA acted very fairly and in a timely manner. We are committed to following the letter and spirit of NCAA rules. We look forward to putting this situation behind us.”

I am a graduate of the University of Kansas and as such am considered a representative of the University’s athletics interest. I am making this statement concerning my relationship with University of Kansas basketball player Darnell Jackson and his family.

I established a relationship with this fine young man and his family when I initially met him at a high school basketball game in Oklahoma City prior to his being recruited by the University of Kansas. My interest in Darnell was reinforced greatly when I viewed a United Way video, which prominently mentioned Darnell and the difficulties he overcame as a young man to become the person of high character that I know him to be. During my relationship with Darnell, I provided him benefits that were in violation of NCAA rules.

At the time I was uncertain if my conduct violated any NCAA rules, however, I erred in not contacting the University of Kansas Athletic Department or the NCAA to determine whether or not my relationship with Darnell would violate any relevant rules and regulations.

As a result of my actions, I have been disassociated from the University. I have no ill will towards the University of Kansas for which I have always had and will continue to have a great affection and respect. I greatly regret that my actions have resulted in any adverse consequences to Darnell Jackson or his family. I consider Darnell Jackson to be one of the finest young men I know and a wonderful example of a college student-athlete. I also regret that my actions reflect negatively upon the University of Kansas. I apologize to Darnell, his family and the University of Kansas.

Don Davis