TU linebacker Jackson suspended for three games
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
5/22/12 at 3:01 PM
University of Tulsa football coach Bill Blankenship confirms that junior weakside linebacker Shawn Jackson has been suspended for the first three games of the 2012 football season.
The 6-foot, 250-pound Jackson committed a violation of team policy, a university spokesman said.
In a TU news release, Blankenship was quoted as saying, “There are consequences to our decisions, and sometimes bad decisions have harsh penalties. I expect that Shawn will learn from this situation and become better for it.
“We need for Shawn Jackson to be a leader on and off the field, and I firmly believe that he has the character, determination and work ethic to be just that for this football team.”
Jackson will not be involved in the Golden Hurricane’s Sept. 1 opener at Iowa State, the Sept. 8 Conference USA opener against Tulane at H.A. Chapman Stadium and the Sept. 15 non-conference home meeting with Nicholls State.
A former McLain High School star, Jackson started in all 13 games last season and finished with 101 tackles, 4½ sacks and two interceptions. After totaling eight solo tackles (including three behind the line of scrimmage) during TU’s Nov. 12 victory at Marshall, he was named the Conference USA defensive player of the week. As a freshman in 2010, Jackson made 10 starts.
Entering August camp, Colbert Nelson – a 210-pound junior from Little Rock, Ark. – may be the frontrunner at weakside linebacker. During TU’s spring-practice period, he was listed as Jackson’s backup.
“In (Jackson’s) absence, I fully anticipate that we will have someone jump into that position and provide us with quality minutes,” Blankenship said. “It could be one or it could be a combination of players that we’ll use at that linebacker position.”