VIDEO: Murray State player drives car into two people; will spend 30 days in jail

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

This is the most alarming college hoops-related video you'll see all week -- maybe through Thanksgiving.

Watch as Murray State sophomore guard Zay Jackson drives his car into two people -- and does it twice, once with the gas engaged in a head-on attack and with one of the victims clinging for his life as Jackson zooms about a Wal-Mart parking lot. The incident happened in Murray, Ky., in September and Jackson was initially suspended in wake of the charges. (Read the background on the incident here.)

The crime comes at 1:40 in the video above, and then you can see it again from a different angle at 2:10 ... all the way to 2:47. That's when multiple security cameras catch driving about the lot with one of the victims, Jason Clement, plastered to the hood/windshield. Eventually, Clement falls free, with what appears to be a shoe that pops loose once he hits the pavement. He was badly cut up from the incident.

The collision isn't immediate news; Jackson's already pleaded guilty to wanton endangerment and was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail. (The charges were initially for assault but were lowered.) What is new to the story is this video, which puts into perspective just how aggressive Jackson's crime was -- and in broad daylight nonetheless.

"In addition to jail time, Jackson must also write an apology letter to the victims, perform community service and attend anger management classes," according to WPSD.

What to watch for now: Murray State initially suspended Jackson after the arrest, but there were plans for him to come back on the team after the legal system played out. His suspension from Murray State is indefinite, but there has been no expulsion. As it is now, Jackson will miss nearly one-fifth of his team's season as he sits in a cell and pays his debt.

Murray State coach Steve Prohm has yet to comment on the issue, but as of the time of this post, the acknowledged intent of the program would be to allow Jackson back on the team.

“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,” Murray State athletic director Allen Ward said in a 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.”

Will the video cause change? Should it? That's a pretty horrifying act you see. Some could rightfully think he should be kicked off the team. Others could argue a year's suspension, but still staying in school is the proper punishment. Then surely some can think that living a month of one's life in a jail cell is all the scare and discipline Jackson -- a first-time offender -- needs for this.

We'll see what, if anything, comes after Jackson's released and joins the team, and is back in school.

Jackson's formal sentencing is schedule for Oct. 22. He is scheduled to be released from jail on Nov. 11. Murray State's season begins Nov. 5.

(H/T, The Dagger)

 
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