Jayhawks' Jackson to serve 1-game suspension in Big 12 tourney

Kansas freshman Josh Jackson will sit out the Jayhawks' Big 12 tournament opener Thursday to serve a one-game suspension after his role in a traffic incident.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self announced Wednesday that Jackson would miss the game as a result of a Feb. 2 incident, which resulted in Jackson receiving three citations. He is scheduled to appear in court in Lawrence, Kansas, on March 27.

Jackson, 20, was ticketed for backing into an unattended vehicle and not leaving his contact information, Self said. Jackson was cited for duty upon striking an unattended vehicle, inattentive driving and improper backing, according to the court.

"To me, it was a pretty easy decision," Self told reporters later Wednesday. "If it was a singular event, I obviously would not have [suspended him] for something that he did because he did what he was supposed to do afterward [legally]. But he should have left his contact information there even if he's never had an experience with that. He should have known that. And he also should have notified us if he didn't know what to do when that happened, and he didn't do that.

"So based on some other things that we've obviously dealt with, this was something that I felt like I needed to do."

Jackson also faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal property damage on an allegation that he kicked the car of a female student. An arraignment is scheduled for April 12. That punishment was handled internally, and Jackson was not suspended.

"You never want distractions, and distractions can become quite annoying," Self told reporters. "I was certainly not pleased to find out about this, but I also know this would not be an issue at all if we did not have one issue prior, so that is why this was handled the way it was."

Jackson, who is averaging 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, is listed as the No. 3 NBA draft prospect on Chad Ford's Big Board. He did take part in Kansas' shootaround Wednesday.

Sophomore Lagerald Vick will start in Jackson's place Thursday for the top-seeded Jayhawks, who will face TCU.

Jackson's suspension may not hurt the Jayhawks on Thursday, where they will still be heavily favored, but it could cost them down the road. Everyone else will have to make up his minutes, and the 6-foot-5 Vick will be forced to play power forward alongside center Landen Lucas.

"Guys like Lagerald need to step up," Lucas said, "and the other bigs are going to be asked to do a lot. They have to make sure they're mentally prepared and ready when they get on the court."

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.