Kansas forward Josh Jackson pleaded not guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor count of criminal property damage, stemming from a December incident in which he allegedly vandalized the car of women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert.
Jackson’s trial has been set for late May. His lawyer said that he will file for diversion, in an attempt to enter a rehabilitation program rather than receive a conviction and criminal record.
A projected lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft if he decides to leave school, Jackson allegedly caused thousands of dollars of damage to Calvert’s car by repeatedly kicking it after an argument in a bar. Calvert’s family has claimed that the athletics department rushed to punish her for her role in the argument (throwing a drink at another basketball player) while choosing not to take any disciplinary action toward Jackson for his (the aforementioned criminal property damage). Calvert was initially suspended for one game, while Jackson was not suspended at all. Coach Bill Self has since claimed that Jackson was disciplined “in-house,” though he has declined to specify what that might mean.
Jackson will also appear in municipal court tomorrow for an unrelated traffic citation, his third in the past few years. Self suspended Jackson one game for the citation, in which he backed into a parked car and drove away.