Citing multiple sources, the Kansas City Star reported Thursday night that Kansas sophomore Lagerald Vick, already connected to an abuse allegation, and standout freshman Josh Jackson are “persons of interest” in a car vandalism case in Lawrence, Kansas. This addition to the Jayhawks’ recent off-court issues stems from an incident outside a bar in early December, though Lawrence Police deny naming “persons of interest” in the case.
Shortly after the Star’s story published, a local television reporter tweeted information that contradicts the Star’s report. John Holt reportedly spoke to someone connected with the Lawrence Police Department, who told him that Jackson and Vick have not formally been identified as persons of interest.
The Star, citing having seen the first page of the police report of this vandalism incident, claims the damage to said car was appraised at $2,991. The crime is felonious. No suspects have been named in the case, which is active, but the alleged victim in this case — according to the Kansas City Star — is reportedly the same female student who previously alleged Vick assaulted her in December 2015 — approximately a year before this episode with the car took place.
A review of that allegation by the university’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access concluded it was “likely” that Vick committed the acts of violence that were alleged. On Wednesday night, after third-ranked Kansas defeated second-ranked Baylor, Jayhawks coach Bill Self read from a prepared statement on the situation regarding Vick, but his statement was simply that student privacy laws prevented him from commenting.
More on this vandalism incident, from reporters Laura Bauer and Mara Rose-Williams.
The Star sent an email with several questions regarding the reported vandalism and the players as persons of interest to Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletic director for public affairs.
“We are aware of the incident,” Marchiony replied. “And we are aware of the investigation.”
Marchiony referred a question about whether the university has investigated the reported vandalism, or will, to the school’s public affairs office. The university can investigate possible violations of the student conduct code even when they occur off campus.
Joe Monaco, director of strategic communications for KU’s public affairs office, said if The Star had specific questions about “that investigation,” referring to the vandalism, it would need to contact Lawrence police. Monaco said he could not address a possible university investigation, or say whether the school’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access was involved.
“Due to federal law, and to protect the rights of all individuals involved, the university does not confirm or deny IOA investigations,” he wrote in an emailed response.
The Star was also the outlet that broke the story on Vick’s alleged abuse. The school recommended Vick be put on probation. What has not been made clear by anyone at the university is whether Vick was punished — or is in the process of being punished. If Vick has served, or is serving, any probation terms, that remains unknown. What is known is that Vick has not been publicly disciplined by Self. Vick has played in every game for Kansas this season. As a freshman in 2015-16, he sporadically sat out games on a team that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 33-5 record.
Jackson’s role — or lack thereof — in the alleged car vandalism is not known. This is the first run-in Jackson has had with an off-court issue since he arrived at Kansas. He is a likely lottery pick in this June’s NBA Draft, in the eyes of many scouts.
Meantime, Kansas is still dealing with the indefinite suspension of sophomore Carlton Bragg, who was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, but Wednesday made moves in court to have that charge dropped due to terms of a court-issued “diversion.”
Bragg’s drug-related items were found by authorities searching a Kansas dormitory after a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped in that building on Dec. 17 or 18. No Kansas players have been identified by police as suspects, but five of them were labeled as witnesses in an effort by police to sort out what happened. That case is ongoing. Self has gone on record and said that none of his players have been accused of anything in the rape case, and if that ever came to be, they would immediately be suspended.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Report: Kansas’ Lagerald Vick, Josh Jackson ‘persons of interest’ in vandalism probe