Murray State guard Zay Jackson was charged with hitting two people in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Murray, Kentucky early last month. Jackson will face 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to the charge of wanton endangerment last Friday.
Jackson also must write an apology to both victims, perform 30 days of community service and complete an anger management course.
In surveillance video released last week, Jackson was seen being approached by a man for ramming a shopping cart into a car. Jackson then was seen driving his car into the two victims. One victim grabbed onto the hood while Jackson drove off.
Both victims had minor injuries from the incident.
Murray State's athletic director, Allen Ward, told the Murray Ledger & Times Friday:
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. 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.
A wife of one of the victims, Alia Clement, told WPSDLocal6.Com of the event last month, "It was the scariest day I've ever had in my entire life. I thought my husband was gonna be dead. When my seven year old daughter saw her father, she started hysterically crying because of him bleeding and how bad he was scraped up."
The 20-year-old Jackson was suspended from the team after the incident.
Murray State coach Steve Prohm said in a statement after the incident in September via KSDK.com:
I was disappointed and surprised to learn of the incident on Sunday involving Zay. I will continue to work with the authorities to gather and evaluate the facts as quickly as I can to get a clearer picture of what actually happened. Until that time, Zay has been suspended from all team activities. There is a standard of conduct I expect from all my players, and from what I know at this point, that standard was compromised. I will support Zay in his efforts to make this right, but I anticipate this matter will take time to fully resolve.
Coach Prohm has not made a statement since Jackson pleaded guilty Friday.
Jackson will be released November 11, six days after Murray State's season starts. The 6'0" guard scored 4.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists last year. Jackson was expected to get a lot of playing time this year as a junior.
It is not clear at this time if Murray State will allow him back on the team once released from jail.