Ah, Saturday. The day when I shift gears and write about sports. As you can tell, today I’m discussing the return of Janzen Jackson to the University Tennessee and the football program.
Much has been made the issues surrounding Jackson. Let’s be honest. He has had a troubled time at UT. He was involved in the infamous Pilot holdup. He missed time last December prior to the Music City Bowl due to personal issues. Most recently, he missed the second semester due to dealing with these same issues. Several questions have to come to mind for Tennessee fans if we are going to be honest with ourselves.
The first one is if Derek Dooley would put up with this if Jackson was not among the best, if not the best, player on the team. Is Jackson getting special treatment. Would someone who can’t even make the depth chart be afforded these opportunities? I will give CDD the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Another question is if this is just a replay of the Fulmer years. One of the gripes of many of us was that Coach Fulmer was lack on discipline. Given what we’ve seen so far, I will again side with Coach Dooley. He has shown he can pull the trigger quickly. I’m going to believe that he has the best interests at heart for Jackson and has considered what he and the team needed in this situation.
The final question that has to be asked is what happens if Jackson faces any trouble from this point on through the end of the season. Presumably, this will be his final season before declaring for the NFL draft. Has he conquered his personal demons and will be able to stay out of trouble through December? Will Coach Dooley pull the trigger and end the relationship if trouble comes? The answer to these questions will linger the remainder of Jackson’s return.
Personally, I hope that Jackson has beaten all of the troubles that have beset him. Yes, I want this to happen for my Volunteers. However, I really want the best for Jackson and wish him to conquer what he has found himself a part of.