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Jackson, 17, wears the ankle monitor so the cops know where he is at all times. That's because he's awaiting an Oct. 17 trial on six counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, each of which carries a sentence of five years to life if he's convicted. According to police reports, in two incidents on Jan. 18 Jackson and accomplices robbed six men of $270 at gunpoint, punched one victim and fired a shot at him as he ran, and pistol-whipped another.
So that pretty much ought to end his high school football career, right? After all, according to reports made after his arrest, Jackson admitted in writing to being the gunman in both holdups and to assaulting two of the victims. ( Jackson's lawyer is disputing elements of the police reports.)
I mean, at my high school the coach kicked guys off the team for not wearing a tie on game day. But did all this end Jackson's career? Nope.
Well, it did end his career at his former school, North Mesquite High. The picky coach there, Steve Bragg, has a policy of not playing guys who are out of jail on $45,000 bail. Bragg has kicked guys off for missing practice.
Knowing that, Jackson didn't even try to go back to North Mesquite. Neither did his teammate Travon Wilson, who also took part in the robberies. Wilson pleaded guilty to all six aggravated robbery counts, and in June got 10 years' probation and 120 days at the Dallas County Jail in a work-release program.
Luckily, in this country, where shame is on permanent holiday, there are bleachers full of football coaches willing to give youngsters facing six-count felony charges another chance. Especially youngsters who are all-district, such as Jackson and Wilson.
At Lancaster, Jackson could see time at wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, free safety, punt returner and kick returner. The thinking must be, Wear the kid out and he'll be too tired to rob anybody.