The turbulent career of Janzen Jackson at Tennessee is over.
Not even a full 24 hours after Derek Dooley reiterated that Jackson was on a zero-tolerance policy and managed day-to-day, the Vols coach announced the decision to dismiss the junior safety in a release on Wednesday morning.
No specific reason was provided, but Dooley is scheduled to meet with the media after a mock game Wednesday night at Neyland Stadium. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about the issue confirmed to the News Sentinel that Jackson has dealt with substance abuse problems during his time with the Vols, which appear to have contributed to his withdrawal from the program in the spring prior to returning over the summer.
Citing privacy laws, UT could not confirm nor deny an ESPN.com report that Jackson failed drug tests, but his status with the team clearly changed at some point following practice Tuesday morning and the public announcement on Wednesday.
“Our program has devoted a tremendous amount of energy, resources, support, and care in an effort to help Janzen manage his personal challenges,” Dooley said in the release. “I will always be there to help him as a person, but there comes a time when a player’s actions preclude him from the privilege of playing for the University of Tennessee football team.
“Although I’m disappointed with this outcome, we will never compromise the long-term organizational values and goals we maintain here at Tennessee.”
Jackson spent time away from the program throughout spring and the first session of summer school dealing with undisclosed personal problems in hopes of coming back for another season with the program.
But a violation of the policy Dooley put in place for his return will now keep him continuing a career that included 23 games, 106 tackles and six interceptions as an invaluable weapon at the back of the UT defense.
More details as they develop online and in Thursday’s News Sentinel.