This just in. Dylan Jackson is back. He is officially a Beaverton High School Football Player. The rumors of his return are true and we spoke to him tonight at his home.
For those that do not know Jackson is the standout defensive back and running back that has played at Jesuit the past three years. A couple of days after the season started Jackson was excused from practice at Jesuit High School. He and head coach Ken Potter were called from the practice field to the Deans Office. That was the last time Jackson was a Jesuit Crusader.
"That was a long quiet walk up that path and hallway. In short I was told that I would be denied enrollment at Jesuit for my Senior year," said Jackson. "I would not be allowed to finish at Jesuit as a student or as an athlete."
Jackson violated the schools codes of conduct. That is what he was told so his days as a Crusader were over. There are some charges pending against Jackson here in Washington County but there has been no hearing, trial, or official ruling on this matter. Jackson said he was not at liberty to discuss the legal issues in this matter as they are pending but said he is going to work through the matter "no matter what it takes".
The issue seems to be mired in a petty theft charge. We will speculate no further. He is accused of doing something wrong enough so that Jesuit High felt compelled to deny him access to the school. He was on a scholarship at Jesuit and that is gone too.
This left Jackson with a dilemma. He had practiced in pads with Jesuit. That and his removal from the team evoked the pundits to say he would be banned as per OSAA rules that prevent athletes from moving schools after that first day in pads.
Jackson is a Westview High student by boundaries. The family apparently spoke to Westview and than decided to ask for a release to Beaverton High which was approved by both schools administration.
The Jackson's than made a formal request for a hardship to the Metro League on the basis that Jackson did not leave but was rather cut off from access to his school of choice; Jesuit. On Wednesday the Metro League had three schools vote on the hardship request. That vote came in 2-1 "No" denying him access to the football field.
Today the Metro League vote was appealed to the OSAA who heard the request. Dylan offered this account of today's proceeding.
"Today myself and my mother as well as two of my former baseball coaches went before the OSAA. We made a formal request and I got up and told my side of what happened. They asked me some questions and we all did our best to state exactly what went on," he said.
"We explained to them that this was not my choice and that Jesuit would not allow me to stay. I asked for my chance to compete again. This is something that I feel very strong about. I just told them exactly what happened."
After about an hour hearing and an hour deliberation the OSAA 7 Member group returned. The informal process was over and in a unanimous vote they cleared Dylan to compete. In that moment he became a Beaverton Beaver.
This now means Jackson will need approximately 9 days of practice to come back to be able to pay full contact. He will be on the field before the Metro League opener against Southridge.
"I got a second chance here and I will not waste it. I want to take advantage of this," said a determined Jackson. "This gives me a chance to show what I can do to help my team succeed and Beaverton is looking very good right now. If things go well we will make the playoffs."
"The other stuff is going to take time and I do not know how long. But that is separate from this or school and I will face that all head on and do what I need to do," he added.
Jackson is a powerful fast running back and the Crusaders are really missing him. The whole affair is sad really but kids make mistakes and if he did something wrong that will have to be dealt with in due time. He and Jesuit both lost when the administration made their decision. There is something to be said for sticking to your rules but it seems that waiting for a formal decision may have been more appropriate.
"I regret not being with them. Coach Potter is a great guy. He probably did not realize the seriousness of this issue. I wish them all the best there," said Jackson softly.
We are a sports related website and we get to meet a lot of these kids. In that process we meet them on a personal level. We are not here to hand out opinions or sit on High and hand out our version of right and wrong.
We do however have to say that the best road back in most cases is an honest forward facing reaction for what has been done. He seems to be prepared for that. We are glad that the OSAA let one of Oregon's premier football players back on the field. The legal matter will not disappear and will not diminish but will be dealt with on its own schedule; just as all things must be.
We wish Jesuit, Westview, Beaverton, the Metro League, the OSAA, and Dylan Jackson a great 2009 football season. This may turn the Beavers season North. Whatever comes it is yet another reason we love Friday Nights....the place where memories and human experience meet every year.