After Kansas Athletics announced Wednesday that prospective football player Darreon Jackson was “no longer among” athletes being recruited, his attorneys are blaming a former Kansas rower for creating a “social media fervor” that led to his offer being rescinded.
Daisy Tackett is currently the plaintiff in a Title IX case against the University of Kansas involving an alleged sexual assault that occurred in an on-campus apartment complex during her time as a student.
Three different lawsuits have been filed against the University of Kansas involving sexual assault since March of 2016.
On Friday, Tackett, who no longer attends the University, was served a cease and desist order from Jackson’s legal counsel. The document, obtained by the Kansan, claimed Tackett had made “false and defamatory statements” about Jackson on social media without any factual basis.
“She has used her victim advocacy as a platform to rally students at Kansas University to protest [Jackson’s] intent to enroll and play football for KU,” wrote Susan Lynn Mimura, Jackson’s attorney. “I’ve been informed that the University has rescinded its verbal commitment to Darreon only because of the social media fervor she created based upon fiction.”
On Friday, the Kansan asked Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director of public affairs, if the court of public opinion swayed the football program's decision in rescinding Jackson's verbal commitment to the program. In an email, Marchiony said no.
Jackson began attending Boise State in 2015, but in May 2016, was given a year-long suspension from the school following an alleged sexual assault that occurred the previous semester, according to the Idaho Statesman. After an appeal, Jackson's suspension was reduced to a semester. No criminal charges were filed against Jackson before he transferred to Coffeyville Community College, where he played for the 2016-17 season.
Darreon Jackson, verbal KU Football recruit, is no longer being considered among prospective players.
The cease and desist letter claimed Jackson has “never committed sexual battery or rape” and that he defended the truth through Boise State’s “improperly conducted” Title IX investigation.
“He apparently will have to continue defending himself against slander-breathing activists who are willing to act rashly on a lie than to bother fact checking for the truth,” the letter read.
In addition to notifying Tackett that she is to cease and desist making false and defamatory statements about Jackson, the letter also demanded that Tackett “retract and remove” Jackson’s name from her social media posts and issue a public apology.
Tackett did delete the social media posts, but Tackett’s mother, Amanda Tackett, told the Kansan in a message that there will not be an apology issued.
Dan Curry, Tackett’s attorney, said he does not see the connection between Tackett’s social media posts and Jackson’s dismissal.
“We don’t think there's any reason to cease and desist at all,” he told the Kansan. “Daisy has every right to express her opinion on public events. I don’t see there being any basis for this letter.”
Curry said his firm has responded and has asked Jackson’s attorneys to “stop making troubling accusations about Daisy using caustic language.”
According to Curry, the cease and desist has also been submitted to the University.
The Kansan reached out to Jackson’s attorney, on Friday afternoon. She was not immediately available for comment.
—Edited by Chandler Boese