Photo Caption: Boo Jackson has helped lead Ohio to a 5-1 record in the MAC, and in contention for a MAC championship.
As of Sunday afternoon, however, no Athens Police report on the fight at Courtside Pizza & Sports Bar was available. And Ohio Athletics spokesman Jason Corriher would confirm only that Jackson was treated and released from Grant Medical Center in Columbus Saturday afternoon after being treated for facial injuries suffered Friday night.
Neither Ohio Athletics nor the football team was releasing information about how the incident might affect Jackson's playing status. The Bobcats' next game is Nov. 16 at Temple.
"Our first concern is for his well-being as he makes his recovery. We will continue to monitor this situation," Corriher said in the release.
However, an Ohio football player who was present during the altercation said the senior quarterback suffered a bone fracture above his eyelid (likely the orbital bone) and the player believes Jackson may be done for the season.
"Boo has a bone fractured above his eyelid..." said the player, who asked not to be identified. "I saw a picture of Boo. He had a neck (brace)."
The player said that Jackson's 29-year-old brother, Will Jackson, tried to get a 20-year-old friend into Courtside Friday night. When the bouncer denied his friend access, the player said, Will Jackson began to argue with the bouncer.
"(Will and the bouncer) went outside," the player continued. "Boo was inside, and by the time he saw them go outside, Will had already got hit and was laying on the ground."
When Boo Jackson came outside and tried to break up the fight, the player recounted, the bouncer interpreted his attempts at peace as a threat, and began to swing.
After Boo Jackson was hit for the first time, the player said, the scene got even uglier.
"Boo tried to step in between them and break it up, but more people came in and kept hitting Boo. That's when he went down and didn't get back up," the player said. "(When other players got there), Boo was already unconscious and on the ground and Will was on his knees."
The player noted, "(Boo) was just trying to break it up. I guess the guy thought Boo was about to hit him. Boo didn't do anything. Boo didn't throw (a punch)."
The player identified the Courtside employee who apparently caused the most damage as a former OU student, who was not initially present at the fight. He was working the bar on the opposite end of the parking lot where the fight took place.
"Whenever the bartender went back in, he was in the front side of Courtside. (The fight) happened on the side, so I don't know where the bartender came from," the player said.
After Athens Police were dispatched to the scene, the player continued, they questioned the bartender/bouncer who allegedly struck Boo Jackson, and then released him to finish his shift.
The player said the bartender in question had a confrontation with an Ohio linebacker last year in which the bartender knocked the linebacker unconscious with a punch. Athens County Municipal Court does not have record of the incident, but other sources have confirmed the story. (The Athens NEWS is not identifying the bartender/bouncer who allegedly struck Jackson until it has more information, including criminal charges, if any.)
When players got word of Boo Jackson's injuries, as many as 30 players rushed to Courtside to intervene, the player said.
"At the beginning, it was probably about five there. By the time it ended, there were probably about 20 to 30," the player said.
Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich, who was in Athens, was alerted by the police, according to the player. He reportedly accompanied Boo Jackson to O'Bleness Hospital via ambulance, and the player was later transferred to Grant Medical Center in Columbus.
Will Jackson is considerably worse off than his brother, according to the player. He suffered multiple fractures above his eye and required stitches, he said.
The player confirmed that the Ohio coaching staff declared that no Bobcat football players were permitted to go out the night after the fight. Ohio reportedly scheduled a team meeting Sunday morning to discuss the situation.
Courtside had no comment on the incident. An anonymous employee said that owner David Cornwall instructed all employees not to say anything regarding the Jackson situation.
Editor's note: This article was posted to www.speakeasymag.com over the weekend. We edited and modified it before publication, with the author's permission. TS
Editor's note: In a comment attached to the end of the Speakeasymag.com story, a reader who identified himself as a witness to the incident disputed the player's account that was central to Speakeasy's story. "Boo and his boys were denied from getting some underage recruits in (the bar) when Boo's brother punch a courtside manager in the face for no real reason except for ignorance...," wrote the reader, who identified himself as an OU student. "After the punch happened three Courtside employees went out against nine or more football players... I am not a fan of the bar or fighting but they were able to put over nine football players on the ground. I will say they had no other choice as multiple people tried to beat them."