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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt community reacts to football assistant coach Dan Jackson’s backing of Ye’s recent comments

While Jackson continued coaching responsibilities for Saturday’s game, some Jewish student-workers did not work the game despite typically working every home game.
Arianna Santiago
Vanderbilt football vs. South Carolina, as photographed on Nov. 5, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Arianna Santiago)

UPDATED: This piece was updated on Nov. 6 at 1:40 p.m. CST to include an additional article about the incident.

Vanderbilt community members expressed concern about football assistant coach Dan Jackson’s backing of Ye’s recent comments. A source close to the matter who is being kept anonymous for protection from retribution confirmed that some Jewish student-workers did not work the Nov. 5 game against South Carolina despite typically working every home game; Jackson continued regular coaching responsibilities.

Senior Carly Stewart, Vanderbilt Hillel president, said she was “disappointed” and “hurt” by Jackson’s comments. 

“Antisemitism must be called out and condemned when it occurs,” Stewart said in a message to The Hustler. “Vanderbilt needs to make it clear that this is unacceptable on our campus.”

Vanderbilt's Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity's statement regarding Dan Jackson's recent comments. (Photo courtesy of AEPi)
Vanderbilt’s Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity’s statement regarding Dan Jackson’s recent comments. (Photo courtesy of AEPi)

In a statement sent to The Hustler, Vanderbilt’s Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity stated that they are “troubled” by Jackson’s comments and condemned antisemitism and tolerance of such behavior.

“In the face of hate, Alpha Epsilon Pi will remain a beacon of strength and safety for the Jewish community at Vanderbilt,” the statement reads. “We call upon Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Athletics to demonstrate increased support to Jewish people and communities on our campus.”

Tom Stephenson (JD ‘09) published an article on Nov. 4 on Anchor of Gold, condemning Jackson’s statements.

“I’m the guy around here who wants to give coaches forever on the job before I finally come around to agreeing that they should be fired, but sometimes, the offense is so fireable that termination needs to be immediate,” Stephenson writes. “This dude needs to go, and that would be true even if Vanderbilt’s defensive backs weren’t allowing an Ole Miss receiver to break records.”

Robbie Weinstein (’17), 247 Sports writer and former sports editor of The Hustler, published a column on Nov. 6 about the situation, stating that Vanderbilt administrators are to blame for allowing Jackson to coach against South Carolina and for their vague statements. He pointed to how Jackson was unavailable during the press conference and how head coach Clark Lea refused to detail the university’s handling of the situation. Weinstein added that Jackson acts as a “hypothetical role model” for players and how his lackluster performance as a coach should add to the decision-making process on Vanderbilt’s part.

“When Vanderbilt had to decide whether to remove an assistant coach from action the night before a key game with no clear replacement available, it chose not to act,” Weinstein writes. “The nation’s No. 13 university shouldn’t have someone who subscribes to West’s incoherent babble guiding high-aiming college students throughout their careers.”

Another Anchor of Gold writer who goes by the moniker Andrew VU ‘04 similarly tweeted his disapproval of antisemitic rhetoric on Nov. 4. 

“Anti-semitic conspiracy theories should have no place at Vanderbilt. It is astounding that this even needs to be said,” the tweet reads. “We know what happens when they take root.”

A Vanderbilt Athletics representative declined to comment on Jackson coaching during the South Carolina game amid concerns over his comments. Vanderbilt Chabad also declined to comment on the situation.

Ye has come under fire recently for making numerous antisemitic and otherwise discriminatory comments. Jackson commented on a now-deleted Facebook post that Ye is “two steps ahead of everyone” and that people need “wake up,” speak their mind and think for themselves, as he claims Ye does. The comment was posted by StopAntisemitism, a non-profit watchdog organization that aims to expose antisemitism. 

Jackson released an apology on his Twitter on Nov. 4. Athletic director Candice Lee and head coach Clark Lea released a joint statement about the situation shortly after Jackson’s apology. In a Nov. 5 statement to The Hustler, the university added that the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has been in contact with Jewish leaders regarding the incident.

“While individual views expressed by faculty, staff, or students do not represent the university, we take seriously any actions that appear inconsistent with our commitment to a welcoming environment for all,” the statement reads. “Vanderbilt University has worked, and continues to work, to foster an environment in which differences are respected and all members of our community feel equal, valued and included.”

Jackson joined Vanderbilt’s football coaching staff this season as the defensive backs coach. The team’s defensive back unit ranks 130th out of 131 FBS schools in passing yards allowed in 2022.  

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About the Contributors
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
Arianna Santiago
Arianna Santiago, Senior Staff Photographer
Arianna Santiago ('24) is from Bremerton, Wash., and studying electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering. When not shooting for The Hustler or for freelance work, Arianna can be found leading campus tours, organizing events for University Catholic, attempting to study and procrastinating her lab reports. You can reach her at [email protected].
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Comments (5)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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1 year ago

I’m Jewish American, VU Alum, and former 27 yr FBI Special Agent.
Coach Jackson should never have opened his big mouth and should be fired!!

Repulsed Alum
1 year ago

Please do not let this story die. How Diermeir can keep an out-and-out anti-Semite is beyond me. Even to view it from a specific lens of football: Dan Jackon’s position group is 130 out of 131. THAT is good enough???

Vandy Law Jew
1 year ago

Member of the board for the Law School’s Jewish organization, no one from the administration reached out to us. Do we not count as part of the Jewish community.

Daniel Diermeier doesn’t care about Jews.

Jewish Student
1 year ago

No response from the school about Dan Jackson. No response from the school about the anti-Israel, pro-Palestine march. No response from the school when professors did not allow extensions for Jewish students observing the holidays. When will this end? When will Vanderbilt step up and support and protect its Jewish students? Is it really that big of a request? Why do students need to go through mandatory DEI and IDI training for the school to ignore any issues regarding its Jewish students? How is that fair? How is that equitable? How is that promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion? It’s a shame that in 2022 Jewish students and the Jewish community still need to suffer these horrendous events, accusations, vile language, and hatred. Disgusting and ashamed.

1 year ago

Bravo to the Vandy Hillel and AEPi for standing up to hatred. Is our Athletic Department or Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as brave?

Maybe it isn’t our Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion that should be in contact with Jewish leaders, but instead the promoter of this vile anti-semitism, Dan Jackson. Perhaps he would actually seem sincere if that was the step that was taken?