BREAKING: Dan Jackson to “step back” from football program while situation is reviewed

Jackson recently supported Ye via Facebook, who has made various antisemitic and otherwise discriminatory comments through the media.


Emily Gonçalves

Vanderbilt announced that defensive backs coach Dan Jackson will step back from the program for the time being. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Goncalves)

Bryce Smith, Sports Editor

Defensive backs coach Dan Jackson will “step back” from the football program according to a press release from athletic director Candice Lee on Monday night. Joe Rexrode of The Athletic first reported the news via Twitter. The news comes three days after a social media post surfaced in which Jackson supported Ye’s recent comment. The Hustler confirmed the update with a team spokesperson.

Lee said an internal investigation into Jackson’s comments began “immediately over the weekend.”

“It is important the university follow its standard process and conduct a thorough review of the complexities of this incident,” Lee’s statement reads. “Coach Jackson and I have agreed that he will step back from his responsibilities with the team during the Equal Opportunity and Access office’s review.”

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier also released a statement on Monday night. In an email titled “Addressing recent concerns related to staff social media post,” Diermeier reiterated that the university condemns discrimination and that instances of such will “not be tolerated.”

“While individual views expressed by faculty, staff or students do not represent the university, we are concerned by the allegations,” Diermeier said. “Vanderbilt has a thorough process for addressing reports of discrimination through Equal Opportunity and Access, and that review is underway.”

Jackson coached on the sideline during the team’s loss to South Carolina despite the Facebook post surfacing on Friday night. Lea declined to give details as to why that decision was made, but expressed disappointment in Jackson’s actions.  The Hustler reported that some Jewish student-workers did not work the game despite typically working every home game.

“I sat down with Dan as soon as I caught wind of this, and as he expressed in his statement, he was embarrassed and apologetic in that meeting,” head football coach Clark Lea said after the South Carolina loss. “He feels awful about it. Obviously, as a program, we value diversity in all forms. That’s evidenced in our staff and the makeup of our team.

In a Nov. 4 statement posted on Twitter at 8:55 p.m. CDT, Jackson apologized for his comments and said he took “full responsibility.” Lee and Lea also released a joint statement condemning antisemitism and discrimination.

“Kanye is two steps ahead of everyone,” Jackson’s original comment read. “He’s not crazy. People try to silence him because he thinks for himself. People don’t want that. Rappers and athletes are taught they need to think the same as the media/politicians. If they have an opinion that is opposite the mainstream, they’re called crazy. More people need to wake up and speak their mind.”

Ye has come under fire recently for making numerous antisemitic and otherwise discriminatory comments including questioning George Floyd’s manner of death and saying, in a since-removed tweet, that “When I wake up, I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

This report will be updated.