Ohio University’s starting quarterback was knocked unconscious outside an uptown bar late Friday night during a fight between multiple employees and members of the football team.
The altercation involved quarterback Franshaw “Boo” Jackson, backed by several teammates, and employees of Courtside Pizza, •85 N. Court St.
Athens Police officers determined that members of the football team went to the bar’s south entrance Friday night in hopes of admitting at least one person who was not of legal age or did not have proper identification, according to a news release from the department.
After bar employees pushed the group out, the teammates attempted to enter the east door. During this time, an unidentified person began throwing punches, according to the release.
As the fight escalated, a bar employee knocked Jackson to the sidewalk near Courtside's side entrance. The quarterback lay there until members of Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene. Jackson was then put on a stretcher and transported to O'Bleness Memorial Hospital.
Jackson was conscious when transported to O’Bleness and later sent to Grant Medical Center in Columbus to treat facial injuries. He was released Saturday afternoon, according to Ohio's athletic department.
“Our first concern is for his well-being as he makes his recovery,” said Jason Corriher, assistant athletic director of media relations. “We will continue to monitor this situation.”
On Saturday night, Jackson’s Facebook status indicated he’s recovering.
“Just letting everyone know I'm good! Thank you for all the support and concerns,” the status said. “I'm home relaxin with family. Love you all!”
About a dozen members of the football team stayed at Courtside after Jackson left. One player said that several others were waiting for the employee who hit Jackson to leave. The athletes dispersed when head coach Frank Solich arrived.
Numerous individuals on both sides of the fight were injured, according to the news release from Athens Police.
“I think Boo Jackson got the worst end of it, but he certainly wasn’t the only one with injuries,” said Lt. Randy Gray in an interview.
About a half dozen officers, including two on horseback, were dispatched to Courtside. Officers arrived after the fight was finished and spoke with witnesses.
“We’ve got obviously a whole lot of conflicting stories. I think we took seven written statements,” Gray said. “Very few of them saw what actually precipitated the fight … We pieced this together as best we can,” he added.
A Courtside manager said bar owner David Cornwell advised his employees not to talk to the media and would not discuss the fight this weekend.
No arrests have been made, Gray said, and the case now will be presented to city prosecutors. Gray said he doubts any charges will result from the fight, as the most likely charge would be disorderly fighting, a minor misdemeanor.
“Trying to serve charges doesn’t serve any purpose at this point,” Gray said.