Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walter Jackson Quits Sacramento State Team

As seen on Sac State Sports:

For the second time in three months, the Sacramento State men’s basketball team has lost a player because of personal reasons.

Guard/forward Walter Jackson left the team prior to their conference-opener against Northern Arizona. According to a team spokesman, Jackson’s departure went unreported in the hopes of maintaining a competitive edge over the Lumberjacks.

Hornets Coach Brian Katz said Jackson came to him about two minutes before practice Dec. 26 and told him he “didn’t want to play basketball anymore.”
Jackson is a senior that was entering his final semester of basketball. He was averaging 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and had been one of their most efficient guys. He was shooting about 58% from the field, and blocking a nice amount of shots for them.

Jackson is the second player to leave the team this year, as Anthony Costetino quit the team before playing a game for them before the season started, not saying a word to Head Coach Brian Katz. For Katz, players leaving is becoming a disturbing trend, despite Sacramento State always saying that Katz graduates all of his players. Eventually, Sacramento State fans and boosters are beginning to be disenchanted with Katz, as a source tells me that boosters may slowly be mobilizing to buy out Katz's contract, of which next season is the final year on his deal.

At 5-8 overall and 0-2 in the Big Sky, Katz could use some wins in a hurry.

UPDATE: Part of this post was factually incorrect. I have made a correction and posted further comments, which can be found here.

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  1. Full disclosure...I enjoy this website very much, any exposure to the BigSky is GREAT! I am also a long time Sac. State follower and come into this with that bias.

    As a long time fan (and booster), I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we have have Brian Katz coaching here. He has brought a level of discipline not seen in these parts for some time. Coach Katz has also brought improvement every year (just take a look at Coach Rahe's comments after last Saturday's game for proof). But mostly, Coach Katz has brought an integrity to this program we can all be proud of.

    All that said, I must correct you. Coach Katz has 3 years remaining on his contract AFTER this season. I am not sure which booster you are talking to, but he/she does not know the facts. I can also tell you that the administration at Sacramento State is 100% behind Coach Katz and will remain that way.

    Bottom line, he is here building this program in the right way and we believe in him!

  2. This is yet another example of irresponsible reporting from the blogosphere. Speculating as to why Walter Jackson or any other player leaves his team is simply unfounded conjecture unless you have personally spoken to Mr. Jackson. Why would you simply conclude that the problem lies with Coach Katz? Your statement that boosters may be "mobilizing to buy out Katz's contract" is also inaccurate. Your "source" apparantly did not know that Coach Katz has 4 years left on his contract; not 1 year as you report.

    Coach Katz took over a program which for years had performed miserably both athletically and academically. He is buiding a program from the ground up and will be successful just as he has been at all other levels that he has coached.

    If you are interested in maintaining your own credibility, then you'll report the news as opposed to "creating" it.

    Mike N
    Sac State Booster

  3. Guys,

    Thank you for the comments. I appreciate it, and I deserve to be called out when incorrect. I was wrong about the length of time left on his contract. I thought next year was the final year, but there are 3 years remaining after this season. That is my mistake and I will be correcting that.

    However, I did not claim Jackson left because of Katz, but merely stated that players leaving is becoming a trend for Katz. Maybe it is because of the higher "level of discipline," but to me it seems like an unusually high level of attrition.

    Just looking at the past 2 years... from last year's team, I believe Zach Nelson and Antoine Proctor both left midseason, and Alpha N'Diaye left because of academics. This year, Constetino left before ever playing a game, and now Jackson has left the team as well. That is 5 in the past two years, and it seems there was more before that as well. I don't know why everyone left and don't claim to know, I just say that players leaving is becoming a trend for Sac State, which from my view it clearly is. That is a lot of players leaving the program, for whatever the reason may be.

    Let me ask you guys as boosters... does that bother you that 5 guys have left the program in the last year? You guys are certainly closer to the program than me, all I can say is that if it was my college, that level of attrition would bother me.

    As far as your backing, that is great, I was passing along what a source had told me. Perhaps the source was wrong, I guess time will tell. In light of the contract length, it seems like that is very possible.

    Once again, apologies on the incorrect contract length. I was wrong, and I will be sure to make a correction later tonight when I am at home.

  4. As the author of the original article I'm going to chime in with my two cents based on some things I've heard since it was published.

    Yes there does appear to be a trend of players leaving, and while this is only my first year around the program I do not believe it to be poor coaching. I believe the reason players have left is because Katz is a demanding coach.

    I've played for coaches like that in other sports and some people just don't have the ability to handle it. I'm not going to say that's the case this time with Jackson, but I am going to through that out there.

    Also from what I've observed so far I do believe the powers-that-be at Sacramento State do support Brian Katz and will at least let him go until his contract expires. His teams continue to improve each year, and for a program that has languished in the cellar since before he got here patience with Katz or any coach is going to be important.

  5. Thanks for the comment Bryan, I appreciate that. I could see that about being demanding, but at what point does a coach get TOO demanding? And at what point does it becomes Katz' fault that he is bringing these guys into the program?

    I should have a lot more to say tonight, I plan to write up a more thorough post of my thoughts. I appreciate you chiming in.

  6. I enjoy this site, and don't normally respond to blogs, but this hit close to home......

    It seems reckless to be speculating on why players quit, a coach's tenure, whether or not certain players should be (or not be) brought into a program, etc.

    Changing a losing culture into a winning tradition is not easy, and there will be casualties along the way. Not all players are willing to make the necessary sacrifice for team success. They might say they are up for the challenge, but words can be cheap!

    I'm not going to speculate why anyone quit, but the team is certainly better off with players that are wanting to put on the uniform, make the necessary sacrifices, accept their role and contribute to the overall success of the team.

    As a Hornets fan, I am very happy with the guys that are leading this team. Katz has made honesty, integrity, and work ethic synonymous with his tenure. With more recruits like Garity, Carbajal, McCarver and Eberhard (team first kind of guys), the program will certainly thrive. The Hornets are a hard working group and the discipline and organization by the coaches is very evident. Katz is building a winner.

  7. Those names you guys have mentioned leaving the program are just a few of the names there are many including: Blockmon, Wilson, Johnstin & Lopez off the top of my head.

    With that said I like Katz and the direction we are heading. It is just puzzling for a guy to leave the week before conference play starts.

  8. I have had the unfortunate opportunity of watching the Sac State Hornets play and did not like coach Katz coaching style. Being a former player myself, I do believe its a hard position to be in devoloping players to be all they can be, but there also lies an obligation to be a mentor and leader to these young men. Every coach that signs up for this should now this. When I play, I played for a coach that was the meanest coach in the world, but when he was wrong he was not afraid to admit this and because of this it made me a better player and also play harder. Now we will never really get to the bottom of this as I'm sure he has his supporters behind him and the players have their support. Everyone that has commented on this page, what would you do if you were treated unfairly? Would you continue to play? I'm guessing yes because otherwise it's called quitting. I would never want anyone to belittle themselve to that point, but once you guyz get the real reason I will be watching and waiting...

  9. Well, Mr. Jackson signed a contract to go to school and play basketball. He failed to live up to that agreement in my eyes. Obviously, you think that contracts can just be broken willy nilly. Yes, he is quitting and he will forever be tagged, at least in basketball circles as a quitter.

  10. Very smart MR Anonymous (^) your comment sounds very familiar, perhaps the man himself!!! ..excuse me... Anyway back to the article..to bring truth to light of what really happened, maybe someone should interview Mr. Jackson. He did not quit the team...he was injured and went to the coach and the coach quit the team for him. Do any of you realize Mr Jackson has played for Katz before Katz was at Sacramento State?? He played hurt, he had to fly the day after his grandmother was buried to get to a game..does that sound like a quitter? Just because a student has a scholarship doesn't mean he/she should sack it up and be disrespected from the coach because he has control issues. What people fail to realize is that there are reasons things happen but due to politics, these reason are never heard of because many people do not want to spend the time trying to bring them to light.

  11. Definition of a quitter according Webster's dictionary:
    one that quits; especially : one that gives up too easily :

    Reading the above poster comments does not sound like a quitter to me, the average person would have quit a long time ago. I guess many of the people who consider him a quitter is still working in the mail room of a firm and happy about that. No growth!
    Walter dealt with katz arrogance for over 5 years, have you read the paperwork involved in this contract?
    Lets be truthful a scholarship is an exchange for a student to perform in exchange for tuition. Having a student-athlete perform and fans come to watch, provides revenue for the school.
    They are to provide Butts in seats!
    Does this contract say a player has to play while he is hurt because the coach is refusing to acknowledge an injury, does this contract say the players have to be bullied by a coach to stroke his ego...there is some papers that over ride this "contract" as you call it and that is called the NCAA guidelines!

    Saying Mr Jackson is a quitter in basketball circles? Funny, I wonder what circle can you possible be talking about, maybe its the circle around the basketball rim in Sac states arena? In the real basketball circles many are wondering why did Jackson even decide to go to Sac state to be played out of position by a coach that coaches a Div I team like he coached the girls high school basketball team years ago. Did anyone of you watch the game against Oklahoma, they had Sac state shook ..why..because they pulled plays out the wazoo and Sac state could only stick with the 3-4 plays they knew. Lets pray to God Dickson doesn't get hurt because majority of his offense plays are for him LOL. Does anyone question why he doesn't play Kendall Groom? He is a great defensive player but yet he sits the bench only to be brought in the last 45 seconds to the end of the game...Its called Control!! and Katz is a control freak

  12. If you sat through the agony of defeat Sat, 1/14, you have some idea of the problem. Once the team got up by 20+ points in the 2nd half, the coach shut down the aggressive offense that got them there and went to a passive 4 corners offense. Idaho State was more than happy to accommodate the Hornets. Result was another Hornet loss with a Bengal 4 point play at the buzzer. Some players were crying as they left the floor in frustration. Groundhog Day all over again.