Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bo Jackson's issues with Bucs included former owners' alleged 'my boys' comments

It's well-known that Bo Jackson refused to play for the Bucs after they took him first overall in the 1986 draft because he believed they were responsible for him becoming ineligible to play baseball his senior season at Auburn.

But Jackson now says he had another reason as well. He had problems with how then-owner Hugh Culverhouse treated people.

"The fact the owners kept calling the players, 'These are my boys,' '' Jackson tells USA Today. "Their wives were doing the same thing. I couldn't go there. I always believed that if you don't … stand for what you believe is right, who else is going to have faith in you?''

Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner and a definite first-round pick at the time, still believes he lost his baseball eligibility because the Bucs flew him to Tampa for a pre-draft physical and then purposely reported it to the NCAA as an infraction, hoping he would give up baseball.

Previous coverage: When the Bucs blew it by drafting Bo Jackson

That's why he refused to play for Tampa Bay.

"... If anybody else had drafted me, I would have gone, but I wasn't going to play for that man," he said of Culverhouse.

Jackson went on to play for the Raiders in the NFL, as well as the MLB's Royals, White Sox and Angels, becoming an all-star in both sports. His football career ended when he suffered a fractured and dislocated hip in a 1991 playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jackson told USA Today that if he'd known then what he knows now about head injuries, he would have never played football to begin with, and would never allow his own children to play the sport.

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