GSU’s Jackson clarifies “incentivized to lose” statements to CNN

From ESPN and CNN reports

While Grambling State head coach Hue Jackson has been busy working on the Tigers 35-man recruiting class announced Wednesday, the former Cleveland Browns coach has also been busy with involvement in one of the biggest national stories.

Last week in an interview on ESPN SportsCenter that he was incentivized to lose games during his two years in Cleveland. This came in the wake of Brian Flores suing the NFL and three franchises – the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants – alleging discrimination regarding his interview processes with Denver and New York and his firing last month by Miami.

On Friday night, Jackson clarified in an interview with CNN that he was never paid to lose games, but stressed that evidence supporting his allegations that team ownership intended to lose during the 2016 and 2017 seasons “will come to light at the right time.”

“No, I was never offered money like Brian [Flores] had mentioned,” Jackson told CNN. “I think this is a totally different situation but has some similarities.”

On Wednesday, Jackson and Kimberly Diemert, the executive director of the Hue Jackson Foundation, which works to prevent human trafficking, began tweeting in response to Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL and the three teams.

Jackson tweeted that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam “was happy while we kept losing” and referenced the dollar amount he allegedly received from Haslam per loss as, “trust me it was a good number.”

Jackson told ESPN that the Browns had a “four-year plan” that incentivized losing during the first two years; bonus money was available if certain measurables were met such as aggregate rankings, being the youngest team and having so many draft picks. He said that plan led to his 1-31 record during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which gave Cleveland the No. 1 overall draft pick in back-to-back years.

Haslam came right back at Jackson on Thursday, telling the Knoxville News Sentinel that Jackson “has never accepted blame for one thing” and called the claim he paid Jackson to lose games “an absolute falsehood.”

Jackson told CNN that he wasn’t paid to lose games, but he had evidence to back his claims that ownership and the Browns’ executives intended to lose games.

Grambling State hired Jackson as the Tigers head football coach in December.

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