THE SIDELINES : Drake Flunks as Ex-Player Sues

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Former basketball player Terrell Jackson has sued Drake University for fraud, alleging the school reneged on a promise to provide him an education.

Jackson was recruited by former Coach Tom Abatemarco in 1988 after attending several schools, including Minnesota and Cincinnati. He quit the team this winter in a dispute that led to the resignation of Abatemarco, now an assistant at Colorado.

Jackson, 22, seeks punitive and compensatory damages in a suit filed in Polk County District Court that also accuses Drake of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and violation of Jackson’s civil rights.

The lawsuit alleged Drake lured Jackson with promises of academic support to complete his degree, then made it virtually impossible to receive an education. The suit alleged the school, through Abatemarco and his staff, asked Jackson to plagiarize term papers, urged him “to register for classes that detracted or conflicted least from the basketball schedule and would provide high grades essential to maintaining academic eligibility regardless of their academic worth.”