UIL investigating targeted attack on Burleson football player

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The University Interscholastic League is investigating the targeted attack on a Burleson High School football player during a game against Waco. The attack was captured on video.

Jennifer Gower said she's been patient in waiting for Waco ISD and the UIL to complete their investigation into the incident. But when she found out the football player who gave her son a concussion was back out on the field just a week later, she decided to speak out.

Gower can’t forget what she saw on the night of Sept. 13. Her son, Jagger, was playing for Burleson High School in a freshman game when he was hit and choked by #76 from Waco University High School. His head was repeatedly slammed into the ground.

“If this is allowed to happen, then it’s going to happen to somebody else,” she said.

The mother believes her son was targeted by players from the opposing team during kickoffs.

“I’ve been told it's because he was a quarterback, but I’m not satisfied with that answer,” she said.

Gower is not satisfied because Jagger, who plays special teams, was one of two Burleson quarterbacks who played that night. She said the other player was left alone.

In another video, Jagger is targeted and laid out by #18. And during another play, #76, the same player who would later choke Jagger, tackled him and then held onto him. When he finally let go, it appears another player punched Jagger to knock him down.

“My biggest thing is I don’t want this to happen to any other kids or parents,” Gower said.

In a statement to FOX 4, a Burleson ISD spokesperson said, "Our coaches quickly ran onto the field to intervene on behalf of our player." They added that they "protested the incident with Waco ISD officials."

Waco ISD told FOX 4, "Obviously, we do not condone the behavior depicted in the videos posted on Facebook." They added that "the player faced consequences mandated by UIL and additional consequences imposed by the district."

Waco ISD Athletic Director Johnny Tusa said he acted swiftly to report the incident to the UIL after the player was ejected from the game.

"We hold student-athletes to high standards took swift action according to UIL rules and our own in-house punishment satisfied with how the situation ended,” Tusa said.

The UIL hasn’t’ ruled out further discipline right now.

"A State Executive Committee meeting for this case is not scheduled at this time, but may occur in the future as the UIL continues to gather information,” the UIL said.

It is not clear if there was any off the field discipline against No. 76. Waco's athletic director would not discuss that, but did say Jennifer Gower is entitled to her own opinions.

"We are satisfied with how we handled this, our young man has been punished properly and he had moved on from there,” Tusa said.

“I think that’s BS, honestly,” said Nicole Williams, whose son plays on the Burleson varsity football team. “Because I feel like if the roles were reversed and that was a Burleson player that did that to his Waco player, he wouldn’t have that same sentiment about it.”

Tusa also said his district was concerned about its players and not players from other districts.

According to a UIL spokeswoman, player No. 76 was required to sit out the remainder of the Burleson game and the first half of the next game.

Gower said she is stunned by the punishment since her son will have to sit out three games due to his concussion.

“I don’t feel like that's acceptable at all,” she said.

Scott Shaha, a former Burleson High School coach, understands Gower’s frustration.

“I respect the mom believing that,” she said. “Certainly if it were my kid, I’d want him out for a long time. But without knowing what the other punishment was that was imposed by the school or team, if any, it’s hard to judge.”

“The player's athletic director says #76 is remorseful.

“He’s very sorry,” Tusa said.

“I feel like he shouldn't be allowed to play for the rest of the season,” Williams said.

Jagger has not talked publicly about the incident. His mom says his focus is getting healthy enough to get back on the football field.

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