It has been over 30 years now, and Bo Jackson is still not happy with the Bucs former owner, the late Hugh Culverhouse.

In a recent USA Today article Jackson recalled his reason for not signing with the Bucs, who made him the overall No. 1 draft pick in 1986.

“Their people said they were looking out for me, and checked with the NCAA that it was OK for me to go on their plane for that physical,’’ Jackson said, “But nobody checked it out. Well, I put two and two together, and figured it out. They knew I was a first-round pick in football, but they wanted to get me away from baseball, so they got me ruled ineligible. I’m 100percent convinced of that. They thought that would make me forget baseball.

“I told myself, ‘All right, if you screw me, I’m going to screw you twice as hard.’ If anybody else had drafted me, I would have gone, but I wasn’t going to play for that man.”

I spoke to Hugh Culverhouse Jr. a few years back for a story on Jackson, and while he was critical of his father, he doesn’t believe their was any sinister plan by the owner and organization.

“We tried to convince the NCAA we had spoken to someone and if it was a mistake, it was clearly an honest mistake. The fact of the matter is, Dad didn’t know the rules. Dad was a businessman. He didn’t even know a lot about the game of football altogether. To say Dad was plotting to get Bo ineligible is ludicrous. He would have done anything to get Bo on the team. He genuinely wanted Bo.

“Bo needs to look at himself. Effectively what Bo is saying is, ‘I am stupid.’ I let this NFL team and an organization take advantage of me. Well (I would say) ‘Bo you already had an agent. You already had advisers. You already had Auburn University who could have told you, Bo, no. So don’t come out of here playing stupid and accusing my Dad of doing something first.’ It would have been the last thing he would ever do.

“The one thing I can tell you is, dad loved Bo. It was a mistake to draft him. But Dad loved Bo.”

Regardless if Jackson or Culverhouse’s story is the truth about the attempt to have Jackson ineligible to continue his collegiate baseball career, the decision to select Jackson, who made it clear prior to the draft that he would never play in Tampa Bay, was a move that set the organization back for years. 

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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Horse
4 years ago

Okay I’ll be nice to Junior and just say we all were bitter about the Bo Jackson situation. I blame it on the Owner unless JR wants to admit that the Buccanneers had the dumbest management and administration people in the history of the NFL. That owner was no fan of mine. Some of us old timer’s remember that owner and have nothing kind to say about him.

chetthevette
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Horse, sorry I won’t be nice to Jr.. The nut does not fall far from the tree. Daddy was a shady business man and so is…
Well you get it.
And yes that is still the worst draft pick the BUCS ever made.
GO BUCS

jme0151
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Amen Horse!!!!!!

76Buc
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

I was a banker that was on the loan committee that gave him a loan. I saw his financials and he was rich. I personally did not like him at all. I think his pecunious ways distroyed the franchise, especially the Doug Williams situation.

chetthevette
Reply to  76Buc
4 years ago

“pecunious”
Fantastic word 76 Buc.
GO BUCS

Harry Dickinsider
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

If you read Doug Williams book “Quarterblack” Doug say’s Bo’s agent had contacted him wanting more input regarding the team as well as why Culverhouse let Doug go. Culverhouse instead of offering Bo cash and claiming he was going to make him the highest paid player in the league instead was offering Bo a piece of land in Sarasota FL as Culverhouse owned a lot of undeveloped land there. Culverhouse was a shady business man!

skipper
skipper
4 years ago

Hugh Culverhouse was the worst owner in NFL history.