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Bo article from Plainsman


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Nice article about Bo: ... "carrying himself with class, humility and integrity. He exemplifies an Auburn man, just as the Creed proclaims."


Bo Knows Business

Section: Front

By Victoria Cumbow


Any person associated with sports or with Auburn University knows the name Bo Jackson. If anyone forgets the memories, there’s a room tucked away in the Athletic Complex with trophies and pictures to remind you.

Jackson has been out of the public eye for a while, but he’s not been out of the public.

Bo co-owns a food distribution company, N’Genuity. It’s based out of Scottsdale, Ariz., but Jackson resides outside of Chicago, Ill.

“Almost all of my business is done outside of Chicago,” Jackson said.

He resides with his wife Linda, and three children, Garrett, Nicholas and Morgan.

Jackson met his wife during his junior year at Auburn. She was working on her doctorate, and Jackson said she chased him for two months.

“I just got tired of running,” he said. “She finally caught me and throughout all that chasing and getting married, we created three beautiful children.”

Garrett is a senior at a private college in Minnesota, and Nicholas will start at Auburn this fall in building sciences.

“My daughter has the athletic genes,” Jackson said. “She is a track athlete, (and) she loves to run.”

While Morgan seems to be taking after one of dad’s past loves, she will be a senior in high school and is looking at Auburn as a possibility.

“She has narrowed her choices down to two schools, and one of them is Auburn,” Jackson said.

Jackson is proud of his boys’ excellence in school and claims all three kids make the mark.

“Everybody’s healthy, doing good and making good grades, which is the important thing,” Jackson said. “Living life to the fullest.”

Jackson admitted the baby of the family is the boss.

“She’s got me wrapped up like a Band-Aid,” Jackson said. “She rules the house.”

Jackson claims his kids have kept him and Linda grounded.

“There isn’t any joy like raising kids,” he said.

Jackson grew up poor in Bessemer, the eighth of ten children. His mother was a strong woman and always kept Jackson in line. He was a rambunctious kid, but because of his mother, stayed in line.

“She was the only one who could whip my butt when I got into trouble,” Jackson said. “She was the only person I feared, which was good.”

Jackson said he decided as a young adult to stay out of trouble.

During high school, Jackson played multiple sports, and he was recruited by some of the top schools in the country, but the only two he ever considered were Auburn and Alabama.

Dye said he knows exactly why Jackson chose Auburn.

“(Alabama) told him he wouldn’t be able to play till he was a sophomore or junior,” Dye said.

Bo wanted to play his freshman year, and that’s what he did at Auburn.

Once he arrived in Auburn, Jackson went through three roommates before finding Auburn fullback, Tommie Agee.

“We made a pact as freshmen, that I would keep him out of trouble, and he’d keep me out of trouble,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he and Agee were accountable to each other.

“I would make him get up and go to class when he didn’t want to go, and he’d make me get up and go to class whenever I didn’t ant to go,” Jackson said. “We were close like that.”

The two former players are still friends, and Jackson laughs about their time in college together.

“I always say that I gave him the four best years of my life,” Jackson said.

Agee said the one thing Jackson will never beat him at is fishing.

While at Auburn, the two men and former ?? Tim Jesse went fishing. Agee said he heard a scream and turned around to see what had happened.

Jesse and Jackson had gone a little further?? out in the river and Jesse had thrown the line out only to catch Jackson’s head.

Agee laughed and said no one’s ever caught a 6-foot-2, 225 pound large-mouth bass since.

On the field, Jackson was a natural. His abilities showed in high school, college and in the pros.

Dye said coaching Jackson was easy.

“Everybody in the world would like to coach somebody like Bo Jackson,” Dye said. “You really didn’t have to coach him, you guided him.”

Dye adds Jackson’s natural talent mixed with his intelligence made him great.

“Bo was such a great athlete, it came easy to him,” Dye said. “Besides that, he had a brilliant mind; he didn’t forget.”

Dye said he could diagram a play on the board and Jackson would run it perfect the first time, while other players would have to run it 100 times to get it perfect.

Jackson said Dye knew exactly what he wanted the players to do and told them exactly how to do it.

“If you didn’t get it right, you would repeat it until you got it right,” Jackson said. “So I learned in the early stage of my Auburn career, get it right the first time, and practice would be a whole lot shorter.”

Jackson said he has fond memories of Coach Dye for several reasons.

“I haven’t been under the tutelage of a coach like Coach Dye,” Jackson said. “Coach Dye was a father figure in my life for me. I never had a male authority around, and Coach Dye was that for me the four years I was at Auburn.”

Jackson said he regrets nothing from his time at Auburn.

“There isn’t anything I would go back and change about my four years at Auburn,” Jackson said. “I blossomed from a teenage kid to a young man in four years, a responsible young man.”

He’s done some amazing things in his athletic career, both at Auburn and professionally. Some call him the greatest athlete of all time.

Jackson’s college football coach Pat Dye, agrees.

“He was voted by Sports Illustrated as second best two-sport athlete of all time behind Jackie Robinson, but Jackie Robinson, he couldn’t do what Bo could do,” Dye said. “Jackie Robinson wasn’t close to being as fast as Bo was or as big.”

Jackson doesn’t like the acclaim he gets about the past. Bo shrugs at the thought of being the greatest.

“That’s the public’s opinion,” Jackson said. “I don’t see myself as that.”

He laughed and joked about another Auburn alumnus and friend.

“I do see myself as the greatest athlete to ever come out of Auburn ... behind Charles Barkley,” Jackson said with a smirk.

Jackson’s character as an adult can be traced back to his Auburn days.

“You never saw him running around with a questionable character,” Dye said. “He gravitated toward class and quality, never bad stuff.”

Dye said Jackson was his own man the minute he came to Auburn, and he left the same way. He said he never had to worry about Jackson getting into trouble because nobody influenced him in the wrong direction.

“If he did it, he did it on his own accord, on his own terms,” Dye said.

After being drafted as the first pick in the 1986 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson said no and played baseball instead.

Jackson went to the Kansas City Royals. After a year or so of baseball, Jackson decided he wanted to play professional football too.

After the baseball season ended, he would fly to California and play the remainder of the football season with the then Los Angeles Raiders. At the time, Jackson called it a hobby.

A playoff game in 1990 against Cincinnati proved to be tough battle for Jackson. He suffered a hip injury that ended his football career.

He wasn’t ready to give up on baseball though.

After promising his mother he would finish college, (he graduated from Auburn in ’95,) she asked if he would ever play baseball again.

“I said just for you, and the first hit I get will be for you,” Jackson said. “And that first hit was a home run.”

The initial impact of that home run didn’t hit Jackson until after he ran the bases.

“I really didn’t think about it until after I got back to home plate and hugged my teammates,” he said. “Everyone came out and cheered and everybody in the stands were cheering, and people out on the interstate that were passing by, horns were blowing, and then it hit me, I gotta get that ball back because I promised my mother that the first hit I got was going to be for her, and then all the emotions started to pour out.”

Jackson said he doesn’t care much for the fame he gets for the things he’s done, but that particular hit meant a lot to him because of his mother.

“Besides witnessing the birth of my children, there isn’t anything more gratifying that Jackson said. “There isn’t anything that can touch it.”

Jackson is a family man with perspective on everything. Jackson said learning responsibility at Auburn has helped him tremendously in the business world.

Dye said it’s because he surrounds himself with good people and he married a great woman. He even called Linda an “asset to Bo.”

Jackson follows the same method today. He’s his own boss.

He’s been successful at his food company and many other ventures he’s been involved in.

“If I’m going to be a salesman, if I don’t own at least half of the company that I’m advertising, then I really don’t think it’s wise for me to be involved,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s N’Genuity partner, Valerie LittleChief met him in Arizona through one of Jackson’s close friends.

The company has a line of food distributed throughout the Middle East, the military and in several Indian-owned casinos around the country.

Jackson has even traveled to the Middle East to visit the troops.

“It’s very gratifying for me,” he said. “From the standpoint that those troops there are putting their lives on the line everyday and to go there and see what they have to do day in and day out and the conditions that they have to do it in, it kind of makes you thankful for what we have here,” he said.

The company primarily sells different types of meats, condiments and seasonings.

“(The company) stemmed from my love of cooking,” Jackson said.

In fact, Auburn plays a big role for N’Genuity.

“I know we’re supplying burgers to the University and that makes me feel good,” he said. “We supply Bo Burgers for concessions throughout Auburn, for the stadium, football games, baseball games, any type of sporting event they’re serving burgers, more than likely, it better be a Bo Burger.”

Jackson said the company is doing well, and it’s prosperous. He wants to be at the top of the business world in his field before it’s said and done.

Bo really does know. He knows the athletic world, he knows the family man and now, he knows the business world. It doesn’t seem like Bo doesn’t know much.

He carries the Auburn heritage with pride. He’s a professional in every sense of the word, carrying himself with class, humility and integrity. He exemplifies an Auburn man, just as the Creed proclaims.

“I would’ve stayed grounded regardless; that’s how my mother raised me; that’s how Coach Dye tutored us at Auburn,” he said. “Don’t ever think you’re better than the next person. Don’t ever look down your nose at anyone. Treat people like you want to be treated.”Bo Jackson

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Great article. I was very young when Bo was running thru people at Auburn, but I remember his feats like they happened yesterday.

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Bo is certainly a success and a role model.

Is anyone else concerned, though, that an editor of a college newspaper writes that poorly? I have occasion to pick up the Plainsman reasonably often, and find this to be the norm. It disturbs me that the journalism department tolerates such low standards.

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Is anyone else concerned, though, that an editor of a college newspaper writes that poorly? I have occasion to pick up the Plainsman reasonably often, and find this to be the norm. It disturbs me that the journalism department tolerates such low standards.

I, too, noticed numerous mistakes. I'm sorry to hear that's not unusual.

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Guest BoStillKnows

Is anyone else concerned, though, that an editor of a college newspaper writes that poorly? I have occasion to pick up the Plainsman reasonably often, and find this to be the norm. It disturbs me that the journalism department tolerates such low standards.

I, too, noticed numerous mistakes. I'm sorry to hear that's not unusual.

But it's better than the fish wrapper in Birmingham...

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