Actually, someone should come up with a handbook for coaches of arrested athletes, with a template/list of possible statements to release. For instance, if your player has been caught sodomizing a blind girl in a wheelchair, the proper response would probably be, “This incident does not reflect the John Doe I know, on and off the field.” If he’s been caught sucking laughing gas from a tank and boosting laptops from the school computer lab, it would be, “The faculty at University of Your State strives always to maintain high standards of conduct in its student-athletes and, as such, we are refusing comment until all the facts are gathered.” If he got baked and drove into a tree on the lawn of a state senator, the response would be, “We are obviously disappointed in Johnny’s behavior. We had high hopes that he would contribute to our starting backfield in 2008.”
In that regard, what kind of statement do you release when a former NFL starting quarterback, now playing in one of the arena leagues, gets popped for possession? Dan Newman, owner of the Bossier-Shreveport BattleWings, ought to know — because he released one not long ago, after former Dallas Cowboy bust Quincy Carter was snared for weed . . . again. “I am saddened at the report of Quincy’s arrest,” Newman said. “Our organization carefully created an environment during the 2007 season to give Quincy every opportunity to succeed — not just on the field, but off the field. Because of his NFL past, and the stories surrounding his leaving the NFL, we felt like he deserved the chance, like we all do, to live through our mistakes and bad choices and try again.”
Quincy, you may remember, followed the Ricky Williams career arc — washed out of the NFL, bounced to the CFL, and finally got dumped by the Montreal Alouettes with what was termed a “serious marijuana problem.” In 2006 he was busted — oddly enough in Irving, Texas, home of the Cowboys — but was released after a Dallas talk-show host posted his bond. Carter then went to the arenafootball2 league (we never heard of it, either) and briefly excelled before this latest incident. As of this writing, he has just checked into the Hanley Center rehab clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida. His career now seems pretty much done. Sad stuff.
When he’s not googling “Houston, we have problems” and “foul playbook,” Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached atM_Taibbi@yahoo.com.