For 10 NFL Draft Prospects, Substance Abuse Takes Priority Over Career

By Todd Bennett
Roger Goodell
Getty Images

I lost my full ride to UT, because I got high. I got suspended for the BCS title game, because I got high. I did not get picked in the draft, because I got high. Now I’m taking the bus to the mill, and I know why hey hey, because I got high, because I got high, because I got high. This is a Weird Al like parody of Afroman’s 2000 classic, you guessed it, “Because I Got High”. And this is in tribute to a special kind of idgit — the NFL Draft prospect.

On the whole I skew libertarian when it comes to someone’s personal lifestyle preferences, but in the business world, there are rules. I don’t care all that much if my QB smokes Mary Jane so long as he A) does not kill anybody and B) wins the Super Bowl every season. But the owners do. So do the sponsors. So do many fans who like to have their children support players who are not so flippant when it comes to the law.

In other words, 22 years old or not, you have to make your own business decision. Stay clean. Don’t do what LSU‘s Zach Mettenberger and Florida State‘s Timmy Jernigan are alleged to have done-failed a drug test they knew they had to take. Wha?? How in the world? Let me walk you through this. Your agent calls you up says, “Hey good news, all you have to do is not look like a degenerate junky and you will be a millionaire soon!”

“That’s it?”, you say. “Yes”, says your agent. “All you have to do is stay out of trouble. Avoid strip clubs, cocaine, marijuana even where it is legal, don’t drink and drive, and do not, whatever you do, shoplift crab legs from a grocery store.” Now for any one of us, if we knew this is all we had to do, we would probably tape ourselves to the couch and mark down the days on our calendar. But no. These two, and eight others allegedly, can’t follow simple instructions.

One then has no choice but to conclude that there is an addiction at work. If you know avoiding trouble could set you up for life, yet you still court it, well what hope is there for you to be a leader or a winner? Just follow simple instructions. That is all. So it occurs to me that there is a serious drug problem that has to be addressed by the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. This is on top of serious murdering their girlfriend problems the commissioner has to deal with, along with falling off of trucks to their death problems, threatening to blow up an airport problems, and the cliche, but never too far from reality raping women in hotel room problems.

Roger Goodell has problems, a myriad of them, and they have to be addressed. Start with mandatory drug counseling for draft prospects and treatment if needed. Do not castigate or ostracize them — treat them. Protect them from head injuries and make sure psychiatric treatment is available at all times. And please, whatever you do, make sure these kids are made to work at least one day at a mill, or factory, so they can see what their future looks like if they throw their God-given gifts down the tubes. Show them what they will have to deal with, like millions of good Americans who would give a lung to have a chance at their gifts do every day, and maybe that will make a difference.

Just make sure they are not high when you do.

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