Locked Up: Ex-College Football Stars in Jail
Gridiron Stars Behind Bars
Former Washington State star QB Ryan Leaf was arrested for the second time in four days on Monday in Montana. Leaf was originally arrested last Friday for burglary and drug possession before allegedly committing a second burglary Sunday.
In the wake of Leaf’s woes, we look at a host of ex-college football players who are currently behind bars.
Ryan Leaf (Washington State)
Leaf had a prolific career for the Cougars, whom he led to the 1998 Rose Bowl. The second overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, one pick behind Peyton Manning, Leaf was out of the league by 2002 as one of the biggest busts of all time.
The ex-QB has had problems with a pain-killer addiction over the years. In 2009, he plead to 10 years of probation for allegedly stealing from a player’s home while coaching at West Texas A&M. With two burglary arrests in four days, it now seems inevitable that Leaf will be heading to prison for quite some time.
Rae Carruth (Colorado)
Carruth was a First Team All-American at Colorado in 1996. His NFL career with the Carolina Panthers was cut short after just three seasons when the first-round pick got in big trouble with the law.
He was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder of his pregnant girlfriend and lost an appeal last year. Carruth is serving 18-24 years in prison for the crime, which saw his child’s mother dead. He has a projected released date of Oct. 22, 2018.
Reggie Rogers (Washington)
Selected seventh overall by the Detroit Lions in 1987, Rogers was out of the league by 1992 and is considered one of the biggest NFL draft busts of all time. He was an All-American defensive tackle at U-Dub in 1986.
Rogers was arrested for his sixth DUI in November of 2010 - just a year and a half after he was sentenced to two years in prison for his fifth offense - and sentenced to one year in jail. The Seattle Times reported last September that Rogers had been on work release and would begin his latest sentence after finishing the previous one.
It’s just the latest trouble for Rogers, who who killed three teenagers while driving under the influence in 1988.
Lawrence Phillips (Nebraska)
Phillips was a star running back on Nebraska’s consecutive national championship teams in 1994 and 1995. A first-round pick in 1996, Phillips was out of the NFL the following year. He played in the AFL, NFL Europe and CFL until 2003, winning the 2002 Grey Cup with the Montreal Alouettes.
However, his troubled ways began in ‘95, when he was suspended for a period for assaulting ex-girlfriend Kate McEwen. His ensuing infractions have been too many to count; Phillips was sentenced to 31 years in prison in 2009 for allegedly choking his girlfriend and allegedly driving his car into three teenagers after a pick-up football game in separate incidents. He is behind bars in California.
Sherman Williams (Alabama)
Williams was a decorated running back at Alabama, where he was a member of the 1992 national championship team and the Tide’s leading rusher in 1993 and 1994. He played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys from 1995-99.
Williams was sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and two counts of attempts to possess marijuana in March 2001 after his alleged role as the leader of a drug ring.
Williams’ projected release date is in 2014.
O.J. Simpson (USC)
“The Juice” won the 1968 Heisman Trophy during a legendary career for the Trojans. In the NFL, he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time rushing champion who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Everyone knows about the “Trial of the Century,” a televised melodrama during which Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1995. Currently, he is at Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center serving at least nine years in prison for kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges from a bizarre 2007 Las Vegas robbery incident.
Cecil Collins (LSU)
Collins was kicked off the LSU team after being arrested twice for breaking and entering. He attempted a comeback at McNeese State but failed a drug test at the FCS school. Collins was drafted in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, but his career was derailed by more legal woes.
The ex-running back nicknamed “The Diesel” was arrested for burglary in December 1999, when he broke into a woman’s house to allegedly watch her sleep. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and is set to be released in 2014.
Art Schlichter (Ohio State)
A star for the Buckeyes between 1978-81, Schlichter has suffered from a serious gambling addiction, which also ruined his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills.
Schlichter was sentenced to 10 years in prison last September for fraud for his involvement in a multi-million dollar ticket scam. He had spent 10 years in more than 40 federal and state prisons due to a gambling addiction that reportedly has caused him to commit more than 20 felonies.
Schlichter tested positive for cocaine twice in violation of a pre-sentencing release agreement in January.
Stanley Wilson (Oklahoma)
A 1982 All-American with at Oklahoma, Wilson played for the Bengals in 1983-84, 1986, 1988 – missing the 1985 and 1987 seasons with drug suspensions. He went AWOL for Super Bowl XXIII and missed the game while using. Wilson was banned from the league for life after that offense because it was his third under the NFL’s drug policy.
Wilson is serving a 22-year sentence in a California state prison allegedly for burglary of $130,000 worth of property in Beverly Hills. He was convicted in 1999 after already going to prison for allegedly burglarizing two Long Beach homes.
Darryl Henley (UCLA)
Henley was an All-American cornerback at UCLA in 1988. He played in the NFL from 1989-94 with the Los Angeles Rams after being selected in the second round of the 1989 draft.
The California native is serving a 41-year sentence for trafficking cocaine and for allegedly attempting to murder a judge with with the services of a hitman.
Robert Rozier (Cal)
A Sacramento-area native, Rozier went on to play defensive end at Cal. He was a ninth-round NFL draft pick in 1979 by the St. Louis Cardinals but was released after just six games.
Rozier was arrested for murder in 1986 after reportedly joining a black supremacist cult. He was freed after 10 years but went back to prison on a 25-year sentence after being arrested for a form of check fraud in 1999.
Loren Wade (Arizona State)
The former Arizona State tailback shot and killed teammate Brandon Falkner in March of 2005, reportedly after seeing Falkner talk to Wade’s girlfriend at a nightclub. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2007.
Reggie Rogers (Washington)
The seventh overall pick of the 1987 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions after a standout career at Washington, Rogers killed three teenagers while driving under the influence a year later. In 1990, he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to 16 months in prison for the teenagers’ deaths.
Rogers clearly hasn’t learned his lesson; last September he was sentenced to a year in prison for his sixth DUI.