Statistics, though, make a convincing case to the contrary, with the NFL arrest rate below that of the general population. Skeptics could argue that the stats don’t tell the whole story and that some players are engaged in unlawful conduct that is never discovered. It’s a valid point.
Even so, that’s a long way from visualizing gangs in the locker rooms. But besides providing an inaccurate picture, this is almost beside the point when it comes to the NFL’s precious image.
The case of Rae Carruth, the Carolina Panthers receiver who in 2001 conspired to murder the woman who was carrying his child, arguably was more shocking than the homicide Hernandez is alleged to have committed.
The same could be said for the murder-suicide case involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher last season.
But neither incident stuck to the NFL. People took note, of course, just as they reacted after Hernandez was arrested. But the violence didn’t change viewing habits or decrease the appetite for football. It won’t now, either. The criminal behavior of one man or even 40 in a league of 1,696 players simply doesn’t carry seismic impact.
Despite the heat, it didn’t dim the enthusiasm as the kids had a good time hanging out with Cody, McClain, offensive tackle Michael Oher, former Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, inside linebacker Bryan Hall, defensive lineman Arthur Jones, former Ravens outside linebacker Edgar Jones, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, and inside linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale.
“We can’t change the world overnight, but we can at least plant the seed in some kid and he may change his perspective or be able to reflect when a difficult situation comes up,” McClain said. “It’s amazing. We always have a great time. It’s good to see these kids out here working instead of being in the house.”
Smith spent last season as an assistant offensive line coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, and if he takes the job at ASU he will replace Uyl Joyner, who stepped down as ASU’s offensive coordinator in the spring to take a similar job at Dougherty High.
#When reached by The Herald on Saturday, Smith, who had immense success in his two years at ASU, said he couldn’t comment on the possibility of returning to the school.
#“I can say that Albany State is a great school, and it’s a great opportunity for whoever gets to be offensive coordinator there,” he said. “My time at Albany State was great.”