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Art Schlichter released from prison

Posted by Michael David Smith on September 2, 2021, 5:25 AM EDT

Former Colts quarterback Art Schlichter, a bust as the fourth overall pick in the 1982 NFL draft and a man who has been convicted of several crimes, has been released from his latest stint in prison.
Schlichter was paroled over the objection of Ohio prosecutors.

“My advice to anyone coming upon Mr. Schlichter is that they not engage in any business transactions or any purchases or any other transactions that would involve giving him any money,” Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “[He] is a career criminal engaged in fraud as a career. He just cannot help himself. He will do this the rest of his life.”

After a successful college career at Ohio State, Schlichter was selected by the Colts in 1982 with the idea that he would be their franchise quarterback for years to come. But he spent more time gambling on football than playing it as a rookie, and in 1983 he went to law enforcement saying he feared for his safety because of the money he owed to bookies.

The NFL suspended him for the entire 1983 season, he returned and played poorly in 1984, and he was cut after one game in 1985. He never played in the NFL again but did find some success in other leagues, including being the Arena Football MVP in 1990.

After quitting football his life spiraled. He went to prison in 1995 for passing bad checks and was in and out of prison for years after that. He made some public appearances and briefly appeared to have his life turned around in the late 2000s, but in 2011 he was caught engaging in a scheme that fraudulently charged people for tickets to sporting events, and he was sentenced to the 10-year prison sentence that just ended.
 

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Who is Keith Fitzhugh? Why the Train Conductor Turned Down an Amazing Opportunity to Play Football With the Jets For a Life on the Railroad

By Alden Etra
September 15, 2021


Keith Fitzhugh was recently forced to relive his decision to reject the NFL to be a train conductor as his son, Keith Fitzhugh III, prepares to suit up for flag football. While the 34-year-old father of one knows he made the right decision to give up his NFL dreams, many fans still wonder why he gave up his chance when the Jets offered him a spot.

Keith Fitzhugh: Going Pro

Fitzhugh was an NFL prospect with dreams of going pro in 2009. He made it to Mississippi State after becoming an all-state cornerback at Lovejoy High School. He rejected offers from Notre Dame, USC, and Auburn. Instead, he hustled at Starkville for a chance at an NFL spot. It seemed a sure thing, too. He was a natural athlete and everyone on campus expected he’d be playing in sold-out stadiums pretty soon. Then, his name was notably absent during that year’s NFL Draft.

Keith Fitzhugh admitted that it was a depressing start to his career. He claimed he “worked from when I was 8 years old to almost 21 — 13 years of playing football,” to go pro. “That’s what I always dreamed to do. When my name wasn’t drafted, I was really hurt.”

That May, Fitzhugh was signed as a free agent for the Jets, though he was waived just three months later. In September, however, the Jets brought him back on their practice squad. There were twists, turns, and a whole lot of “ifs.” But Fitzhugh was determined to make it.

By December he had been moved to the Baltimore Ravens, getting shot to play real ball on their active roster. Though he went to the playoffs, it wasn’t the career-making journey he’d hoped. He didn’t play any snaps and by the following training camp, he was sent back over to the Jets. But it didn’t take long for them to waive him again.
“After the second time being cut from the Jets, that’s when I realized I had to look at my next step,” Fitzhugh explained of his choice to leave. “A lot of guys don’t have a backup plan. All they think about is football. I had to have a reality check with myself.”

He said: “I remember being in the house, being depressed, and my dad would pull me aside and say, ‘Son, you have to pick yourself up.’ I was sitting there depressed because that was all I knew. I had to say, ‘Hey, Keith, you need to go and be a man.’”

And that’s exactly what he did.

A New Path

Keith Fitzhugh decided to marry another passion: trains. According to the NFL prospect, trains were a huge part of his childhood. That love followed him into adulthood. He had a backup plan.

“Norfolk Southern used to run through the area I lived in, near McDonough, Georgia, and I used to see them all the time and I thought that looked like a really cool job,” Fitzhugh told reporters. “That was something I could see myself doing, driving — well, I didn’t know you drive it, but you operate it — a train. I would really want to do that. And that always stayed in my mind.”

While sounds of the NFL still blared in the background – the 2010 season had begun – Fitzhugh began his training as a train conductor for Norfolk Southern. He admitted that for him, that was his “Part 2.” He found a career that he loved and he could commit to long term. And one that could commit to him.

But that didn’t mean there weren’t more forks in the tracks. One’s Keith Fitzhugh would have to operate around.

While working as a train conductor for Norfolk Southern, Fitzhugh got the call he’d been wanting since he was 13 years old. He recalled that he had just gotten home from an overnight shift from Chattanooga, Tenn. His father tried to hand him the phone. “Son, I’ve got the Jets on the phone,” his father told him.

“I said, ‘Stop playing. I’m going to bed. I just had an overnight train ride. I’m going to lie down.’ And he said, ‘Son, I’m dead serious. The Jets are on the phone.’”

Family First

It seemed like all the roads had aligned. Jets safety Jim Leonhard had broken his leg. His backup, James Ihedigbo, sprained his ankle. The team had a 9-3 win record that season and were coming off an AFC title game appearance. The team needed a replacement. They wanted Fitzhugh.

But the decision was not cut and dry. The Jets prospect had a life, a career, and a family to support.

“They were excited, like, ‘Are you ready to come back on board?’” Fitzhugh explained. “And I was like, ‘Ahhh, I’m not coming back.’ And they were like, ‘Huh? What? What’s going on?’ I told them how my dad wasn’t doing so well and I had a great opportunity as a train conductor and I think it was best for me to spend time with my family and my dad and take this career path.”

Keith Fitzhugh had a different team to support. At the time, he was living with his parents, supporting them financially. His father had just had a hip and knee replacement and couldn’t work. Though the money would have been good – he could have made at least $20,000 a week with the NFL’s minimum salary – he knew nothing was long-term with the Jets. He’d experienced those ups and downs once before. He couldn’t take the risk.

“A lot of people didn’t know what was going on in my life,” Fitzhugh said of his decision. “And a lot of people don’t understand the dynamics of being in the NFL.” So instead of taking the risk, Fitzhugh made the rational, logical decision – to him at least. He decided to stick with his $32,000 per year job as a train conductor.

Fitzhugh’s agent, Daniel Rose, explained that his client “realized football was a business, and he [made sure he] didn’t get conned again. He was always a smart kid. He wasn’t gonna give up the railroad career with a company that treated him so well for a shot at a maybe.”

The Big Why

According to Keith Fitzhugh, “it was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life.” He admitted that “I’m very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and I still thank the Jets for calling me back to give me another chance. … But if I took that shot and got cut, who knows where I would be today?”

Ultimately, he decided that a stable career was the best thing for him and his family. His wife was shocked. His family was shocked. But everyone understood. He wanted to make sure his father, his family, and his future were taken care of.

“You don’t run across a lot of guys that got their future together when they’re 23, 24 years old,” former Jets cornerback Drew Coleman said. “He was a guy, football was important to him, but he knew he had a fallback plan. He was a guy who always knew, ‘I’m gonna play football as long as I can and give it everything I’ve got, but this is not gonna make or break my life.’ “

And for Fitzhugh, the most important thing was being home with his dad. “That year, being at home, I was able to spend it with my dad,” Fitzhugh admitted. “I couldn’t get back that time.”

A Decade Later

Now Keith Fitzhugh is reliving his journey through his son. His 6-year-old boy is training for flag football games and the NFL simultaneously. He once told his father that he would be a first-round draft pick. Fitzhugh hopes that’s true.

As for his career, “it’s been promotion after promotion. It’s been unbelievable,” according to his wife, Jessica. “It’s pretty much like validation that he made the right decision. The NFL is not the only way you can be successful.”

The family is now staying in Tampa, FL. Fitzhugh received another advancement with Road and Rail Services back in April. The train conductor has accepted his life and knows it was the best track towards the long-term success he wanted. And he’s doing something he’s passionate about while taking care of his family.

But does he ever dwell on the past? No, never.

“There was a little, ‘Oooh, I wish that was me out there,’ but I was still thankful for where I was,” Fitzhugh admitted. “I can’t tell you how much I’m very appreciative that I got the opportunity to do something that a lot of people in the world have never done, to play with the Jets and the Ravens and touch the field. I’m still thankful for that.” But he admitted that he was confident in his choice. And like with trains, there’s no going back.
 

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Adam “Pacman” Jones convicted of assault

Posted by Charean Williams on November 9, 2021, 8:55 PM EST

Former NFL cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was convicted of assault, WKRC reports. A judge sentenced Jones to 180 days in jail but suspended all but 30 days of the sentence.

Police arrested Jones in February after a fight at Clutch OTR in Cincinnati, according to TMZ Sports. Jones punched and kicked a bouncer in the head, causing the victim to lose consciousness.

Jones pleaded no contest to the two misdemeanor assault charges. He is scheduled to report to jail Nov. 29, TMZ Sports reports.

Jones also will pay a $100 fine, serve nine months of probation, has a 9 p.m. curfew and must abstain from alcohol.

In 2019, Jones reached a plea agreement to resolve charges filed against him as a result of a February arrest at an Indiana casino. He entered a guilty plea to one count of felony cheating at gambling and one count of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and spent 10 days behind bars.

In 2017, Jones pleaded guilty to obstructing official business for an incident outside a downtown Cincinnati hotel.

Jones, the sixth overall choice of the Titans in 2005, retired from the NFL in 2019
 

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Zac Stacy makes bail despite concerns of his victim and her lawyer

Posted by Mike Florio on November 21, 2021, 11:57 AM EST

Charged with two felonies arising from a horrifying video that showed him assaulting the mother of his young child, former NFL running back Zac Stacy has made bail.

Via the New York Post, Stacy was released Friday on $10,000 bond. The victim of the attack, Kristin Evans, disagrees with the decision, as does her lawyer.

Evans told WESH-TV that she had planned to participate in the bond hearing, but that the time changed on short notice.

“That just doesn’t seem right especially given the fact the judge saw the video,” her attorney, Thomas Feiter, told WESH-TV.

“He saw that horrific video of blatant egregious domestic violence committed on our client.”

Stacy faces up to 15 years for aggravated assault and up to five years for criminal mischief.
 

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Judge allows Henry Ruggs to remain on home confinement, with enhanced alcohol monitoring

Posted by Mike Florio on November 22, 2021, 1:26 PM EST

Former Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs will get another chance to fully comply with the requirements of his pre-trial home confinement.

The presiding judge has allowed Ruggs to remain on house arrest after he failed to conduct an alcohol breath test within the prescribed time period.

Via the Associated Press, Ruggs will have a continuous alcohol monitor on one ankle, and a GPS monitor on the other.
“But if there are any misses, if there are any problems, if there is any alcohol detected in your system, you need to know that’s going to be problematic for this court going forward,” Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum told Ruggs in court on Monday.

Ruggs faces multiple felony charges following a car crash earlier this month that claimed the life of 23-year-old Tina Tintor. He allegedly drove his Corvette 156 miles per hour just before impact, and his blood-alcohol concentration allegedly exceeded 0.16 percent.
 

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Former NFL running back Otis Anderson Jr. dies at 23

Posted by Mike Florio on November 30, 2021, 6:19 PM EST

The Rams have acknowledged the passing of running back Otis Anderson, Jr., who spent time earlier this year with the team. He was 23.

Undrafted from Central Florida, Anderson spent the 2021 training camp and preseason with the Rams. He started the regular season on the team’s practice squad. The Rams released Anderson from the practice squad on September 20.

Per multiple reports, Anderson was shot and killed by his father, Otis Lee Anderson Sr., in Jacksonville on Monday night.

According to the Florida Times-Union, the shooting happened after a dog belonging to the Otis Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend bit Otis Anderson Sr. He became enraged, father and son fought, and the shooting occurred. Denise Anderson, the mother of Otis Anderson Jr., was grazed by a bullet.

Otis Lee Anderson Sr. is NOT the former NFL running back who was named MVP of Super Bowl XXV. That was Ottis Jerome Anderson, who had no involvement whatsoever in the shooting of Otis Anderson, Jr.
 

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Former NFL running back Otis Anderson Jr. dies at 23

Posted by Mike Florio on November 30, 2021, 6:19 PM EST

The Rams have acknowledged the passing of running back Otis Anderson, Jr., who spent time earlier this year with the team. He was 23.

Undrafted from Central Florida, Anderson spent the 2021 training camp and preseason with the Rams. He started the regular season on the team’s practice squad. The Rams released Anderson from the practice squad on September 20.

Per multiple reports, Anderson was shot and killed by his father, Otis Lee Anderson Sr., in Jacksonville on Monday night.

According to the Florida Times-Union, the shooting happened after a dog belonging to the Otis Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend bit Otis Anderson Sr. He became enraged, father and son fought, and the shooting occurred. Denise Anderson, the mother of Otis Anderson Jr., was grazed by a bullet.

Otis Lee Anderson Sr. is NOT the former NFL running back who was named MVP of Super Bowl XXV. That was Ottis Jerome Anderson, who had no involvement whatsoever in the shooting of Otis Anderson, Jr.

I follow the fortunes of the UCF knights as a former resident of Daytona Beach not so far from Orlando….horrific incident and so sad for one-so young and talented
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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we were talking bout Justin Blackmon just the other day

 

A11dAtP0w3R

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AJ Jenkins?? damn, I cant even remember him. Good pick in the first round by the niners Brasher :tearsofjoy:
 

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AJ Jenkins?? damn, I cant even remember him. Good pick in the first round by the niners Brasher :tearsofjoy:

Outstanding receiver for the New York Football Giants.

If I recall correctly, he was selected in the draft after the Harbaugh's first year and the 49ers had a pretty stacked roster....although in the NFC Championship game the 49ers started their 4th, 5th and 6th string WRs. Think it was a house money selection at the time.
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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Outstanding receiver for the New York Football Giants.

If I recall correctly, he was selected in the draft after the Harbaugh's first year and the 49ers had a pretty stacked roster....although in the NFC Championship game the 49ers started their 4th, 5th and 6th string WRs. Think it was a house money selection at the time.

Didn't play for the Giants? In the video it said he lasted one year with the Niners and played 3 snaps. Incredible. Was then on KCs practice squad and never to be seen again.
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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The dude who made the video said he could only find one highlight of his time in the NFL, a catch then fumble in a preseason game. :tearsofjoy:
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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If Blackmon didn't have so many DUI's he could probably still be in the league ala Josh Gordon. Teams would continually give him a chance despite his drug addiction, teams dont quit on talent and he had a ridiculous amount.
 

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The dude who made the video said he could only find one highlight of his time in the NFL, a catch then fumble in a preseason game. :tearsofjoy:

Apologies confused him with that other great 49er WR Dante Pettis......Jenkins went to the Chiefs and recorded one career catch, ironically thrown by former 49er Alex Smith.

We could have done with that 6 yard catch in the SB.
 

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Former Saint Glenn Foster dies after being taken into police custody at age 31

Posted by Michael David Smith on December 7, 2021, 2:31 PM EST
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Former Saints defensive end Glenn Foster Jr. was arrested in Alabama and died of unexplained causes after he was taken into police custody. He was 31.

The medical examiner’s office in Pickens County, Alabama, said the case remains under investigation, according to WWL-TV.

Pickens County jail records say Foster was booked on counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police. He was re-booked Sunday on counts of simple assault and robbery. He died on Monday.

There have been no details released about the circumstances of either his arrest or his death.

Foster grew up in Chicago and played his college football at Illinois. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Saints in 2013 and played with them through 2014.
 

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Aldon Smith is arrested for DUI causing injury, a felony

Posted by Mike Florio on December 7, 2021, 11:19 PM EST

Free-agent NFL defensive end Aldon Smith, a former top-10 pick who showed incredible potential and performance early in his career, has another off-field issue.

Via TMZ.com, Smith has been arrested on a felony charge of DUI causing injury.
The arrest happened on Monday night. As of Tuesday afternoon, Smith remained in custody. His bond had been set at $50,000.

Smith entered the NFL with a bang in 2011. The seventh overall pick in the draft out of Missouri, he had 42 sacks in his first 43 regular-season games. His career then became derailed due to legal issues. He missed four full seasons before returning to the NFL in 2020, starting 16 games for the Cowboys.

Smith signed with the Seahawks in the offseason, but he was released before Week One. His name had not come up during the 2021 season as a potential free-agent acquisition. Given Monday’s events, the chances of that happened are even more slim.
 

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DeMaryius Thomas died from injuries received in a traffic incident 6 months after retiring


Thomas was found dead on December 9, 2021 in his home in Roswell, Georgia. It was determined that he had died from medical complications following a vehicle crash. He was 33 years old
 

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