SACRAMENTO - Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who attended Grant High School locally, has been charged with killing a pedestrian last month while driving drunk after a night out in Miami.
An arrest warrant charging Stallworth with DUI manslaughter was filed in the March 14 accident that killed a 59-year-old man. If convicted, Stallworth would face as many as 15 years in prison.
Of Course Stallworth is not the only player from Sacramento to make it big in the NFL before finding trouble.
Stallworth was actually a teammate over at Grant High School with Onterrio Smith, who played for the Minnesota Vikings before being suspended for drug use.
Rae Carruth, who went to Valley High School before playing for the Carolina Panthers was found guilty of conspiring to murder his girlfriend and is currently in prison.
One would figure all 3 of these guys had it made. So, the question is, what happened ?
"What influences that kind of behavior is not sports. It's American culture, not specific to sports," claims Jennifer Kattman, a Sports Sociologist at Sierra College.
Kattman agrees that what happened to these three shouldn't be viewed as a reflection on Sacramento. "There is a lot of pressure placed on young athletes, especially from families with great economic needs."
Doug Cosbie sees it every day. The former NFL tight end with the Dallas Cowboys now coaches football at Sac High. "I don't care if you're from Oak Park or Beverly Hills...it's an adjustment for anybody. Nobody's prepared for rock star status."
"There are certainly more challenges with the less cultural-capital they take with them," added Kattman. "They are not familiar with the norms of society, and in some cases, can experience culture shock."
Cosbie had this to say about making sure his kids are prepared for what they could face. "We talk to our kids about character...doing the right thing when no one is watching."
And Kattman warned, "you really have to be careful to blame criminal activity on athletics. It let's society off the hook."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times