bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Top football player goes undrafted due to murder investigation

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Playing in the NFL is the goal of many college football players. The amount of work these guys put in to get to that point, from the time they are young children, is astonishing. Most of them will never even get a sniff of The League, but that does not necessarily keep them from dreaming. By the time the best players reach the draft, these guys have a pretty decent idea of when they are likely to be picked, so the money they’ll make on that initial deal is fairly well determined as well. Sometimes, though, the dream is derailed. For one player, La’El Collins, an unimaginable situation arose last week, immediately before the draft, leaving his football future very much in doubt.

Collins is an offensive lineman who played at LSU. He was expected to be a first round pick in last week’s draft. At the end of the previous week, though, a woman with whom he had had some involvement was found shot to death in Baton Rouge. The woman, Brittany Mills, was pregnant at the time of the shooting, and the baby, delivered after the mother’s death, also died days later. Police sought Collins for questioning days before the draft, although they said he was not believed to be a suspect.

The player’s involvement in the investigation made him poison to the NFL teams. Not only did he not get selected in the first round, but he was not selected at all. He went undrafted. Not a single team took a chance on him, even with a seventh round pick. I get why he could not go in the first round, of course, as a miss on a first round pick is a huge blow to a team, so no one could take the chance that this guy would never suit up for them. The fact that no one took a late-round flyer on him is an indication of how important public relations is to these teams. If they believed there was any chance at all that this guy murdered his pregnant ex-girlfriend, you can hardly blame them for taking a pass.

Collins has met with investigators and provided whatever information he could. He has not been charged with any crimes. It is not known if the baby was his, and little is known about the extent of his relationship with Mills. It’s possible that he had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. If that’s the case, it’s an enormous shame what happened to him here. Could he still have an NFL career? Sure. A number of teams are talking to his agent about possibly signing him. If he is cleared and signs, he’ll have every chance to play if he is as good as advertised. He’ll never make back the millions he would have made as a first round draft pick, though. If he was involved in the crime, then it’s a very good thing that a team did not waste a very valuable pick on someone who would have never worn the uniform.

Regardless of the outcome, this has been a bad story for everyone involved. I hope it gets better.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Greg Hardy is just a bad dude. The Dallas Cowboys defensive end, who is suspended for the first ten games of the coming NFL season after being convicted for domestic abuse (the charges were reversed on appeal after the victim refused to cooperate), sent out an ill-advised tweet during the NFL Draft last week. When a Carolina Panthers fan sent out a tweet calling current wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and newly drafted wide receiver Devin Funchess the “twin towers,” Hardy, a former Panther, replied with “didn’t the twin towers get blowN up lol.” Classy.

3) Over the weekend, the Seattle Seahawks decided to not pick up the option on linebacker Bruce Irvin’s contract, which means Irvin will become a free agent after this season if he does not agree to a new contract between now and then. The option would have given him $7.8 million next season. Irvin responded with a Twitter tirade.

4) Pat Misch, a pitcher for the New Orleans Zephyrs, hit the first four batters he faced with pitches during the first inning of his team’s game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Monday.

5) Archie Bradley, a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez last Tuesday. His recovery is going well.

6) Jameis Winston, who was taken first overall in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tweeted a picture that night of himself with a big plate of crab legs. It was later taken down. I suppose this was some kind of self-deprecating humor, referring to his shoplifting incident from last year, but it shows how much this kid just doesn’t get it. Good luck, Tampa.

Good sports:

1) The Los Angeles Clippers sent the San Antonio Spurs home on Saturday, beating them in game seven of their playoff series to move on and play the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul, on an injured leg, hit the game-winning shot with one second left on the clock over Tim Duncan.

2) The Chicago Bulls made sure there was no last minute drama in closing out their playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, winning game six by the ridiculous score of 120-66 to move on to the next round.

3) Sen’Derrick Marks, a defensive tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, took a local girl who has cancer to her senior prom last week, surprising her in the hospital with the invitation and then taking her to the prom in his Lamborghini.

Bad sports, good sports appears each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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