Pacman Jones Tries to Chomp His Ghosts, Inspire Rookies

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Tue, Jun 18 - 3:21 am EDT | 1 year ago by
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Bored offseason football pundits have stirred up a minor controversy about Pacman Jones’s invitation to speak at the NFL’s rookie symposium. At the annual symposium, first-year players attend seminars on everything from press conference behavior to financial planning. Jones, a defensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals, spoke last year on the temptations and social dangers facing young players — and he’s scheduled to give a similar presentation this year.

pacman jones nfl rookies

Jones has more than his share of firsthand knowledge about how hard it is to stay out of trouble. His rap sheet includes a 2011 arrest for disorderly conduct stemming from a bar fight and an $11.65 million fine for his alleged role in an altercation with a stripper in Las Vegas in which shots were fired. Last week, Jones was arrested again, this time for allegedly slapping a woman at a bar while watching a Reds game. Jones says the woman attacked him with a beer bottle, and he was defending himself.

In some ways, Jones’s checkered past makes him an ideal presenter for the symposium — not as a role model, but as a cautionary tale. Rookies might dismiss a lecture from a squeaky-clean player, but hearing from a basket case like Jones is more likely to stick with them. He is a walking reminder that losing control in public can hurt players’ wallets and reputations.

Or Jones’s speech could be a hypocritical embarrassment. In that case, at least the rookies will be entertained.

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You can contact Sarah Rasher on Twitter @pas_dechat

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