Bay Area athletes have struggled with drugs, arrests

Here in the East Bay, we have a wide selection of nearby professional sports teams in football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey. With hundreds of pro athletes working and living in a relatively small area, it is inevitable that some will have personal and legal problems that affect their careers.

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith was recently arrested on domestic violence charges. The former All Pro standout has reportedly checked himself into an alcohol treatment facility. He is one of many Bay Area athletes who have struggled with substance abused.

Former Raiders center Barret Robbins disappeared the night before the biggest game of his career: Super Bowl XXXVII. The big man struggled with bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and before the game in San Diego, crossed the border into Mexico to “party.”

Following his exit from football, he has been arrested several times, shot, in and out of rehab facilities and jail.

Wide receiver Warren Wells starred on the Raiders in the late 1960s and early ’70s, but his career was cut short by his struggles with alcohol. He was convicted of aggravated assault and put on probation, but a violation of the terms of his release resulted in a 10-month prison sentence that ended his career.

Quintin Dailey starred on the University of San Francisco’s basketball squad and was a first round draft choice for the Chicago Bulls. He went on to a 10-year pro career that included also stints in Los Angeles and Seattle.

While at USF, he was accused of sexual assault, but his criminal defense attorney was able to get the charge reduced to misdemeanor assault.

In his pro career, he struggled with drug use, twice testing positive for cocaine.

We know that in many cases, people who are struggling with addiction wind up facing criminal charges for drug possession, manufacture or distribution.

Those facing drug crime charges should speak with a criminal defense attorney before talking to prosecutors.

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