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Friday, December 16, 2011

*OH MY OH MY* - Hurd was allegedly selling drugs to a "double digit" number of NFL players

Oh my lawd! Please don't tell me the NFL niccas had the sack in. PLEASE for the life of me don't tell me that a BUNCH of NFL niccas had the sack in. SMH. When keeping it real goes REALLY wrong!!

(via Early reports indicate that Hurd provided, or had in his possession, a list of clients. The list supposedly includes a sizable group of NFL players. Those players will likely be investigated by law enforcement and, upon threat of prosecution, encouraged to cooperate -- that is, implicate Hurd and others connected to the drug ring. Whether or not they cooperate, the players could be subpoenaed to testify against Hurd.

Alternatively, prosecutors could offer Hurd a plea deal. If he accepted a deal, Hurd would agree to plead guilty to a lesser crime or the crime he's facing, with prosecutors agreeing to recommend a relatively light sentence. In exchange, Hurd would be expected to tell law enforcement everything he knows and implicate everyone connected to his drug dealing, including any international contacts. In either scenario, the named players could be at risk of prosecution, subpoena or public naming.

Keep in mind, a player whose name appears on the Hurd's client list has not necessarily committed a crime. While membership on the list suggests that the player intended to buy drugs, it does not prove that point beyond a reasonable doubt. After all, a named player could argue that he was mistakenly included in the list and that it is merely Hurd's word over the player's. The list of names could also be portrayed as potential buyers rather than actual buyers. Corroborating evidence, such as written or electronic records that a player purchased cocaine from Hurd or other alleged sellers, would go a long way in establishing the players are indeed buyers of drugs.

Even if the named players are not charged with crimes or subpoenaed as witnesses, they will still worry about their names surfacing through leaks. If the NFL learns of their names, the players could face scrutiny under the league's substance abuse policy or discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell has sole discretion under the conduct policy to issue sanctions, of his choosing, for conduct he finds damaging to the league's image.

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