March 14, 2009
Browns wide receiver Donté Stallworth drinks premium tequila at a Miami Beach hotel bar and then hits a jaywalking pedestrian with his Bentley. Mario Reyes, a 59-year-old crane operator, is killed. Stallworth will later plead guilty to DUI manslaughter and serve 24 days in jail and two years' house arrest.
April 25, 2009
At the annual spring game, Jerry Brown leads all Illinois defenders with two sacks and six tackles for loss. "But it's a little too early to get high on Jerry," Ron Zook tells the Decatur Herald & Review. "We all know he's talented, but he has some academic issues to get cleaned up."
June 2, 2009
Josh Brent pleads guilty to DUI and accepts a sentence of 60 days in jail and two years' probation. Meanwhile Jerry Brown, having tried and failed to raise his grades, is finished with college sports. He will soon try out for the Arena Football League.
June 25, 2009
Twenty-two years after killing three teenagers while driving drunk in Michigan, former Lions defensive end Reggie Rogers appears before a judge in his home state of Washington. He has racked up at least four drunken-driving convictions since 1986. "I'm not perfect," he tells the judge. "I'm a man. I like to stand on my own two feet. I'd really appreciate if ... you and the courts and the people of the community give me a chance. You know what I'm saying. Give me a chance. To be Reggie. Stand on my back like you did when I was playing college football, and basketball, and carried this whole team, this whole state, on my back. To the promised land." The judge sentences him to two years. Next year while on work release, Rogers will be charged again with driving drunk and given a year in prison.
October 27, 2009
Josh Brent, back on the Illinois football team after getting out of jail, attends a court-ordered victim-impact panel. A woman in a wheelchair tells the story of the drunken driver who turned her into a quadriplegic. A guilty man tells about the day he drove drunk and smashed another vehicle and then waited for an ambulance while holding the hand of the man he had killed. In essence both speakers make the same point: It's too late for me to avoid a catastrophe. But it's not too late for you.