A lifetime ban from the NFL for Randy Gregory is wrong. Everyone should have a shot at redemption especially a guy like this. It's not like he has a degree to fall back on.
It's easy to dump on Randy Gregory over failing his 7th drug test and I do admit, it makes him look pretty stupid.
I believe that there is a long list of actions and people to blame for Gregory's reckless behavior. Let's try to look at the big picture...
As a kid Gregory moved 8 times. That's all I know because any biographical information on Gregory only refers to his athletic achievements from High School to the Cowboys. I think this is pretty telling for a couple reasons:
1. He was always relevant because of his athletic ability. People only paid attention to him because of his athletic ability and he was always expected to play pro football therefore all he ever expected of himself was to play pro football. Believing you will be a multi million dollar pro athlete, and buying into that idea with help of the people around you, could easily cause a person to ignore the basics like their education. It can also cause a person to ignore rules that most of us have to follow.
Gregory had academic challenges throughout his college years, in fact he couldn't get in to his first D1 school, Purdue, for that reason. It should have been a wake up call.
2. Though I have no proof, I'm going to guess Gregory was smoking weed well before he came to Nebraska. If I am right, how many coaches and boosters looked the other way because he was such a great player?
I'm told (by local sports people) that at Nebraska his pot use was known. If this is true, then where were the football big shots? Where was the University? These groups love to run the old "these are student athletes" line when it comes to things like NCAA rules regarding eligibility. However, take the situation where a "student athlete" allows the wrong guy buy them a sandwich or something and then the "student athlete" is in violation and could be kicked off the team. How do you expect the athlete to know the difference of the "selective enforcement" of the rules?
I guess the priorities are different when you are trying to win a conference championship or have another player taken in the NFL Draft to show the next pot smoking recruit you're trying to get a commitment from.
3. It's no secret that elite athletes at all levels of society receive special treatment. It's no secret that they can go through life having the rules bent for them. It is my opinion based on the fact that I have an opinion that though Randy Gregory at the end of the day is responsible for his stupid decisions; it's a whole lot easier to make stupid decisions when you're being allowed to do it for years.