Which red flags in a player's background are the worst?


G J.D. Quinn and QB Rhett Bomar were dismissed from the Oklahoma football team in August of 2006 for violation of NCAA rules by accepting money for a job they were not required to perform. OT Alex Boone (Ohio State) was arrested for drunk driving and resisting arrest earlier this spring. Both situations raise red flags on the pro prospects but they are clearly different in severity. More important, they predict a different future in terms of potential problems during the player’s career.

Quinn and Bomar transferred to other schools. Bomar starred at Sam Houston State and Quinn started for Montana State. There is very little chance that either will have any problems in future. Their violation of NCAA rules was an error in judgment but does not apply to their future lives as NFL players.

Boone on the other hand violated the law by reportedly driving drunk then compounded the problem by resisting arrest. This is the kind of absence of judgment that may well occur again. In the past, a majority of players that have had problems involving law enforcement prior to the draft have had similar problems after becoming a pro.

In addition, the Boone example of bad decision making occurred in 2009 while the Oklahoma issue happened in 06. Boone should have been on best behavior prior to the draft. Instead, he chose to drink then drive. When confronted by police, he again reportedly chose to do the wrong thing by resisting arrest. Boone was undrafted but signed with the 49ers.

I am not saying that violating NCAA rules is a good thing. It is not. Both Quinn, who signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent and Bomar suffered by falling in the draft from where they would have been taken without the red flag. According to several reports, some teams would have considered taking Quinn in the 3rd or 4th round had it not been for the red flag. Bomar had first round talent but was taken in the 5th round by the Giants in part because of the flag on his resume. Both were hurt by the violation. However, NFL teams should take the type of indiscretion into account when they evaluate players with problems in their background.

The NFL is stressing the necessity of teams to clean their rosters of troubled players. For the first time, the NFL has fined teams with players that have legal, drug or league rule violations. There have been threats of other actions like reductions in draft choices for teams that repeatedly have players with such problems.

The NFL and all other sports leagues must police their players. Baseball is experiencing almost daily admissions of steroid use by its most visible players. Teams and leagues must clean up the problems. But like players, all red flags are not equal in predicting future problems. Some problems don’t reoccur while others are deeply embedded in the player’s personalities. Now, all the NFL teams must figure out is which problems fall on which side of that line.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Draft,violations,ncaa,college football,Ohio State,Oklahoma,Giants,Dolphins,49ers,red flag,Bomar,Quinn,Boone
Which red flags in a player's background are the worst? by
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1 thought on “Which red flags in a player's background are the worst?”

  1. Boone made a big mistake out in California when he was preparing for the combine. He had 1st round NFL potential coming out of High School but ended up not even getting drafted. Sad.

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