ESPN is reporting that Ryan Leaf has been granted indefinite leave at West Texas A&M, where he's the quarterbacks coach, after allegedly acknowledging asking a player for a pain killer pill.
To which I say ...
How in the world is this news? I realize the man, once upon a time, was a No. 2 overall NFL draft pick and one of the biggest disappointments in NFL history. And I also realize there's a bit of a morbid fascination with Leaf, given the bizarre, train-wreck nature of his time in the NFL.
But when is enough enough with the guy? Is Leaf really still prominent enough to warrant front page coverage on ESPN.com? Would this be news if it was any other Division II QB coach?
Leave the guy alone already.
By all accounts he's been a model employee while at this job while reassembling the mess he made of his life in the NFL. No, a coach should never ask a player for a pain killer, so clearly there was some error in judgment. And while I'm hardly a Leaf apologist -- if any of you ever sit down for a beer with me, I'll be more than happy to share some unbelievable Leaf stories from my time covering the Rose Bowl team for The Daily Evergreen -- shouldn't there be some measure of restraint here?
Leaf took this job so he could get back into football, but in a way that would allow him to stay out of the limelight. He rarely grants interview requests for the same reason. Does the man really deserve to be embarrassed even more at this point? We don't know if this was an isolated incident or part of a larger addiction to pain killers. Either way, it hardly qualifies as news in my book.
I wish Ryan the best.