NFL Should Make All Rookies Take Alcohol Class

by: Mike Miller

The National Football League draft was bigger and generated more revenue than in any other year. Just when everything looked rosy for the NFL, a part of its dark side emerged yet again. NFL players and legal problems seem to go hand-in-hand. Last week was not good for the NFL in this respect.

On the heels of one of death of perhaps greatest linebackers of all-time, NFL players were cited in three separate alcohol-related incidents. Perhaps it is time the NFL adopt mandatory alcohol classes for all rookies!

Cincinnati Bengals

Recently the Bengals organization seems to have been cursed. Not only has their play been abominable, but there have been a rash of arrests among its players. Now their fourth round draft pick has been busted. Tight end Orson Charles was arrested last month for driving under the influence.

Cincinnati has had four players get in trouble with the law since last July: running back Cedric Benson (who is currently a free agent), cornerback Adam Jones, wide receiver Jerome Simpson (who has since signed with Minnesota) and linebacker Rey Maualuga.

The University of Georgia athlete was arrested for a DUI in Athens, Ga., He submitted to sobriety tests and registered a .095 blood alcohol level. At the time of his arrest, Charles was rated as the 38th-best prospect overall by Scouts Inc. and the No. 2 prospect at tight end in this year's NFL draft.

Charles has the potential to be a solid No. 2 tight end for the Bengals behind Jermaine Gresham. He plays bigger than his size and caught 10 career touchdown passes, which tied a school record for that position.

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he refused a breath test. The NFL player was pulled over shortly before 3 a.m. and failed a sobriety test after refusing a breath test. The 28-year-old was arrested and taken to a county detention center before being released.

Meriweather signed a two-year, $6 million deal last month with the Redskins. He was a first-round draft pick by New England in 2007 and was a two-time Pro Bowl player before being cut in training camp last year.

San Diego Chargers

Chargers rookie Johnnie Troutman (round five, 149th pick), an offensive guard from Penn State, was arrested on a DUI charge in February of 2011. Troutman appears to be apologetic and resolved to taking an alcohol class so this does not happen again.

Sources: ESPN, Yahoo, CBS.