The Question About ‘Pacman:’ What Next?

Ross Coleman

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has been suspended from the NFL after only playing four games since he was reinstated from a year-long suspension for violating the player conduct policy put in by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. That’s right, Pacman has been caught doing wrong again.

So what did the Pacman do this time? He got in a fight with the bodyguard assigned to him by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The bodyguard that was assigned to Pacman was there to prevent him from. you guessed it, fighting!

While Pacman was not arrested for the altercation that took place in the bathroom of an upscale hotel in Dallas on Oct. 8, the NFL’s resident disciplinarian Goodell decided to take it upon himself to suspend Pacman a minimum of four games.

For those of you not familiar with the antics of Pacman, he was reinstated to the NFL on August 26, after being suspended for violating the leagues personal conduct policy in April of last year. The suspension came after Pacman had been in trouble with the law numerous times, including at least three arrests.

The most serious charge stemmed from an incident at a strip club in Las Vegas during the NBA All-Star weekend in February of last year. Pacman allegedly was involved in an altercation with a stripper at the club.

After the dispute, a man believed to be an associate of Pacman returned to the club and fired shots at a security guard who threw Pacman and his entourage out of the strip club. The security guard and another man were both shot. The other man, a former professional wrestler, was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the gunshot.
Pacman accepted a plea deal as a result of the incident and ended up getting off with a misdemeanor.

It’s surprising to me that not only did Pacman get off with only a misdemeanor, given with his history of violence and crime, but that he wasn’t just thrown out of the game altogether; especially when you see a guy like Michael Vick, who is sitting in a Georgia prison for dog fighting.

However, during this post season, the Cowboys traded the suspended cornerback in hopes that he would clean up his act. While he seemed to have turned a new leaf, his time with the Cowboys may be over after this recent quarrel.

And while the entire situation seems very convoluted, I do have some questions that I’m sure plenty of others have.

First off, who won the fight? Pacman is 5 feet, 10 inches and 185 pounds. Not the biggest guy, but not tiny either. I am assuming that anyone that would be hired as a bodyguard would be bigger than 5-feet-10-inches and 185 pounds, a lot bigger. So maybe Pacman was testing him to see if he was “tough” enough to keep Pacman from fighting?

Secondly, why the bathroom? What were they doing that led to them fighting in a bathroom? Actually, scratch that – I don’t want the answer to that question.

Lastly, how is that player conduct policy working for you Goodell?

To be honest it doesn’t seem like Goodell’s policy for guys like Pacman has had much, if any, effect on players who keep breaking the law. And it sure hasn’t deterred teams from picking up players that have criminal backgrounds. The Cincinnati Bengals, who already lead the league in criminal players, recently acquired two players who had off-season legal trouble. Way to go Goodell, it seems like people are getting the message.

Look, I am all for a clean league, but come on, football players are a different type of individual; most of them want to hurt the player lining up across the field from them. Suspending a player because he gets arrested isn’t going to hurt the player; it is just going to make him angry. And you don’t want to see them when they are angry.

But seriously, on Oct. 20, Pacman checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center in hopes of getting help with alcoholism. I believe this is a good start from someone that wants to get back to doing what he loves to do.

That’s the other thing I would like to say to Pacman; if you love doing something like playing football, why are you jeopardizing that when you know you are on thin ice by getting into fights with a guy who is paid to keep you from fighting? How hard is it to walk the straight line until you can show the NFL that you are capable of being an adult and working in a prestigious league like the NFL?

I know that alcoholism is a terrible disease that affects millions but that shouldn’t prevent you from putting yourself in situations where you compromise what you aught to be doing.

I know that many players have had a run in or two with the law and come out better on the other side, but will Pacman be one of them? That remains to be seen.

But if a player conduct policy is going to be put in place, it really should deter players from breaking the law, and it should deter teams from signing players with troubled histories.

Pacman may be at fault for doing a really dumb thing, but Goodell has to rethink his approach to dealing with these off-the-field problems, other wise he should just realize that performance on the field has no correlation to actions off the field.