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Saturday, July 17, 2004

The Sad Case of Art Schlichter

Do you remember Art Schlichter (pronounced Shlee-ster for those of you who may not remember)?  The three-sport wunderkind from Ohio who was going to lead the Buckeyes to renewed glory on the gridiron and perhaps help out on the basketball court?  Great HS athlete destined for bigger things in the Big 10 Conference and beyond?
You probably remember his fall, a resounding thud that would have been more scary hadn't it been so pathetic.  Schlichter fell in with a bad crowd, got suspended by the NFL for gambling, is currently serving a sentence in federal prison for money laundering and just copped a plea for another eight years for a fraud scam.    ESPN reports on this former HS hero's sad circumstances.
Even Michigan fans couldn't boo these circumstances or derive any pleasure from the awful descent into hell that this guy who had a wonderful life in front of him has had.  Hard to say whether Schlicter just fell in with a bad crowd or just never developed an appropriate sense of right from wrong.  Ohio State fans and Ohioans probably know better.
Thankfully, for every Schlichter there are more Craig Krenzels, the since-graduated Ohio St. QB who was drafted in the recent NFL draft and who will go on and become a doctor some day.  Yet, it was Schlicter who was one of the most heralded QBs ever to walk into the football locker room in Columbus, the most heralded since Rex Kern.  
And, that, in retrospect, says a lot about how we choose our heroes.  (Ironically, Krenzel, and not Schlichter, led the Buckeyes to a national title).
You read about the Art Schlichters of the world and the linebacking recruit for Miami with a rap sheet that is perhaps longer than his 19 years on this earth, and you wonder where all the Craig Krenzels are. 
There are many of them out there, and SportsProf for one would like to see more articles on where those guys are today.  In classrooms, in laboratories, in operating rooms, picking up in life where their college educations left off.  Helping others become better people or healthier people.  Or both.
No doubt there could be more Art Schlichter stories and perhaps even a book or made for TV movie, and Craig Krenzel might play a couple of years in the NFL before going to med school and becoming an oncologist or orthopedic surgeon.  Perhaps no one will ever write a book about him.  Too nice.  No scandal.  Too boring.
But, in all likelihood, he'll probably be writing a book of his own some day.
Probably a medical textbook.
And that's the best story of them all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can someone become addicted to gambling? Any soul with just an ounce of common sense will quickly realize that gambling NEVER, and I mean NEVER results in a player winning big time. The folks that operate gaming businesses are perhaps the greatest statisticians and mathematical geniuses of our time and they have craftily calculated the odds of a player winning and have adjusted the rules to ensure the house always wins over time. The same holds true for a sham most states pull on their citizens in the form of a state "authorized" lottery. Being struck by lightning twice on the same day is actually more likely to occur than winning a state lottery, yet folks continue to throw their money away in these legalized con games.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous justin meeker said...


7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe compulsive gambling and compulsive anything is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals.Like getting over any addiction, you have to fill your mind and time with something besides the addiction.I believe medication and therapy help.There is no reasoning with people who gamble. I knew a man who gambled all the time-wanting to win enough money to take his family on a trip to Italy. He never got there, but had he thrown that gambling money in a jar every week, he would have.
But no one could have told him that. Eventually these people lose so much money and they owe it to their bookie -or whomever- and the only way to make a large amount to pay it back is to gamble.It is an ugly story.

11:10 PM  
Blogger WoodyLover said...

You asked about Art Schlichter's life story. His tell-all book is on the way, to be released in September of 2009. Insiders say it is a fascinating read, as he doesn't hold anything back, telling inside stories of Ohio State football 1978-81, plenty of great Woody Hayes stories, the behind-the-scenes story of the night Woody was fired at the Gator Bowl, as well as his addiction, and spending 10 years in prison. What's more, he takes full blame for what happened to him and does not point fingers. Can't wait to read it.

5:08 PM  
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