Ryan Leaf’s Arrest

You’ve probably heard that Ryan Leaf was arrested yesterday on burglary, theft and drug charges in Great Falls, Mont., his hometown.

I was saddened by the news. Leaf, by all accounts, seemed to have kicked his addiction to pain-killers and was on the road back.

He had written a book about his final season at Washington State and planned to write two more.

We talked to him on “The Kevin Calabro Show” this week, and he sounded great. We had him on the show, not so much to talk about him, but to get his thoughts on Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

Leaf offered his insight on each QB, recalling that the top of the 1998 draft had a lot in common with the 2012 draft – back then, the Colts were trying to decide between Manning and Leaf, and now they’re choosing between Luck and Griffin.

Leaf told me later in a text that it felt good to not be the subject of an interview. He wants to be a TV football analyst and was interested in working for the Pac-12 Network, which launches later this year.

Maybe he’ll still get that opportunity. But obviously if the charges ultimately lead to some kind of conviction, he could end up in jail. Leaf is already serving a 10-year suspended sentence relating to drug charges in Texas in April 2010.

I don’t know a damn thing about drug addiction, but it must be overwhelmingly powerful stuff. The Ryan Leaf that I’ve come to know over the past couple of years is not a Ryan Leaf who would throw his new life away. The old Ryan Leaf would’ve thrown all kinds of stuff away, but not this one.

I’ll continue to stick up for the guy. And I’ll hope that when the details come out, there will be some extenuating circumstances that will make the situation look better than it does right now.


  1. I’m with ya’ and I agree!! I’m not a Wazzu alum, but I support Leaf and think you are 100% correct.

  2. I am a Cougar. My kids are Cougars and we have all dealt in various ways with the sickness of drug addiction. We have seen it destroy the best of people and I can’t thank you enough for being supportive of someone who needs help. Cougs don’t throw away each other. We help to the bitter end. May God Bless You.

  3. Hey Husky fan here and just wanted to express my sympathies for this situation. I read Leaf’s book and it seemed he had turned a corner, sad to see him relapse. Hopefully he can beat this thing. I know we like to joke around when it comes to sports, but this is something bigger than sports and no matter what program you follow you hope Leaf can overcome this.

  4. Justin /

    I am sure curious what your take would be had Leaf been a Husky.

  5. Leaf is either sick or an ________! or both! You fill in the blank. Ok it’s one thing to be addicted, and it’s another thing to use it as an excuse to be belligerant! You heard he got arrested again 48hrs later for the same thing! Like Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” The guy needs some serious something! God!

  6. Andy '70 /

    Jim: I agree with your assessment (written elsewhere) that Leaf deserves support not scorn, but I’m having difficulty dealing with the apparent hypocrisy of it all.

    I was in Montana when the story broke and there was more than just the theft of prescription drugs from an acquaintence. Leaf was arrested with a second unlabeled bottle of a controlled substance. It appears that he had, for quite a while, been receiving frequent shipments of expensive COD packages which were said to rattle as if they contained pills. According to reports, all of these packages originated from the same source in Florida — which is reputed to provide illegal drugs for a price.

    If true, this means that Leaf was still doing the illegal drugs while he was self-promoting his recovery from addiction. I can forgive a repeat drug offender, but not the hipocrisy inherent in claiming recovery, while still doing the drugs.

    Don’t know for sure if this is the case, but if it is, then this is where I part company with the Leaf supporters. And if so, with great saddness, I can only conclude that he deserves to be sentenced to serious prison time.

    Go Cougs!

  7. Jason Miller /

    I think Leaf needs jail time. The second burglary indicates to me that his addiction has him by the balls right now, and I think jail may be the safest place for him. I hope he’s able to get back on his feet and get through this. I was at the University of Idaho while Leaf was at WSU. The whole cougar team and coaching staff at that time was pretty arrogant – not just Leaf (I worked through school at a hotel/banquet facility that hosted all the opposing Pac10 teams, and the cougs when the dorms were closed – so have limited first hand experience of how teams/staff treated people). I didn’t like the guy, but have been impressed with his ownership of bad behavior.

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