I can’t think of a worse ethics story involving either a Chicago Bear or former NIU football player than the charges that Sam Hurd is a major drug dealer. You can read the complete list of charges at the Dallas Morning News. This makes gun charges with Tank Johnson, the various legal problems of Cedric Benson, the crashed and deserted Lamborghini of Lance Briggs, etc., look like boys being boys. If true, Sam Hurd is not an out-of-control spoiled pro athlete who refuses to grow up. He is a criminal.
That said, since nothing is proven yet, I liked the official statement released by the Bears:
“We are aware of Sam’s arrest and are continuing to gather details surrounding it. We are disappointed whenever these circumstances arise. We will deal with them appropriately once we have all the information.”
That may sound tame, but it’s better than jumping to the wrong conclusions, which the Bears did when they cut Cedric Benson.
This is also a far bigger embarrassment for NIU than it is for the Chicago Bears. If the charges are true, it sounds as if Hurd was involved in this stuff long before he became a Bear this summer. The Bears misjudged his character when they signed him, but it was already well-established.
Schools are supposed to help people develop their character, whether that’s the four years kids spend in high school or the four (or five) years young adults spend in college. Hurd should have learned better at NIU.
If he didn’t, that’s at least 99-percent Hurd’s failing. It doesn’t make his old school a worse school. But it also sure doesn’t look good. Sam Hurd is the second-leading receiver in NIU history and was part of that great 2003 team that beat Alabama, Maryland and Iowa State, finishing second to P.J. Fleck on that team in receiving.
This tarnishes that. And that’s a shame.