You might think that Bengals cornerback Adam Jones' recent arrest -- he turned himself in last week after an incident at a Cincinnati bar -- would keep him from talking to incoming NFL rookies about what to do and what not to do in the NFL. You would be wrong.
Jones, despite that arrest and the subsequent bad publicity that came with security footage, will still speak at the NFL's Rookie Symposium in late June.
"You are not going to trick an athlete. They know when it is dressed up and not real,” NFL VP of Player Engagement Troy Vincent told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “When you can sit among your peers and just talk about your life, someone is learning from that. They can look at him and see themselves from the way they look to where they have originated.”
Vincent believes the talks are well received and that rookies can actually relate to Jones' struggles. Not so much that they can relate to the stories; it's just that what Jones says resonates as a legit struggle with the league's youngsters.
“We really want to focus on balance. We've had to experience and endure our trials and tribulations, but it is power when you talk about it,” Vincent said. “It's all about giving players the best chance to succeed and giving them the tools."
There might be qualms with having Pacman step up to the podium following a recent run-in with the law. But at the same time, he hasn't been proven guilty in any court of law and still has a valuable message to provide. Perhaps one that's more timely than ever.