Ryan Leaf, the former number two overall NFL pick (behind Peyton Manning) and the long-time epitome of a bust, was sentenced yesterday in a Montana courtroom following two arrests in three days for burglary back in April.
Leaf has been jailed since the second arrest, on April 2nd, and called his imprisonment a 'sanctuary.' While those speaking up for Leaf asked for leniency, Leaf was harsh on himself.
I’m lazy, and dishonest and selfish. These were behaviors I had before my addiction kicked in.
Leaf struggled with an addiction to pain pills after his playing days, and particularly after brain surgery in 2010, when he got hooked again on hyrdocodone, according to his attorney. He had cleaned himself up prior to the surgery but relapsed afterwards. Leaf's brother was on hand for the hearing, but Ryan asked their parents to stay away.
Leaf's reasoning for not wanting his parents present was kind of heartbreaking.
They believe I’ve held them for ransom for 36 years, and I don’t understand why I should have to do that any more.
Leaf ended up getting sentenced to a five year commitment to Montana's DOC; nine months in a drug treatment center, then six months after that in a pre-release facility. The next two years of the sentence were suspended, meaning Leaf most likely won't go to prison unless he commits another crime.
Leaf was once a hugely promising QB prospect and his talent made it a difficult decision for Indianapolis to choose between him and Manning. Kind of hard to imagine now.