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People often complain that professional athletes are above the law. That they lead lives of privilege and can misbehave without consequence. Like most things in life, the reality isn't quite so simple. For example, the average NFL career lasts just three seasons, and 78 percent of NFL players go bankrupt within two years of retirement. And when players get in trouble off the field, they can see it impact their career, often in a greater way than the average citizen.
Take Dwayne Jarrett, 24, of the Carolina Panthers, who was released Tuesday after being arrested for the second time in three years on charges of DUI. He was pulled over on Interstate 77 in Charlotte for speeding around 2 a.m. The police suspected he was intoxicated. Dwayne Jarrett declined to take a breath test but he did later provide a blood test, the results of which will not be known for weeks.
The arrest alone was the last straw for the Panthers management. The former USC star has struggled in the NFL, averaging less than ten catches a season and only scoring one touchdown after four seasons in Carolina. Making matters worse, the team is 0-4 this season.
So, just like that, the team sent him on his way with little more than "we wish Dwayne the best." Not that you can blame the Panthers; it's a competitive league and if you don't produce, your job is in jeopardy. If you don't produce and you're having problems off the field--you're sent packing. So one day it's "Dwayne Jarrett arrested," the next day it's "adiós." It's the nature of the business.
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