Last Friday, former Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested in Hartselle, Ala., on drug and firearm charges. It’s the latest of many off-field incidents that have plagued McClain.
This arrest likely brings his NFL career to a close.
McClain retired once, in 2013, after being signed by the Baltimore Ravens following his release from the Raiders. McClain then returned to the NFL in 2014 to play for the Dallas Cowboys, but missed the 2016 season because he violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Amazingly, McClain remains a young man, only 27 years old.
While we can look at someone like him and think that at such a young age he still has a chance to turn his life around, without a plan, he’s unlikely to do so. I have a solution that would virtually guarantee it: Nick Saban should bring McClain back to Alabama as an analyst on his staff.
Both Saban and McClain would benefit.
Saban and Alabama benefit by having a legendary former player with NFL experience — good and bad — to assist in the growth of current players. McClain was a terrific college linebacker who knows Saban’s system and how the linebackers fit in that system. McClain also can share valuable insight into how the NFL works, helping inform players on what they can expect at the next level, both on and off the field.
McClain, obviously, would benefit from the structure and accountability Saban would demand. He’d have a steady job in the place where he experienced his greatest success. He would remain connected to football. The life lessons he’s learned the hard way could serve as an example for others to avoid. McClain also would have the opportunity to complete his degree.
Saban could require McClain to be drug tested regularly and seek counseling, adding more structure to the seemingly chaotic life that McClain leads.
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