Speaking for the first time since he was thrown back in jail last month on charges that he swindled a woman out of $1 million, former NFL draft bust Art Schlichter said his problems are the fault of his addiction to gambling.
In a jailhouse interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Schlichter stressed that he considers himself to be suffering from an addiction, and he never used the word “gambling,” perhaps in an attempt to garner sympathy for what he suggests is behavior that he simply can’t control. Schlichter, whom the Colts selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1982 draft, has spent much of his life in prison for various crimes that he committed to fuel his gambling habit.
“It’s beyond tough,” Schlichter said. “When you let your guard down a little bit, when you don’t have the proper support or you don’t use that support, you put yourself in these situations. Hopefully, I will have an opportunity to get some treatment, make things right with people and try to help others who struggle in the same way.”
At this point, it’s hard to see why anyone would trust Schlichter to get treatment and make things right: He’s been committing crimes to finance his gambling for three decades, and in and out of jail his entire adult life. The biggest surprise in the latest charges against Schlichter is that there was still someone willing to trust him with her money.