When Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, it should have come as no surprise that it was an incident involving his family.
Talib and his mom are accused of shooting at Talib’s sister’s boyfriend, and as Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times writes, Talib’s biggest problems in life always seem to surround his family. Jim Ledford, who coached Talib and his brother at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas, told Stroud that the family atmosphere Talib was raised in was toxic.
“It’s just that breaking away is hard for him, but I would agree it would not be bad for him,” said “I don’t want to ever take family members away, but sometimes. . . . It’s sad. I’d give anything if he could separate himself from that kind of atmosphere, if you will. When he and I talked the last time, we talked about not putting yourself in those situations. But this one was family, and he’s very loyal to his mother. I know how close they were, even here. That’s one of the things in his demise right now, the closeness to his family.”
Stroud’s story is full of examples of why Talib’s family is so poisonous to him, including how Talib’s mom went to jail for eight months when he was 10 for trying to stab a woman who confronted her over an unpaid debt.
The story is also full of examples of how people who should have been giving Talib strict discipline instead gave him a pass. For instance, former University of Kansas co-defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said of Talib, “He’s very smart. I don’t think he ever went to a single class, but he still got a 2.7 (GPA) at Kansas.”
Good to know you can stay academically eligible at Kansas even though your coaches don’t think you ever go to class.
Overall, the story is a sad one. Talib is an extremely talented football player, but he simply can’t escape his past.