Is Henry Ruggs holding out hope of an eventually return to football?

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A lengthy and informative item from ESPN.com regarding the Henry Ruggs situation contains a few details that stand out. One stands, as it relates to the potential resumption of his football career.

As of March 16, Ruggs secured permission to leave home confinement twice per week for three hours at a time to work out at a training center that caters to pro athletes. The item notes that it’s unclear whether Ruggs hopes to play football again. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he just needs to have something to do, something to break the monotony. Something to give him hope. An outlet for the feeling that he’s trapped at home. A way to use God-given skills that will begin to erode, in time.

Or maybe he thinks he has a chance to put this behind him. As the article explains, a hearing will happen today regarding the argument that the police lacked probable cause to request a warrant for blood to be drawn from Ruggs for alcohol testing. Without that proof, the DUI case goes away.

That won’t sit well with NFL fans who believe, based on the reports of the BAC level, that Ruggs was driving drunk. That he’s responsible for the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog. That he should be imprisoned for a period of years, and that he should never play football again.

But what if, legally, he’s cleared? What if a court finds there was no probable cause?

At that point, the NFL would be in a difficult spot. Based on precedent, a banishment would be difficult to defend. In 2009, receiver Donte’ Stallworth was suspended for one season after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. One year earlier, defensive end Leonard Little was suspended eight games after an involuntary manslaughter plea.

If Ruggs has his charges thrown out, what will the NFL do? If a guilty plea to DUI manslaughter leads to a one-year suspension, what do dismissed DUI manslaughter causes trigger?

Maybe that’s why Ruggs is working out. Maybe he’s getting ready for the possibility that he’ll eventually be cleared to return to pro football. Whether a team gives him another chance would remain to be seen.

It won’t be an easy sell. Consider this quote from Clark County district attorney Steve Wolfson: “I’ve been involved in the justice system for over 40 years as both a defense lawyer and a young prosecutor. I’ve never been involved in, or am I aware of, another criminal case involving somebody traveling 156 miles an hour.”

Tina Tintor and her dog burned to death in the fire caused by the crash. It ranks among the most horrifying stories the NFL ever has produced. It’s impossible to imagine Ruggs ever getting another chance in the NFL, regardless of how his legal situation is resolved. It’s also impossible to imagine the DUI case against him being thrown out on a technicality, given the reality of the harm his actions caused.

30 responses to “Is Henry Ruggs holding out hope of an eventually return to football?

  1. Ruggs should be put away for life IMHO. He killed an innocent woman, I don’t care that he suffered injuries himself, he killed someone because of his carelessness. He had privilege and he wasted it. Now he must pay the price, hopefully the price is the heaviest price possible.

  2. If there is physical evidence of the speed, then he still should be held for vehicular manslaughter, even if not proving DUI. That alone should be enough to make sure he never sees the field again. He won’t be back.

  3. He obviously made a mistake and is sincerely regretful. I don’t think that one mistake should ruin his life.

  4. It seems like a stretch the DUI case goes away. But in the even it some how miraculous did, he’s going to be charged with something else related to vehicular homicide and/or second degree murder. He’s not playing in the NFL again, but that’s the least of his problems.

  5. Even if the DUI gets tossed on a technicality (*and it shouldn’t), the recklessness of driving 156 mph inside city limits causing a fatality will earn a lengthy sentence.

  6. You would think that being involved in an accident that results in a death would be enough to justify ‘probable cause’ but I’ve seen so many situations where the application of the law just defies normal, common sense to believe that common sense will prevail now!

  7. This would literally be the worst decision the league could make. Would be awful. If he gets off, which would be a travesty – he should hide away for the rest of his life.

  8. No probable cause? An avoidable accident resulting in the death of a woman and her dog isn’t probable cause?

  9. It doesn’t matter what happens with the legal system in this case.

    Ruggs was there. He was drunk and driving a car at high speed. He killed someone in a horrific accident. This is beyond question, despite his legal team’s efforts to create a loophole through which he can squirm to escape accountability.

    No NFL team will touch him with a ten foot pole.

  10. I take it there is a significant gulf between “an” argument that there is no probable cause to test someone for alcohol who just killed somebody driving 156 on city streets in the early AM hours, and it being a good argument?

  11. If I ever hear this guys name again, it will be too soon.

  12. “He obviously made a mistake and is sincerely regretful. I don’t think that one mistake should ruin his life.”

    That’s a lovely concept in general, and I do believe in it. But the mistakes here are too big and too compounded. Driving drunk is a huge mistake, let alone at 156 mph, let alone killing someone and a dog burning them to death. Whether it was intentional or not, when you make those choices you should be responsible for where and how fast your car (which is a deadly weapon) goes. If someone pointed a gun at someone and shot them, and then said “sorry I was drunk it was a mistake”, no one would accept that, and that’s what he did with a several thousand pound metal vehicle when he pointed it at her car.

  13. vagabond1979 says:
    July 12, 2022 at 1:35 pm
    He obviously made a mistake and is sincerely regretful. I don’t think that one mistake should ruin his life

    ———

    Who is going to give the person he killed another chance?

    He should be jailed and banned from the NFL for life.

  14. Poor decisions have consequences & there has to be accountability for those poor decisions…intentional or not, he killed someone that should be alive today…life in prison is better than what his victim got…. ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT IS A TRAVESTY

  15. There is zero chance of him getting away with what he did. He killed an innocent person and was speeding and high and drunk. Lock him up and throw away the key. The End.

  16. Judge just ruled his BAC can be included in the trial. His options may only include playing for the Cons.

  17. There’s a special place in hell for defense attorneys who are solely selected because they find a way to use the system to set guilty people free.

  18. If there wasn’t probable cause in this case then Probable cause doesn’t exist

  19. I feel so awful that Ruggs is dealing with the monotony of being under house arrest in his mansion and perhaps losing hope… NOT.

  20. There’s a special place in hell for defense attorneys who are solely selected because they find a way to use the system to set guilty people free.
    ————
    Although I totally agree that he should be jailed for life, I also believe that everyone deserves a competent defense no matter how horrific the crime. That’s the bedrock of this country’s legal system. Future president John Adams was the defense attorney for the Boston Massacre suspects using this same argument. This case was an important landmark in the development of American jurisprudence.

  21. Not to diminish the importance of the issue of driving while drunk, but I have never been able to understand why the hell they even produce cars for the public that can reach those speeds. Why?! There’s just no purpose. There is no road, outside a racetrack, where it’s even legal to drive that fast. And unless you are a professional, it’s not even sane to try.

  22. Ruggs is 23 years old.
    Unless he gets 10 plus years, which is dependent on what he’s convicted of, he might actually return to the field.
    The precedent is there, as mentioned with other players with fatal DUIs, so as disgusting as it might sound, he might play again.

  23. Sweetwater Texas , rattlesnake roundup is anxiously awaiting to toss this loser in into the snake pit!!!!

  24. Even IF they get the BAC tossed, there is still plenty of reckless driving and potential manslaughter based on the speed he was driving, which can be proven in hindsight, plus that video of his car. The DUI is just one charge, or should be. You take a car up to 156 mph on a public road, and somebody dies, what do you call it?

  25. Football should be the LEAST of his worries or hopes. He ruined a family forever, yet he gets to be under house arrest after what he did?? I just can’t get my mind around that. Must be just awful wearing that monitor…

  26. I bet you he is genuinely a good guy. Made a mistake but still has to pay the price. Sad story all the way around.
    However, him lawyering up hurt his cause.

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