Sam Hurd and the War on Drugs
Calvin Watkins considers "The sad case of Sam Hurd," a former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Calvin Watkins considers “The sad case of Sam Hurd,” a former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
It was kind of shocking to see former Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd in a federal courtroom in Dallas and hear him say, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done.”
Hurd pled guilty to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network.
Hurd now faces a minimum 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute.
Hurd was remembered as a quiet player who talked about God and tried to stay humble. He was a likable player in the Cowboys locker room and seemed to need a fresh start.
He got just that when he was signed by the Chicago Bears. But even there, Hurd never could become what he wanted to be — an elite NFL wide receiver.
In December 2011, Hurd’s secret life moved to the forefront when he was arrested outside a Chicago-area steakhouse after allegedly accepting a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover officer. Prosecutors alleged Hurd told the officer and an informant at the steakhouse that he wanted to purchase up to 10 kilograms of cocaine a week for $25,000 per kilogram.
Somehow, Hurd’s goals of becoming a solid NFL player went way off track as a new desire took over.
To see Hurd now is sad. His story shouldn’t have ended this way because he had so many people rooting for his success.
But in the end, all Hurd could do is apologize for his actions, as terrible as they may be.
Now, I never met Sam Hurd. His brief career with the Cowboys was forgettable. And, certainly, even a journeyman NFL player has far more advantages than most who find themselves on the wrong end of our criminal justice system.
Still, it’s not obvious to me why he’s facing a minimum of 10 years in prison for, well, not much. Trying to buy cocaine? Hoping to start a drug network? Yes, drugs ruin a lot of lives and drug traffickers facilitate that. But Hurd didn’t actually ruin any lives but his own.