AMARILLO, Texas (AP)—Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf on Wednesday was sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to eight felony drug charges in Texas.
State District Judge John B. Board also fined Leaf $20,000. Leaf pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance.
The 33-year-old’s mother sat behind him in the Amarillo courtroom during sentencing.
Leaf told reporters after the hearing that he continued to use prescription pain medicine even after he recognized that he had a problem.
“I convinced myself it wasn’t a big deal because these weren’t illegal drugs,” he said, reading from a statement. “But I did have a problem. It finally hit me square in the face in West Texas; I finally had to look squarely in the mirror.”
In late 2008 after resigning from West Texas A&M in Canyon where he coached quarterbacks for three seasons, Leaf said he spent 42 days in an inpatient treatment center in Vancouver, B.C., before doing two months of outpatient care. He said he has been clean for 17 months.
Randall County District Attorney James Farren said after the deal was finalized that Leaf’s addiction was flagrant and that everyone on the West Texas A&M football team knew about it.“Everyone knew if you got injured you’d get a visit from Ryan Leaf,” Farren said. “And when he left he had half their pain medication