Rightly so, Ryan Leaf has been applauded for pulling himself out of a drug-addled abyss. This holiday weekend, though, he’s back on the wrong side of the headlines.
Friday, TMZ.com reported that Ryan Leaf has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. The incident that led to his arrest happened in Palm Springs, California.
Thus far, no details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released.
After getting his life turned around, Ryan Leaf worked as a game analyst on the Pac-12 Network in 2018. He also co-hosted a show on SiriusXM’s Pac-12 channel as well. In July of 2019, Leaf was hired by ESPN as a college football analyst.
Here’s what CFT wrote at the time of Leaf’s ESPN hiring:
The former Washington State quarterback led the Cougars to a Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance in 1997, a year in which he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind only Pro Football Hall of Famers Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning. He was selected second overall in the 1998 NFL draft and then flamed out–spectacularly.
Leaf played in only 25 games as a professional, the first tumble in a decade-long fall that eventually found him addicted to Vicodin and incarcerated with multiple burglary and drug convictions. He was in and out of Texas and Montana jails for the first part of this decade, but was released in December of 2014 and has since spent time rebuilding his life–including a new career as a broadcaster.
“Five years ago sitting in a prison cell I would have never imagined that I was going to be part of ESPN and the Disney Corporation,” Leaf told the Associated Press. “If you would have told me that I would have said you are absolutely crazy. And I can’t believe it. I lay my head down every night with a ton of gratitude.
As of this posting, ESPN has not addressed the development of one of its broadcast rising stars.