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Thread: Hargrove faces heavy fines
Hargrove faces heavy fines
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Defensive end Anthony Hargrove finally showed up at Rams Park, but nearly a day and a half late.
About 11:30 a.m. Friday, Hargrove hopped out of his SUV and quickly ducked into a side entrance at Rams Park.
The team was three-fourths of the way through its final full-scale practice of the week. Hargrove met with team officials, but not coach Scott Linehan. Linehan was still on the practice field, apparently unaware Hargrove was in the building.
A little more than an hour later, Hargrove emerged from the main entrance at Rams Park, and in a near sprint, ran to his vehicle and left the premises. He returned later in the afternoon for his first face-to-face meeting with Linehan since going AWOL from the team Thursday morning.
According to team sources, the meeting didn't last long. "About three minutes," said one Rams employee.
Hargrove assured Linehan that he was physically fine and told Linehan in very general terms that he had some personal issues that were troubling him. Linehan postponed any full-blown discussions of those issues with Hargrove until probably Monday.
Hargrove will not accompany the team to Arizona for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Following Friday's practice, Linehan was asked if Hargrove was suspended.
"He's just not playing," Linehan said. "You can call it what you want. He won't be active."
Rookie Victor Adeyanju will start in Hargrove's place. Brandon Green, who was on the pregame inactive list against Denver and San Francisco, will dress against the Big Red and provide backup help.
Upset that Hargrove failed to communicate with the team about his absence until Thursday afternoon, the Rams plan to fine him.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players, Hargrove can be fined specific amounts for each meeting, practice and team function missed.
On Thursday alone, adding up each specific transgression, the fine would total in excess of $30,000, according to team sources. But under the bargaining agreement, the total amount of any fine cannot exceed $20,000 per day. So barring a last-minute change of heart by the team, Hargrove can expect $40,000 in fines -- $20,000 for Thursday and $20,000 for Friday.
According to St. Louisan Reggie Blackwell, who handles marketing for Hargrove, Hargrove is prepared for the worst.
"He needs to be accountable for his actions, and he understands if there are fines, penalties -- whatever ramifications come down the line -- that he needs to take care of that," Blackwell said. "He's willing to bite that, swallow it, and get back on the field and be committed to football."
On Friday, Hargrove did not respond to multiple messages left by the Post-Dispatch. Hargrove's agent, Georgia-based Philip Williams, declined to comment. But Blackwell, who spoke at length with Hargrove on Friday afternoon, provided some insight into the issues that are troubling him.
"There are some personal issues that are family-related, some things with his (two) children," Blackwell said. "And some things that he's been dealing with probably over the last several weeks.
"I think they just magnified for him and kind of overwhelmed him. It's not an issue, like somebody's deathly ill, or anybody's in any major legal trouble. Nothing like that. But it's kind of a combination of several different things. He just kind of went in a shell for a day, and didn't think through his actions."
Hargrove has no family members in the St. Louis area.
No matter what the issues, the Rams -- specifically Linehan -- were upset that Hargrove did not phone the team Thursday morning to say he wasn't coming to work.
"You prefer that everybody does things a certain way, but you can't be responsible for everybody's actions," Linehan said. "I think everybody, individually, has got to be responsible for their actions and face the consequences."
The Rams, in fact, are so disturbed by Hargrove's actions this week that they feel he should undergo an evaluation to gauge his commitment to football. What that evaluation entails is uncertain. But there are those in the organization who believe his commitment to the game has regressed since the end of last season.
When it was mentioned to Blackwell that the Rams are not happy with Hargrove, he replied, "Oh, they're upset. And rightfully so."
So why didn't Hargrove call the team Thursday morning?
"That's the same question I asked (Hargrove)," Blackwell said.
Originally, Hargrove was supposed to meet with Linehan on Thursday night but was a no-show. Blackwell said Hargrove tried to call Linehan on Thursday evening to tell them he could not make the meeting.
"(Hargrove) didn't get an answer," Blackwell said. "That's what he told me. But that's not satisfactory (as an excuse), either. ... The Rams and the organization, they deserved to have some communication."
Re: Hargrove faces heavy fines
Gotta take it like a man. Whatever issues the man has, he still has the Rams in the back of his mind, and to be a no-show to meet Linehan, and he "tried" to call Thursday evening is no excuse. He isn't playing Sunday, and shouldn't be playing Sunday, and I think if anything, he should have more than a 3 minute meeting with Linehan about what actually happened, a private matter, so they're on the same page. As for Victor, good look man! I have high hopes for ya!Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams
Re: Hargrove faces heavy fines
Hmm, I was not aware that AH has two children (not mentioned in his Rams Official site bio).
It's always hard not to be judgemental on your employee's personal life and problems but ... sometimes it is also difficult to be sympathetic towards the individual. Especially when something you would think as being so simple -- making a phone call -- was not done.
Even if one is not 'good' in explaining matters to the boss (or to anyone), if it is embarrasing, depressing, ... whatever ... there should be enough maturity and resolution and/or responsibility to fulfill that fundamental duty:
"...Coach? Hi, this is Hargrove. I'm going through some pretty serious problems right now, you know, personal issues with my family. I'm sorry I won't be able to be there for a couple of days. I'm really sorry. Can we please talk about it next week? "
Being 'in a shell', as the article reports Hargrove was, is understandable. The dilemma, the feelings, etc. can be quite overwhelming. But I think that if one is not able to overcome these emotions even if for a few minutes in a two day period, then the...evaluation to gauge his commitment to football
Again, hopefully there will be a good lesson for Hargrove in all this. And an example for the rest of the team.
Last edited by RealRam; -09-24-2006 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Typos
Re: Hargrove faces heavy finesAlways and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams
Re: Hargrove faces heavy fines
Good point, V6. All things considered, we have a "quiet" team in that respect, as you said.
There are far more serious issues other teams' players are sunken into. It's a disgrace.
We may have had one or two recently that were of major gravity and consequences and even of public scandal, but still, we've been fortunate to have good men for the most part.