Thursday, July 17, 2003 at 1:00am

Mark Twain once said, "There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." Were he alive today, he just might have mentioned professional athletes.

Hardly a day seems to pass without some news report detailing the involvement of a jock in some felony. Just this past week the National Basketball Association (NBA) scored a three-pointer on the police blotter. Portland Trailblazers guard Damon Stoudamire was arrested on drug charges after passing through an airport metal detector with 40 grams of marijuana wrapped in aluminum foil.

Then Orlando Magic guard Darrell Armstrong was arrested outside of a club and charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer

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