Pacman Jones speaks from experience. Bad experience.
Consequently, the National Football League has asked the former cornerback for the Tennessee Titans and two other NFL teams to address participants in its annual rookie symposium, June 25-28. He also will take part in panel discussions during the event, which is designed to counsel incoming draft picks on dealing with the challenges of fame and wealth that accompany life as a professional football player.
"The message is, this is not a joke. At the end of the day you have to treat it like a business," Jones said, according to the Cincinnati Bengals website. "And you're a business owner, and every decision you make is a reflection of you."
The Titans selected Jones with the sixth overall pick in 2005, and two years later a series of off-the-field issues resulted in a suspension that cost him the entire 2007 season. Most notable among seven arrests during the course of his professional career was one that involved a 2007 shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, for which he got one year probation when he accepted a plea bargain on a gross misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.
He’s also undergone a pair of surgical procedures on his neck in the last two years.
Jones currently is preparing for his third season with Cincinnati. He played two seasons with the Titans and one with Dallas and he was out of football in 2009.
"What you do on the field, what you do off the field, it's all a reflection of you," Jones said. "Going to the club here, going to the club there. Having 100 people with you. Checking your advisors, your accountants. Just basic stuff."
Basic stuff he had to learn the hard way.