Charles Haley is about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but his heart is heavy after learning about Aldon Smith’s latest arrest.
Haley has been mentoring Smith this offseason, and he’s understandably “deeply saddened” that his pupil couldn’t avoid trouble yet again, as he expressed to ESPN’s Jim Trotter.
Charles Haley has tried to be a mentor for Aldon Smith. I spoke to Haley minutes ago, & he was deeply saddened abt Smith's latest incident.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) August 7, 2015
“The kid has got a big heart. He’s got some things he’s got to work thru & I’m just mad I couldn’t help him get thru it,” Haley told Trotter. “I laid everything I’ve done in my life on the line for him (to see), the troubles. I had. I was hoping to be an example for him. The kid needs help & I’m not going to give up on him. I don’t know how it affects his career, but It’s more important about [the] man.”
Interestingly, Haley said he spoke with Smith on Thursday night, but his pupil didn’t “mention any troubles.”
It’s encouraging to see Haley still supporting Smith at this time. He’s going to need more support than ever before after being arrested on DUI, hit-and-run and vandalism charges. Another interesting aspect to this entire story is the fact that Smith has since denied he drove under the influence, which is in direct contrast to what the Santa Clara Police have reported to the public about the matter.
It’s a shame that Haley must endure a heavy heart this weekend in what is the pinnacle of his professional football career—to be enshrined as one of the game’s greats in Canton, Ohio.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports