Share “Dallas Cowboys: Sometimes Dez Bryant can't...”

Dallas Cowboys: Sometimes Dez Bryant can't help but make wrong decisions

Those who know him say former OSU star is a good man at heart, but he needs direction from good role models.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 18, 2012

Some things can't be fixed.

Not by a loving village. Not by a caring campus. Not by amazing athletic ability. Not by the world's most famous football team.

So Dez Bryant's life continues to spiral out of control. Even if he does wear the vaunted No. 88 for the Dallas Cowboys and might be the best player in shoulder pads for the men who wear the star. Even if he was such an athletic marvel at OSU that his last name no longer is necessary in the state of Oklahoma.

Dez was arrested Monday and booked on a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his mother, Angela.

There is no excuse for striking a woman, much less your mother. But the people who know Dez know what he's up against. How a horrible home life growing up in Lufkin, Texas, gave him few tools in which to make good decisions and live a fruitful life. How OSU gave him structure in his 2 1/2 years as a Cowboy, but once he was gone from Stillwater, that protection went, too.

A Lufkin teacher emailed me Tuesday to try to provide a glimpse of Dez's situation.

“The news media, the Dallas Cowboys, the public, the normal sports fan, cannot imagine the life that this young man had,” wrote the teacher, who I later spoke to and wished to remain anonymous. “What he had to overcome can't be imagined by most decent people.

“He comes from absolutely no home life, but when he was drafted, the family came out of the woodwork.”

At OSU, Dez never was a problem in terms of behavior. People throughout the athletic department will admit that Dez was completely irresponsible – didn't always go to class, late for meetings, didn't understand the concept of a schedule – but never was he a problem otherwise. No drinking. No drugs. No disrespect.

“The Dez I knew would not beat up his mother,” said Marilyn Middlebrook, OSU's associate athletic director for academic affairs. Middlebrook termed Dez “sweet” but “irresponsible.”

Which is not surprising, considering his home life. Dez's mother was 14 when he was born and later spent 18 months in prison for drug trafficking. Dez often went house to house to sleep. Middlebrook said the story around the athletic department was that Dez in Lufkin would sleep in his clothes, because he often had to move in the middle of the night.

“He didn't have any kind of family support,” the Lufkin teacher said. “Lived with all kinds of different people. He just never had anybody stable in his life. When these kids go off to college, or when they get drafted, they take that with them.”

Continue reading this story on the...

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Pistons waive forward Josh Smith
  2. 2
    VIDEO: 9-year-old LeBron James Jr. can ball like his dad
  3. 3
    NSYNC's Lance Bass Got Married This Weekend
  4. 4
    OSU baseball: Cowboys ranked No. 5 in preseason poll
  5. 5
    The unbelievable rise of single motherhood in America over the last 50 years
+ show more