Teams unable to head off problem players
First of all the security guy told me he is very interested in this mess Vick has gotten himself in because it will pose a classic legal match. You should know that federal authorities have brought this indictment against the Falcons QB and, facts are, federal prosecutors don't usually do this unless they're practically certain they're going to win in court.
The conviction rate, apparently, in federal courts is something like 85 percent or higher. That spells bad news for Vick.
Beyond that, there isn't much wiggle room in sentencing. Federal sentencing guidelines are strict and demand the convicted serve at least 85 percent of the sentence -- so forget about judicial leniency.
On Vick's side is the fact he does have a great amount of money to mount a vigorous, expert defense. That will help him. It will also be hard for prosecutors to rehabilitate witnesses testifying against Vick in exchange for amnesty or lessened jail time of their own.
So how does this affect YOUR Miami Dolphins?
Well, I asked the security chief why it is the Atlanta Falcons didn't have a good idea this was going on with their star QB. I asked him why a team like the Dolphins would do nearly 400 background checks in preparing for the draft, but wouldn't have some players investigated, indeed, even followed to protect their own best interest.
Here's the very simple answer: Most team hire one security investigator and that guy cannot follow 60 guys around every day. Most teams, including the Dolphins, seem woefully undermanned in their investigation department. They are living in another era when stuff like this either didn't happen as much or simply didn't come to the light of public scrutiny as much.
Most teams have one guy -- one -- manning their security investigation department. That guy is a resource after the fact of an arrest or indictment, but isn't really equipped to prevent anything.
Now the NFL does have a security department that apparently deals in pre-emptive investigations based on information from sources or law enforcement. But even that department can't keep tabs on nearly 2,000 players.
So in the future, if you think your team can head off something as embarrassing -- not to mention sickening -- as the allegations against Vick with a little gumshoe work, you are mistaken.
In the future, when you ask yourself, how is it the Dolphins could be fooled not once, but twice on Ricky Williams, well, now you know.