Former Raider Marinovich calls latest arrest 'bump in the road' to recovery

Updated: September 1, 2007, 12:46 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Former Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich calls his latest arrest on drug charges a "bump in the road" in his recovery.

Marinovich is in jail for probation violation and has a pretrial hearing Thursday. Police said he was skateboarding in a prohibited area near the Newport Pier boardwalk and ran away when officers tried to stop him. He was found hiding in a carport about six blocks away.

"Each time that I've made an effort at it, I've had more fun and stayed clean longer, so why stop now because of this bump in the road? " the 38-year-old former player told the Daily Pilot newspaper of Costa Mesa in a jailhouse interview. "I don't know any other way to see it. It's just like throwing an interception. The best people are going to throw interceptions. It's about dealing with the next possession, the next breath."

Marinovich had a guitar case, and inside officers found about a gram of powdered methamphetamine, a metal spoon and a hypodermic needle, Sgt. Evan Sailor said. He pleaded not guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of unauthorized possession of a hypodermic and resisting a police officer.

Marinovich said he relapsed about a month ago after nearly a year of sobriety.

"Sometimes it just happens," he said. "I'll get into a situation where I shouldn't be."

A star quarterback at Southern California in 1991, Marinovich was a first-round draft choice of the Raiders. He played two seasons for them before being released because of an acknowledged drug problem. He later played in Canada and for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, leaving that team in 2001 after being arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.

In Orange County, Marinovich has had at least nine previous court cases, most involving drug-related crimes, and has spent several months in jail after pleading guilty or no contest to various crimes.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE