The Aaron Hernandez horror show got a lot of people talking about crime in the NFL. Again. Here, here, or here, they’re talking about a “culture of crime.” Even EA Sports has weighed in on the topic, in its own fashion, by removing Hernandez from its Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14 video games. In this week’s post, I wanted to look at the colleges and conferences contributing the most to the crime problem. Here’s how I went about it: 1.) I mined the singular database of NFL players arrested over the years as compiled and maintained by San Diego’s Union-Tribune here; 2.) I used the internets to determine the school and conference of each arrestee; 3.) I presumed everyone innocent until proven guilty. Because the U-T includes arrests that resulted in the charges being dismissed or dropped, I did, too.
Looking at 2013 to date, here’s what we have:[table “” not found /]
Of a total of forty NFL players arrested in 2013, 12 of them (30%) hail from the SEC, 6 (15%) from the Big 12, 5 from the ACC (12.5%), and 4 (10%) each from The B1G and The American. Compare those percentages to the total number of pro players hailing from the two “leading” conferences, 314 (18.5% of total players) from the SEC and 162 (9.55% of total players) from the Big 12. They’re almost doubling their contribution, as it were. Also noteworthy, I found, was the presence of Temple and Harvard on the list, and the shockingly low numbers of Oakland and Dallas players on the list. It goes without saying, perhaps, that no Notre Dame players made the list in 2013 or in 2012. No professional Notre Dame players, that is. I guess that’s another benefit from Tommy Rees not coming out early.
If you run the names back to the beginning of 2012, the list grows to eighty-five arrestees, and the number of SEC players grows to 25, or 29.4% of the total. In that same period, the Big 12 “only” adds another four “bad boys,” such that it now accounts for 11.7% of the 85 players arrested since 12/31/2011.
What does this mean? Well, a lot, actually. My hypothesis at this time is that the “percentage-contribution” of SEC-players will remain relatively consistent over time, meaning that as you add numbers of arrestees, the SEC’s percentage of that number will fall much slower (30% v. 29.4%) than that of its nearest 2013 competitor, The Big 12. And, in that short eighteen month sample, The Big 12’s percentage-contribution of arrestees quickly closed on equaling its percentage-contribution of total number of players, while the SEC contributed far more arrestees, on a percentage basis, than it did on a total player basis.
There are six hundred plus pages in the Union-Tribune‘s database and I invite someone to go through them all so I don’t have to. But I will.
(Author’s Note: Apologies to Southern Miss and Clemson, who were erroneously included in the SEC. I have corrected that, and the numbers and percentages. I apologize for the error and confusion)