One day after Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch became the recipient of the Byron "Whizzer" White Award for his off-field service, another Steeler was in court because of his off-field exploits. 2012 rookie fourth-round selection Alameda Ta’amu was in a preliminary hearing stemming from the South Side incident that wrecked his rookie season.plea agreement on the entirety of the charges. At this point he faces multiple charges varying from assault to DUI for the incident.
The Steelers did not comment on these proceedings today, but have been supportive of Ta’amu throughout the season. Yes, he was suspended for two-games without pay and eventually released after the incident in which he recorded a blood alcohol level of .196, more than twice the legal limit to drive, but he was re-signed to the active roster toward the end of the 2012 campaign.
The team drafted Ta’amu knowing there was a potential for trouble, as he did have some disciplinary issues in college. However, he did show signs of maturing toward the end of his college career and his tantalizing potential as an anchor of the defense was viewed a mid-round steal during the draft. Now, with the severity of the impending punishment unknown; the Steelers front office (and the league) will be keeping a close eye on the situation. The nose tackle position seems in flux as free agency nears with Casey Hampton a long shot to return and back-up Steve McClendon a restricted free agent.
The results of these negotiations may not be known until Ta’amu attends his non-juried trial, which is scheduled for April 4. A date that luckily for the Steelers falls before the 2013 NFL Draft.
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