Jimmy Smith's downfall well-documented

Smith is serving 6-year prison term for drug possession, weapons charges

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For 11 years, Jimmy Smith wore a teal and black uniform.

Now, the former Jaguars star wide receiver is wearing a much different uniform -- prison garb.

Smith recently started serving a six-year term in Mississippi on drug and weapons charges. It's the latest in a series of substance-related run-ins he's had with the law, including some while he was playing for the Jaguars.

"I guess it does not surprise me. It saddens me because addiction is a chronic relapsing disease," said Karen Tozzi, of Gateway Treatment Center.

This is a history of his downfall: In 2001, Smith was charged with DUI and police said his blood tested positive for cocaine. Those charges were dropped.

In 2003, he was suspended for four games for violation of drug policy. He apologized and checked into rehab three years later. Smith announced his sudden retirement and left behind a history of football records In Jacksonville. He denied he retired because of a drug problem.

In 2008, Smith was arrested at a DUI checkpoint with an open beer and marijuana in his car, and In 2009 video was taken when he was arrested for crack cocaine and marianna.

Smith said at that time he was ready to make a new start and apologized for the problems he was having.

"I got to get out of here and make a good impact. All I got is my name," he said. "I'm not a drug dealer. I'm not going to make no money in drugs."

Smith moved to Mississippi, but in March he got in trouble again. He is now serving time for cocaine and firearms possession and may not get out until 2018.

Drug counselors say he is no different than anyone else, but his status as a Jacksonville hero may make it hard to get clean.

"What might make it more difficult is he has the resources to be able to hide the problem more," Tozzi said. "And he had the people around that benefit from his celebrity that might look away and not support him in recovery."

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