The running back said that he would usually find time to drink on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays during the season. Ball had thought he was being coy about his issue until Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville called him out after a meeting one day.
“He talked about how he could smell the alcohol on me and that he thinks I may have a problem with drinking,” Ball said. “He said if I needed any help with that he could reach out to people I could talk to. I didn’t listen to him.”
During his two seasons in the NFL, Ball didn’t really listen to anyone. After being drafted, the NFLPA held regular seminars to let rookies know about the potential pitfalls of playing in the NFL. Unfortunately, Ball didn’t listen to them, either.
“I wouldn’t take any of it seriously,” Ball said. “I was naive enough to think my playing days would last forever. I would literally sit in the back of the room texting or being on Instagram not paying attention to the professional explaining to me about preparing for life after football and how important it is.”
Besides his alcohol problem, the running back also said that he made friends with “bad people” during his career.
“I failed to use my platform to help others and to use the NFL as a stepping stone in life,” Ball said. “I surrounded myself with bad people, not on the team but in the city. I was naïve enough to believe I had all the answers.”
According to Ball, his drinking problem started in 2011, just before his junior year at Wisconsin.
“I started to drink a lot more and it started to pour into football,” Ball said. “If I knew we had a super-easy practice the next day, I’d go out and get drunk with a whole bunch of people. I’d wake up drunk, hit the steam room and go to practice.”