People love the redemption story, the second-chance-made-good, even if they’re often very unwilling to endorse that chance to begin with. Certainly Kentucky partisans had little but good will in their hearts toward Curtis Pulley, Kentucky’s high school player in the year in 2004 and the best quarterback prospect out of the Bluegrass State since Tim Couch, at least. Unlike most of the rest of the SEC, the Wildcats don’t have athletes of Pulley’s caliber clawing at their door. So when Curtis, after splitting time with then-vulnerable André Woodson in 2005, moving to receiver and dropping out of school in 2006, decided to rejoin the team rather than stack boxes in an Amazon.com warehouse last December, all was forgiven, and he was welcomed back as the overwhelming favorite to replace Woodson in the spring.
Unfortunately for Pulley, playing time is a privilege, not a right.
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But Curtis, Curtis, Curtis -- the thing with a second chance mean your nose has to be clean, clean like an issue of Highlights Magazine edited by Bill Cosby and Ned Flanders, and that includes the formalities, the paperwork, the fees, the Ps and Qs and all the minor nuisances of life in a modern state:
University of Kentucky quarterback Curtis Pulley has had two brushes with police in the past two months, including a citation for marijuana possession in June, a school spokesman confirmed on Friday night.
He was cited by Louisville police for possession of marijuana on June 12. He entered a guilty plea and went through a court diversion program on July 9.
UK spokesman Tony Neely said football coach Rich Brooks first became aware of the situation Friday and that Pulley will face disciplinary action, including a possible loss of playing time.
Brooks did not return phone calls requesting comment.
The Kentucky coach also learned on Friday that Pulley, 21, was pulled over by the Kentucky State Police in Elizabethtown for speeding and was then arrested for driving on a suspended license as well as expired plates and expired registration, according to the police report.
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I don’t necessarily want my record checked as far as maintaining full legal licenses, registrations and tags, so I sympathize with Pulley’s consternation with the petty bureaucracy of The Man. Even the weed charge is likely to disappear from the record if he completes the diversion program. But "discipline" or not, Pulley was already losing ground this summer to Mike Hartline, who with this weekend’s headlines becomes a virtual lock to start at Louisville on Aug. 31 -- for political reasons, if nothing else, since Rich Brooks is running a tight ship here and can’t afford to go writing out free passes, talent be damned. Patience, like driver’s licenses, is only good for so long.