Kicked off the Michigan football team prior to declaring for the 2015 NFL draft, Frank Clark may be entering the league with one strike already.
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The Seattle Seahawks are currently facing criticism from the media for allegedly not properly vetting DE Frank Clark prior to drafting him due to his arrest in college for domestic violence.
According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks’ confirmed that their pre-draft vetting process into Clark’s behavior did not include talking to any witnesses to the assault Clark was charged with in November 2014 – other than Clark himself.
In November 14, 2014, Clark was arrested and charged with domestic violence after allegedly beating up his then girlfriend Diamond Hurt at a hotel in Ohio. Clark was dismissed from the Michigan Wolverines football team after the arrest and later declared for the 2015 NFL draft. He was eventually given a $250 fine and was sentenced to two days time served, without having a domestic violence conviction added to his criminal record.
Despite the incident in a season where the NFL was plagued by incidents of stars being arrested domestic violence and drug use, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Clark in the second round of the draft with the No. 63 overall pick.
The Times reported that Seahawks GM John Schneider said that if he had thought that Clark had struck his girlfriend they never would have drafted him. Schneider also confirmed the reports that the Seahawks did not interview other witnesses to the crime other than Clark himself.
Clark’s lawyer, Kenneth Bailey, issued a statement saying, “I want to assure you that based upon many conversations with Frank Clark, I am comfortable re-affirming his prior statements that he did not strike his then-girlfriend.”
The NFL and several of its franchises were subject to a load of troublesome scandals involving domestic violence and child abuse in 2014. Former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, Pro Bowl DE Greg Hardy, DT Ray McDonald and RB Ray Rice were all arrested for incidents of violence.