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Pimping ain't easy

Sports blotter: "Hard out there for a pimp" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  May 16, 2007


The funniest thing, of course, is that, in college, he played for a team called the Beavers.

As it stands now, it looks as if former Pittsburgh Steeler and San Francisco 49er linebacker Richard Seigler has become the first major-college or pro athlete in American history to be arrested for pandering — i.e., pimping. The arrest appears to have grown out of an investigation into the activities of Seigler’s cousin, Billy Cooks, a “known Las Vegas pimp,” as he was described in numerous papers. Cops tapped a series of phone calls Cooks made from a Las Vegas jail and, on the basis of those calls, determined that Seigler had “at least two women” working for him as prostitutes.

Once police made that determination, an undercover officer answered an ad Seigler allegedly placed on Craigslist and solicited the services of two girls, who subsequently came to his Vegas hotel room. The ad promised the services of “all natural sexy girls.” Sadly, the historic ad has been removed from the site, although Craigslist Vegas still has some interesting requests in the personals section (my favorite is a “couple seeking girl for threesome” ad whose only condition was “PLZ nothing over 200 lbs!”).

Anyway, once the girls were brought in, Seigler was not far behind. He was released by the Steelers on May 10 and arrested later that night on a Vegas fugitive warrant for pandering, pandering by furnishing transportation, and living off the earnings of a prostitute.

We can find no precedent in the annals of professional sports in America of an athlete being arrested for pandering. Oddly enough, the charge is not all that uncommon in high schools, where numerous sex-for-pay rings have been uncovered, and some later proven to have been organized by coaches — the most recent being the case of Bowie High School in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, where an assistant football coach named Arron Burroughs was caught pimping out a 15-year-old student. Readers of this column may also recall a story about the notorious “Koochie Kissing Klub” in Kendrick Perkins’s hometown of Ozen, Texas.

But a pro athlete? Never.

It’s also worth pointing out that, while the Steelers aren’t a high-volume arrest team like the Bengals or the Jaguars, they’ve had a couple of the weirder collars — like lineman Barrett Brooks’s bust for “fleeing police on a motorcycle” and the infamous case of Bam Morris, the original “supernatural quantity of marijuana” arrest, which was later revealed to have tangentially involved a stolen-car ring with former Chiefs returner Tamarick Vanover.

Pimping is a pretty gross crime, and what makes it even grosser is that it’ll probably boost his rep in the NFL. Give Seigler 79 points.

A word of caution
Just thought I’d throw this out there, for any businesspeople who travel: East Carolina football assistant Donnie Thompson was busted last week for obtaining property under false pretenses. Thompson was nailed for falsifying expense reports and bilking the school out of more than $11,000.

Note to Danny Ainge
Well, another quality college point guard may soon become NBA draft-eligible. Last month, Iowa State basketball MVP (and new “Sports Blotter” Bonehead of the Month) Mike Taylor pleaded guilty to a charge of fifth-degree theft, his second arrest since mid March. Taylor was nailed for stealing — get this — a bottle of cold medicine worth $11.06. The sports world hasn’t seen an arrest this pathetic since Leon Spinks was busted with $1.50 worth of cocaine.

One might say, “Poor kid, doesn’t have enough money for cold medicine,” except that, in March, Taylor was busted for a February 4 incident in which police say he discharged a fire extinguisher, damaged a light cover, pulled down an exit sign, and sprayed liquid detergent on the wall of his dormitory. According to Iowa newspapers, the incident “caused over $200 in damages” and earned Taylor a fourth-degree criminal mischief charge that’s still pending. Taylor was suspended indefinitely from the ISU hoops squad following his first arrest; Cyclones coach Greg McDermott said his future with the team has “not been determined.”

Taylor’s latest arrest comes on the heels of another weirdly pointless crime involving ISU athletes. On April 23, receiver Derron Montgomery, defensive back Devin McDowell, and offensive lineman Jose Vargas were suspended from the Cyclone football team after they burgled a purse that had been left unattended on a public bus. The players were caught by public surveillance cameras dumping the purse in a trash bin. All three were arrested for fifth-degree theft, the same charge Taylor got for boosting cold medicine, and all three were suspended from the team.

When he’s not scouring Craigslist for lightweight threesomes, Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached at

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  Topics: Sports , Adam "Pacman" Jones, AFC North Division, AFC South Division,  More more >
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