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Ricky Williams

From Academic Kids

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SI_cover_November_1998_Ricky_Williams.jpg
1998 Sports Illustrated cover showing Ricky Williams

Errick Lynne Williams, Jr. (born May 21, 1977 in San Diego, California) is a former running back in American football for the NFL's Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints franchises.

A tremendous athlete, he was selected out of high school in the 8th round of the 1995 baseball amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and played four years at the Class A level. He was then taken in the 1998 Rule V Draft by the Montreal Expos, who sold his rights to the Texas Rangers. He played college football for the University of Texas at Austin. Williams holds or shares 20 NCAA records, and became the NCAA career rushing leader in 1998 with 6,279 yards (broken one year later by University of Wisconsin's Ron Dayne). Williams won the 64th Heisman Trophy, becoming the second Texas Longhorn to win this honor, joining Earl Campbell.

New Orleans Saints head coach Mike Ditka traded all of his 1999 draft picks to get Williams, the first time one player was the only draft pick of an NFL team. Williams and Ditka posed for the cover of ESPN Magazine as a bride and a groom with the heading "For Better or for Worse." Rapper Master P's organization "No Limit" negotiated his contract. Ricky later made Leigh Steinberg his agent. Ditka was later fired for the team's poor performance, and Williams was traded after 3 seasons to the Miami Dolphins on March 8, 2002 for two first-round picks. In his first season with the Dolphins, he was the NFL's leading rusher with 1,853 yards.

Williams was noted for his dreadlocks, but shaved them off during a solo trip to Australia. He also suffers from social anxiety disorder. It was announced on May 14, 2004 that he tested positive for marijuana in December 2003 and faces a $650,000 fine and a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He previously tested positive for marijuana shortly after he joined the Dolphins; he is appealing.

Shortly before training camp was to begin in July of 2004, Williams publicly disclosed his intent to retire from professional football.

Rumored to have failed a third drug test before announcing his retirement, Williams made his retirement official on August 2. Williams will be ineligible to play for the rest of the 2004 season; if he returns in 2005, he would still be required to complete a four game suspension for substance abuse. Williams is currently being sued by the Dolphins for $8,000,000 he owes them in a breach-of-contract lawsuit.

In Autumn of 2004 Williams enrolled in the California College of Ayurveda to study Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine.

He has a twin sister, Cassie.

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