There’s a lot of reasons that college football players get dismissed from their teams. Legal troubles, drug use, insubordination – serious issues.
Well, Dante Hall was kicked off of Texas A&M’s team for parking tickets.
Yes, parking tickets.
“Absolutely,” Hall said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “So not only am I a midget in the eyes of a scout, I get kicked off the team for parking tickets, and the team didn’t have a year we were projected to have. We were ranked No. 6 going into the season – preseason favorites to possibly win the national championship. So it just fell apart tremendously. You have to know (those) circumstances to understand my draft experience.”
In 1998, Hall led A&M to an 11-3 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance. In 1999, the team underachieved, went 8-4 and lost in the Alamo Bowl.
“Here I am, I’m not even sure I’m going to get drafted – at all,” Hall said. “My mom wants to throw this huge party, invite every uncle, cousin, auntie known to man. So I go into that with that pressure, all of the people are there, and I’m just nervous. I don’t know if I’m going get drafted, if I’m going to be embarrassed, I’m worried about my playing career – just a lot of things for a young 21-year-old.”
Luckily, the party wasn’t until Day 2 of the draft. Both Hall and his mother knew he wasn’t getting drafted in the first round.
“We were smart in that sense,” Hall said. “So we had the (party on the) second day, and yeah, it was just a lot of sitting around. I watched a few rounds and then eventually I just go outside, hung out with some of my friends. Long story short, the phone rang. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think I was going to get drafted.”
Hall was selected in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He was the 153rd overall pick and went on to become perhaps the best return man in NFL history.
“Just the fact that an NFL team called me – I know that sounds absurd now,” Hall said. “But at the time, I was just happy than an NFL team called. It was the Chiefs on the other line. Lamar Hunt. He said one of the most amazing things to me. He basically sad, ‘You know, don’t worry about those parking issues you had. You can park in my spot.’ This is the owner, the great Lamar Hunt on the other line telling me that. That’s why I bleed red to this day. That is why I wear my Kansas City Chiefs hat. That is why I rep that team even eight years out of the league.”