Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars OK with New Assistant's Past

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars OK with New Assistant's Past

Article excerpt

Byline: Bart Hubbuch, Times-Union sports writer

An assistant hired yesterday by new Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio was involved in the 1996 drug scandal involving former Dallas Cowboys star receiver Michael Irvin.

Alfredo Roberts, selected by Del Rio as the Jaguars' new tight ends coach, was with Irvin and two topless dancers in an Irving, Texas, hotel room on March 4, 1996, when police raided the room and found cocaine and marijuana.

Though not arrested at the time, Irvin was indicted and, during his trial, pleaded no contest to felony cocaine possession as part of a plea bargain. In return, he received four years probation and a $10,000 fine. Roberts, a former Cowboys tight end, was not arrested and was the only person in the hotel room not indicted.

A phone call to Roberts, 37, was not returned and Del Rio could not be reached last night. A Jaguars spokesman said Del Rio was fully aware of the incident and discussed it extensively with owner Wayne Weaver before being allowed to hire Roberts.

Weaver has emphasized strong character with the Jaguars in response to the troubles of soon-to-be-released receiver R. Jay Soward, the team's first-round pick in 2000 who has been suspended twice by the NFL for violations of the substance-abuse policy.

"Jack and Wayne had a discussion about this incident [involving Roberts],'' Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said. "They knew this would come out. Frankly, it was a long time ago, and there is no other history to be concerned about. Alfredo Roberts may have been guilty of bad judgment, but was never charged with anything.''

The incident with Irvin, however, isn't the only controversy in Roberts' background. Roberts, a teammate of Del Rio's in Dallas in 1991, was among the owners of a bar called the Cowboys Sports Cafe -- located less than a mile from the Cowboys' headquarters -- that has since closed. NFL Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett also was among the owners.

In 1997, Dallas owner Jerry Jones put the bar strictly off-limits to Cowboys players and coaches after allegations surfaced that it was a site for drug trafficking and prostitution. …

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