Vince Young's number 10 jersey is retired at the University of Texas.
Young's performance in the 2006 Rose Bowl BCS Championship game against USC was simply spectacular—his 467 total yards included a nine-yard touchdown romp into the end zone with less than 20 seconds left in the game.
His college days were a treat to watch, his NFL days, not so much. Young was the first quarterback selected in the 2006 NFL Draft (Tennessee Titans) and the expectations were high, but five years later, Young was released by the Titans.
His off-the-field issues were hard to digest—Young was nearly broke after six years and 26 million in guaranteed money. Young says that his former agent and former financial planner misappropriated over 5 million dollars including a 1.9 million dollar loan that was obtained during the 2011 NFL lockout. Young claims that he wasn't involved in the loan and that his former agent and planner were the ones that received the money.
But attorneys for his former agent and planner say that Young has no one to blame but himself. More from the Daily Mail:
In challenging the loan's validity, Young claims he didn't 'knowingly execute' any of the loan documents.
Anything he signed was 'without the corresponding documents attached and without knowledge as to what the signatures pages referred,' one of his court filings states.
Pro Player says its case is supported by the fact that Young's signatures were notarized and that emails show he was involved in making sure the lender received repayment directly from the Eagles.
'Call me if this is not 100 per cent clear,' Young's accountant wrote him in August 2011 in an email explaining the arrangement.
'We want to make certain you know exactly what is going on at all times, especially when you're signing your name to something.'
Young also disappeared for four hours in 2008 sparking a search that included the Nashville police.
While Young certainly has some skeletons in his closet, he's still an accomplished quarterback and like the majority of NFL players, has faced severe financial woes. According to a Sports Illustrated report, "78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce."
Young isn't unique in his situation and we should all remember that. But are current or former NFL players the ones who should be giving young, impressionable college football players advice?
According to San Antonio Express-News columnist David Finger, Young is mentoring Texas quarterback David Ash. More:
As a middle-school kid in Belton, Ash was in awe of Young. When he started getting the chance to spend time with his hero over the past few months, that hadn't changed. Even though Young's NFL career has fallen apart, his words carry weight with the young quarterback who still dreams of matching his collegiate success.
And more often than not, Young's advice to Ash is to chill the heck out.
Ash, according to the report, uses the Bible for inspiration. He's also a very serious young man—Finger says that Ash "is cerebral and has a tendency to get lost in his head when things don't go well."
While Young has never been described as cerebral—he reportedly scored a 6 on his Wonderlic but scored a 16 on a retest—he has appeared to get lost in his own head.
Under duress, Young can engineer game-winning drives or have meltdowns in locker rooms. Young appears to be a mixed bag of emotions and while there's nothing wrong with that personally, is he really the guy to be giving advice to a kid who for all intents and purposes, seems fairly serious about life and football?
Young was quoted in a 2008 interview as saying football "wasn't fun anymore" and that he spent a majority of the time "worrying about things."
Football is fun. And fun in the NFL is acceptable but only if it doesn't interfere with the business aspect of the sport. Dumping Gatorade on a winning coach is fine, disappearing the day after getting booed by fans is not.
Vince Young may not be the right answer to whatever questions Ash has because while his experience is valuable, his bad experiences are only valuable to Ash if he's learned from them and can pass on those teachable moments.
Has Young learned from them?
Young currently has pending lawsuits blaming others for his financial misfortunes and he recently apologized to his former coach at Tennessee, Jeff Fisher, who is now coaching the St. Louis Rams. More from Yahoo!Sports:
He said during his time with the Titans he was "immature and not paying attention and not listening, and taking my frustration out on a lot of people wasn't the right thing to do."
Young also said "the death of teammate and mentor Steve McNair greatly affected him during that time period" as well as his financial woes. More:
"I was young at the time and I put my trust in a lot of people. I was getting taken advantage of. Basically I'm the victim of the situation. Just got to clean up that mess, just to let teams know I'm a little bit more mature than I used to be. I've grown a whole lot."
Apologies are nice—especially when a player is trying to give his career a second chance—but is an apology genuine when outside factors are being used as an excuse?
It hurts to admit you're wrong—we all know how that feels—but was that really an apology? Isn't Young insinuating that his personal responsibility is minimal because he's "the victim"? Young may have been a victim but he also may be signalling that he's not ready to take full responsibility for his mistakes. Sure Young was young when he joined the NFL, but aren't all rookies young when they sign their contracts?
Has Young really grown up or is he continuing to blame others for his mistakes?
And if Vince Young thinks that David Ash should chill out and have more fun, shouldn't that be a red flag? A lack of astuteness is what got Young into his current situation in the first place, according to his own words.
David Ash, like all college students, has a promising future but he might want to think twice about looking up to his childhood hero for advice—idolatry can cause temporary blindness and hypnosis.
Vince Young is an incredible quarterback talent and seeing his comeback come to fruition would be a great feel-good story—you want to root for him. And we do.
But instead of chilling out—no disrespect to Vince Young—it might be in David Ash's best interests to just tune out.