Put yourself in the shoes of a young, handsome NFL quarterback.
You're wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, millions of dollars are in your bank account and beautiful women want to be with you. You're the VIP at all the hottest clubs in town and temptation lurks around every corner.
It's New Year's Eve at a Manhattan nightclub and you're enjoying a night out with friends. A gorgeous blonde sidles up next to you for a drink and phone numbers are exchanged.
The girl sitting next to you has youthful features, but you assume they ask for I.D. at the door. Your first reaction isn't to equate the New York nightlife with an under-21 crowd.
Moments later, she tells you that she is only 17 years old. Is this the point when you walk away or do you continue the conversation?
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez chose the latter option when he decided to engage high school student Eliza Kruger in a hot and heavy evening at the New York City nightclub Lavo this past January, according to Deadspin.com. Deadspin only mentioned Kruger's initials, but the New York Post released her name and photo this morning.
"Well, we can still talk, but I can't see you until you're 18," said Sanchez, in response to the girl's admission of her true age.
Was Mark Sanchez Wrong For Hooking Up With a 17-Year Old?
Sanchez's show of restraint could have been the end of the discussion, but the girl pressed forward.
"Actually, 17 is legal in New York," said Kruger.
Later that week, the pair hooked up after a romantic dinner date. By all accounts, Sanchez was a perfect gentleman and a "really nice guy." The hookup was completely consensual and no crime was committed according to New York and New Jersey state laws.
It is doubtful that this would even be a headline-grabbing news item had Kruger been just a couple months older by hitting her 18th birthday. Much to the chagrin of Deadspin and other celebrity gossip sites, there is no scandal here.
The story should provide plenty of media fodder for the next month, but will be a dead issue by the start of the New York Jets' 2011-12 season.