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Cut him or keep him? What to do with Ta’amu?


Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review

My initial reacting to hearing that rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu is facing felony charges for his drunk driving escapade early Sunday morning was simply that he was going to be released, and rightfully so.

Then, after reading the police report, I was sure that he was going to be released.

However, I can make convincing arguments both ways.

CUT HIM: The shear enormity of the violations listed in the police report warrants him to be cut. If it was simply a DUI or an assault, that’s one thing, but the more than a dozen … wow. That’s unacceptable on any level. The Steelers have to save face and cut this kid to drive home the point to the players that there will be no toleration for this kind of behavior from anybody. The Steelers can’t allow the organization’s reputation to be compromised.

KEEP HIM: For the Steelers to cut Ta’amu loose the first time he messed up, albeit quite badly, would be irresponsible as an organization. It’s not like Ta’amu is a bad guy. He is a very nice and polite kid who was brought up very well in a Samoan family under the guidance of his father, who is a former pastor. Ta’amu is very impressionable and made a horrible mistake. It’s likely that he got scared and that’s why he did what he did when he ran from the police (still not a viable excuse.) The Steelers need to provide help and guidance to a kid who has never been more than a couple miles from his family until his was drafted by the Steelers (went to college a couple miles from his hometown.)

What would you do?

If it was nearly anybody else than Alameda Ta’amu, I would say cut him. But I am strongly leaning in the direction of keeping him and help the kid.

But whatever the Steelers decide to do, you really can’t argue. Well, at least I can’t.


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. Israel P. says:

    Let’s see when he gets out of jail first. That could be a couple of years, no?

  2. Dave says:

    Cut him. The NFL or the organizations are not counselors. Let him pay the price on his own, show the players there is a no toleration rule in effect, and maybe bring him back after his rehab. Which he is probably going to get.

  3. Ron M says:

    I’d vote for keep him. As you said he made a bad mistake and thankfully no one was killed. But If Ben is still on the team after his issues…

  4. Joe D says:

    I thought the Steelers didn’t employ this type of player? Wait, they do as long as the guy can play. Can you imagine the public outcry had a Pirate player been accused of something like this?

  5. If the Steelers are willing to keep Ta’amu because he was “Only drunk” and was forgiven after more than 10 offences of various charges against the law, then why don’t they apply the same standards to Chris Rainey? He was accused of slapping his girl friend, then woman turned it around the following day and said that he never touched her. I see the old double standard here, Ta’amu admitted his guilt, so the Steelers are going to take him under their wing and get him all the help he needs to correct his problem. (By the way, being the son of a minister, he of all people, should know the dangers associated with alcohol.) On a similar note, Big Ben was accused of doing a lot of the same things plus crimes associated with rape and the Steelers stood by him like he was glued there. (Personally, I don’t think that he did it because there never was on shred of evidence proven against him. But that’s for another day.) Then along comes Chris Rainey. I guess he did some stupid things while in College, like a lot of kids, but nothing too drastic. He graduates college and enters the NFL draft and was picked by the Steelers. He made it through training camp and started to dazzle people around the league with his speed. A true diamond in the rough if I ever saw one. Then one night the police get a phone call from a distraught woman saying that her boyfriend had slapped her. The police arrived at her home and picked up the guy she said had hit her, all the while listening to the guy say he didn’t do it. Later on that same day, that woman called the police and said that he never her, she was just trying to, “Teach him a lesson.” During the time that the woman called the police the first time and the time he was walking back out of the jail, the Steelers cut him. There was no talk about getting him the help he needed for his problem, (maybe because there was no problem to begin with?) Not only do I think that the Steelers need to reinstate Rainey, I think they owe him his back pay and a big apology.

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