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Shelton Quarles arrested for DUI

As JoeBucsFan notes, Quarles was arrested last nightfor DUI. A former Bucs LB who was recruited from the CFL, Quarles is now the Coordinator of Pro Scouting. Since there's no free agency, I can imagine that he's a little short on time but drinking and driving isn't exactly the right way to spend your free hours. Let's just hope that this was an unfortunate mistake and it won't happen again, because the NFL has shown that it will punish any of its employees for incidents like this, and not just players. For instance, the Lions president Tom Lewand was suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 by the NFL for a DUI back in October.

This isn't the first time a Buccaneer has been arrested for a misdemeanor since the start of the 2010 season, and while I certainly wouldn't call this an epidemic, this is something that the Bucs need to crack down on internally. And to be fair to them, there have certainly been indications that they have done so in previous indications. I'm pretty sure hefty fines are in place to punish these incidents, and other sanctions we don't know about may be levied against transgressors as well. This is necessary: repeat violators of the law are hit with suspensions by the NFL, not to mention that these violations can hurt the community as well. But in previous cases the Bucs have kept any punishments private, and that led to some concerns that the Bucs may be running a team filled with unrestrained thugs. In other words: people were afraid the Bucs were going to try to bring Cincinnati to Florida.

I don't believe anything like that is happening with the Bucs, and I don't think these occurrences are evidence of a systemic problem. DUIs and other misdemeanors occur for employees of every NFL team, it's an unfortunate fact of life but it's not evidence of dysfunction. But it would be good for public perceptions if this time or the next time this happens the Bucs make it clear that they take these incidents seriously. And they can do this best by showing their actions, and not just saying that they're taking it seriously.