Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former NFL player, Pasco star admits to selling drugs

Troy Hambrick, who played with the Dallas Cowboys, is eligible to receive a reduced prison sentence, possibly three to five years.

Getty Images (2001)

Troy Hambrick, who played with the Dallas Cowboys, is eligible to receive a reduced prison sentence, possibly three to five years.

DADE CITY — Ex-NFL running back Troy Hambrick attempted a comeback with the Arena Football League last year.

Then a federal grand jury indicted him on drug charges. The arena league cut Hambrick within days.

The former Pasco High School great's football days seem long gone now: He agreed last month to plead guilty to one of those drug charges.

Hambrick, 31, could get 10 years to life in a federal prison. But he's really hoping for the chance to persuade a judge to sentence him to much less time.

"Troy Hambrick entered a plea of guilty. He accepted responsibility for his conduct," said his court-appointed attorney, Terry Christian.

Hambrick, also known as Troy Grant, signed the plea agreement with prosecutors Feb. 22. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of knowingly and intentionally distributing 50 or more grams of crack cocaine.

In 1992, Troy and older brother Darren Hambrick helped the Pasco High Pirates bring the Class 3A state football championship to Dade City.

But according to his plea agreement, Lacoochee native Troy Hambrick admitted to selling 78 grams of crack cocaine in Dade City last year. The sale was made at a gas station one night in September 2007, according to federal records.

Hambrick's sentencing is tentatively scheduled for May 11. He also faces up to five years federal probation.

But because he has just one prior arrest in Florida, Hambrick is eligible to receive a lesser sentence, possibly only three to five years in federal prison.

It's all up to U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday. A federal magistrate has recommended the judge accept the plea agreement. If he does, Hambrick and his lawyer will get to make their case in federal court for less prison time.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney's Office dropped two other federal charges Hambrick faced for selling lesser amounts of cocaine. But Hambrick had to forfeit his Lincoln Navigator, which federal authorities say he had with him when he sold the 78 grams of crack cocaine.

The season after Pasco High won the county's first and only state football title, Hambrick led the state in scoring with 222 points, earning St. Petersburg Times Suncoast Player of the Year honors.

He went undrafted out of college but signed with the Dallas Cowboys. His NFL career ended in 2004 after 2,179 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

He has a wife and children. It's been four years since he played organized football. But in Hambrick's mind, his lawyer said, "He's a professional football player."

Hambrick is out on $100,000 bail. In January, he asked a federal magistrate to let him leave the area so he could go to North Carolina to play for the American Indoor Football Association.

His request was denied, but can prison time convince Hambrick's that he's no longer a football player?

"Troy hopes to continue playing football someday," his lawyer said. "It's all up to the judge how much time Troy is going to get."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 869-6236.

Former NFL player, Pasco star admits to selling drugs 03/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2008 10:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pasco tax roll shows increase, but so, too, are budget requests

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County's tax roll grew by more than 5 percent in 2016, but it's a figure that likely would require local government budget writers to trim proposed spending requests.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
New construction accounted for $693.5 million in taxable property values being added to the Pasco County tax rolls in 2016, according to preliminary estimates released by Property Appraiser Gary Joiner. Overall, the property tax roll grew more than 5 percent, according to the preliminary numbers.

  2. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  4. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared


    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  5. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.