The arrest of former University of Hawaii football player Colt Brennan for suspicion of drunken driving and drug possession has sent shock waves throughout the Aloha State.
"Well, I think for most people your first reaction is … it's sadness," said Bobby Curran, who hosts a morning talk show on ESPN 1420 every Monday through Friday.
Brennan, who led UH at quarterback from 2005 to 2007, was arrested Wednesday in Kailua just before midnight at the intersection of Kailua Road and Uluoa Street.
Michael Green, Brennan's attorney, said his client was pulled over after he was observed driving 45 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.
Brennan, 28, was released from the main police cellblock at 12:15 Thursday afternoon without being charged. Green would not reveal what type of illegal drug was found by police, but Brennan's arrest for promotion of a dangerous drug in the third degree rules out the possibility of marijuana.
According to state law, a dangerous drug is one that has no medical use, like methamphetamine and cocaine, or a prescription drug that can be abused.
"It was not pills," said Green. "It's not a lot of stuff; it's a very small amount."
Green described Brennan as being extremely disheartened during a visit with the former quarterback in Jail.
"He feels awful about the perception of him with the children and the community," said Green. "He is so sad."
Green believes Brennan may still be feeling the physical and psychological effects of a head-on collision on the Big Island in November of 2010. The crash nearly killed local doctor Theresa Wang, and left Brennan with a head injury, as well as broken ribs and a collarbone that sidetracked his dream of playing professional football.
"He was hurt, and he suffered a lot of emotional and physical problems because of that," said Green. "There are tremendous mood swings that come from those things."
Brennan's former girlfriend, Shakti Stream, was driving the car at the time of the collision on Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Stream is being sued by Wang for driving in a "careless and negligent manner."
Brennan is an iconic figure in UH football lore, leading the team to its only undefeated regular season in 2007, and a Sugar Bowl appearance against the Georgia Bulldogs in January 2008. That same season he was a Heisman Trophy finalist, coming in third in the voting.
"They were selling his high school helmets in Honolulu for him to sign," said Curran. "It was unprecedented; he almost needed protection when he went places."
However, Brennan experienced difficulty in his transition from the college game to the pros. In 2008, he was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins before being released.
Brennan was picked up by the Oakland Raiders in 2010, but again failed to make the team. More recently, he served a short stint in the UFL with the Hartford Colonials, before the team folded. Just last month, the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League released Brennan, who was considered one of the team's high-profile offseason signings.
At least one Pop Warner football team on Oahu, the Kailua Mustangs, plans on speaking with its young players about Brennan's arrest.
Team president Wayne Cazimero said the topic of alcohol and drug use would be broached with parents and coaches during "Positive Coaching and Positive Parenting" seminars in August. Coaches will then sit down with their individual teams.
"We'll just tell the kids about what things not to do, and what they can do," said Cazimero. "How one thing like this happens to you, it can turn your career in the opposite direction."
In 2004, Brennan was convicted of burglary in the second degree and first-degree criminal trespassing after a night of drinking while attending the University of Colorado. He was sentenced to a week in jail and 60 hours of community service. The arrest eventually led him to UH, where former head coach June Jones gave Brennan another shot at becoming a starting quarterback.
Brennan's father, Terry Brennan, told KITV4 from his home in Irvine, Calif., that his son had recently moved back to Oahu.
Because Brennan was released from jail without being charged, a court date has not been scheduled.