Ex-Bear Sam Hurd asks to shorten prison sentence

ABC7 I-Team Investigation

Chuck Goudie Image
Monday, March 30, 2015
Sam Hurd asks to shorten prison sentence
Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is asking to get out of prison early, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has learned that former Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is asking to get out of prison early. Hurd was convicted of drug trafficking and is now serving 15 years in a Texas penitentiary.

Like most inmates, Hurd thinks his sentence is too long. But unlike most in prison, the convicted cocaine dealer is a former NFL player, and now he's trying a kind of hurry-up offense on the court.

On Monday, after serving less than two years of a 15-year sentence, Hurd claims that he has been rehabilitated and deserves to have his sentence cut.

"It's all about havin' fun, getting opportunities, so I'm takin' advantage of every opportunity I can get," Hurd said.

Hurd didn't know it, but when he said that to Eyewitness News, he was already under federal investigation. A few months later - in the middle of a $5 million Bears contract - Hurd's NFL glory days came to an end.

Like a football on Sunday afternoon, Hurd was caught carrying a brick of cocaine in his happy birthday doggy bag that he carried out of a Rosemont steak house following a meeting with FBI undercover operatives.

After pleading guilty, Hurd was sent to a minimum security prison near Austin, Texas.

The Bears wide receiver and one-time Northern Illinois standout is now serving a 15 year sentence. But now, he wants that cut to a nine year sentence, saying the initial term was too long.

A motion for sentence reduction obtained by the I-Team was written and filed by Hurd himself, and states that the defendant has changed. He has completed typing and business classes while in prison, along with the basics of sports injuries and basketball officiating.

"Sam's a father. Sam's a husband. He's a good teammate. He's a good friend," Brett Greenfield, Hurd's attorney, said in December 2011.

The family man refrain from Hurd's lawyers after his arrest is also something the ex-Bear is now using to try for a sentence cut. And in the court file, Hurd cites his "ongoing substantial assistance to the government," but doesn't describe what that means.

When he was first charged, there was said to be concern in NFL locker rooms that Sam Hurd might name the names of clients - and that it could expose a much wider drug problem for other players and teams.

Hurd has a court hearing on his motion scheduled for next week, and a few days later, he will celebrate his 30th birthday. Unless he is successful in shortening his sentence, he will be 40 when he gets out of prison.