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PHOENIX — Max Hall was sacked, but not by an opposing defense last year.
The former BYU quarterback was arrested Aug. 30, 2014, for stealing electronic items from Best Buy, when he was also found in possession of a small amount of cocaine. Just over eight months after he was booked into jail, Hall admitted it may have been the best thing for his drug addiction.
“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise,” Hall told Fox 10 Phoenix in an exclusive interview. “Now my secret is out. I don’t have to keep it in anymore and I can finally get the help I need to get past this thing.”
Hall said his addiction started after taking painkillers for a shoulder injury he sustained while quarterbacking for the Arizona Cardinals. It was easy to keep taking the medication because “it took the stress and anxiety and the depression away (from) having this injury and my career (possibly) being over.”
He then failed a drug test during the NFL lockout and entered the league’s drug treatment program.
“I was even scared to be in the program. I didn’t want people to find out," Hall said. "So, I probably didn’t take it as serious as I should have.”
Hall told the Phoenix TV station he finished the program while he was a student coach at BYU. But it was hard to manage his addiction when he played in the CFL for former BYU coach Gary Crowton. The drugs also sapped him of his fiery demeanor. After leaving pro football to become the offensive coordinator at Gilbert High School in Arizona, he relapsed shortly after his team’s first victory.
That’s when he was arrested.
“(I) found myself in a situation that was pretty tough and embarrassing,” Hall said.
He wanted to hide. But Hall found friends in former Cougar football players Brandon Doman and Chad Lewis. BYU professor Doug Witt also contacted him.
“I called them back and they had gotten together and figured out a place for me to go up there in Utah," Hall said. "Really, they just huddled around me.”
Hall admits he made a mistake by putting his job before his health. But maybe this last scramble away from addiction will lead him to a better life in the future.