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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ex-NFL player pleads guilty in child support case

Former NFL linebacker Dwayne Rudd has pleaded guilty to failure to pay more than $540,000 in child support.

The U.S. attorney in Nashville announced Wednesday that Rudd, who played for Minnesota, Cleveland and Tampa Bay during his seven-season career, pleaded guilty in federal court last week and faces up to two years in prison.

Court records shows that Rudd, who is 31 and lives in Atlanta, owes child support for his 11-year-old daughter, who currently lives with her mother in Tennessee.

Drafted by the Vikings in 1997, Rudd may be best known for costing the Browns a win against Kansas City in 2002. With the Browns leading, Rudd sacked the quarterback in the closing seconds and celebrated by tossing his helmet. The referees called a penalty, which set up the Chief's game-winning field goal with no time on the clock.

According to court records, Rudd's yearly income while in the NFL was about $5 million and since retiring he has been receiving annuity payments of about $11,000 a month, as well as income from investment sources and real estate income.

Rudd and Stacie Wade had a child in 1998, but never married. He was ordered by an Illinois state court to pay $7,500 per month in child support, but prosecutors say he consistently failed to pay.

"This is another sad example of a parent, who has the means to pay child support, failing to meet his court-ordered responsibilities," said U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough.

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