It is inaccurate to say that there is a dark side to professional and big-time college sports. There are many dark sides. Several recent books explore them.
In “Intercepted,’’ Michael McKnight tells the story of Darryl Henley, who played football and earned a degree at UCLA before joining the Los Angeles Rams as a cornerback in 1989. Henley’s was not the tale of a young man whose extraordinary athletic talent pulled him from poverty into the land of Bentleys and bling, however. His family was not poor. He had the benefit of a private school education. He didn’t need to escape anything but his own curious sense that he was disadvantaged by his advantages. He jumped (rather than fell) into bad company, encouraged the transportation of drugs by a cheerleader whose lack of sense was rivaled only by her absence of loyalty, and landed in jail.