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Friday, September 16, 2005
Gruden's brother fails sobriety test, arrested

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jay Gruden, the younger brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and a part-time assistant coach with the team, was arrested for drunken driving early Friday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Jay Gruden, 38, a former Arena Football League star who is also in his second stint as head coach of the AFL's Orlando Predators, was stopped at about 2:30 a.m. by a deputy who saw him weaving and driving erratically in his 2002 Mitsubishi SUV, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

"When [the deputy] approached the driver, he detected an odor of alcohol," Carter said. "The driver had glassy eyes, slurred speech and when he exited the vehicle he was unsteady on this feet."

Gruden failed a field sobriety test and registered 0.106 percent and 0.110 percent in two blood-alcohol tests, she said. The legal limit for driving in Florida is 0.08 percent.

Gruden, who lives in Orlando, bonded out of jail later Friday.

"I would like to apologize to the Orlando Predators and Tampa Bay Buccaneers organizations, their fans, my family and friends for any embarrassment this incident has caused," he said in a statement released by the Predators. "This was a mistake in judgment on my part. I deeply regret it and have learned a valuable lesson. It won't happen again."

Gruden, who won four AFL titles as a quarterback and two as a coach, returned to the sideline as coach of the Predators in place of best friend and former Predators coach Fran Papasedero, who died in a single-car accident in 2003.

A toxicology report determined that Papasedero, the only person in the car, was legally drunk.

"Obviously I'm very disappointed," Jon Gruden said. "It's a serious matter. Very serious matter. Serious matters get dealt with very seriously by society and obviously by us. I love my brother. I haven't talked to him, but I will. All I can say from the Gruden family is I'm very apologetic."

When he was head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1998, Jon Gruden was charged with drunken driving in Pleasanton, Calif. He avoided a DUI conviction by pleading no contest to reckless driving and was fined $750.

Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said he met with Jay Gruden on Friday morning about the arrest.

Jon Gruden said he would meet with his brother to determine if he will be on the sidelines for Sunday's home game against Buffalo. He described his brother's game-day responsibilities as minimal.

Jay Gruden's arrest comes days after Bucs' kick returner Torrie Cox was jailed on a drunken driving charge. Cox will miss Sunday's game and faces possible disciplinary action from the team or the NFL after his second DUI charge in nine months.

"They are individual incidents. But we're part of the same team," Allen said. "It reflects poorly on the team. ... Fortunately, no one's hurt. Hopefully, everyone learns from it."