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Old 02-07-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default article on Lloyd's Son Part I

What a sad story....

Part I

http://www.courant.com/sports/colleg...ollegefootball

UConn Recruit Rises Above Fear Of All-Pro Dad

He And His Mom Describe Abuse
February 7, 2007

He's one of 29 players expected to sign, but he's the only one with a former NFL All-Pro linebacker for a father.

Greg Lloyd Jr. isn't boasting about that. He hasn't talked to his father in four years.

And while today is a joyous day, Saturday is a worrisome day.

He will turn 18, and a protective order issued by a Georgia court banning his father from having contact with him will run out.

And that is unsettling to his mother.

"I can't protect him anymore," Rhonda Lloyd said. "That's a scary thought for me."

She says it's scary because Greg Lloyd's father was accused of sticking a gun in his son's mouth in 2001. Two trials in 2004 ended in hung juries and a third was not pursued.

Scary because Rhonda Lloyd's former husband was accused, and pleaded no contest in 2004, to simple battery for pointing a gun at his estranged wife's head in 2002.

Scary because of what Rhonda and Greg Jr. say they and a younger brother and sister went through living with Greg Lloyd Sr., a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s.

Like most kids, Greg Jr. says he wanted a father who would see him become the football player that he is today. A father who would see him play college football. But not the father that he has.

"I'm living great without him in my life," Greg Jr. said. "I don't have to be scared every day. That's much better than the way I was living back when he was around."

He has not spoken to his father since 2002 and says he has no relationship with the man. According to press accounts of his testimony at the first trial, Greg Jr. said his father put the barrel of a Glock semiautomatic pistol in his mouth because he allegedly was upset about his 12-year-old son's grades in school.

"He was like, `You're wasting your life away and if you want to ruin it, I can end it for you right now," Greg Jr. said at the trial.

Accounts of the trials are based on reports from The Associated Press, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Citizen of Fayetteville, Ga.

Greg Lloyd Sr. testified at the first trial in Fayetteville, Ga., and denied the story. He did not testify at the second trial. At the time, his lawyer, Ricky Morris, said that "Greg maintains that this is basically Rhonda Lloyd's attempt to get an upper hand in the divorce."

Several attempts to reach Greg Sr. were unsuccessful, but Joaquin Bonilla, who co-owns two Oh Do Kwan martial arts studios in Georgia with Lloyd, says he sees another side of the former NFL player. A black belt in tae kwon do, Lloyd is listed as an instructor on the school's website

"He's a great role model to all the kids here," Bonilla said. "A lot of the allegations were fabricated. They tried him twice, and they never found him guilty. He's a good man. ... The things that went on didn't make any sense. You wouldn't believe how badly he wants to reconnect with those kids. His wife won't give him a chance. All this was so she could get what she wanted. She was making Greg out to be O.J. Simpson, and he's not. She's saying, `He's dangerous. He's going to kill us all.' What she did was a very planned-out strategy."

Greg Jr. says he thinks his father will attempt to contact him at some point. It's not something he wants.

"If he said he wanted to try again, I would say no," said Greg Jr., a 6-foot-2, 209-pound linebacker. "It's too late for that."

Greg Jr. is finishing his senior year at East Ridge High in Clermont, Fla. He plans to major in international business at UConn. He is ready for the future. His mother says he is a funny, intelligent kid who focuses much of his time on family life and his two younger siblings and likes to write. She says he has written a 400-page sci-fi novel.

"What happened, it's not something at this point I have any trouble dealing with," Greg Jr. said. "It's done and over. I guess I kind of get by not thinking about it. What good would it do?"

Drawn To UConn

Greg Jr. visited UConn in early December and went home impressed. He had other schools showing interest in him as a linebacker: Southern Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee and Central Florida.

He decided on UConn.

"What impressed me the most was the system they have set up for getting an education while playing football," Lloyd said. "I want to study international business, and it seems like a great place to do that being so close to New York and Boston. As far as the football goes, I was quite impressed with coach [Randy] Edsall, and the facilities just blew me away."

After two seasons playing defensive end, Lloyd established himself as a linebacker. He finished his senior season with a team-high 154 tackles, three sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception.

"Everything Gregory has ever done has been based on him and his drive and his discipline and his love for the game," his mother said. "He just happens to have a father that was an awesome football player, so maybe some of it is genetics. I don't know. I think that people need to stop focusing so much on big Greg and focus on the accomplishments that Gregory's made. He's the one that got up and went to practice. He's the one that went out to lift the weights. He certainly didn't have his father to push him."

East Ridge coach Bud O'Hara said he was made aware of Greg Jr.'s situation when he came to play at the school.

"Greg is so mature, he's got his head on so straight that I never had to worry about him," O'Hara said. "I've got a lot more guys on my team that need me a lot more than he ever did, and that says a lot for his character after what he's been through. After I met his mom, though, it didn't take me long to realize where his strength came from."
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son - Part II

Difficult Transition

Greg Jr. speaks in abbreviated sentences when describing the abuse he says he and his mother sustained at the hands of his father.

"It started falling apart a long, long, long time ago, long before my parents got divorced," Greg Jr. said. "After they got divorced and I no longer had to wake up every morning and see him, it was like freedom. It was the way I wanted it to be."

In the 1990s Greg Lloyd Sr. was the embodiment of the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He was considered small by NFL standards at outside linebacker - 6-2 and 228 pounds - but his play belied that.

According to Rhonda and Greg Jr., the fiery anger that Greg Lloyd Sr. used for motivation on the field was also a regular part of everyday life in the Lloyd household.

"He had his on and off days where he was a good person or he wasn't," Greg Jr. said. "But it pretty much went bad after he retired."

In 1991-95, Greg Lloyd Sr. made five Pro Bowl appearances and was recognized by many as one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL. He left the Steelers in 1997 after 11 years, then played one year for the Carolina Panthers before retiring after the 1998 season.

A 1997 Sports Illustrated story said Lloyd had four public run-ins with media members, flipping one off, cursing at another, threatening to "placekick" another and shoving one. A Sports Illustrated article in 1996 said he was ejected from a high school game for breaking the leg of an opposing quarterback, and his college coach at Fort Valley State said he had to be kept out of non-contact drills because "non-contact wasn't in his vocabulary."

Rhonda Lloyd said the deep roots of anger stemmed from her ex-husband's childhood.

In a 1996 Sports Illustrated story, Lloyd described the living conditions he dealt with as one of 10 children growing up in his aunt's two-bedroom apartment after being abandoned by his mother.

He said he wore the same pair of pants and shirt to school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the other outfit on Thursday and Friday.

"If you got anything dirty on Monday, you came to school with the same dirty clothes the next day," he told SI. "The other kids would say, 'You're stinky. You stink.' So that taught me humility."

He also was ready for a fight.

"Back then, all you had to say to me was `your mama,' and I was going to fight," he said.

Rhonda Lloyd said the physical and emotional abuse for her began not long after the couple married in 1988.

"Greg Sr., his whole life was built on rage," Rhonda Lloyd said. "It was all the rage of his childhood. ... There was this rage and hate that motivated him, and that's why he was awesome on the field, because that was where he got to hurt people. That's what his life was about, hurting people. He had a fascination with it, but in a crazy way; that's what made him such a great football player."

Suffering In Silence

Rhonda said she didn't know about the gun incident or some others with her son when she decided to leave her husband. She said around Christmas in 2002 he put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. She took Greg Jr. and his sister Tiana, now 14, brother, Jhames, now 11, left the house and never went back. The next month she filed for divorce, moved with her children to Florida and her husband was charged with battery for threatening her with the gun. He entered the no-contest plea and was given probation and ordered to enter domestic violence counseling.

After filing for divorce, Rhonda placed all three of the children into counseling, during which Greg Jr. said his father had put a gun in his mouth. The counselor told Rhonda. She wasn't surprised her son had kept it from her.

"You wouldn't understand why he never said anything unless you've been in a situation like that," Rhonda said. "How could I live for 17 years and not tell people what I was going through? You can't understand unless you've been in it. It's a protection mechanism."

In March 2004, Lloyd went on trial for aggravated assault against his son. A mistrial was declared because of a hung jury. He went on trial again a week later, with a charge of aggravated stalking against his wife added to the assault charges against his son, and again the trial ended with a hung jury.

At the second trial, a girl who went to school with Greg Jr. said he once told her that his mother had urged him to "convince" the counselor that he wanted to live with his mother and not his father, according to a story in the Fayetteville Ga., paper, The Citizen. The story also said the judge ruled the girl's testimony inadmissible.

Rhonda said she agreed when prosecutors decided in May 2005 not to pursue a third trial.

"I didn't want Gregory to go through that again," Rhonda said. "To realize that he had to sit up there and look in his face again after what he had been through, I couldn't do that."

Rhonda is proud of how her son has handled his life.

"A lot of kids would probably have turned to drugs ... or whatever after going through what he went through," she said. "Gregory did the opposite. I really think that has to do with his relationship with God and his relationships with his sister and his brother and with me."

Rhonda's voice spikes with enthusiasm when talking about her son's decision to play football at UConn.

"I'm so excited for him," she said. "I'm so glad he's found the place where he wants to go to play football and get a great education. I think he made a great decision."

But it's an excitement laced with concern. She said Greg Jr. can't reapply for legal protection from his father because there have been no threats made against him since before her ex-husband went on trial.

"I'm still in fear. I fear for my children, and I fear for Gregory," Rhonda said. "But he's going to move on and live his life, and I'm coming to grips with the fact that I can't live in fear, which is why I can handle him going to Connecticut. Anywhere Gregory goes, his father could pop up, and that's just a fact of life. It's not a happy fact, but it's what we live with."
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

this is a really sad story. Just goes to show you that just because someone can be an icon on the field they can be a nightmare off the field
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

what a story. i hope it turns into a great success story for greg jr. and hopefully he can reverse the cycle of abuse.

i hate reading that about one of my all time favorite steelers though, because what i liked so much was the rage and anger he played with. his tae kwon do experience gave him great leverage skills and burst at point of contact, and he definitely was one of the meanest, most intimidating players out there.

i remember his interview, where he talked about playing football as a kid. little johnies parents would be up the in the stands cheering their son. lloyd didnt have that, so all he wanted to do was rip the head off of little johnie to shut them up.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloydfan4life View Post
very disappointing........
do you want to change your username yet?
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

Wow.... I dunno what to say.... Probably has something to do with Lloyd's absence from anything NFL related since the day he retired....

He is either guilty, ashamed, or both.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

It sure hurts to hear though
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

I knew Lloyd could be a monster, but dag! That is very disappointing to hear. I hope Greg Sr. has learned to control his anger (it has obviously cost him a relationship with his children) and I hope Greg Jr. is on his way to a happy, successful life.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

Maybe LLoyd Jr. can come to Pittsburgh and make his family name mean something good again. LLoyd will still always be my favorite linebacker, even though he may have been a maniacal tyrant at home. I don't know what to believe. I wasn't involved. I can't pass judgement on a subject I know little about.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: article on Lloyd's Son Part I

Sounds like Lloyd is a total a-hole, although that obviously helped with his on-field performance.

Maybe this is the type of thing the Bengals are looking to recreate now?

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