September 15, 2010
Shannon Sharpe has taken a leave of absence from his analyst role on the CBS pre-game show "NFL Today" after being accused of sexual assault. The former All-Pro tight end was served with a temporary restraining order last week in Atlanta after Michele Bundy filed for one on behalf of her and her child against Sharpe on grounds that he forced her to have sex with him, threatened her with death on multiple occasions and stalked her.
Though he hasn't been arrested or charged with a crime, Sharpe decided to leave the program. "I have decided to step aside from the NFL until this matter is resolved," he said in a statement, as reported by the Denver Post.
A protection hearing will be held on Monday at which a judge will determine if there's enough evidence to keep the case open. If not, Sharpe could be back on "NFL Today" on Sept. 26. If the judge prolongs the proceedings, Sharpe could miss the entire year.
The allegations are quite serious and Sharpe could be in a heap of legal trouble if they're proven to be true.
This case also may affect his football legacy. Sharpe has been a Hall of Fame finalist in each of his two years of eligibility and it's been widely assumed that he'd eventually be enshrined in Canton. Though personal lives are supposed to be off-limits, it's hard to see Sharpe winning support of the voters if he's dealing with a situation like this.
Update: TMZ reports the order against Sharpe has been dropped.
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