PITTSBURGH - Over two decades ago, basketball legend Charles Barkley famously said, "I'm not a role model. Parents should be role models."
The Hall of Famer was right, but like it or not, professional athletes are role models to their fans and many embrace the role.
Steelers All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell wants to be a part of that group.
"As I continue to get older and more mature, I'm just going to continue to strive and be that role model,” Bell said to Channel 11's Bill Phillips shortly after he had been arrested for marijuana possession and driving under the influence charges in August.
Bell was sentenced to 15 months’ probation Friday. The sentence includes a drug and alcohol evaluation, a 60 day suspension of his driver’s license. Additionally, he will need to attend drunk driving school and pay $2,400 in court costs.
The running back didn't allow his off field transgression to impact his on field performance, though. Bell had one of the greatest all around seasons by a Steelers running back, compiling over 2,000 yards of total offense.
he question Bell faces now is whether he can become the role model he desires to be on and off the field.
"I know I definitely can never be in a situation like that again," Bell said. "Or anything else like that."