Legal woes hound Argo

Running back Hakim Hill has left the Toronto Argonauts to deal with drunk driving charges in...

Running back Hakim Hill has left the Toronto Argonauts to deal with drunk driving charges in Arizona. (Toronto Sun File/Fred Thornhill)

MIKE KOREEN and PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Talented Argos rookie running back Hakim Hill has been suspended and forced to leave the country following the latest in a string of brushes with the law.

Hill, who played three games this year and impressed the team with his versatility, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Scottsdale, Ariz. on July 18.

Hill allegedly had a blood alcohol reading of 0.136, which exceeds the legal limit of 0.08. He also was charged with speeding after allegedly driving 57 m.p.h in a 40 m.p.h. zone and failing to stop at a red light.

Hill's college career came to an abrupt end in February after he was arrested and charged following a fight with police officers, resulting in his dismissal from Northern Iowa University. Previously, Hill was kicked out of Arizona State University for breaking team rules.

According to Argos president Keith Pelley, Hill could have stayed in Canada were it not for the latest charge.

Hill was sent home Saturday.

"Undeniably, before he resumes his football career he needs to straighten out his personal life and that's what we've encouraged him to do," Pelley said yesterday.

The Argos have suspended Hill, which allows them to retain his rights without having to continue to pay him. He had been on the injured list at the time of his suspension. He last played for the team July 15 in B.C, a game in which he started and did well up until a crucial fumble late in the game.

"He has to get some things straightened out so he can get back in the country," Argos vice-president of football operations Adam Rita said. "He has screwed up along the way, so this is part of the process he has to go through. For him to play football in our country, he has to do certain things. For him to play football south of the border, he has to do certain things. It's pretty cut and dry. When you get in trouble, you have to get your life together. He's a young man and he has a lot of future ahead of him. Hopefully in the next few months or weeks or year, he can get that taken care of."

A source said the Argos owners had lawyers working on the matter, however, they had no guarantees Hill would be allowed in the country.

When reached by The Sun, Hill declined comment.

However, his parents J.D. and Caryl Hill, at their home in Chandler, Ariz., said he was working on getting back to work.

"He'll take care of it," Caryl Hill said. "He'll be back in Toronto. The team has been very helpful and they have called every day. We have a few little things to put behind us and he'll be back."

Hill impressed the Argos in training camp and had strong performances in their two pre-season games, earning him the starting role for the season opener.


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