Chuck Muncie, a former NFL running back who played for both the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers before his career was cut short by drug use, passed away after a heart attack on Monday (May 13), the Saints have confirmed.
Muncie, a three-time Pro Bowler, was suspended after Week 1 in 1984 (while with the Chargers) after he tested positive for cocaine. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1985 after reinstatement from the suspension, but he never played another game.
In 1989, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling cocaine. After serving his time, Muncie turned his life around, spending his time counseling drug addicts and working with children. In 1997, he established a nonprofit, the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, aimed at helping young people avoid the mistakes he had made.
Muncie began his career in the NFL as the third overall pick for the Saints in the 1976 draft. IN 1979, after becoming the first Saints player to go to the pro bowl and earning MVP honors in the game, he requested a trade and moved to the Chargers in 1980. He had his career-best season with the Southern California franchise in 1981, when he led the NFL with 19 touchdowns.