Later this week, O.J. Simpson will come before a Nevada parole board, seeking release from a prison sentence for armed robbery. Simpson has served nine of a potential 33 years at Lovelock Correctional Center for his role in a 2007 Las Vegas robbery. His parole hearing, scheduled for Thursday, is the first opportunity Simpson has had for an early release, and according to a friend, Simpson is optimistic about his chances.
“Tell them we’ll be playing golf again soon,” Simpson said, according to Tom Scotto, a longtime friend who spoke to USA Today. Scotto indicated that Simpson is “very positive” and hopes to return to a “normal” life if he is in fact released.
Of course, a “normal” life for O.J. Simpson will be impossible. The former football star, once one of the most famous athletes in America, was the centerpiece of one of the most famous trials in American history, accused of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. The crime and trial consumed the nation’s attention for two years in the mid-1990s, and two recent TV productions—a dramatization and a documentary—reignited interest in Simpson’s case.
Found not guilty in the criminal trial, Simpson went free, returning to the life of a retired celebrity. A civil court found Simpson guilty of the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in restitution. According to Scotto, Simpson will be able to live off a series of investments and pensions, including his NFL pension; Simpson would likely be able to command fees on the reality-TV show circuit as well. (Scotto told USA Today a few curious anecdotes about Simpson, like this one about Simpson’s golf buddies: “I’ll tell you something really funny. You know you wear a glove on the course. And all of his friends, anytime he drops the glove, they say, ‘Oops, you did it again.’”)
Simpson has apparently been on good behavior throughout his term at Lovelock. The Nevada state parole board will meet with Simpson via video at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. If paroled, Simpson would be released by October 1.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.