Barkley Taking A “Leave Of Absence” From TNT

For a long time, it seemed like Charles Barkley was Teflon: nothing he could do or say, no matter how outrageous or crazy, could ruin his place as a media darling. But the last few months haven’t been kind to Sir Charles: from his gambling and money problems to his recent DUI arrest, the hits have been coming fast and furious.

Charles Barkley headphones

And now the fallout is really beginning: USA TODAY is reporting that he is taking a leave of absence from the network to deal with the ramifications from his recent DUI arrest in Arizona. As AWFUL ANNOUNCING notes, this might be the best plan of action, as TNT would love to put the controversy on the back burner and avoid having to fire one of their media stars.

(Still no word yet on if T-Mobile is planning on continuing their association with Barkley as the celebrity endorser, but if they do, let me recommend that they add the local taxi service to his “My 5.”)

There’s also more word on the details of Barkley’s arrest. How hammered was he? Pretty hammered:

Police in Arizona said Friday that Barkley, 45, had a blood-alcohol level of .149 after his arrest in Scottsdale on New Year’s Eve. A level of .150 is a case of “extreme” inebriation, said police Lt. Eric Shuhandler. The state’s legal limit is .08.

Am I the only person who finds it suspicious that Barkley’s BA level was .001 under the level to qualify as an “extreme” DUI? Especially since that would trigger a whole host of new punishments, including raising jail time from 1-10 days to 10-30 days, cause Barkley to lose his license for a year, and require him to have to blow into a tube to start his car.

Perhaps he tattooed the name of the guy analyzing the blood work onto his butt.