The latest milepost on what Ricky Williams calls his spiritual journey is an acupuncture and massage college…Here, where the study hall is named after the philosopher Lao Tzu and one room contains some 300 Chinese herbs, Williams is a massage therapist in training, a running back who generally hopes to avoid contact on the football field now seeking his license to touch.

To Williams, 32, this represents another step toward a career in holistic healing and away from his self-described reputation as “the poster child for marijuana.” The process has been messy and public and shaped into an all-too-familiar narrative: superstar spits on the American dream, travels the world in search of enlightenment and returns reformed.

The New York Times, Kendall, Fla., July 21