Lawrence Taylor: Football is easy, life is hard

Lawrence Taylor

(CBS/AP) Lawrence Taylor's quick decisions on the gridiron 25 years ago made him a Hall of Famer. Off the field, his decisions have made him a registered sex offender.

The former New York Giants great was sentenced last March to six years' probation under a deal to plead guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing an underage prostitute. In November, he was sued by the teenage girl he admitted having sex with in the case that led to his guilty plea to misdemeanor charges earlier this year.

Taylor pleads guilty to sexual misconduct, patronizing prostitute

On Wednesday, the Hall of Famer joined James Brown and Cris Collinsworth on Showtime's Inside the NFL for his first extensive sit-down interview since his sentencing last March.

Taylor said that he has a harder time navigating life than he did football and that he struggles with self-discipline.

"As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as defense and stuff. I know what every player is supposed to do. I know where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I know where I'm supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game," Taylor said. "The problem with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions and that's the process that I'm going through now."

Taylor said when he pleaded guilty that the girl told him she was 19. His attorney said Taylor "did not intend to patronize a prostitute who was under legal age."

"Regardless, if I asked her the question, I'm still responsible for that," Taylor said in the interview. "And all I can do is just say, `Hey, you've got to learn from your experiences.' That's one thing I've done. I've taken the long road on a lot of different things. I've taken the long road, you know like when I had my drug problem."

He added: "Nowadays, you guys are on 24-hours-a-day so everything that happens is actually exploited a little bit more or is blown up a little bit more and more people know about it.So now you have to really discipline yourself. For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as playing in New York."

Taylor, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 and competed in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" last year, had a highly publicized struggle with drug addiction and has had multiple legal run-ins since retiring from football.

"Because as easy as football is to me ... is as hard as life is to me," Taylor said. "I'm just hopeful that life will come easier."