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Miami recruit admits violating probation
June 29, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- University of Miami football recruit Willie Williams admitted violating probation Tuesday on a burglary conviction, but the university has told attorneys that the standout linebacker still might be admitted.
Williams could face up to a year in jail, but the prosecution is not requesting any jail time.
Miami athletic director Paul Dee recently told attorneys on both sides that Williams' chances of admission would be better if the judge agrees to withhold adjudication, which would erase the original burglary conviction from the player's record if he stays out of trouble for a year.
Broward Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan, who allowed Williams to attend both his Miami Carol City High graduation and his prom, did not commit himself to that deal. He said he wanted to read the recruit's responsibilities under the university's athletic and student codes before sentencing next Tuesday.
Williams admitted violating probation imposed for a stereo shop burglary in 2002 by getting arrested during a recruiting visit to the University of Florida in January.
He was placed on probation for a year last week in Gainesville after pleading no contest to a felony count of setting off hotel fire extinguishers and misdemeanor battery for hugging a woman without her permission.
"He's done everything he could to rectify the situation," defense attorney Paul Lazarus said. He called the January crimes "more boisterousness than anything else."
Kaplan told Williams that he would not send him to state prison even though he could be sentenced to a five-year term. The judge said he would require Williams to write letters of apology to hotel management and the woman, if he has not already written them.
Williams has paid $1,700 to the hotel to cover damages and his room. A misdemeanor charge involving a bar fight on the same weekend was dropped with Williams agreeing to pay the man involved $1,300.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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