Maryland senior forward, James Padgett, pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge, he was arrested for back in June, on Friday in Prince George’s County District Court.
The charges originally included driving while impaired, but the alcohol charges had been dropped. The 6-foot-8 power forward will receive no suspension from the university and will be able to play in the Terrapins season opener against Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Washington Post’s Terrapins Insider, Alex Prewitt explained why no suspension will occur:
Maryland’s student-athlete code of conduct states that athletes charged with DUI or DWI must be suspended from 10 percent of their team’s games, effective immediately. However, because the alcohol-related charge was dropped, Padgett’s attorneys said, no suspension will be levied.
The Maryland athletics department confirmed that Padgett will not be suspended. Since his DWI was dropped, the school’s student-athlete code of conduct no longer applies.
The charges were amended after Padgett’s attorneys successfully argued that the University of Maryland police improperly administered a second breathalyzer test when he was arrested on June 16 after he was observed driving without his headlights on. The police, according to his attorneys, waited less than eight minutes to issue the follow-up test, when they should have waited 20 minutes. By not waiting long enough, attorney David Putzi said, Padgett’s mouth did not have proper time to dissipate all alcohol.
According to Prewitt’s report, received one year of unsupervised probation, 48 hours of community service, a fine of $250, and must attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving meeting.
This was Padgett’s first offense, according to his attorneys.
Padgett is a co-captain for this season’s team, following a junior campaign that saw him average 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
With the charges being lessened, Padgett will play against the defending national champions in his native Brooklyn.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne