UCLA suspends Jerime Anderson

UCLA Bruins point guard Jerime Anderson pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges in connection with a stolen laptop and as a result will be suspended for the first two games of the season, the school announced Monday in a statement.

Anderson, a senior, was arrested by UCLA campus police July 26 on suspicion of grand theft after a tracking device on a MacBook Pro led authorities to him. He was released on $20,000 bail.

Last Thursday, Anderson's attorney, Jon Artz, was able to get the charges reduced to appropriation of lost property and trespass -- both misdemeanor charges.

Anderson will have to complete 300 hours of community service over the next two years, and if he does so and has no other legal issues, the appropriation of lost property charge will be dismissed.

"We demonstrated to the judge and to the prosecutor that Jerime comes from a family of hard working religious moral people," Artz said. "He's 21, he made a terrible mistake, he was remorseful, he cooperated with the police, admitted it to the police and it was so out of character and we provided evidence."

Coach Ben Howland had originally suspended Anderson from the team indefinitely pending the resolution of his legal proceedings, but said now that the case is resolved, Anderson would sit out UCLA's exhibition game Nov. 6 against Cal State San Bernardino and the regular-season opener Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount.

"Now that the legal proceedings in conjunction with Jerime's arrest have been finalized, I am re-instating him to the team with a two-game suspension," Howland said in the statement. "Jerime has been very remorseful in acknowledging his mistake and accepting responsibility for his actions. I believe he has learned a valuable lesson."

Shortly after his arrest, Anderson posted on his Facebook page that he was "terribly sorry and embarrassed for my conduct and poor judgment that I've used recently. I have embarrassed my family, friends, teammates, coaches and university and I am extremely sorry for that," a post Artz said helped demonstrate Anderson's character.

Anderson is a backup point guard for UCLA. He averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 assists for the Bruins last season and emerged as a key player off the bench as the team's sixth man. At the season-ending banquet, he was awarded two awards: one for competitive spirit, inspiration and unselfish contributions and another as most improved player.

"I bet Jerime is a more serious, more hard working, more responsible young man as a result of this," Artz said.

Peter Yoon covers UCLA for ESPNLosAngeles.com.