BRYAN, Texas -- The author of a best-selling book about
former Texas A&M football coach Bear Bryant's demanding 1954
training camp has been sentenced to eight years in prison for a
Jim Dent, author of "The Junction Boys," was sentenced
Thursday under a plea agreement with prosecutors. He could have
faced up to 10 years in prison.
Dent, who was accused of violating his probation for a
drunken-driving conviction, was at large for about a year before he
was caught in Las Vegas in June.
"I've done some bad things, and pride has gotten in the way in
past years," he told state District Judge Rick Davis, vowing not
to drink alcohol again. "I plan to get straightened out."
Dent was arrested in Brazos County for felony drunken driving in
1999 and was sentenced in 2002 to 10 years probation. He served 40
days of the probation sentence in jail. The day after his release,
he was pulled over in Oklahoma City on suspicion of drunken
Dent failed to make his court appearance and did not report the
arrest to his probation officers.
Police caught up with him months later in Arkansas, after Texas
authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. He fled again after an
Arkansas judge reduced his bail from $1 million to $5,000.
Las Vegas authorities finally arrested Dent on June 12 after the
author again was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving.
"It's a sad situation," his attorney, Jim James, told the
Bryan-College Station Eagle for a story in Friday's editions. "Jim
is a very bright man, a very talented man, and I think he has
recognized his problem."
"The Junction Boys" chronicled the experience of more than 100
football players who traveled in 1954 to the West Texas town of
Junction with Bryant for late-summer training away from campus
distractions. When camp ended 10 days later, fewer than three dozen
remained to wear the Aggies' jerseys.
The book became a New York Times best-seller and was turned into
an ESPN movie. Dent authored "King of the Cowboys," a biography
on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and "The Undefeated" about
Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners. He also co-authored former
American League umpire Durwood Merrill's memoirs, "You're Out and
You're Ugly, Too!"
Before turning to books, Dent was an award-winning sports
journalist for the San Antonio Express-News, the Fort Worth
Star-Telegram and the Dallas Times Herald.