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