<
>

Judge bars athlete from team sports

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A standout Ohio athlete has been ordered
to stay on the sidelines after pleading guilty to felonious assault.

Dwayne "Deejay" Hunter, 19, was sentenced Thursday to 180
days in jail, 500 hours of community service and five years of
probation. Among terms of his probation, Hunter cannot play
organized sports -- not even intramurals.

"We're going to see who Dwayne Hunter the person is, not who Dwayne Hunter the star athlete is," Butler County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Nastoff said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "You're 19 years old. And you are standing right here, six inches away from a prison number and the potential to go away to prison for eight years -- that's two presidential terms."

With credit for time served, Hunter will be released from jail just before Thanksgiving. He will not serve additional jail time unless he violates any aspect of the conditions of his probation, Nastoff said.

The former Middletown High School football and track star pleaded guilty in July to felonious assault for shooting a 15-year-old boy twice in the face with a BB gun. Hunter fired the gun from a vehicle, with one projectile striking the victim's eyelid, according to the Enquirer.

"You were probably an inch away from blinding someone," Nastoff told Hunter, according to the newspaper.

Nastoff told Hunter he must get either a full-time job or enroll in full-time schooling within 30 days upon his release from jail.

Hunter had been recruited by the University of Tennessee and Big Ten and Big East schools, but they backed away after Hunter's legal problems surfaced, according to The Associated Press.

"Virtually every Division I school was interested in him," Hunter's attorney, Frank Schiavone, told the Enquirer.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.