Purdue guard pleads to alcohol counts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue point guard Lewis Jackson will have to complete community service and spend a year under court supervision after pleading guilty Monday to illegal alcohol consumption and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While Jackson will avoid any jail time if he stays out of trouble, Purdue coach Matt Painter has not yet announced any team discipline against him. Jackson's bright future could be in doubt after a freshman season that saw him start 30 games and average 5.9 points and a team-leading 3.3 assists as the Boilermakers reached the NCAA regional semifinals.

Jackson made the plea during a court hearing in Piatt County, Ill. Jackson, 19, was arrested after he was stopped about 2:30 a.m. April 12 for speeding on Interstate 72 near his hometown of Decatur, Ill. Jackson's defense attorney, Daniel Kennedy, said his client was pulled over for driving 81 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Assistant state's attorney Jerry Johnson said charges of illegal alcohol possession and possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana were dropped in the plea agreement.

Johnson said Jackson faced no jail time because it was his first criminal offense and that the conviction would be removed from his record if he completes the requirements of his sentence. Kennedy said no judgment will be entered unless Jackson makes another mistake, and he doesn't expect that to happen.

"He was one of the most respectful clients I've ever had," Kennedy said. "He's deeply remorseful for the impact this has had on his family."

During his court supervision, Jackson cannot enter any establishment that primarily serves alcohol, and he is subject to random urinalysis. He also must complete 50 hours of community service and a drug evaluation.

One reason for the guilty plea, Kennedy said, was that the case could be decided in one day, which would prevent Jackson from having to make multiple trips back to Piatt County during the school year.

A Purdue spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking reaction to Jackson's guilty plea. The school last week released a statement saying Painter was aware of Jackson's arrest and that he would wait for an outcome to the court case before commenting.

Painter has been tough on players who have gotten in trouble.

He suspended Tarrance Crump in 2005 for an entire season after his sport-utility vehicle hit a student on campus.

That same season, Painter kicked guard Korey Spates out of the program for conduct detrimental to the team. Spates was averaging 10.1 points and 2.5 rebounds a game for a team that had already lost four projected starters to injuries or suspensions that season.

In October 2007, Painter threw starting forward Gordon Watt off the team for good after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Kennedy wants Painter to view Jackson's case differently.

"I really hope this doesn't have any impact on his future or his career," Kennedy said. "I hope this doesn't hurt him in any way."