Nebraska receiver Purify sentenced to probation

Updated: July 18, 2007, 7:25 PM ET
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska football player Maurice Purify pleaded no contest to four criminal charges Wednesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. He awaits word from coach Bill Callahan about how long his suspension from the team will last.

A Lancaster County judge sentenced the standout wide receiver to a year of probation and fined him $1,250.

During that time, Purify won't be allowed to enter a bar or any other business that primarily sells alcohol, and he'll have to attend drug and alcohol counseling.

And for 60 days, Purify will have the choice of either not driving or having a device attached to his car ignition that will make sure he is sober before he can start the car.

Purify was found guilty of driving while intoxicated, assault, disturbing the peace and hindering arrest. All those charges stem from two incidents earlier this year.

A spokesman for Callahan said the coach had no comment but would address the issue in the next few days.

Purify was arrested May 5 and charged with two counts of assault, among other things, in connection with an altercation at a Lincoln bar. Last month he was cited on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

As part of the agreement with prosecutors, one of the assault charges and a charge of refusing to obey a police order were dropped. Also, a trespassing charge was reduced to disturbing the peace.

Purify was suspended indefinitely from the team in June. He apologized for his actions and said he didn't know how long he'll be suspended.

"I do not know if I will be fortunate enough to play another game at Nebraska," Purify said in a statement. "I hope that I can be afforded a second chance to do what I love to do -- play football for Nebraska."

Purify apologized in his statement to family, friends, teammates and Callahan.

Purify's attorney Jon Braaten said the plea deal was appropriate.

"It's the exact same sentence anyone else would get in this circumstance," Braaten said.

Purify played at City College of San Francisco before joining Nebraska.

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Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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