Coach fined $1,000, forfeits ownership of weapon

Updated: June 21, 2007, 2:54 PM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- St. Bonaventure baseball coach Larry Sudbrook was fined $1,000 Thursday after he pleaded guilty to trying to carry a .357 Magnum revolver onto a commercial airplane.

It was certainly a mistake that made for some dark days around my house for a while.

Bonnies baseball coach Larry Sudbrook

U.S. District Court magistrate Kenneth Schroeder accepted the plea to a federal infraction while describing Sudbrook's mistake as "mind-boggling." But, Schroeder said, "I'm firmly convinced, based on your background, that it was the result of human error."

Sudbrook, who completed his 22nd year with the Bonnies last month, said he was relieved to put the case behind him with the plea bargain.

"I want to apologize to all the good people at St. Bonaventure for the embarrassment that I have caused," he said. "I made an honest but regrettable mistake, and I am truly sorry about it."

In accepting the plea, Schroeder ordered Sudbrook to forfeit ownership of the confiscated weapon.

He was arrested and charged with a federal felony, which could have carried jail time, after the gun was found in his carryon bag at a security checkpoint at Buffalo Niagara International Airport on May 10.

Sudbrook was with his team on their way to a three-game series against Atlantic 10 Conference rival Charlotte and forgot he had left the gun in a zippered compartment a few days earlier, according to his testimony.

A hunter and gun collector, Sudbrook said he traveled with the same bag three weeks earlier, and noted he wouldn't have noticed the gun because the bag was already heavy with game and recruiting reports.

Sudbrook faces potential school sanctions when his case is reviewed by a panel this summer.

"It was certainly a mistake that made for some dark days around my house for a while," Sudbrook said. "I'd like to thank the U.S. Attorney's office and the judge. They understand that I was a tunnel-visioned coach, who was focused on preparing to beat a nationally ranked team, Charlotte, and not something I should have been focused upon."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press