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Pettis still suspended indefinitely from team

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State basketball player Terry
Pettis has been sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to
attend a program for batterers after pleading no contest to
misdemeanor vandalism and battery charges in an attack on his
girlfriend.

Pettis also was ordered Wednesday to pay restitution of $4,500
for the damage.

The district attorney filed charges against Pettis on Tuesday.
He was arrested Sept. 24 on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and
felony vandalism after hitting his girlfriend and damaging her
apartment.

Assistant district attorney Don Penner said the law allowed him
leeway to choose between charging Pettis with felony or misdemeanor
vandalism.

"Considering all the circumstances of this particular case and
the willingness of the defendant to accept responsibility and make
restitution immediately, we thought it best to charge him with a
misdemeanor," Penner said.

If convicted of a felony, Pettis automatically would have been
kicked off the team, according to the school's Student-Athlete Code
of Conduct.

"It was fair what they did," Pettis said. "It's a mistake
somebody went through. I don't believe they would've taken away my
whole career for something like this. It's harsh that I did it, but
it's harder to take away somebody's four years of basketball. That
would've been worse."

The victim asked not to be identified.

"He needs to remember he's dealing with other peoples' lives.
Sometimes he thinks only about himself, and that's his problem,"
she said. "I definitely think he needs the help."

Bulldogs coach Ray Lopes said Pettis, a sophomore guard from
Minneapolis who last season averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 assists per
game, remains suspended indefinitely.

Lopes and athletic director Scott Johnson said Pettis will have
to sign a provision-laden contract before the school considers
letting him rejoin the team. The Bulldogs play their first game
Nov. 21.

Pettis is due back in court Nov. 19, when he must present proof
he attended the anger management program.