Ex-Georgia guard charged with probation violation

Updated: February 8, 2005, 6:19 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. -- A former Georgia point guard known for sparking an investigation into academic fraud at the school two years ago has been arrested again.

Tony Cole, who played basketball for Glen Oaks High School in Baton Rouge, is charged with violating his probation on a felony bad-check charge and was booked into the Clarke County Jail on Sunday. He was arrested after he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Oconee County.

The arrest is at least Cole's seventh in four years, including six times in Georgia.

Cole, 24, was sentenced to three years' probation by a Clarke County Superior Court judge in September after he pleaded guilty to bouncing a $578 rent check to an Athens apartment complex in 2002. Authorities said a warrant was issued for Cole's arrest after he failed to show up for scheduled meetings with a probation officer and was $200 behind in paying off a fine.

Cole agreed to settle the debt in $50 monthly installments as a condition of his probation. He also faces misdemeanor charges in his native Louisiana related to the bad-check charge.

His short-lived career as a Georgia basketball player ended in 2002 after he and two other student-athletes were charged with raping a woman in Cole's room in a Georgia dormitory. Prosecutors dropped the charges against Cole, but he was kicked off the team.

In 2003, Cole's accusations during an ESPN interview that former Georgia coaches Jim Harrick and Jim Harrick Jr. paid his expenses and gave him credit for academic work he didn't do ended the Georgia careers of both Harricks and earned sanctions from the NCAA, including four years of probation and scholarship losses.

Cole will remain in jail until a hearing is set in the case.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press