Former Illini player sentenced to two years supervision

Updated: May 1, 2007, 4:12 PM ET
Associated Press

URBANA, Ill. -- Former Illinois basketball player Rich McBride was told by a judge Tuesday he cannot drink alcohol for two years as part of his sentencing for drunken driving.

Judge Richard Klaus also ordered McBride to perform 250 hours of community service, pay a $1,000 fine and submit to random testing to confirm he has not had alcohol. McBride, who hopes to play professionally overseas in the fall, does not have to report directly to a probation officer.

McBride said in court he hadn't taken a drink since his Sept. 29 arrest and has gone through 75 hours of counseling.

Prosecutor Stephanie Weber pointed out that McBride drank a fifth of tequila in the four hours before his arrest, and a medical evaluator considered him at high risk for alcoholism.

McBride, who pleaded guilty in March, can appeal his sentence but would have to go to trial. His lawyer, Mark Lipton, declined comment after the hearing.

McBride was arrested and charged with DUI in Savoy, outside Champaign. His blood-alcohol level was .18 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

He could have been sentenced to up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine. Drivers convicted of a first-time DUI in Illinois also lose their driver's license for a year. McBride lost his license last fall, after his arrest.

McBride, a senior guard who started last season, said he expects to graduate this month. He was one of two Illinois basketball players to run into legal trouble this school year.

Jamar Smith was charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident after a crash that left teammate Brian Carlwell hospitalized for four days with a severe concussion. Smith awaits trial and remains on the team.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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