Fields to enter first-offender program after scuffle with police

Updated: October 2, 2007, 5:13 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt basketball player Levance Fields will spend nine months on probation in a special program for first-time offenders to settle criminal charges stemming from a scuffle with police, his attorney said Tuesday.

Fields, a junior point guard, was charged with aggravated assault, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and other counts after the Sept. 16 altercation outside a nightclub.

Authorities dropped all the charges, except for simple assault. Fields will appear in county court Oct. 26 to enter the program for first-time offenders. If he completes the nine-month probation without incident, his record will be expunged, defense attorney Robert DelGreco Jr. said after a hearing Tuesday in which the deal was struck.

"I think this addresses the government's concern for punishment, but also allows us to earn a clear record," DelGreco said.

In a statement, coach Jamie Dixon said, "The initial report of this incident did not reflect the young man I have come to know."

Fields had not been involved in team workouts since his arrest, but will be able to participate now, an school spokesman said.

"We have let the judicial process run its course and acknowledge today's decision," Dixon said. "Levance has been, and will continue to be, held to our team's disciplinary standards. Those disciplinary actions will remain within the confines of our program."

Fields, a 5-foot-10 native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a starter at point guard since his freshman season, led Pitt in assists last season and was the team's fourth-leading scorer with 9.2 points per game.

In the altercation last month, Fields was arguing with another man and yelling obscenities when an off-duty police officer who was working security tried to subdue him. Fields punched the officer in the chest, then grabbed at the officer's weapon, police said. Officers then used a Taser to subdue Fields.

"We acknowledge wrongdoing and accepted responsibility and were grateful for what we believe to be a fair but firm disposition," DelGreco said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press