Siegert will participate in spring practice

Updated: April 1, 2005, 5:05 PM ET
Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State defensive tackle Ben Siegert has pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges in Benton County Circuit Court.

Siegert entered the plea Thursday before judge Janet Holcomb, who granted his request that he be sent to a DUI diversion program.

Siegert must complete alcohol treatment, pay about $600 in costs and fees, and appear before the Benton County Victim Impact Panel.

If he meets those requirements within one year, the charges against him will be dismissed.

Siegert, 20, registered a .14 percent blood-alcohol content on a breath analyzer at the Benton County Jail when he was arrested March 13, according to the sheriff's office.

Oregon considers drivers with a .08 percent blood alcohol content to be drunk, but because he was under 21, any amount of alcohol would have been sufficient to arrest him for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

A stolen ram from the university's Sheep Center was found in the back of the pickup Siegert was driving when he was arrested. He was not charged in connection with the stolen animal.

Two other people in the pickup also were not charged.

It was the latest of several incidents involving the football team in recent months.

Long snapper Star Paddock and running back Jimtavis Walker last month were accused of offering to pay their cab fare with marijuana and then stiffing the driver altogether.

Defensive end Joe Rudulph was suspended in November after he was arrested for allegedly punching a National Guard soldier during a bar fight.

In response, Oregon State has launched a comprehensive review of the athletic department's policies regarding athletes' behavior.

Siegert will participate in spring practices, which started Wednesday, although he could face further penalties -- including game suspensions -- as will the others.

"There may be some things pending in the future, but right now we felt the best thing for them was the structure of practice. Not to be floating out there in the world," coach Mike Riley said. "I feel strongly about that. And besides that, I think all of them have been through a process."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press