PSU players expelled from summer school but can practice
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Two Penn State football players ordered to stand trial for their roles in an off-campus fight were expelled from school for part of the summer but will be allowed to take part in preseason practice.
Defense attorneys for starting safety Anthony Scirrotto and defensive lineman Chris Baker said Wednesday their clients have accepted the university's punishment and will be expelled for the second summer semester, which begins July 3.
The players are scheduled for trial in early August on charges including burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault and harassment in connection with a fight on April 1 at an apartment.
Baker's attorney, Karen Muir, and Scirrotto's attorney, Ron McGlaughlin, said the players will be eligible to participate in preseason practice, which begins around Aug. 5, a little less than two weeks before the end of the second summer session.
The sanctions were first reported by the Centre Daily Times. University spokesman Bill Mahon declined comment Wednesday.
"We haven't completed the process on campus," Mahon said. "We can't get into a judicial affairs process that is not completed."
Muir also represents linebacker Jerome Hayes and cornerback Lydell Sargeant -- two players who had criminal charges related to the same April fight dismissed on May 4. Both players received the same sanctions as Baker, with Hayes accepting the punishment and Sargeant appealing, Muir said.
The players would be eligible to play this fall, the lawyers said. It's unclear if coach Joe Paterno might choose to bench them anyway -- and whether the fates of Scirrotto and Baker might be decided at trial.
Charges have also been dropped against linebacker Tyrell Sales. It was unknown if he received university discipline, and phone messages left Wednesday with his family were not immediately returned.
A prosecutor dropped charges against starting cornerback Justin King just before the preliminary hearing began. McGlaughlin, who represents King, said he was unaware of university sanctions against his client.
Paterno has meted out his own punishment separate from the university, having ordered the entire team to perform community service this summer and clean out Beaver Stadium after each home game this fall.
Meantime, Muir and McGlaughlin were preparing their cases, with pretrial hearings scheduled for late July.
"I still think Baker has been misidentified ... and that they have the wrong guy," Muir said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press