Plea deal could allow Irish's Yeatman to have DUI dismissed

Updated: February 28, 2008, 7:09 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Notre Dame tight end Will Yeatman has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of DUI and reckless driving stemming from a Jan. 28 arrest on campus.

Yeatman's plea is part of a deferred sentencing agreement filed Monday in St. Joseph County (Ind.) Superior Court. According to court documents, Yeatman pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor for DUI -- operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of at least .08 but less than .15 -- as well as a Class B misdemeanor for reckless driving.

As part of the agreement, a third charge, misdemeanor criminal recklessness, was dismissed.

Notre Dame police arrested Yeatman at 2:49 a.m. on Jan. 28 after he allegedly drove his car on a campus sidewalk. The sophomore, who also plays lacrosse for the Fighting Irish, was indefinitely suspended from both the football and lacrosse teams.

The plea agreement requires Yeatman to complete court-recommended counseling or treatment, pay all supervisory costs of the program and submit urine tests to the After the Crime program. He must pay for and install a Breathalyzer in his car for 180 days and would violate the agreement if he has a reading of more than .02 percent or attempts to start the car with a reading of more than .04 percent.

Yeatman also must attend a victim impact panel called "Bryan's Legacy," where victims of drunk driving or the survivors of victims discuss their stories.

The terms are standard for misdemeanor DUI cases, said Catherine Wilson, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.

If Yeatman fulfills the terms and doesn't commit a crime during the one-year agreement, the state will dismiss the DUI charge and enter a conviction for misdemeanor reckless driving, which can carry a jail sentence of up to 180 days. He's scheduled to appear in court Feb. 25, 2009, for a status hearing.

Football coach Charlie Weis was traveling Thursday and unavailable for comment, according to sports information director Brian Hardin. When asked about Yeatman on Feb. 8, Weis said, "I hope he's back with us this season."

Yeatman, a San Diego native, caught six passes for 37 yards last season and was expected to compete for the starting spot at tight end after John Carlson's graduation.

Adam Rittenberg covers college football and basketball for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com

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