Mountaineers' Devine, 3 others plead no contest to battery charges

Updated: March 13, 2008, 10:59 PM ET
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia running back Noel Devine was among four Mountaineers' football players to plead no contest to misdemeanor battery charges after being arrested Thursday.

Also arrested were defensive back Eain Smith, 19; cornerback Brantwon Bowser, 20; and running back/receiver Jockee Sanders, 19, the Morgantown Police Department said in a news release.

[+] EnlargeNoel Devine
AP Photo/Mary SchwalmNoel Devine, who ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl, was among four Mountaineer players arrested on Thursday.

Each player pleaded no contest in Morgantown Municipal Court, the police department said.

It was not immediately known whether the municipal court assessed any penalties against the players. A telephone message left Thursday night with the municipal court was not immediately returned.

Police said the charges stemmed from an altercation outside Club Z in Morgantown on Feb. 16 but did not provide details.

"Discipline with the situation has already been handled within the program," WVU football coach Bill Stewart said through a spokesman. He said he would have no further comment.

Last month, Stewart dismissed three other players charged with felony possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver.

West Virginia begins spring practice Friday.

Devine, a 20-year-old freshman, capped a stellar first season with West Virginia by running for 108 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-28 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press