Judge: LB faces jail for any violation

Updated: April 22, 2009, 4:16 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Penn State junior linebacker Navorro Bowman was sentenced to one year of probation as well as drug and alcohol testing Wednesday after admitting smoking marijuana in the last four months.

Bowman, a first-team All-Big Ten performer for the Nittany Lions, was already on probation for pleading guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct stemming from an on-campus fight in October 2007.

News organizations initially reported that Bowman admitted in court to smoking marijuana twice since January, but defense attorney Stacy Parks Miller told The Associated Press there was confusion in that statement, and that Bowman clarified to the judge that he used the drug once but had thought about using it a second time this spring.

At his probation revocation hearing Wednesday, Bowman's probation was extended until April 2010.

Prosecutors sought an additional six months' probation, but Centre County Judge Bradley P. Lunsford doubled the recommendation and revoked Bowman's current probation, which was set to expire next month.

Lunsford warned Bowman, 20, that any violation of his new probation agreement could result in six months of jail time.

"If you don't correct that stuff now ... it's not going to get any better," Lunsford told Bowman, according to The Associated Press, during a 30-minute hearing.

"I will not, I will not be back here," Bowman said, according to AP.

Bowman must meet with his probation officer at least once a month and submit to monthly drug and alcohol testing. He also must cooperate with any recommended drug or alcohol counseling.

"It's completely within the judge's discretion and he's well within his rights and authority to [double the recommendation]," Centre County Probation and Parole director Tom Young told ESPN.com.

Bowman cannot be around drugs or alcohol, including in bars, and must perform 100 hours of community service as mandated by his previous probation agreement. Bowman claimed he has performed some community service with other Penn State football players.

"It wasn't community service that we had been made aware of and that we had our stamp of approval on for the court as being credited toward his 100 hours," Young said. "We're going to try to verify some of that and also get him set up with some of our own community service sites and projects."

Bowman admitted in court that he has been struggling with the death of both his father and his high school coach in the last year.

"I'm still not really relieved from everything," he told ESPN.com last week. "It's still a struggle every day, just trying to do what I'm here to do and graduate. That's the most important thing. I'm eight-and-a-half credits from my degree, and once I get that, I can put a check mark next to the main reason I came to college. Everything else will pan out after that."

The District Heights, Md., native led Penn State with 106 tackles last fall and finished second on the team with 16.5 tackles for a loss. He has been participating in spring practice.

Penn State coaches were in meetings Wednesday morning, so it's unclear whether Bowman will face additional team punishment. Team spokesman Jeff Nelson said Bowman's status with the team has not changed.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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