Spartans WRs sentenced to probation

Updated: March 9, 2010, 12:48 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Michigan State receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham were sentenced to 18 months probation and 150 hours of community service Monday for their roles in an on-campus assault in November.

Dell and Cunningham both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery in January as part of a plea agreement where a more serious charge of conspiracy was dropped.

Eleven current or former Spartans players have pleaded guilty to assault for their roles in a Nov. 22 incident at a campus residence hall during a fraternity potluck function.

Monday's sentencing requires Dell and Cunningham to meet monthly with a probation official, complete an alcohol and substance abuse program and abstain from alcohol use and attending bars, even after they turn 21. They also had to pay at least $1,000 in court costs and fines.

Both players admitted to assaulting members of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity.

Dell and Cunningham are among seven players charged with assault who are still at Michigan State but suspended from team activities.

The two players reportedly at the center of the incident, running back Glenn Winston and safety Roderick Jenrette, were dismissed from the team and face sentencing later this month. Two other players have transferred.

Attorney Jim Newton, who represents Dell and Cunningham, told The Detroit News the players want to do whatever it takes to get back on the team.

"I know they are eager to get back, but let's face it, [the punishment] is a big hurdle," Newton told the newspaper. "This is the first step in the right direction."

Cunningham ranked second on the team in receiving with 48 receptions for 641 yards last season, while Dell ranked third with 26 catches for 449 yards.

Michigan State released a statement Monday saying head coach Mark Dantonio "won't re-evaluate any student-athlete's status until final disposition of all related cases."

The last sentencing is scheduled to take place March 31; spring ball starts March 23.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.

ALSO SEE