Former lineman to enter rehab program

Updated: June 15, 2004, 6:25 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Former Washington Redskins tackle George Starke pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug charges Tuesday and agreed to enter a rehabilitation program.

District of Columbia police stopped Starke in Northeast Washington on May 14 when an officer noticed he was not wearing his seat belt, according to charging documents. He was also charged with driving on a suspended license, and a search of the car revealed seven grams of cocaine, prosecutors said.

Starke denied the allegations, saying the car was taken from the motor pool of the Excel Institute Automotive Program, a trade school he runs for troubled teens.

His attorney said Tuesday that Starke entered the guilty plea to save himself the time and expense of a trial.

Superior Court Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin agreed to withhold sentencing until after Starke completes the rehab program. If he successfully completes the program, the charges will be dropped. If not, he could get up to six months in jail, Mitchell-Rankin said.

Starke, 58, played left tackle for the Redskins from 1973-84 and was the early leader of the "Hogs" offensive line. The Hogs became NFL celebrities when the Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1983.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press