Former Minnesota Vikings great Jim Marshall pleaded guilty yesterday in Duluth, Minn., to carrying more than 50 grams of cocaine and said he should be punished for it.
After the hearing in the St. Louis County courthouse, Marshall said it was time to admit his guilt.
"I made a big mistake and certainly one I'm not proud of. I just hope there are people out there who will see what has happened to me in a situation like this and turn their lives around. I hope it helps someone else understand what some of the pitfalls of using and possessing drugs are," Marshall, 53, said outside the courtroom.
The former defensive end was arrested last fall in West Duluth with 57.7 grams of cocaine in his possession.
There were no reductions in charges or plea bargains behind yesterday's plea. Judge David Bouschour will decide whether Marshall goes to prison for up to four years or gets probation.
"I was guilty of possessing drugs, and that's something that I have no choice but to admit. And I feel that I should pay the penalty, and I don't think that I have any other choice. I have to stand up as a man with my own guilt," Marshall said.
He is on supervised release pending a pre-sentence investigation.
* EAGLES: Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Craig Erickson will be a graduate assistant coach at Georgia instead of an NFL player this season because of nerve damage in his lower right leg.
"I have little movement in my foot," Erickson said.
Erickson was considered one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft until he tore three of the four ligaments in his right knee in January preparing for the Hula Bowl all-star game. In April he was drafted in the fifth round by Philadelphia, and his doctors said his recovery was ahead of pace.
But a stretched peroneal nerve has not rehabilitated adequately in recent months.
Erickson said the damage went undetected by NFL physicians in pre-draft examinations. Projected as a first- or second-round draft choice before the injury, Erickson has not signed with the Eagles. If the Eagles do not sign Erickson, he can enter the 1992 draft. But Erickson said he would like to play for the Eagles.
* PACKERS: Quarterback Don Majkowski, working his way back from rotator-cuff surgery, will start tomorrow night's exhibition opener against New England if doctors give him the clearance to play.
* SAINTS: Right guard Steve Trapilo is out for the season with two torn cartilages and a ripped anterior cruciate ligament.
* COWBOYS: Holdout fullback Alonzo Highsmith says he will report to camp by next Monday and will make a deal on the Cowboys' terms rather than his own.
"I'm coming in because Alonzo Highsmith wants to play football," he said. "And it's not a matter of giving up the fight. It's personal reasons. I want to play football, and I have to prepare for the season. I have to be ready personally."
* BOB HAYES: The Dallas Cowboys former All-Pro receiver, Bob Hayes, said he has proof he was set up on a cocaine dealing charge in 1978.
"I'm thinking I was entrapped," Hayes said. "And I can prove it in court."
Called "the world's fastest human" after winning two gold medals at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Hayes pleaded guilty in March 1979 to two counts of selling cocaine.
The 51-year-old Hayes told Dallas' KDFW-TV that he has an affidavit from the seller Hayes introduced to a man who turned out to be undercover Addison (Texas) policeman Denny Kelly.
An affidavit Hayes now displays shows that Ben Kimmell, who received a probated sentence, swears the former player "was not a participant" in the drug deal.
In his affidavit, Kimmell said he was told by the undercover officer: "We don't care about you. We want Bob Hayes."