Terps back sentenced to probation L. Washington pleads guilty to forgery count

September 01, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland sophomore running back Larry Washington pleaded guilty to one count of credit card forgery yesterday and was given one year of unsupervised probation while also being required to make restitution and serve 40 hours of community service.

Washington, 20, from Randallstown High, will have to pay $652.14 in restitution. He appeared with his attorney, Gary Neal, yesterday before Prince George's County judge Sylvania Woods.

The Prince George's County state's attorney's office filed charges against Washington on Thursday for forging a check and -- in a separate incident -- forging a signature after a purchase on a credit card.

The charges stem from an incident involving redshirt freshman wide receiver Kevin Washington. The two are not related.

Kevin Washington, 19, from Baltimore's Dunbar High, was arrested and charged Aug. 15 with stealing personal checks from Olusegun Mbanefo, a roommate in their on-campus Leonardtown apartment, and using them to pay for pizza deliveries.

He also was charged with the theft of the credit cards of another roommate, Robert Greer.

Larry Washington, a high school All-America selection and arguably the best running back to come out of the state in the past decade, could have received a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment or a fine of $1,000 or both.

"I'm glad it's over, and I want to put it all behind me," said Larry Washington. "I have been embarrassed, and I'm sorry. I want to go on with my education and football career. Now that all the legal things have been taken care of, I'm hoping to get back to practice."

Maryland first-year coach Mark Duffner, who has suspended Kevin and Larry Washington indefinitely, declined to comment on Larry Washington's status last night.

"I can't comment until I get more information," said Duffner, who learned of Larry Washington's sentence while walking from the practice field.

Larry Washington said he will contact Duffner today. There's a slight possibility Washington's case might have to be reviewed by the university judicial program's office.

Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger was not available for comment last night.

"I don't think there's a need for a judicial review, because everything happened off campus," said Larry Washington. "If Maryland doesn't accept me back, I'm sure I'll play somewhere. I'd like for it to be at Maryland, though."

Washington, 5 feet 10, 215 pounds, played sparingly last season, rushing 51 times for 195 yards. But his speed and power made him potentially one of the best runners in the school's history.

Washington struggled academically last season, but made improvements in two summer sessions to become eligible for the season.

"I think Larry is very relieved, because we didn't have a clue what the judge's result would be," said Neal. "I know Larry would like to go back to the University of Maryland, and he's ready to take his punishment like a man. It was a first-time offense, and he knows he has let a lot of people down and he has apologized to his family, merchants and teammates."

"I think the sentence was fair, and it has given Larry the opportunity to make amends," said Randallstown coach John Buchheister. "And, if it happens again, I won't feel sorry for him."

NOTE: Maryland senior inside linebacker Mike Jarmolowich (sprained arch) practiced for the first time yesterday.

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