Friedgen won't re-penalize Henderson in reopened case

DWI charges are refiled against star linebacker

College Football

January 30, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday that he has no intention of further reprimanding star linebacker E.J. Henderson, whose drunk driving charges were recently refiled by the campus police after being dropped last fall.

"When this matter first came up more than four months ago, it was determined that E.J. Henderson violated team rules," Friedgen said in a statement. "He was appropriately disciplined by me in a firm, fair manner."

Henderson, an Aberdeen native who was a consensus All-American as a redshirt junior in 2001, was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence on the College Park campus in the early hours of Sept. 30, hours after the Terps defeated West Virginia. As part of his punishment, Henderson sat out a series of downs in Maryland's next game against Virginia.

The arresting officer failed to appear at a November court hearing concerning the counts against Henderson, which carried a maximum sentence of a one-year jail term, a $1,000 fine or both. That led to the officer's suspension and to the charges being dropped until the state's attorney's office in Prince George's County asked the Department of Public Safety to file the charges again.

"We chose not to refile because for a DWI it's not the normal course," said Capt. Paul Dillon of the campus police. "Once [the state's attorney] wanted us to prosecute, we were obligated."

Henderson, who was notified through a citation last week and was unavailable for comment yesterday, intends to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer, Timothy Maloney. Maloney contends his client is being treated unfairly, but said, "I don't think this will change the ultimate result."

NOTE: Five Maryland players were named to the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-academic team, announced yesterday.

The players were quarterback Shaun Hill (3.50, kinesiological science major), center Melvin Fowler (3.0, communications), offensive guard Todd Wike (3.53, philosophy), strong safety Rod Littles (3.0, family studies) and punter Brooks Barnard (3.0, kinesiological science).

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