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Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Willie Williams Recruiting Saga cont'd

Willie Williams

Willie Williams is out of jail. Broward Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan said he could leave jail on a $2,500 bond. Kaplan said he is concerned about Williams' behavior once he's released from jail, but decided to put him on house arrest because his legal proceedings might drag on and hurt his chances of finishing high school. Kaplan said he does not consider Williams a risk of flight.

While on house arrest, Williams will wear an electronic monitor. He will be allowed to leave his home only for court appearances and school.

Canes recruit is out of jail [Miami Herald]
Willie Williams released on $2,500 bond

GAINESVILLE -- A high school teammate who joined Willie Williams on a recruiting trip to Florida said the 19-year-old linebacker appeared to be "under the influence of something" during a wild evening that resulted in three sworn complaints being filed against Williams.

Williams was 'out of control,' teammate says [Palm Beach Post]
The Willie Williams Recruiting Diaries and Scandal [TJN]

update Jully 2004: Miami takes Willie Williams despite his legal problems.
MIAMI (AP) - Miami will admit top recruit Willie Williams, but will impose tough conditions on the star linebacker who has a lengthy arrest record the school was unaware of when it offered him a scholarship.

In a letter announcing the decision, university president Donna Shalala said the school has "placed the bar high" for Williams, considered the top high school linebacker by many recruiting services.

"There will be academic conditions that he must meet to play football at Miami," Shalala wrote in the letter released to the campus community Tuesday. "Additionally, he will participate in a program that we provide for all athletes that provides mentoring, constructive counseling and monitoring of their behavior - both on and off campus."

Athletic director Paul Dee and coach Larry Coker scheduled a news conference later Tuesday, with Williams expected to attend.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Williams pleaded no contest earlier this summer in two separate episodes that occurred in Gainesville during his official visit to Florida, one of his many pursuers. He faced a felony count of setting off fire extinguishers at his hotel, along with a misdemeanor battery charge for hugging a woman without consent.

Each plea resulted in a year's probation being levied against Williams, whose arrest record dates back to 1999, mainly for theft and burglary. What happened in Gainesville could have sent Williams to jail for a year; he was already on probation for a 2002 felony burglary charge.

A University of Miami panel ultimately recommended that the school admit the Parade All-American.

Miami's Top Recruit Williams Will Enroll This Fall [collegesports.com, July 27, 2004]

update Dec 2004:

Miami linebacker Willie Williams and defensive back Rash-aun Jones escaped injury Sunday (Dec. 26, 2004) when Williams lost control of his vehicle while driving to join the Hurricanes for bowl preparations in Atlanta.

2 Miami players uninjured in crash [St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 27, 2004]
Willie Williams Miami Hurricanes profile
Willie Williams HS '04 profile

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