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Spartans' Dion Sims pleads guilty

Michigan State sophomore tight end Dion Sims pleaded guilty Thursday to felony receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with an alleged crime ring that stole more than 100 laptop computers from Detroit Public Schools.

Sims, indefinitely suspended from the Spartans, accepted a plea deal Thursday and faces sentencing Dec. 6. His status with the team hasn't changed, a team spokesman told me Thursday.

His plea before 36th District Court Judge Kevin Robbins was taken under advisement, meaning he might qualify when sentenced on Dec. 6 for a break for first-time offenders that would clear his record.

"He did not buy the computers or sell them," said Sims' lawyer, Steve Fishman. "He pled guilty to being the middleman."

It's still no excuse. The more I read about this case, the more I want to vomit.

As part of the plea deal, Sims is expected to cooperate with the investigation and provide "truthful testimony" against other people charged in the crime ring.

Although the felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, it sounds like Sims, who has no prior record, could receive just probation and a fine. It will be interesting to see how Michigan State handles his situation going forward.

Fishman said the deal is unlikely to allow Sims to rejoin the football team this year, but he may be allowed to play next season.

The Spartans program took a lot of heat -- justifiably, in my view -- for allowing running back Glenn Winston to rejoin the team the day he was released from jail, a decision that backfired big time with the residence hall assault in December.

People deserve second chances, but Michigan State had better be sure Sims deserves one after the Winston disaster.