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Friday, June 3, 2005
Marinovich ordered into drug rehabilitation program

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Troubled former Southern California and NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich was ordered into a six-month drug rehabilitation program Friday, to be followed by six months of outpatient treatment for violating terms of his probation.

The 35-year-old Marinovich, who is in custody, appeared in Orange County Superior Court's drug court program. He was sentenced by Judge Wendy Lindley.

"It's not a drug court program," deputy district attorney Michelle Clesceri said. "It's more like a one-year, 'Let's see if you can get all this done and recover' situation. He did express to the court his willingness to be free of drugs and live a drug-free life."

Marinovich will remain in county jail before returning to court next Thursday. During that time, he will be interviewed by a staff member of the live-in program to determine if he will be accepted, Clesceri said.

Marinovich, who gave his residence as Newport Beach, was first arrested on drug charges in January 1991 while attending USC. He was a first-round draft choice of the then-Los Angeles Raiders later that year, and played with them for two seasons before being released.

Marinovich later played football in Canada and for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, leaving that team in 2001 after being arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.

He was also arrested on drug charges in 1997 and last August, when he was caught skateboarding in a prohibited area carrying methamphetamine and three syringes, police said.

Marinovich pleaded guilty to those charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years' probation.

The prosecutor said Marinovich's mother was in court with him Friday.