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Friday, August 18, 2006
Probation terminated six months early for ex-Hurricane

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former University of Miami linebacker Willie Williams was rewarded for good behavior and had his probation terminated Friday, six months early, his attorney said.

Williams had been serving 36 months' probation after pleading no contest to a felony and a misdemeanor charge stemming from a recruiting visit to the University of Florida, his attorney Paul Lazarus said.

He faced a misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly hugging a woman without consent and a felony charge of setting off fire extinguishers at his hotel. His probation was scheduled to end in February.

"He's very happy," Lazarus said after the hearing.

Because Williams plans to transfer to another school out of state he needed to either have his probation transferred or terminated, Lazarus said.

Lazarus would not say where Williams planned to transfer. Earlier this week, Williams intended to enroll at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, but that plan went awry days later -- leaving him without a team.

While on probation Williams had to attend classes, stay within certain geographic boundaries, refrain from drinking alcohol, perform a number of hours of community service and not violate any other laws, Lazarus said.

"Obviously, for someone who had a troubled past, the most important condition was not to get in any trouble, and he didn't," Lazarus said.

Williams' trouble with the law became public in February 2004 when his record of 11 arrests was revealed on the same day he signed a letter of intent with the Hurricanes.

He was allowed to enroll at Miami, provided he adhered to strict academic and off-field ground rules. But he never became a starter with the Hurricanes, which prompted his search for a new school.