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Fields to enter first-offender program after scuffle with police

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt basketball player Levance Fields will
spend nine months on probation in a special program for first-time
offenders to settle criminal charges stemming from a scuffle with
police, his attorney said Tuesday.

Fields, a junior point guard, was charged with aggravated
assault, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and other counts
after the Sept. 16 altercation outside a nightclub.

Authorities dropped all the charges, except for simple assault.
Fields will appear in county court Oct. 26 to enter the program for
first-time offenders. If he completes the nine-month probation
without incident, his record will be expunged, defense attorney
Robert DelGreco Jr. said after a hearing Tuesday in which the deal
was struck.

"I think this addresses the government's concern for
punishment, but also allows us to earn a clear record," DelGreco
said.

In a statement, coach Jamie Dixon said, "The initial report of
this incident did not reflect the young man I have come to know."

Fields had not been involved in team workouts since his arrest,
but will be able to participate now, an school spokesman said.

"We have let the judicial process run its course and
acknowledge today's decision," Dixon said. "Levance has been, and
will continue to be, held to our team's disciplinary standards.
Those disciplinary actions will remain within the confines of our
program."

Fields, a 5-foot-10 native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a starter at
point guard since his freshman season, led Pitt in assists last
season and was the team's fourth-leading scorer with 9.2 points per
game.

In the altercation last month, Fields was arguing with another
man and yelling obscenities when an off-duty police officer who was
working security tried to subdue him. Fields punched the officer in
the chest, then grabbed at the officer's weapon, police said.
Officers then used a Taser to subdue Fields.

"We acknowledge wrongdoing and accepted responsibility and were
grateful for what we believe to be a fair but firm disposition,"
DelGreco said.