Plea agreement opens options for Stirrups
Former Hillsborough High all-state defensive lineman Leslie Stirrups, arrested in July on six felony charges relating to the alleged theft of two digital cameras, has entered into a pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders.
Under an agreement reached Monday, Stirrups will serve 100 hours of community service and pay full restitution, and if he completes an 18-month probationary period without further troubles, all charges will be dropped.
Stirrups signed with USF in February but failed to qualify academically. Resolving his legal problems should allow him to enroll at a junior college in January, the first step toward potentially joining the Bulls in 2008 or 2009.
He was to attend Pearl River Community College this fall, with an eye toward USF after that, but Pearl River coach Tim Hatten said in August that he wouldn't take Stirrups after such an arrest. Reached Thursday and told of the plea agreement, Hatten said he would talk with Stirrups, his mother and his attorney, and if those conversations went well, he would be open to Stirrups enrolling at Pearl River in January. Stirrups didn't return messages seeking comment.
It's unclear whether USF would consider taking Stirrups after the arrests, but it speaks in his favor that USF coach Jim Leavitt allowed Stirrups to attend practices occasionally this fall, a courtesy he has extended to other recruits who signed with the Bulls but did not qualify academically.