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Florida State Seminoles reinstate James Wilder after plea deal reached

Former Plant High and current Florida State running back James Wilder was reinstated to the football team Wednesday.

The sophomore pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence stemming from a Feb. 22 arrest, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. He had initially been charged with battery of an officer, firefighter or EMT and resisting an officer with violence, both felonies, and was suspended from the team.

As part of a plea deal, Wilder received six months probation, a $225 fine, nine days in a work camp and an order to apologize to the sheriff's deputy involved.

He is scheduled to make his spring practice debut today.

UF tight end Leonard pleads no contest

GAINESVILLE — Florida tight end A.C. Leonard pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor simple battery charge.

The sophomore received six months' probation and must undergo anger management counseling, according to court records. He cannot have contact with the victim and owes $628 in court fees. He was arrested in February after police said he dragged his live-in girlfriend from the apartment and locked her out during an argument.

After a six-week suspension, coach Will Muschamp allowed Leonard to return to practice last week but has not fully reinstated him. Muschamp said Leonard "has a number of things he has to work through before his status for the fall is addressed.''

Basketball: Sullinger leaves early for NBA

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two-time All-American forward Jared Sullinger said he is giving up his final two seasons with Ohio State to make himself available for the NBA draft in June. He is widely projected as a top 10 pick.

"I feel at peace with the decision I'm making," Sullinger said.

This season Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds, shooting 52 percent from the field, 77 percent at the line and 40 percent on 3-pointers. He was 63-10 as a starter.

Sophomore Deshaun Thomas also might leave early.

samford: Indiana assistant Bennie Seltzer, 41, was named head coach at the school located in a Birmingham, Ala., suburb. The Birmingham native replaces Jimmy Tillette, who was fired after his 15th season.

Tark update: Jerry Tarkanian's son says the former UNLV coach is expected to be out of the hospital Friday, more than two weeks after the 81-year-old had a heart attack.

WOMEN'S ratings: The NCAA women's championship game drew its highest TV rating since 2004. Baylor's 80-61 win Tuesday over Notre Dame on ESPN earned a 3.2 rating, up 14 percent from last season. It was the best rating since a 4.3 for Connecticut's victory over Tennessee eight years ago. Meanwhile, about 2,000 fans welcomed Baylor back to Waco. "I tell you what: You better get your tickets to New Orleans (site of the 2013 Final Four). See you next year," coach Kim Mulkey said.

Softball: Valrico's Kelsey Horton went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs to lead Florida (32-4), ranked No. 6 in the coaches poll, to a 9-1 six-inning victory over No. 21 FSU (33-7) in front of a Seminoles-record crowd of 1,195.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

Florida State Seminoles reinstate James Wilder after plea deal reached 04/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:27am]

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