McNown charged in UCLA handicapped parking scam

Published Sept. 14, 1999|Updated Sept. 29, 2005

Bears QB is one of 19 former and current Bruin football players involved in the scandal.

Chicago Bears quarterback Cade McNown and Washington Redskins running back Skip Hicks were among five men charged Monday with illegally possessing handicapped parking placards while they played football at UCLA.

The misdemeanor charges filed by the City Attorney's Office brought to 19 the number of current and former Bruins alleged to be part of the handicapped parking scam.

Also named in the new charges were Larry Atkins, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, former UCLA linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and current UCLA player Eric Whitfield.

The five, who also were charged with giving false information on the state Department of Motor Vehicles application for the permits, were scheduled for arraignment today in Los Angeles Municipal Court, along with five other defendants named in charges filed July 8.

McNown, the 12th overall pick in this year's NFL draft, and Hicks had left their teams' practices Monday and were unavailable for comment.

On July 28, nine defendants pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a handicap placard. Municipal Court Judge Sam Ohta ordered each to pay $1,485 in fines and perform 200 hours of community service.

McNown, Hicks and Whitfield were alleged to have illegally obtained the handicapped parking placards in 1996; Ayanbadejo and Atkins in 1997.

Hicks spoke of the situation at the start of training camp in July. "I was young. You do some things you regret when you're young. Yes, I had one. I never parked in a handicapped spot, but I guess that doesn't matter. I shouldn't have had one in the first place," he said. "It's one of those things where you've got to say I'm sorry, learn from your mistakes and move on."

If convicted on the misdemeanor charges, the players could receive a maximum of 18 months in prison and $1,500 in fines, City Attorney Jim Hahn said. Hahn said others remain under investigation by the UCLA Police Department.