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USF center is charged

South Florida center Will McDonald has been charged with domestic battery, a misdemeanor, the State Attorney's office said Thursday.

McDonald, 23, was arrested Jan. 24 on charges of false imprisonment, a felony, and battery, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors said the felony charge was dropped.

"The victim did not wish to prosecute; however we had two independent eyewitnesses to the incident so we feel confident we can proceed with a misdemeanor battery," State Attorney's spokeswoman Pam Bondi said.

According to the incident report, McDonald and an ex-girlfriend were "involved in a verbal argument which became violent." McDonald missed one game after his arrest, and since then he has been the first USF athlete with a pending felony charge to play in games, according to sports information director John Gerdes.

University policy says a student-athlete charged with a felony cannot represent the university in game competition until the charge is resolved, "absent extraordinary circumstances." McDonald was reinstated by athletic director Lee Roy Selmon on Jan. 27 in a school news release: "Based on further investigation and in concurrence with university policy, the athletic department determined that Will McDonald can travel and participate for the men's basketball team."

Selmon was at the Conference USA men's tournament Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

"I believe there are some differences in our policy regarding various charges, and we'll have to go back and review that," he said. "You're always hoping for the best outcome, and we'll wait and see what happens. We'll just follow our policy."

McDonald likely concluded his collegiate career in Thursday's 62-56 quarterfinal loss to Memphis, unless USF (15-13) is selected for postseason play. He led the Bulls with 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds and was third-team all-conference.

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