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May 19, 2008

FSU's Parker pleads guilty to misdemeanors

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida State receiver Preston Parker will have to sit out the first two games of the 2008 season after pleading guilty Monday to two misdemeanor charges.

The 21-year-old Parker, the Seminoles' most versatile player last season, was arrested in April on a felony charge for allegedly having a loaded .45-caliber pistol in the dashboard of his car. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

At the time of his arrest, Parker was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, to which he also pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County.

"Preston made a very serious mistake, and there are consequences when one of our boys gets in trouble," head coach Bobby Bowden said in a statement. "Preston will have the opportunity to continue as a student and as an athlete at Florida State, but he will have to earn that right."

Parker will be a junior in the upcoming season. He is set to sit out games against Western Carolina and Chattanooga, and return to play against Wake Forest.

Parker apologized to his teammates and fans in a statement released by his attorney.

"I fully blame myself for being in this situation, because it could've easily been avoided," Parker wrote.

Parker scored five touchdowns last year. He caught a team-leading 62 passes, was second on the Seminoles in rushing and was Florida State's main punt returner.

As part of a plea agreement, Parker will perform 50 hours of community service and serve 12 months of probation.

Besides the two-game suspension, the university has set several other conditions for Parker to remain on the team. Those include moving into a supervised dorm, going to weekly study hall, performing an additional 50 hours of community service, attending weekly sessions with the school office that enforces NCAA regulations, submitting to drug testing and mentoring at-risk students.

"He wants to move forward with doing whatever he needs to do to get himself back in good graces with the university and back out to what he does on the football field. This is his first step toward doing that," said Parker's attorney, Jason Weiss.

For more coverage of Florida state check out Warchant.com.



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