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Archive for Friday, November 4, 2005

Giddens eager to move ahead

November 4, 2005

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— J.R. Giddens wants people to know he is a better man than the one portrayed by prosecutors and newspaper accounts describing his role in a fight May 19 outside a Lawrence bar.

The junior transfer from Kansas University spoke after a University of New Mexico men's basketball practice Wednesday about his decision to plead no contest earlier this week to misdemeanor battery.

"That's not who I am, (but) people will think what they think," Giddens told the Albuquerque Tribune. "Hopefully, people will judge me by what I do from now on and not something that happened in the past. I've accepted my wrongdoing in this. I'm past it, and I hope everybody else gets past it, too."

Giddens received one year's probation and must spend two days in an anger-management class. He said he did not know when the class would take place. In exchange for Giddens' no-contest plea, the prosecutor dropped a charge of disorderly conduct.

Giddens had pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, but chose to end the legal proceedings Monday as painlessly as possible. He said his decision was prompted in part by discussions with the UNM coaches.

"The coaching staff thought it would be a smart thing to get it behind us -- admit to what I've done wrong and get it behind us," Giddens said.

UNM coach Ritchie McKay said Giddens-as-victim is a story that has been overlooked. He was stabbed in the calf by Jeremiah Creswell and suffered a severed artery.

"It was a bad night (for J.R.) -- and he was stabbed," McKay said. "He didn't have a knife.

"I am not exonerating him. He admitted his part in it. Let's judge him by who he is at UNM and what he does in our program and our community. He understands what values our program is interested in."

Moon Bar fight

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