Washington Gilbert Arenas has a court date and an apparent plea deal is in place, signaling a possible quick resolution to at least one side of a guns-in-the-locker-room confrontation that stained the NBA and jeopardized the career of the three-time All-Star.
Arenas was charged Thursday with felony gun possession — one count of carrying a pistol without a license — a crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court in an “information,” a document that indicates a plea bargain has been reached.
The charge came directly from prosecutors and not in the form of an indictment — even though a grand jury has been investigating — and Arenas was listed on the docket for a court appearance this afternoon.
Washington Wizards guard Arenas has acknowledged storing four unloaded guns in his locker at the Verizon Center, saying he wanted to keep them away from his young children and didn’t know it was a violation of the city’s strict gun laws. He says he took them out of the locker Dec. 21 in a “misguided effort to play a joke” on a teammate.
The criminal charge came on the same day that the teammate, Javaris Crittenton, had his northern Virginia apartment searched by police looking for a silver- or chrome-colored semiautomatic handgun with a black handle. The search warrant indicated police were investigating crimes that include brandishing a weapon. No evidence was seized, according to court documents, and Crittenton has not been charged.
Two league officials have said a spat between Arenas and Crittenton began Dec. 19 while players were playing cards and gambling on the team plane.
Johnson unanimous All-Pro
New York — Chris Johnson didn’t get any votes for MVP. He didn’t miss any for The Associated Press 2009 NFL All-Pro team.
The 2,000-yard rusher from the Tennessee Titans was the only unanimous choice for the squad, announced Thursday. He’s joined in the backfield by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who won an unprecedented fourth Most Valuable Player Award last week, when only quarterbacks received votes.
Hiring restrictions passed
Atlanta — The NCAA’s Div. I Legislative Council on Thursday voted to prohibit schools from hiring anyone associated with a basketball recruit for two years before or after the player enrolls.
The council did not pass a proposal to limit who can be hired as camp instructors.
Joe D’Antonio, the chairman of the council, said schools were concerned they would not be able to stage summer camps with a limited number of employees. He said there is “overwhelming support” at the annual NCAA convention for other proposals to clean up basketball recruiting, which may be voted on in April.
The proposal passed by the council must be affirmed by the Division I board of directors.
Also Thursday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he’s troubled by the recent accusations of the mistreatment of players by college football coaches. He also criticized coaches who move to new jobs while their former schools are being investigated for violations.
Vols eye Duke coach
Knoxville, Tenn. — Duke coach and former Tennessee assistant David Cutcliffe may be a target in the Volunteers’ search for a new head coach. Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton has not commented publicly on who his candidates are to replace Lane Kiffin, who abruptly resigned Tuesday night to coach Southern California.
Boise’s Petersen honored
Houston — Boise State’s Chris Petersen has won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, the second time in four years he’s earned the honor recognizing the nation’s best coach. The Broncos finished a 14-0 season with a 17-10 win over previously unbeaten TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
Six share Sony Open lead
Honolulu — The first full-field event of the PGA Tour season produced quite a logjam, with Robert Allenby and John Merrick the latest to join the six-way tie for the lead Thursday at the Sony Open. They were tied with Davis Love III, Troy Merritt, Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer at 5-under 65.
Owners approve contract
Paradise Valley, Ariz. — Baseball owners unanimously ratified a five-year contract with umpires on Thursday, wrapping up a decade of labor peace in a sport once plagued by work stoppages.
Beltran angers Mets
New York — The New York Mets are upset Carlos Beltran had knee surgery this week after the team asked him to wait while management discussed options with its medical staff.