Archive for Tuesday, January 11, 2011

City prosecutor reveals details of Mario Little’s diversion agreement

Basketball player must complete anger management classes and community service

Mario Little, who is suspended, stands to watch the action from the bench during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Mario Little, who is suspended, stands to watch the action from the bench during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

January 11, 2011, 5:35 p.m. Updated January 11, 2011, 7:06 p.m.

Advertisement

Kansas University senior basketball player Mario Little must complete anger management counseling and 30 hours of community service as part of a diversion agreement for his battery case in Lawrence Municipal Court.

City prosecutor Jerry Little also said Tuesday afternoon that victims in the case didn’t want to prosecute.

“He committed these offenses,” Jerry Little said. “And I think what he got out of it from diversion is more than what he’d get if we went to trial and he was found guilty.”

KU coach Bill Self had said Monday night that Mario Little had received a diversion agreement on two battery charges related to a Dec. 16 incident in which he was accused of shoving a 22-year-old woman into a sink. Self also announced he cleared Little, a redshirt senior from Chicago, to return to competition after missing six games during a suspension.

Jerry Little on Tuesday released the terms the two sides agreed to for the diversion agreement on two counts of misdemeanor battery. To qualify for diversion defendants must have no prior criminal history.

Jerry Little said the terms are:

• To stay out of further legal trouble for one year.

• Write a letter of apology to the victims in the case.

• Complete anger management counseling at his own cost. Self has said counseling will continue through the basketball season.

• Pay $250 in diversion fees and court costs.

• Complete 30 hours of community service.

Mario Little had apologized publicly the morning after he was arrested.

According to the original police report, officers said early on Dec. 16 he confronted the woman who was inside a residence with a 19-year-old Lawrence man. Jerry Little on Tuesday referred to the woman as Mario Little’s ex-girlfriend.

The report said Little then got into an altercation with the man and chased the woman as she ran to a nearby residence, where he later pushed her into a sink.

He had originally faced two more counts of battery for pushing another woman and an altercation with another man. Jerry Little said his office agreed to drop those two counts along with charges of criminal damage and trespassing.

He said Mario Little either has already repaired or agreed to repair a door he damaged that night.

Jerry Little and Mario Little are not related.

Self on Tuesday further discussed his decision to reinstate Little for competition.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. I believe 100 percent in my heart it’s the right decision,” Self said. “I tried to look at it as if he was my own child. We let the legal system play out. He got diversion (for the two battery charges), went through the courts, he’s done a lot of things through us.

“I had thought that holding him out six games and bringing him back for conference if I was going to bring him back was the right time to do it.

“He’s handled this as well as you can considering how much it’s hurt him,” Self added.

Self said removing Little from the program simply did not fit in this particular situation.

“A big part of his life is wrapped into what happens here with him as a Kansas basketball player. Five minutes of whatever happened — and we know something did happen and it was wrong — to totally affect his opportunity to play overseas, his opportunity to finish in uniform and have a good experience that would be a good springboard for the rest of his life over that I thought was too severe to take from him,” Self said.

“I feel I’d seriously be letting him down as his coach, somebody that said I’d always look out for him and have his back in this particular situation because I believe he has done what he should have done (since the incident) and certainly I know the remorse he feels and has felt because of it.”

Gary Bedore also contributed to this report.

Comments

Number_1_Grandma 4 years, 7 months ago

"Jerry Little and Mario Little are not related."

Might as well be....way to go light on him!

Rock Chalk KU....that's what it's all about.....

woodscolt 4 years, 7 months ago

Okay granny, you have no respect for the fact that the law, not you, decide what punishment is appropriate and that Bill Self is a bigger and wiser person than you are. Mario Little has been substantially punished for his behavior. Both his diversion and re-admittance to the basketball team come with substantial conditions he must abide by. Just because he didn't get the death penalty as you desire doesn't mean anyone gives a rats behind what you think. Go find a friend or a self help group to help you , don't expect to cure yourself insulting Mario Little or Bill Self.

FarmerBoy 4 years, 7 months ago

--- the victims did not want to persecute...that says a lot..

The Law prevails here buddy.

Pius Waldman 4 years, 7 months ago

Granny I'd laugh at your comment but it isn't funny. Have you read the agreement to diversion. Remember after punishment we need to hope Little can go forward. Yes we all Rock Chalk KU

Paula Kissinger 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually it truly is about the same sentence he would have received in court. So...that said, I am pleased with the way this has turned out and hope that Mario has learned some valuable life lessons, completes his sentence successfully and enjoys a good academic and athletic year.

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

Yesterday you weren't so forgiving, granny. Remember what you said?:

"This is a disgrace to the University and a loud shout of KU athletes can do whatever they want and get away with it...again...and again...and again"

Its hard to respect the opinion of a person when that opinion changes with the wind. So do us all a favor, and keep your opinions to yourself. Trust me, my suggestion is win/win. We don't have to suffer you, and you don't have to suffer embarrassment.

JackMcKee 4 years, 7 months ago

This is just about the way I thought this would go. However, it seems like there wasn't much of a case there if the "victims" refused to testify. Mario could have rolled the dice and let the prosecutor try to convict without witnesses. The prosecution wouldn't have very good odds of winning. I bet he agreed to the diversion so he could get back to playing. If it went to trial Bill probably would have made him sit out until the trial.

7texdude 4 years, 7 months ago

I hope Mario fulfills the biggest part of the agreement: stay out of trouble. Self is sticking his kneck out for him big-time. If Mario screws up, he will smear his coach and his university for a long time. And when he does play, Mario better be great.

I'm a fan of Self, but he is starting to remind of Barry Switzer and the OU football program back in the day. The only thing that mattered was winning and nothing else.

woodscolt 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow!!!!! You just put Self in the same sentence with Barry Switzer. Geeze, lord help you.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 7 months ago

this is not about being Great.. we do not need Mario and lineup fine. this IS about Self caring about the young man and this his last semester. Little gave all he could for us fans ... he deserves a LITTLE break

jayhonk 4 years, 7 months ago

Most misdemeanor assault cases go to diversion for first time offenders (unless the person really thinks they are innocent). There is no special treatment for a KU athlete here. It is just reality. And it not such a bad thing, all things considered.

timetospeakup 4 years, 7 months ago

Agreed - anybody that's going to make a lifestyle out of being a criminal will be past their one nearly-free-pass and dealing with the courts in earnest in short order anyway.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

I have to disagree.

Any sort of violent offense shouldn't be allowed to go to diversion.

Even if that is currently the case with the majority of those offenses.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 7 months ago

this county court will never sentence even if felony! the crazy system has a slide rule and people who stab people in this county go free. know for a fact. shoving match no big deal. many stabbings in Lawrence have gone with no jail time ... shoving ... lets get serious and prosecute the REAL VIOLENT offenders in this county!!!

amesn 4 years, 7 months ago

Its no offense to Mario but why do people continue to insist that Self cleared Mario so that we can win games? Granted we are about to embark into tougher competition soon but with or without Mario we will win. Honestly, I really don't anticipate Mario getting much playing time, even with Releford out with injury. If all of our bigs venture into foul trouble he may become a necessity but beyond that he is merely some resting minutes for the twins and Thomas.

brewmaster 4 years, 7 months ago

another fine reflection on KU athletics

HaRDNoK9 4 years, 7 months ago

Good for him on getting the diversion, I hope he can keep himself out of trouble! Hope the anger management does him some good, too. Big tough athlete who can't control his temper well enough to refrain from pushing women around. That particular 5 minutes that Self talked about might not justify ruining his life, but I hope the realization that he is a coward is effective enough to give him pause in the future, despite how well he can play ball.

Paula Kissinger 4 years, 7 months ago

"Its no offense to Mario but why do people continue to insist that Self cleared Mario so that we can win games?"

Because this is what is has always been here with baseball, basketball, football, .... it is an AD thing. With the AD winning is the only thing...doesn't matter who the AD Director is...think it is part of the job description...yes, that last part was humor.

To those of you so quick to state that I have changed my tune...back up. Seeing that there actually IS a diversion agreement and that there will be time served is better than 80% of other KU athletes/Court outcomes and I am glad about that...it is rare. Most AD cases disappear or are continued until the athlete leaves town and then are dismissed. No recant...just stating that it appears justice is served so all may continue as usual again.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

I see nothing in the article about time served.

What are you referring to?

Enoughsaid 4 years, 7 months ago

Shame on Coach Self. Any man who shoves a female is a coward and should be dismissed from the team. Over the years there have been numerous KU athletes arrested for various crimes, all the way to serious felonies. ( I would love for the Journal-World to do a five year recap of all the arrest for KU athletes).

The Athletic Department should have their new hire, ex-Police Chief Ron Olin do a major police background check on all future athlete's who get a full scholarship before they sign. If a police department or the military wouldn't accept this person, why should the Athletic Department.

Most people would be on cloud nine to get a full ride to a major university and all you have to do is go to class and play a sport you love. How hard can it be, you have a tutor, you have someone check on you at each class to make sure you are there and all you have to do is act as if your are as smart as a fifth grader.

I really doubt that Mario Little can stay out of legal trouble for a year and his true self will reappear. I wonder down the road when Mario is serving jail time, will his father figure coach Bill Self come visit him or will the coach write him off as another bad apple. Mario Little is a (Little Thug) and if he want's to shove someone, try that on a football player and see what happens.

Enoughsaid 4 years, 7 months ago

Shame on Coach Self. Any man who shoves a female is a coward and should be dismissed from the team. Over the years there have been numerous KU athletes arrested for various crimes, all the way to serious felonies. ( I would love for the Journal-World to do a five year recap of all the arrest for KU athletes).

The Athletic Department should have their new hire, ex-Police Chief Ron Olin do a major police background check on all future athlete's who get a full scholarship before they sign. If a police department or the military wouldn't accept this person, why should the Athletic Department.

Most people would be on cloud nine to get a full ride to a major university and all you have to do is go to class and play a sport you love. How hard can it be, you have a tutor, you have someone check on you at each class to make sure you are there and all you have to do is act as if your are as smart as a fifth grader.

I really doubt that Mario Little can stay out of legal trouble for a year and his true self will reappear. I wonder down the road when Mario is serving jail time, will his father figure coach Bill Self come visit him or will the coach write him off as another bad apple. Mario Little is a (Little Thug) and if he want's to shove someone, try that on a football player and see what happens.

ecilop 4 years, 7 months ago

Mario Little is not a thug or even close. He is a decent guy that paid his penalty for a bad decision in an emotional moment. Self did the right thing for Mario by sticking with him even though he made that bad decision. I wish the bitter MU and KSU fans would stop the jealousy. Mario never made excuses or blamed anyone for his emotional anger, he simply embraced his error and asked forgivness. I think he deserves it.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Would you apply that logic to all guys who shove their ex-girlfriends and maybe other people, or only to KU athletes?

MyName 4 years, 7 months ago

There's a big difference between shoving someone (even a woman) when you're ticked off about your relationship, and actually being abusive towards them. You can tell which one this is by the fact that the woman wasn't hurt badly, and didn't want to run back with the abuser.

The bottom line is that Mario Little did something stupid, but so do alot of people his age. The only reason this is newsworthy is because he's an athlete.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Not really an answer to my question, though, is that?

HaRDNoK9 4 years, 7 months ago

"There's a big difference between shoving someone (even a woman) when you're ticked off about your relationship, and actually being abusive towards them."

Nonsense.

"The only reason this is newsworthy is because he's an athlete."

Nonsense. If he had not been an athlete, this may not have worked out so well for Mario Little.

He went inside of an ex girlfriend's house and assaulted the male companion he found with her. Then he chased her to a neighbor's house and broke down the door, assaulted the neighbor and then assaulted his ex.
The fact that he had plenty of time to think about what he was doing on the drive to the ex's house makes this a little more than a 5 minute screw up. It makes this a crime of passion. Stalking, multiple assault and batteries, breaking and entering, trespassing, criminal damage to property.

God forbid my door get kicked down at 5 am by an ex boyfriend of the hysterical woman that just happened to choose my house to seek refuge. It would not be a situation I'd like to find myself in at all.

I'm glad that Mario Little is getting a second chance to use his brain the next time he gets ticked off. I'm glad he is taking responsibility for his actions. He was very lucky in more ways than one.

MyName 4 years, 7 months ago

"Nonsense" isn't an actual response. It's something you say when you don't have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation. Why is what I said "nonsense?"

Again, compare the number of actual domestic disputes to the number of ones that make anything but the crime page, and you can see that the big difference is the fact that Little was an athlete. The only thing that comes close was when the idiot in McCollum last year got mad at his girlfriend and they evacuated the building.

There are a number of reasons why you can get mad at the treatment of Athletes in society, but you can't tell me that there aren't 20 year olds who do stupid stuff, get in trouble with the law, and then get a diversion. Little's behavior isn't egregious, and in my opinion, the punishment fit the crime.

HaRDNoK9 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey, if you are the kind of man who can justify shoving a woman around, then you are right. I don't have anything to add to that particular part of the conversation.
I do think the punishment fit the crime. I am glad nobody was seriously hurt, (including him) because when you are in the business of kicking in doors to attack people, the stupidity argument doesn't always fly.

CHKNLTL 4 years, 7 months ago

anybody can apply for diversion on their first misdemeanor crime....even if they put someone in the hospital without teeth or whatever. the idea of the courts is that IF a person is a real offender, the person won't last a whole year without getting into more trouble of the same kind. Diversions save a lot of tax dollars in court operation, so it is a suitable option from that point of view. However, I do think that since ALL athletes are SUPPOSED to be good role models (and anyone in sports at any level for that matter) for young people, it would look a lot better for this university if every one could behave all the time.

topeka52 4 years, 7 months ago

Many of the players on all college campus's are kids who have great athletic abilities and can play the "game" at a much higher level than about 99% of us. Many of those same players are from a single parent household and have rarely had a father figure in their lives. Yes, they are given a truely awsome gift in being on our team or any other college team with a scolarship. Their college coaches are a father figure for the first time.

Bill Self and the other coaches and AD administration I am sure are on this kid much harder than you all may believe. Mario messed up with out doubt, he pushed a woman in a heated moment-still wrong but he is paying a price throught the civil system and has and is paying a price in Bill Self's doghouse.

Try looking pat your narrow view points and think what you would do if this was your child and how you would try to protect them.

ralphralph 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe a little "plumbing care" class, too? You just cannot mistreat fixtures like that and not adversely affect their useful life.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow.

Any source or evidence for your accusation?

Or do you just like to blame the victims of assault/battery in general?

ksriver2010 4 years, 7 months ago

While being suspended, Little should not have been allowed to sit on the bench. Do it like hockey - make him attend the game, but he cannot participate in the game, sit on the bench, or go to the locker room. The picture above makes him look like a leader or something!

number1jayhawker 4 years, 7 months ago

I just wonder how Bill Self, who I respect a whole lot, would have reacted if the exgirlfriend or the other woman he shoved was his daughter? I know if it would have been my daughter he abused, I would have a hard time restraining myself from at least verbally assaulting him.

Oh and btw for those who keep saying he just temporarily lost it with his ex, there were two different women and a couple of guys he abused, not just his ex.

kubsdrvr 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow to call what happened abuse is a stretch, considering you have absolutely no details or willing testifiers on the ACTUAL event that happened.

I know I'm opening myself up to people calling me a "thug" "abuser" no good piece of whatever. When I was a much younger man I had fight with a girlfriend, and didn't want the fight to continue so I said I was leaving. The ex-gf grabbed me by both arms and prevented me from leaving. I threw my arms up to get her hands off me and she fell back into a plush chair. I immediately realized that she may have been hurt and rushed to make sure she was okay. Luckily it was a soft chair and she was uninjured.

Nothing even similar has happened in over ten years! Should I be arrested, and locked away forever? I don't think so. If I was lucky enough to be a college BBall player with a chance at a career doing what I love, should it have been stripped from me? Again I say NO.

As HCBS says, Mario is very hurt by his own actions. Wouldn't you be if, one moment of time on a bad judgement call, meant your hopes and dreams were dash on the rocks and your life was a shipwreck? There is good in this. He is being forced to go to Anger Management classes. I think all teenagers and athletes should be taught to handle their anger. The level of competition they face just seems to bring it out in them. It's hormones and testosterone. IMHO

That said. Rock Chalk

squawkhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Simply by touching the other girl, regardless of your intent, she could have filed assault charges against you and you could have been arrested. It is the law regardless of how you feel about it or what you "think". More than likely, since you were not a KU BB player, you probably would have gotten a stiffer punishment than a few hours of community service, writting letters against your will, and paying for any damages.

MyName 4 years, 7 months ago

Umm yes, and he could also have filed charges against her for much the same reason. This is the reason why domestic disputes are a thorny knot that most prosecutors don't want to have to deal with.

prrkc 4 years, 7 months ago

So what's the deal with the student manager that BS said 'would hopefully be back with us soon'? How exactly did that detail get dropped, LJS, Star, etc.?

I have a funny feeling she isn't welcome anymore- not that I would want to come back.

Pretty disgusting that his reinstatement was justified in part by BS because he wants to make sure he has a chance to play overseas. Absurd- shows exactly what is most important. Namely - #1 make sure we have another spare guard in case we need it (sort of similar to the 'let's make sure Sherron's court date is after the season, we need our point guard' deal), #2 make sure I have another player has a pro career to help me recruit.

And on the charges being dropped / no one being willing to prosecute- gee, we've never heard that before, have we?

JackMcKee 4 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self never said she would be back on the team. He said she might be back in the Athletic Department. This is pure speculation on my part, but I presume that there are rules in place regarding KU AD Employees and student athletes dating. She probably got fired when it was discovered that she was dating Little. Apparently she also gets around to other sports teams as well.

As for the last sentence, it's not surprising at all. Mario beat up 230 lb athlete that he caught in bed with his girlfriend. It's not surprising he didn't want to press charges.

LeftyHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

No matter how hard he abused the girl it's too bad that not much is happening to him. This kind of higher profile case only encourages more women to not get out of abusive relationships. What's extra bad about this case is that, IF he beat her as bad as it sounds (third hand) then it's troubling to think of him back representing KU in a KU uniform. I'd like to know if the NCAA will allow KU Athletics Corporation to pay for Little's costs associated with this including any hush money to make it go away.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.