March 4, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward James Padgett (35) fights for a rebound with Virginia Cavaliers forward Mike Scott (23) at Comcast Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

James Padgett DWI Trial Set For Friday

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Senior Terrapin James Padgett will take the stand this Friday to contest the DWI charge that he received earlier this year in June, and the ramifications of which will be felt both on and off the court.

Padgett was stopped and charged with driving while impaired by alcohol and a failure to display both front lights near the “Knox boxes” (my former residence) on June 16th at 3:28 AM, according to Maryland court records. The trial date was then set for 1:15 PM on Friday, the 19th of October.

There are obvious legal consequences from such an act, and while it would be foolish (nor is it my place) to speculate on those details, I do know a bit of what could happen to Padgett on the court as a result of this. Padgett is, in all likelihood, going to miss some time for the Terrapins. How long or how many games that will be is unclear at this point, but according to Maryland’s student-athlete Code of Conduct policy, we can get a little insight on what that might be.

Here’s the specific policy that applies to Padgett, found here in the Maryland Student-Athlete Code of Conduct file:

“3. the pre-disposition playing and practice status of a student athlete charged in any locale with DWI and/or DUI, and/or who refuses drug/alcohol chemical testing, shall be suspended from ten percent (10%) of his/her in-season competitive schedule. Suspensions will occur only in those games that comprise the student ­athlete’s sport’s “countable contests” (not exhibitions, scrimmages and/or non-traditional season competitions), and Will commence immediately (current season or at the beginning of the next traditional season if the offense occurs subsequent to the traditional season). If 10% of a competitive schedule is greater than 1 (for example 1.34), the penalty will be rounded M to the next Whole number for fractions between .01 – .49, The penalty will be rounded Lp to the next Whole number if the fraction is between .50 – .99.

4. additional DWI and/or DUI charges will result in a more stringent remedial action, after consultation with the Head Coach and the Sport Supervisor, as determined by the Director of Athletics, up to and including loss of scholarship and/or suspension from all team practices and competitions for a year.”

That’s the policy spelled out for you and it is clear that, while Padgett will more than likely miss some time because of the violation, it may not be substantial. Both Padgett and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that 10% of the games would only be about three contests. Padgett will almost definitely be missing the Kentucky game and the next two, but that is as far as I would like to speculate.

It could be just as possible that he will miss none, but given how specific the student-athlete conduct book is, I wouldn’t bet on that.

All things aside, the Terrapins are going to miss his leadership. Coach Turgeon had high praise for him this offseason, and he is a guy with plenty of experience who can help with the young big men’s progression as players. He may have had a momentary slip in judgement, but that doesn’t mean he is a bad kid in the least. He is actually a solid character guy who, in all likelihood, will bounce back from this and deliver the Terrapins a big season if and when he is eligible to return.

From TerrapinStationMD, here’s to hoping that everything goes smoothly for Mr. Padgett!

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