tampabay.com

Fisher arrested again, charged with driving on suspended license

By GREG AUMAN
Published February 5, 2005


TAMPA - Former USF football star Brian Fisher was arrested for the fourth time in 11 months Thursday, charged with a felony count of driving with a suspended license as a habitual offender and a misdemeanor count of giving a false name to an officer.

Fisher, who is attending Hillsborough Community College with the hope of returning to USF this fall, was released on $2,500 bond early Friday morning. USF's offensive MVP in 2003, he left the program last summer after multiple arrests relating to nonpayment of child support.

While his return remains unlikely, Bulls coach Jim Leavitt said he hasn't ruled it out, providing he clears up his problems.

"If he gets all his academic work done, I told him we would sit down then and discuss whether to go forward from there," said Leavitt, who was unaware of the arrest.

Leavitt also said he might allow receiver Darren Haliburton to return in the spring, though not on scholarship.

Haliburton spent three months in jail last spring after he pleaded guilty to two counts of battery, including one noted as domestic violence, and trespassing. He was arrested in September 2003, accused of battery on a pregnant ex-girlfriend in two separate campus incidents. He remains on probation, and has been enrolled at USF since last fall. He would have two years of eligibility remaining if reinstated.

"Coach Leavitt has told me that if I came back, my next mistake would be my last mistake," Haliburton said last month. "Darren Haliburton isn't going to make any more mistakes, and you can write that down."

'NOLE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGE: Florida State redshirt freshman defensive tackle Chris Bradwell was arrested and charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor, late Thursday and has been suspended from the team indefinitely.

Tallahassee Police officers showed up at Bradwell's on-campus dorm in connection with the fraudulent use of a credit card belonging to freshman fullback Joe Surratt. The officers could smell marijuana and, after asking to enter the room, saw the drug on the computer desk, police said.

Bradwell, who played in five games and had one tackle last season, was taken to the Leon County jail and bonded out for $150 at 5:09 a.m. The use of the credit card, a misdemeanor, is still under investigation, but if Bradwell repays Surratt, it's likely that police won't pursue it further.

According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, Bradwell, 21, pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct (an adjudication of guilt was withheld) when he was arrested in August 2003 by the Tallahassee police on a felony charge of obstructing a firefighter.

USF LOSES PRIZED RECRUIT: USF had hoped to bolster its recruiting class by adding coveted defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois of Miami Carol City, but he appears to be headed to LSU. "He came into my office and asked for his scholarship papers for LSU," Carol City coach Walt Frazier said. "He said he was going to sign with LSU (Friday)." LSU and USF did not report any new signees.

MORE MONEY FOR BCS TEAMS: While changes to the Bowl Championship Series ranking system still appear months away, there will be more money for the top teams. Commissioners from the 11 Division I-A conferences and Notre Dame's athletic director reached agreements in principle with the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls to remain part of the BCS through 2009. The Rose Bowl has its own deal. Under the deal that would go into effect during the 2006 season, team payouts would start around $17-million and increase to about $18.5-million by the end of the deal. BCS teams from last season will get about $16-million each.

FLORIDA A&M: Five Florida A&M assistant coaches, including the younger brother of head coach Billy Joe, resigned Friday in another troubling sign for the embattled Division I-AA program. Offensive coordinator and receivers coach James Joe, interim defensive coordinator and secondary coach Derek Hill, running backs coach Allen Bogan, defensive line coach Herbert Moore and linebackers and special teams coach Terry Jones all left - leaving just two assistants on the staff. No reason for the departures was announced.

OLE MISS: Officials said transfer BenJarvus Green-Ellis is attending classes and has signed to play for the Rebels - even after Indiana's coach said Green-Ellis is contemplating a return to Bloomington. Leah Miller, the NCAA certification officer at Ole Miss, confirmed Green-Ellis has been enrolled in Oxford since late last month. School spokesman Langston Rogers said the running back signed an SEC athletic scholarship earlier this week. But Wednesday, Hoosiers coach Terry Hoeppner told reporters that Green-Ellis called another Indiana coach and said he wanted to return to the team.

- Times staff writer Brian Landman and Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.