CORVALLIS, Ore. - Two former Oregon State football players convicted of felony assault for beating another student were sentenced Monday to 10 days in jail, three years' probation and 150 hours of community service.
Robert Prescott and Alton "Junior" Adams - who transferred to Montana State - also were ordered to pay $1,324 in fines and court fees.
"Although you did not set out that night looking for a fight, it is clear that this was a highly explosive situation that got out of control," said Benton County Circuit Court Judge Janet Holcomb.
The charges were brought following a fight at a party last July 22. The student, Victor Becerra, 22, was beaten and kicked so badly that he couldn't walk. He suffered no permanent injuries.
"I hope a lot of people learn from this - a lot of athletes, a lot of football players on the Oregon State team," Adams said. "I want them to learn to make better decisions when they're going out to parties. To tell you the truth, we shouldn't be at house parties."
Prescott and Adams, both receivers, were among five initially charged in the case. James Newson was acquitted and defensive back Dennis Weathersby and linebacker Noah Happe were not indicted.
Montana State coach Mike Kramer has said he knew about the charges against Adams when he was recruiting him, but pursued him based on OSU coach Dennis Erickson's recommendation.
On March 1, Prescott and Adams were convicted of third-degree assault and two misdemeanors - recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct. The maximum sentence for the assault charge is five years in prison and a $100,000 fine, but penalties that severe rarely are imposed.
Holcomb said she would allow Prescott, 22, and Adams, 21, to serve three days of their sentence on a work crew. She said they may request that the felony convictions be reduced to misdemeanors after one year if they meet the terms of their probation.
Becerra called the sentence "a little weak" but said he was glad the players received jail time.
He said the beating distracted him from schoolwork and burdened his family.
Adams and Prescott also spoke before sentencing, apologizing to Becerra and his family and to their family members who sat through the trial and sentencing.
"I'm sorry for what happened to you, Victor," Prescott said. "I really am."
Adams, a sophomore last season from Fremont, Calif., transferred to Montana State, which plays the Beavers at Reser Stadium on Sept. 15. Newson was a redshirt freshman last season and remains on the team. The players were suspended by Erickson for the first three games of the season, all against non-conference opponents.