Jul 24, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT
Wide receiver Will Mahone, whose future at Notre Dame is still uncertain, was sentenced to 10 days in Mahoning County jail on Wednesday stemming from an arrest in June. Mahone has been indefinitely suspended from the football team by Brian Kelly and is not enrolled at the university.
Mahone pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assault and aggravated menacing, with felony charges wiped off of his record.
The Youngstown Vindicator has more on the plea struck by Mahone and his attorney, and the leniency shown to him by the court.
Judge David A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Area Court told Mahone, “I’m giving you much less of a sentence that I think is probably appropriate, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
The sentencing came after a presentation by Ken Cardinal, an assistant county prosecutor, comments from Mahone’s lawyer, James Gentile, and four people who spoke about Mahone’s character.
“I just feel terrible about [the incident], every day,” Mahone said. “I just can’t say enough of how sorry I am.”
What this does for Mahone’s future — at Notre Dame or any other program — is still uncertain. But the dismissal of felony charges, a huge sticking point for any student-athlete, is significant.
Mahone’s status with the university will need to be addressed by the school first, with a hearing likely in the books. His role on the Irish football team, where he’s yet to make an impact and has been buried on the depth chart for three seasons, also seems in jeopardy as well.
The arrest took place in Mahone’s hometown, where he starred as a multi-sport athlete in high school. The community rallied around Mahone, with many people in court supporting him and his character, as Mahone immediately sought forgiveness for his actions rather than fight to prove his innocence.
At this point, I’d be shocked if we ever see Mahone in a Notre Dame uniform. But the timing of the sentencing, freeing Mahone from jail by the end of August and forced to only serve a year on probation, should allow him to head to another program, perhaps as early as this fall.
Wherever he resurfaces, hopefully Mahone learns from the incident, proves the judge in the case right to give him a second chance, and finishes his degree and resurrects his playing career.