After plea deal, Pitt reinstates Sheard
Jabaal Sheard, the Pitt football defensive end who had faced felony charges in connection with a fight last month on the South Side, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single summary offense.
Charges including aggravated assault, resisting arrest and criminal mischief were withdrawn by prosecutors.
Sheard, 21, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He also agreed to pay medical bills for the victim, Edward Parker, 27, of Stanton Heights, and write a letter of apology to him.
District Judge Robert Ravenstahl approved the plea agreement and ordered Sheard to pay a fine of $300, plus court costs.
After the hearing, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt announced that Sheard has been reinstated following a two-week suspension from the team for his involvement in the off-campus incident. Wannstedt did say, however, that Sheard will continue to be subject to internal discipline and accountability.
"This situation with Jabaal was as surprising as it was disappointing to me," Wannstedt said. "Until this incident, his behavior has always been representative of the high standards we have for our program on and off the field."
Sheard has played for Pitt for three years.
Pitt training camp starts Saturday.
The charges stemmed from an incident July 18 when Pittsburgh police broke up a fight between Sheard and Parker outside La Fond Galleries on East Carson Street.
Sheard, of Hollywood, Fla., is a senior this year, and has played the past three seasons for the team.
The university had suspended Sheard indefinitely from the team, pending resolution of the case.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior started all 13 games for Pitt last season and made 42 tackles. He also has led the team in quarterback hurries each of the past two years.
Sheard's attorney William Difenderfer said Sheard never has been in trouble before.
After police were called to the scene of the fight, they said Sheard refused to stop fighting. He tossed Parker through the glass doors of La Fond Galleries. Police said Sheard continued the assault, punching Parker while both were on the ground.
First Published August 5, 2010 12:00 am