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Bengals Linebacker Pleads No Contest to Charges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Cincinnati Bengals linebacker A.J. Nicholson was sentenced to 60 days in a sheriff's work program and two years' probation after pleading no contest to burglary and grand theft, court records show.

Circuit Judge Kathleen Dekker sentenced the former Florida State player on Monday. He entered the plea last month to charges that he and an accomplice took electronic equipment and other items valued at $1,700 from the apartment of former Seminoles teammate Lorenzo Booker and his two roommates last May.

Charges remain pending against another former Florida State player, Fred Rouse, said Assistant State Attorney Frank Allman. Rouse, a wide receiver, had been kicked off the team four months before the break-in.

Nicholson was one of nine Bengals arrested during a nine-month
span.

"We are glad the case has been resolved," Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said. "The club will monitor A.J.'s progress in fully complying with the court's directives, and we will work with him to ensure he has learned from this experience and respects the opportunity he has to continue his NFL career."

Nicholson, a fifth-round draft pick of the Bengals last year, had a history of off-field problems at Florida State. He was suspended for the 2006 Orange Bowl after violating team policy by taking a woman to the team's Miami hotel. She accused him of sexual assault, but Nicholson was not charged.

Nicholson was charged in the burglary a month after the Bengals drafted him. He hurt his hamstring in September and played in only two games last season.

The Booker break-in was his first felony offense, and Dekker
rejected Allman's request for jail time. Booker and other victims also wrote letters to the court on Nicholson's behalf.

Dekker agreed that if Ohio has a work program similar to Florida's, he could serve that time there.


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