UCLA basketball: Jerime Anderson suspended after guilty plea
By Ben Bolch
The Los Angelinos Timos
September 19, 2011 | 6:14pm
UCLA senior guard Jerime Anderson has been reinstated with a two-game suspension after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of appropriation of lost property and trespass in the wake of his July arrest for allegedly stealing a laptop computer.
Anderson will sit out the Bruins' exhibition game against Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 6 and their regular-season opener against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 11.
As part of a plea agreement, Anderson must complete 300 hours of community service over a two-year period. If he has no other legal issues and completes his community service as scheduled, the charge of appropriation of lost property will be withdrawn and dismissed on Sept. 15, 2013.
"Jerime has been very remorseful in acknowledging his mistake and accepting responsibility for his actions," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said in a statement. "I believe he has learned a valuable lesson."
In a recent interview with The Times, Howland called the ordeal "a very humbling experience" for Anderson and said his absence as one of only two point guards on the Bruins' roster would be "crippling." Howland said junior college transfer De'End Parker and freshman Norman Powell could back up starting point guard Lazeric Jones, with freshman walk-on David Brown also a possibility to receive playing time in Anderson's absence.
Anderson averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 assists last season as Jones' backup.
UCLA suspends Jerime Anderson
By Peter Yoon
Updated: September 20, 2011, 12:30 AM ET
UCLA Bruins point guard Jerime Anderson pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges in connection with a stolen laptop and as a result will be suspended for the first two games of the season, the school announced Monday in a statement.
Anderson, a senior, was arrested by UCLA campus police July 26 on suspicion of grand theft after a tracking device on a MacBook Pro led authorities to him. He was released on $20,000 bail.
Last Thursday, Anderson's attorney, Jon Artz, was able to get the charges reduced to appropriation of lost property and trespass -- both misdemeanor charges.
Anderson will have to complete 300 hours of community service over the next two years, and if he does so and has no other legal issues, the appropriation of lost property charge will be dismissed.
"We demonstrated to the judge and to the prosecutor that Jerime comes from a family of hard working religious moral people," Artz said. "He's 21, he made a terrible mistake, he was remorseful, he cooperated with the police, admitted it to the police and it was so out of character and we provided evidence."
Coach Ben Howland had originally suspended Anderson from the team indefinitely pending the resolution of his legal proceedings, but said now that the case is resolved, Anderson would sit out UCLA's exhibition game Nov. 6 against Cal State San Bernardino and the regular-season opener Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount.
"Now that the legal proceedings in conjunction with Jerime's arrest have been finalized, I am re-instating him to the team with a two-game suspension," Howland said in the statement. "Jerime has been very remorseful in acknowledging his mistake and accepting responsibility for his actions. I believe he has learned a valuable lesson."
Shortly after his arrest, Anderson posted on his Facebook page that he was "terribly sorry and embarrassed for my conduct and poor judgment that I've used recently. I have embarrassed my family, friends, teammates, coaches and university and I am extremely sorry for that," a post Artz said helped demonstrate Anderson's character.
Anderson is a backup point guard for UCLA. He averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 assists for the Bruins last season and emerged as a key player off the bench as the team's sixth man. At the season-ending banquet, he was awarded two awards: one for competitive spirit, inspiration and unselfish contributions and another as most improved player.
"I bet Jerime is a more serious, more hard working, more responsible young man as a result of this," Artz said.