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Leaf gets probation, fine in Texas drug case

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Ryan Leaf, who played at Washington State before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers, said he was addicted to prescription painkillers. (Photo: File / SWX) Ryan Leaf, who played at Washington State before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers, said he was addicted to prescription painkillers. (Photo: File / SWX)
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    Ryan Leaf tries to rebuild relationship with Washington State

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    Wednesday, April 14 2010 8:28 PM EDT2010-04-15 00:28:49 GMT
    (Photo: SWX)(Photo: SWX)
    He told reporters after his sentencing that he is ready to turn a new leaf. And he wants to rebuild his relationship with Washington State.>>
    Leaf, who was also a Heisman Trophy finalist, pleaded guilty to eight felony drug charges in Amarillo, Texas. In addition to probation, he was fined $20,000. He told reporters after his sentencing that he is ready to turn a new leaf. And he wants to rebuild his relationship with Washington State. First things first: he explained why he didn't tell anyone about his drug problem.>>

Former Washington State and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to eight felony drug charges in Texas.

Texas District Judge John B. Board also fined Leaf $20,000. He could have faced up to 36 years in prison were he found guilty through a trial.

Leaf, who led the Cougars to the Rose Bowl in 1998 and now lives in Great Falls, Mont., pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance. Prosecutors in Canyon County, Texas alleged that when Leaf was a quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M he broke into a former player's apartment and stole his Hydrocodone medication. The player had been prescribed the painkiller because of an injury.

Leaf resigned from the university in November 2008, shortly after the drug investigation began. By May 2009, it was reported Leaf had entered a drug rehabilitation facility in British Columbia. He was taken into custody in June 2009 as he attempted to cross the border from Canada into the United States at Blaine, Wash. He eventually surrendered to Texas authorities so he could face criminal charges.

Speaking to reporters after Wednesday's hearing in Texas, Leaf said he had been addicted to painkillers.

"Deep in my heart I knew I had a problem," Leaf said, adding he's been clean for 17 months now.

Canyon County prosecutor James Farren said Leaf's addiction was flagrant and everyone on West Texas A&M's football team knew about his drug problem.

 


Previous coverage:

 

Former Cougar QB, Leaf reaches Texas plea deal (March 25, 2010)

LUBBOCK, Texas - The attorney for former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf says a plea deal has been reached in his Texas drug and burglary case.....

Report: Leaf headed back to Washington after posting bail in Texas (June 19, 2009)

CANYON, Texas - Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has surrendered to Texas authorities to face burglary and drug-related charges.

Attorney Bill Kelly says Leaf turned himself in Friday at the Randall County Jail in Canyon, where the former No. 2 pick was indicted in May after coaching quarterbacks at West Texas A&M for three seasons......

Leaf arrested, posts bail in Whatcom County (June 17, 2009)

Former Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf posted a $45,000 bond in Whatcom County Wednesday after being taken into custody by border agents at the Blaine crossing earlier in the day.


Leaf indicted on drug, burglary charges in Texas (May 22, 2009)

Former Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf faces the possibility of up to 36 years in prison after being indicted on drug and burglary charges in Texas.

The indictment, handed up by a grand jury in Canyon, Texas, alleges the 33-year-old former quarterback broke into one of his former player's apartment and stole his Hydrocodone.  The player had been prescribed the painkiller because of an injury.

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