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October 2, 2007The charges against Pitt point guard Levance Fields in connection with an incident outside a Pittsburgh nightclub last month have been significantly reduced.
Prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop charges of disarming a police officer, public drunkenness and aggravated assault. A lesser charge of simple assault will stand.
Fields will spend nine months on probation and must perform 50 hours of community service.
Panthers coach Jamie Dixon had said he would hold off on disciplining his floor leader until the judicial process had run its course. He released a statement Tuesday that read in part: "Levance has been, and will continue to be, held to our team's disciplinary standards. Those disciplinary actions will remain within the confines of our program. I know he has learned valuable lessons from the experience and will be better for it."
Dixon could suspend Fields for a game or two. Pittsburgh's first seven games are at home, and the Panthers open with Houston Baptist.
Police reports said Fields, 20, was arguing with a man and using foul language outside a nightclub around 2 a.m. on Sept. 16. An off-duty officer working security at the club said Fields appeared to have been drinking and requested that Fields calm down. He said he repeated his warning to Fields, at which time Fields struck him in the chest, grabbed at the officer's belt and reached for his gun. At that time, the officer said he pushed away Fields and his partner Tasered him.
"Over the last three years, I have viewed firsthand the very positive way Levance Fields has conducted himself as a person, student and athlete while at the University of Pittsburgh," Dixon said in the statement. "The initial report of this incident did not reflect the young man I have come to know."
Fields started all 37 games last season for the Panthers, who advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. He averaged 9.2 ppg and was sixth in the Big East in assists with 4.6 per game.
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