Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Little's UC days may not be over

Court appearance slated for today

By Bill Koch
Enquirer contributor

        Donald Little's University of Cincinnati basketball career may not be finished after all.

        Little, a 6-foot-11 junior center from Augusta, Ga., was dismissed from the basketball team in May for conduct detrimental to the program. But UC athletic director Bob Goin said Tuesday he has not ruled out the possibility that Little could return if he clears up his legal problems.

        Little had one case resolved Thursday. In a hearing on DUI charges from a May 19 arrest in Boone County (Ky.), Little pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving. He also pleaded guilty to charges of having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, and to not having his driver's license in his possession when he was pulled over. All were punishable with minor fines.

        Little, 23, is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court this morning to face charges from a May 3 incident at a Clifton-area bar. He was accused of kicking a bar employee in the ribs after she confronted him about not wearing an identification wristband that showed he was old enough to legally drink alcohol.

        On Sept. 29, 2000, he was stopped for driving without a license plate and for driving with a license that had been suspended for an unknown previous traffic offense.

        “Donald has some housecleaning to do in his own life,” Goin said. “That's the first thing he needs to do. After that, there ought to be an assessment of what his status is going to be at the University of Cincinnati.”

        Goin stopped short of saying what would have to happen for Little to return. But he clearly seems willing to give Little another chance if he demonstrates that he deserves one.

        “I would never slam the door,” Goin said. “When (UC basketball coach Bob Huggins) recommended his dismissal, it was based on the charges made against him. It was detrimental to the program at the time.

        “If those charges are false and they are cleared up and hewas accused of something that didn't happen, there would have to be a reassessment.”

        Enquirer reporter Neil Schmidt contributed to this story.


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