News and Tribune

Clark County

March 7, 2006

Bryant Northern avoids jail in probation violation

A former Jeffersonville High School and University of Louisville basketball player will not go to jail for violating the terms of a Kentucky diversion program.

On Monday, Jefferson (Ky.) Circuit Judge Thomas Wine sentenced Bryant Northern to five additional years of probation and added $1,000 to what had been a $3,180 fine.

Northern, 23, was placed on a two-year diversion program in 2003, after pleading guilty to stealing blank checks and trying to cash them for more than $3,000. He was less than a month from completing the program when he and friend Christopher Pavey were charged with burglarizing Hidden Creek Golf Club in Clark County last July.

Had Northern successfully completed the diversion program, the Kentucky charge would have been expunged from his record.

“He’ll be on probation for five years from (Monday),” said Jeffersonville attorney Larry Wilder, who represents Northern in the Indiana case and was his co-counsel in Kentucky.

Northern was a senior on Jeffersonville’s 2000 regional championship team, before walking on to the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team. After his sophomore season, Northern earned a scholarship but was dismissed from the team by coach Rick Pitino before the beginning of his senior year, following his July 13, 2003 arrest in Kentucky.

As a junior guard, Northern averaged 3.2 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game for the Cardinals. In three years with U of L, Northern scored 447 points in 94 games.

Wine’s leniency with Northern on Monday was in stark contrast to comments the judge made during a January hearing, when he said Northern had “not taken responsibility for his own actions.”

Wilder said Northern has paid about $700 of what is now a $4,180 fine, is working full-time and is in school.

“He is one full year from completing his degree,” Wilder said.

Following Northern’s arrest last year, Wilder said the former basketball player has a gambling addiction which led to the criminal activity.

Wilder said Monday that Northern, who has voluntarily banned himself from Casesars Indiana, has completed a gambling addiction treatment program.

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