Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The NCAA's all-time record holder in all-purpose yardage has pled guilty to felony embezzlement charges. But it still might not keep Tulsa's Damaris Johnson from returning to the football field in 2012.
Per the Tulsa World, Johnson and co-defendant Chamon Jones each pleaded guilty to charges of felony embezzlement filed after Johnson's Aug. 31 arrest. Jones stood accused of selling Johnson more than $2,600 worth of merchandise from the Macy's department store where she worked to Johnson for $13.
As part of a plea agreement, both Johnson and Jones were sentenced to deferred one-year prison sentences, 800 hours of community service, fines, and a one-year probation. Upon completion of the probation program, both Jones and Johnson's cases will be dismissed without a felony conviction. Neither will serve any jail time.
The deferred sentence and dismissal of the felony conviction may allow Johnson to make his eventual return to the Golden Hurricane football team. Johnson remains indefinitely suspended, and Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship said he "can't foresee anything changing" where the 2011 season is concerned. But 2012 could be a different story.
"[It] might open the door for him next year," Blankenship said.
If so, Johnson would finally have the chance to build on his tremendous record-breaking career, one in which he's already the FBS all-time leader in kick return yardage and all-purpose yardage. But if not, what's already a crushing mistake will become, somehow, even bigger.