White pleads guilty to charges

The freshman basketball player received fines totaling $600 for theft and disorderly conduct.

by Michael Rietmulder

Highly touted University of Minnesota menâÄôs basketball recruit Royce White pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to misdemeanor charges of theft and an amended charge of disorderly conduct. The disorderly conduct charge was lowered from an original fifth-degree assault charge stemming from an Oct. 13 incident at the Mall of America. In the courtroom, White admitted to stealing $100 worth of merchandise and getting into an argument with a security guard. By pleading guilty, White was able to avoid a trial. âÄúIt was time to be done,âÄù WhiteâÄôs attorney F. Clayton Tyler said. White was fined $300 for court costs and another $300 for the theft. White will have 30 days to pay the fines. The charges will be removed from his record if he avoids the same or similar charges for one year. White was also banned from the Mall of America for one year. Standing solemnly beside his lawyer, White did not comment on his situation, instead deferring to Tyler. On Nov. 3, White was suspended from the team for violating team rules. At the time, Gophers head coach Tubby Smith indicated that the freshman forward would remain suspended while his legal issues are being sorted out. White is also a suspect in a separate on-campus theft, in which a laptop was stolen out of a dorm room in Territorial Hall on Nov. 7. Security tapes allegedly show the 6-foot-8, 249 pound freshman leaving the building around the time of the theft. Tyler says his client denies taking the laptop and that they have been cooperating with University police. âÄúHopefully weâÄôll try to get this behind us within the next week or so,âÄù Tyler said. When asked if the resolution of the Mall of America case had any effect on WhiteâÄôs status with the team, Athletics Director Joel Maturi said, âÄúNot at this point, no.âÄù âÄúIâÄôll speak to coach [Smith], and when thereâÄôs a change into his status, that certainly would be announced.âÄù