Cal State Fullerton center Pape Sow avoided jail time Thursday after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty theft charges in an Orange County court. He could be back in uniform for the struggling Titans next week, Fullerton Athletic Director Brian Quinn said.
Sow was arrested Dec. 17 as he left the university bookstore with a $17 knit cap he didn't pay for. It was his second arrest in 15 months. In July, 2001 Sow was arrested after taking $140 in merchandise from a Fullerton department store, but that case was adjudicated after Sow did unspecified community service.
On Thursday, Sow received a 30-day jail sentence, but that sentence was stayed for four months and will be waived if Sow completes 30 days of community service. He also received fines totaling $1,015, was ordered to complete a 12-week course for convicted shoplifters, and was banned from entering the Fullerton bookstore other than to buy school supplies.
The 6-foot-10 native of Senegal probably will not face deportation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS spokesman Francisco Arcaute said, because that agency rarely investigates anything less than felonies.
Sow was suspended from the Fullerton basketball team shortly after his arrest, but Quinn said that he expects a university appeals board to decide early next week whether to lift the suspension.
-- Paul McLeod