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Originally published January 11, 2011 at 05:35p.m., updated January 11, 2011 at 07:06p.m.

City prosecutor reveals details of Mario Little’s diversion agreement

Basketball player must complete anger management classes and community service

Mario Little, who is suspended, stands to watch the action from the bench during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Mario Little, who is suspended, stands to watch the action from the bench during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University senior basketball player Mario Little must complete anger management counseling and 30 hours of community service as part of a diversion agreement for his battery case in Lawrence Municipal Court.

City prosecutor Jerry Little also said Tuesday afternoon that victims in the case didn’t want to prosecute.

“He committed these offenses,” Jerry Little said. “And I think what he got out of it from diversion is more than what he’d get if we went to trial and he was found guilty.”

KU coach Bill Self had said Monday night that Mario Little had received a diversion agreement on two battery charges related to a Dec. 16 incident in which he was accused of shoving a 22-year-old woman into a sink. Self also announced he cleared Little, a redshirt senior from Chicago, to return to competition after missing six games during a suspension.

Jerry Little on Tuesday released the terms the two sides agreed to for the diversion agreement on two counts of misdemeanor battery. To qualify for diversion defendants must have no prior criminal history.

Jerry Little said the terms are:

• To stay out of further legal trouble for one year.

• Write a letter of apology to the victims in the case.

• Complete anger management counseling at his own cost. Self has said counseling will continue through the basketball season.

• Pay $250 in diversion fees and court costs.

• Complete 30 hours of community service.

Mario Little had apologized publicly the morning after he was arrested.

According to the original police report, officers said early on Dec. 16 he confronted the woman who was inside a residence with a 19-year-old Lawrence man. Jerry Little on Tuesday referred to the woman as Mario Little’s ex-girlfriend.

The report said Little then got into an altercation with the man and chased the woman as she ran to a nearby residence, where he later pushed her into a sink.

He had originally faced two more counts of battery for pushing another woman and an altercation with another man. Jerry Little said his office agreed to drop those two counts along with charges of criminal damage and trespassing.

He said Mario Little either has already repaired or agreed to repair a door he damaged that night.

Jerry Little and Mario Little are not related.

Self on Tuesday further discussed his decision to reinstate Little for competition.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. I believe 100 percent in my heart it’s the right decision,” Self said. “I tried to look at it as if he was my own child. We let the legal system play out. He got diversion (for the two battery charges), went through the courts, he’s done a lot of things through us.

“I had thought that holding him out six games and bringing him back for conference if I was going to bring him back was the right time to do it.

“He’s handled this as well as you can considering how much it’s hurt him,” Self added.

Self said removing Little from the program simply did not fit in this particular situation.

“A big part of his life is wrapped into what happens here with him as a Kansas basketball player. Five minutes of whatever happened — and we know something did happen and it was wrong — to totally affect his opportunity to play overseas, his opportunity to finish in uniform and have a good experience that would be a good springboard for the rest of his life over that I thought was too severe to take from him,” Self said.

“I feel I’d seriously be letting him down as his coach, somebody that said I’d always look out for him and have his back in this particular situation because I believe he has done what he should have done (since the incident) and certainly I know the remorse he feels and has felt because of it.”

Gary Bedore also contributed to this report.

Comments

okiedave 3 years, 3 months ago

Glad to see Mario playing against ISU and he played a pretty good game on the whole.

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FLJHK 3 years, 3 months ago

“I feel I’d seriously be letting him down as his coach, somebody that said I’d always look out for him..."

Absolute total class by Coach Self. Handled with his cutomary grace, decency and fairness. I completely believe he did not come to this decision lightly. But in doing so, and in they manner he did, he sent a powerful message to Mario, his teammates and future recruits. Already as good an X's and O's coach as there is in the country, he also genuinely cares for his players. Great decision by Coach Self, and best of luck Mario.

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 3 months ago

"Not that serious" is generally up to the law enforcement investigating, the parties offended, and the prosecution. This could certainly have been much more than misdemeanors. Potential for disaster was there for sure. This young man needs to know how really, really fortunate he is & that Coach put his reputation out there for him to do right. Alot of programs would have hung him out to dry. That's what happens to countless student athletes every day, right here in our own conf. often enough. That small 5 minute window can be a lifelong regret or a fatal moment quite easily. Now finish strong and as you mature don't forget to repay the debts in life..and be thankful daily. Also understand that is another element that separates the University of Kansas from other schools. Good luck & RCJH!!!

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Does anybody know the hottie standing behind Brady and Releford in the pix above? Finally, AFH has an answer to that TX redhead, um, now that Tyrel's sister has graduated...

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swjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

The media has lost focus of reporting "news." The parallel between this type of story and the Giffords shooting in Tucson makes me search for Three Stooges reruns. Have some dignity, leave this stuff out of your "news." News and sports reporting should be easily distinguished from "Entertainment Tonight."

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Lebowski 3 years, 3 months ago

1) It always cracks me up when I read "19 year-old man"... if he's 19 years old, he's really still a boy.

2) Making someone write apology letters as part of a diversion agreement seems like a waste of time. How hollow an apology must feel when the recipient can read on kusports.com that he was REQUIRED to do so.

3) How much does anger management cost?

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Jacobpaul81 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the issuing police officers did what they typically do. Write up every little thing they can, which makes everything seem worse than it is. The city prosecutor recognized this (cause it happens all the time) and did everything he could to get some punishment for something he clearly couldn't take to court. So management counseling, community service, and the kid can go back to playing basketball.

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UmbertoConforti 3 years, 3 months ago

As usual, the media stirs it so it will stink more.

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didjabuti 3 years, 3 months ago

I remember after the last loss of last season, his was the last one off the court. He seemed absolutely devastated by that loss, and he didn't even play. That image is burned into my memory. Rock Chalk Mario, make the most of this second chance.

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fansincewilt 3 years, 3 months ago

This involves so much more than basketball. I am very happy to have Mario back but more than that I am happy that his college career won't end in removal from the team. He seems like such a nice young man and I pray that he does really well on the team for his sake. I pray he becomes a monster on the floor and a gentleman off. That is the message sports needs to teach to our young men. Once again, Bill Self champions what sports is all about.

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Randy Maxwell 3 years, 3 months ago

I've read that you cant disclose a players injury in the press but you can detail every discreation they have ever had. Not only talk about it but make it a front page story, I think that's hypocritical

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packywacky88 3 years, 3 months ago

Lighten up gacaulkinnebr, it was just a joke.

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Hank Cross 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds about right for the conduct alleged. You don't want to treat athletes differently because that only feeds into their sense of entitlement. On the other hand, there are many DA's offices that routinely over-charge domestic violence (DV) cases without regard to the underlying circumstances or past good conduct. Unfortunately, once, and in some some places still, there is a mentality of 'she got what was coming to her.' That attitude has to go away. But, overreaction the other doesn't serve any purpose by saddling people with a criminal record they really don't deserve.

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Joe Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

Like it or not, agree or disagree...it's over!!

Let's move on and play some b-ball!

Game on Rio, game on my man!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Rwhawk, I don't agree with your statement that, to help win yet another conference title and a deep run in the tourney would be outstanding community service. That is a stupid comment. A player needs to be an upstanding individual before play basketball for your team than to be guilty of battery charges then asked to come in and prove yourself on the floor. I don't think Bill goes out recruiting looking for gangsters to come in and take the team to the NC game for community service.

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rwhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Am I the only one who thinks the above picture is outstanding?!

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rwhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Personally, I think helping to win yet another conference title and a deep run in the tourney would be outstanding community service. I doubt the court system would count that, though ... and some self-righteous fan would probably get on this site and post comments about how its unfair treatment for athletes ... a few others would become angry and write mean spirited comments back, possibly attacking the writing style or spelling abilities of the poster and the next thing we know it would be just another typical day on the comment section of kusports ... and wouldn't you know it, I would ashamedly read and partake.

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JayhawkPurist 3 years, 3 months ago

The right decision. Coach Self shows yet again why he is the right man for the job. “I tried to look at it as if he was my own child. . . . A big part of his life is wrapped into what happens here with him as a Kansas basketball player. Five minutes of whatever happened — and we know something did happen and it was wrong — to totally affect . . . the rest of his life . . . I thought was too severe to take from him," Nuff said.

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KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

It appears this has come to an adequate ending. Mario will have to live up to the terms of the agreement and will always be under a microscope.

I would like to point out his first apology the day of his arrest he did apologized ONLY to his team and nobody else. I was stunned when I read it at that time. Here very recently he finally included everybody appropriately though.

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notigers4me 3 years, 3 months ago

The punishment definitely fits the crime and then some. I can't imagine what it would be like to have all the media know about my issues. That seems like punishment enough on it's own. It sounds like Coach handled it well and so did Mario.

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Tuskin 3 years, 3 months ago

KSA, from what has been printed in these pages, it's hard to imagine Little deserving more punishment than this. Pushing, yelling, out of control behavior for several minutes is not good by anyone. Fortunately, though, (to my knowledge) it was never alleged that an injury resulted from his behavior. And the city prosecutor thought he got off with a heavier penalty this way than he would have if they had gone to trial, had found him guilty, and had thrown the book at him.

Best of luck to you, Mario. Make us proud!

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Paul Rupp 3 years, 3 months ago

From a father's view, this is a teachable (extended) moment(s), And Mario is fortunate to have Coach Self as the teacher, whom I'm sure did approach this as if he was his child with the long-view in mind. Signature opportunity for Mario to apologize, redeem (personally), and mature. Mario---you owe Coach not to let him down, even long after graduation. That is what I'd tell, and expect from, my kids. RCJH.

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up4par2000 3 years, 3 months ago

Geez, who ever would of imagined they were related? =P

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 3 months ago

Must not have been that serious. That, or the typical sweep-it-under-the-rug-if-it-involves-KU-athletes mentality is still alive and well.

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