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Jonathan Xavier is in Quite a Pickle

I dislike referees too sometimes, but I've never broken the law for it.
This notebook typically chronicles the legal squabbles that fellow players in the Big East, and the teams Syracuse plays. Rarely is it relevant or even gratifying to discuss a player’s brother’s legal trouble. But in the rare case of Providence player Jeff Xavier, his brother is certainly of note after he walked on the court during the Marquette v. Providence game over a week ago.

ESPN.com is reporting that Jonathan Xavier, the brother of Jeff Xavier, has been held in a county jail for potentially violating terms of his probation after he was charged with disorderly conduct (or as we call it a DisCon) for walking on the Dunkin’ Donuts Center court on January 17th. Jonathan Xavier appeared in court today and pled not guilty to the charge, and $10,000 bail was set for this specific charge. A probation hearing has been scheduled for February 10th to decide if he did in fact violate his probation. In 2005 Xavier pled no contest to three separate drug charges and only served eight months, and the balance of a six year sentence was suspended. If found guilty of violating his probation he could serve the balance of that six year sentence.

This is the aftermath in which Jeff Xavier took an inadvertent elbow in the Marquette game and his brother was livid that no foul was called. He then came down from his seat, stepped over the Providence bench, and then stepped in the paint to yell at the referee. He was then escorted off the court by security and arrested. Providence has said that they will step up security at “The Dunk” by posting more security personnel, and police officers behind the player’s bench.

Either way, this is a sad situation for both Jonathan Xavier, but more specifically Jeff. Obviously a big term of probation is staying out of trouble, and heading on a court during a game in any capacity is not doing so. Frankly this is an easy case for the prosecution as they have the video tape of the game. This is most assuredly a violation of his probation and Jonathan Xavier will be lucky to avoid doing that remaining six year sentence (more like around 3.5 years with good behavior, I’m not exactly sure the Rhode Island rules for calculating good time). No lawyer would have any argument because it is right there in stunning high definition for the fact finder to see. I just hope that this does not serve as too much of a distraction on Jeff Xavier and the rest of the Providence team that did nothing wrong but simply play in a tough Big East game.

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4 Responses to “Jonathan Xavier is in Quite a Pickle”

  1. # Blogger Orange Chuck

    You know whats truly sad about this incident? The man is pleading not guilty even though there is taped evidence and millions of witnesses just hoping to either get a better deal to plead guilty too or...well I don't know how he thinks he can prove he is not guilty of this one. I could see if his brother was being jumped but it was an elbow whether intentional or not.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    the situation is unfortunate but anyone who knows these guys or even saw it happen can see that there was no violent means. He did not get in anyone's face nor threaten the safety of any individual. What he did was wrong, but in his eye's he was protecting his younger brother. Can you really fault a guy and send him back to prison for protecting his family?  

  3. # Blogger John

    In response to Orange Chuck: It's almost never a good idea to plead guilty at arraignment. It's better to plead not guilty, get a lawyer, and work out your best course of action. This guy was on probation, so if he pleads guilty to the discon, he not only gets sentenced for that, but he essentially admits to violating probation and could receive a boatload more jail or prison time on that.

    If you were in the same position you'd probably plead not guilty as well. Now, is he gonna take it to trial? That seems kinda dumb. But pleading not guilty right now at least keeps some options open.  

  4. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Anonymous,
    I suppose I see your point, but protecting his family? This was during a basketball game. He wasn't in any danger. It would be one thing if this was a bar fight or something, but in a NCAA Division 1 Basketball game people will take some elbows and no one is going to be in danger. Protecting his family is a pretty week argument.

    John is right as well. There is really never an instance you should plead guilty at arraignment unless it is to satisfy a plea deal you already have worked out. Otherwise, plead not guilty kids. Even on traffic tickets.  

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