Originally created 08/13/02

Judge considers sending Watson to prison



GREENVILLE, S.C. -- A judge says he's angry that Derek Watson has completed just a third of his court-ordered community service and wanted to send South Carolina State's new running back to jail.

But he agreed Monday to wait two weeks before sending the troubled former South Carolina star behind bars for marijuana possession.

Watson was convicted of the misdemeanor in March, and Greenville Municipal Court Judge Matt Hawley suspended a 30-day jail sentence for Watson as long as he served 240 hours of community service.

But on Monday, Hawley cited Watson for contempt of court for not completing his service. The judge ordered Watson to jail, but said he would wait to go through with the sentence until he holds another hearing on Aug. 26.

In the meantime, Watson will try to get as much of his service done as possible, and his lawyer, Beattie Ashmore, will ask the judge to reconsider the jail service at the hearing in two weeks.

Watson, who set the state high school record for yards rushing and touchdowns at Palmetto High School, was dismissed from South Carolina in January after an arrest on drug charges. He enrolled at Division I-AA South Carolina State last week

While with the Gamecocks, he was suspended in December 2000 after wrecking a teammates car the week before Christmas.

The following February, Watson had a run-in with a student referee at an intramural basketball game. He was charged in May with punching a woman and that brought another suspension.

South Carolina coach Lou Holtz dismissed Watson from the team for good in January after the drug arrest.