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Heisman Winner Sims Goes to Jail

February 27, 1998

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims began a one-month jail term Friday for failing to pay child support.

The former University of Oklahoma football star surrendered to U.S. marshals before noon to begin serving the sentence.

Sims was being held temporarily in the Tulsa County Jail but it wasn’t immediately known where he would serve the time.

Sims, 42, pleaded guilty in October for failing to pay child support to Vicki R. Smith of Tulsa, who had his daughter in 1978.

U.S. District Judge Sven Erik Holmes also had ordered Sims to pay $14,025 restitution.

Sims, who played for the Detroit Lions from 1980 to 1984, cashed in his NFL pension prior to sentencing to pay $18,000 toward the debt of about $32,000.

The prosecution joined the defense in recommending probation last month.

But Holmes rejected the lighter punishment, saying Sims had been ignoring a court order to pay $500 a month in child support despite being financially able some of the time.

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