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Lawrence Taylor Gets Probation

February 1, 2000

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ If NFL great Lawrence Taylor stays drug free and out of trouble for nine months, he can end his probation early and clear his record.

He was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months’ probation, but he can cut that time in half.

A condition of probation is monthly drug testing. Taylor also was fined $1,059 in court and investigative costs.

He had nothing to say during the brief hearing and declined comment afterward.

The 40-year-old Taylor pleaded no contest Nov. 30 to buying crack cocaine from an undercover police officer on St. Pete Beach. He also was charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia in October 1998.

Taylor contended police used an informant and preyed on him because of his history of drug abuse. Taylor had wanted to fight the charges but agreed to switch his plea to no-contest and get on with his life, his lawyers said, noting Taylor’s appearance in the movie ``On Any Given Sunday″ with Al Pacino.

Taylor, of Saddle River, N.J., also had a highly publicized drug arrest in South Carolina.

In 1996, he was charged with trying to buy crack. He cleared his record by performing 60 hours of community service and agreeing to undergo drug counseling and random drug testing.

Taylor, who helped the Giants win two Super Bowls during a 13-year career, underwent rehabilitation for a cocaine problem in 1985. He was suspended by the NFL two years later for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

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