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Florida Bobcats Sign Phillips

March 14, 2001

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) _ Troubled running back Lawrence Phillips is returning to professional football, but not with the XFL.

Phillips, 25, signed with the Arena Football League’s Florida Bobcats on Tuesday.

The former Nebraska Cornhuskers star revived his turbulent career last year with the NFL Europe’s Barcelona Dragons. He ran for 1,021 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, both single-season league records, and was named the league’s offensive MVP.

Then Phillips signed with the 49ers, but they cut him after eight games for missing practice. He also has been cut by the St. Louis Rams and the Miami Dolphins.

The Rams’ first-round draft choice in 1996, Phillips played 25 games for St. Louis before being released for insubordination. His 19 months with the team were marked by three arrests and 23 days in jail for violating probation after a drunken-driving arrest in California.

He subsequently signed with the Dolphins, but was released after pleading no contest to hitting a woman in a bar.

The running back also pleaded no contest to domestic violence while in college in a case involving a confrontation with a girlfriend.

``We’re pleased to have Lawrence with us,″ said Dave Ewart, Florida’s head coach and director of football operations. ``He’s a player, and his versatility as a runner and pass catcher will open up our offensive chances. Having a gifted athlete like Lawrence should definitely help us.″

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