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FSU's Warrick To Play Sat.

Peter Warrick avoided jail time on a theft charge and will be on the field Saturday when Florida State tries to give Bobby Bowden his 300th coaching victory against his son.

Bowden called the return of his star receiver "a miracle from above."

Warrick pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor petty theft in connection with a department store scam last month. The school's president would not have allowed him to play if jail time were part of the plea agreement.

Warrick, a Heisman Trophy contender who missed the last two games, flew to South Carolina with his teammates Friday and did not attend the hearing.

His top-ranked Seminoles play a Clemson team coached by Bowden's son, Tommy Bowden.

"I appreciate the support shown me through this," Warrick said in an apologetic statement released by the school. "I am glad to get the chance to play again."

Judge John Crusoe approved a deal agreed on by Warrick's lawyer and the state attorney's office.

Warrick, a former teammate and a store clerk were charged with felony grand theft when the two players bought more than $400 worth of designer clothes Sept. 29 at a Dillard's department store for $21.40.

"I don't mean to diminish what he did, but folks it was a discount," Warrick's lawyer, John Kenny, said.

Under the agreement, Warrick will serve one year probation, donate the clothes to the Children's Home Society, pay $579 restitution, $295 in court costs, have no contact with Dillard's and spend 30 days on a work program where he will probably clean trash from city streets.

Florida State president Sandy D'Alemberte had been at odds with Bowden and athletic director Dave Hart Jr. on their interpretation of the school's policy for disciplining athletes.

"I want the jail or prison time behind someone before they play," D'Alemberte said.

Friday's agreement cleared the way for Warrick to play.

"He has paid the consequences for his mistake and then some," Hart said. "It's time to move past it."

Kenny called the settlement fair for his client, the state, the school and fans.

"He's not wearing stripes, he's not in jail, and that's a significant determining factor for the university," he said.

The former Dillard's clerk, Rachel Myrtil, pleaded no contest Thursday to grand theft and was sentenced to two years' probation, 10 days on a county work program, ordered to pay $308 in court costs and stay out of Dillard's department stores.

Laveranues Coles, who paid for the clothes, was kicked off the Florida State team.

Earlier this week, Kenny reached an agreement to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor with the state attorney, but that would have required the player to spend 30 days in jail at the end of the semester. D'Alemberte would not accept that deal.

Warrick has caught 36 passes for 508 yards and four touchdowns in five games. He has also run for two touchdowns, scored on a punt return and passed for a TD.

The game against Clemson marks the first father-son coaching matchup in Division I-A history.

"I would just like to apologize again to my family, the coaches and my teammates for making the mistake I did. I am going to try and focus on the game," Warrick said.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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