MacMurchy pleads guilty

Badger men's hockey player enters first offender's program

Ryan MacMurchy plead guilty to a battery charge Wednesday stemming from an early September fight outside a downtown Madison, Wis., bar. As the result of a plea agreement MacMurchy, a junior on the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team and the team's third-leading scorer, entered into the state of Wisconsin's first offender's program.

If MacMurchy, 21, does not violate the terms of his enrollment in the first offender's program the misdemeanor will be removed from his record. If he fails to follow the program's terms, however, he would face sentencing on the battery charge.

MacMurchy was charged with misdemeanor battery Sept. 9 after a Sept. 5 altercation with Chris J. Chelios, the 30-year old cousin of former Badger star Chris Chelios. Chris J. Chelios was charged with substantial battery in September but had his case dismissed in October.

MacMurchy was initially suspended indefinitely from the Badger hockey team for a violation of the university's Student-Athlete Discipline Policy. That penalty was amended to a one-game suspension by an appeals committee. MacMurchy served the suspension in the Badgers' season opener.

MacMurchy has 23 points in 23 games this season; his nine goals are tied for second at Wisconsin.

Last May MacMurchy plead no contest to a drunk driving charge related to a Nov. 16, 2003 offense. His license was revoked for six months and he paid a fine. As a result of that plea bargain an underage drinking charge and a related operating while intoxicated charge were dropped.

MacMurchy was not suspended for any game action last season as a result of that offense. Alcohol violations are not punishable under the university's athletics-wide discipline policy, though individual coaches have the power to enforce their own penalties in such cases.

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