An Alabama fan pleaded guilty Tuesday to obscenity charges after he was accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS National Championship game in January. Brian Downing, 33, of Smiths Station, Ala., opted for a plea deal on the morning of his trial rather than face charges of sexual battery. The obscenity charges carries a potential two-year prison term while sexual battery is punishable by up to 10 years. Prosecutors dropped the battery charge against Downing and said he pleaded guilty to two counts of obscenity. Sentencing is set for Nov. 29. Downing was arrested after a video was posted on the Internet that showed the alleged act on an unconscious LSU fan at a Bourbon Street restaurant. The clip showed Downing rubbing his exposed genitals on the neck of the passed-out man after the championship game won the Crimson Tide. The victim sued Downing for "mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression ... damage to reputation" and for lost tuition payments after he dropped out of school. Reports indicated that Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Karen Herman would sentence Downing to two years in prison and recommend that he enroll in a boot camp program run by prison officials. Downing will not have to register as a sex offender. ---A Cleveland television station has hired former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as a special contributor. Tressel, who stepped down after 10 seasons as Buckeyes coach in May 2011 following the Tattoogate scandal, will provide a weekly report, "A Moment with Jim Tressel," during WKYC-TV's 7 p.m. Wednesday newscasts, The Plain Dealer reported Tuesday in Cleveland. ---Ohio State and TCU have agreed on a home-and-home series with games in 2018 at Fort Worth, Texas, and 2019 in Ohio Stadium. The two schools have played six times previously, but not since 1973. ---If Phillips Sims is sufficiently recovered from a lower-leg injury he will replace Michael Rocco as Virginia's starting quarterback this week, coach Mike London said during his weekly radio program. ---Riley Nelson will be back as BYU's starting quarterback this week against Utah State, according to the Cougars' depth char. Taysom Hill replaced Nelson two weeks ago in a 7-6 loss to Boise State and started against Hawaii while Riley was recovering from a back injury.
- Brian Downing
- BCS National Championship game
- Jim Tressel