Cleveland Browns running back Kevin Mack, sentenced to six months in prison for using cocaine, must serve at least 30 days before he can hope for parole.
Judge Richard McMonagle of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court sentenced Mack on Tuesday, responding "no" and walking out of court when defense lawyer Gerald Gold asked to have the start of the sentence delayed."I am sorry for it," Mack told the judge. "I have let the fans, the National Football League and my employers down. I want to be a role model for the youngsters in the community."
Mack was sentenced to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, a prison southwest of Cleveland for first-time offenders under age 30.
Mack, 26, was arrested June 28 while seated in a car parked on a Cleveland street. Police said they found 11 packets of cocaine valued at $50 each inside the car.
Mack had also been charged with cocaine trafficking, possession of criminal tools and using a motor vehicle for drug abuse, but those charges were dropped as part of Mack's guilty plea to drug use.
Frank Gasper, a Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor, called the case "sort of a unique situation. Normally, a judge would put him on probation and if he came up with a dirty urine test, he could ship him to prison.
"Mack told officers he had a drug problem while he was in Los Angeles. Maybe the judge felt he was not a first-time offender," Gasper said.
Gold had argued that Mack should have been placed on probation because it was his first drug offense.
Mack's sentence could have ranged from probation to 18 months in prison for the guilty plea.
After his arrest, Mack spent a month in the Cleveland Clinic undergoing a drug evaluation. He has not played for the Browns this season.
Following his guilty plea, the NFL suspended Mack for the first exhibition game and the first three games of the regular season. He underwent knee surgery after the drug treatment and was not expected to see action until at least mid-October.
Browns spokesman Kevin Byrne said team owner Art Modell and coach Bud Carson would not comment on the sentence.
Mack was selected by the Browns in the 1984 supplemental draft out of Clemson.