Bellisari Begins Serving Drunken Driving Sentence

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Former Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari (pictured, right) reported to jail on Friday to serve a three-day sentence for drunken driving.

The jail was able to accommodate his request for a single-person cell, according to Maj. Michael Herrell, the jail supervisor.

"He has never been in jail before, and he's afraid of the unknown," defense lawyer Samuel Weiner said. "He'd rather be by himself."

Bellisari, 21, was stopped by university police early on Nov. 16 and charged with drunken driving because his blood-alcohol limit was .22 percent -- more twice the legal .10 percent limit in Ohio.

He pleaded no contest Nov. 28 and was sentenced to three days in jail and three days in an alcohol diversion program. His driver's license was suspended for six months.

"We're going to treat him like anybody else," Herrell said. "We average between 35 to 70 of these guys every weekend."

Coach Jim Tressel suspended Bellisari for Ohio State's game against Illinois the day after his arrest. He was reinstated for the Michigan game the following week, but never left the sidelines in the Buckeyes' 26-20 victory.

Bellisari returned to the field for the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day and ended his college career with the best performance of his three years as a starter.

He passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Buckeyes rallied from 28 points down to tie South Carolina, before losing 31-28.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)