South Carolina women's basketball recruit Monique Willis will not be joining the Gamecocks this season.
Willis, a guard from Savannah's Beach High, reached a plea agreement with the Chatham County (Ga.) District Attorney's office on shoplifting charges. But she still faces a November trial on separate armed robbery charges.
USC women's basketball coach Dawn Staley said Thursday those must be resolved before Willis can be a Gamecock.
"We are pleased that Monique has reached a resolution on some of her legal issues through Wednesday's plea agreement," Staley said in a statement. "In talking with her and her family throughout this process, we have decided that it is best for Monique to attend a junior college until her remaining legal matters are concluded. Therefore, she will not be a part of our team for the upcoming season."
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The plea agreement stems from an April 3 incident at a Savannah mall where Willis attempted to switch tags on merchandise. When discovered, she fled and broke a plate glass window while trying to escape security. She was charged with shoplifting, criminal damage to property, simple battery and reckless conduct.
A Georgia judge signed off on an agreement Wednesday where Willis received four years probation, including the first year on house arrest. She also must pay $2,245.60 in restitution to cover property damages and the store security guard's medical expenses.
The judge gave her credit for the 25 days she's already served in the Chatham County jail.
The terms of her house arrest allow her to attend work, school and medical appointments. Her attorney, Sage Brown, said Thursday that there are no restrictions on where Willis attends school.
The plea agreement comes under a first offender program, which means Willis' record will be clean if she successfully completes the terms.
"She has not pleaded guilty to any charge," Brown said. "Under this first offender program, a person can accept a resolution without entering a plea of guilty or court finding them guilty. This is not a conviction of a crime and she has not plead guilty. I'm glad we were able to work it out."
The armed robbery case stems from a 2008 incident. Brown said Willis' co-defendants are scheduled to be tried prior to her November court date and that her involvement was minimal.
"She was just there," Brown said. "Which is not to say that she was not guilty of being with the wrong people. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Reach Wiseman at 803-771-8472.