North Dakota State star linebacker Travis Beck, charged with assault following a street brawl in June, is scheduled to change his not guilty plea to a charge of resisting arrest.
The 21-year-old Beck earlier pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge. A change-of-plea hearing was scheduled for Aug. 19 in East Central District Court after prosecutors dismissed a more serious felony assault charge.
The 6-foot, 212-pound Beck is a two-year starter for the two-time Football Championship Subdivision champions. He was the most valuable player in the 2012 FCS championship game.
Beck recently was reinstated to the team after an indefinite suspension imposed after his arrest but is not practicing because of concussion-like symptoms, coach Craig Bohl told The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/11JzZH9).
The criminal charges stemmed from a brawl outside a downtown Fargo restaurant in the early morning hours of June 9 in which police said Beck knocked another man unconscious. Prosecutors dismissed the aggravated assault charge against Beck after concluding there was no proof he started the altercation.
Surveillance video from nearby businesses and police cameras showed Beck might have been acting in self-defense. The video also showed four officers converging on Beck after the fight, during which he appears to struggle as they handcuff him, according to The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/11JzZH9 ).
The assault charge dropped against Beck carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail. Prosecutor Jason Loos said Beck is likely to receive a fine but no jail time. The maximum fine for the charge is $1,500.
The June incident is not Beck's first run-in with the law. He was fined $325 and sentenced to 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to misdemeanor underage drinking in July 2012. Prosecutors dropped a charge of resisting arrest as part of a plea agreement.