March 4, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans center Derrick Nix (25) drives to the basket against Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jared Sullinger (0) during the second half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Ohio state won 72-70. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Nix was arrested April 2 for operating a vehicle in the presence of drugs and possession of marijuana. The first charge was reduced to impaired driving and the marijuana charge was dismissed. The reduction of charges is not abnormal in these situations. Nix ix scheduled for sentencing on May 11.
The offense is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $300 fine, as well as a 180-day driver's license suspension and four points on a driver's record.
The center was expected to be a leader on next year's squad. He has had issues with basketball coach Tom Izzo in the past, mostly about his weight, but seemed to have put things together this past season, averaging career-highs in almost every statistic. After the Spartans lost to Louisville in the Sweet 16, Nix spoke in front of the team and said he would take over the leadership role.
But he was arrested less than two weeks later. Following the arrest, Izzo said in a statement that Nix's future with the team was "in serious jeopardy."
Update: Izzo announced Thursday that Nix will remain on the team. Joe Rexrode says that Izzo hasn't yet come up with a specific punishment, including a possible suspension, but Izzo said he hopes Nix will finally start to become a man.
Izzo will keep Nix "under some circumstances he's gonna have to live under."— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 12, 2012
For those of you wondering about the car:
Nix said the car was his brother's girlfriend's car. And it was a 2007 car. This is confirmed by running VIN number, by the way.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 12, 2012