A 2nd District Court judge has stayed the prison sentence of a former Brigham Young University football player and ordered him placed into a Salt Lake drug treatment program.
Steven D. Sanders, 23, Pleasant Grove, was sentenced to zero to 5 years in the state prison after pleading guilty to obtaining a pain killer with a false prescription last summer at a Bountiful grocery store pharmacy.Sanders was charged with two counts of passing a false prescription for the painkiller percocet. In a plea negotiation, he pleaded guilty Aug. 30 to one of the charges and the second charge was dropped.
After completing a 90-day evaluation in the state prison diagnostic center, ordered previously by a Utah County judge, Sanders appeared Tuesday before Judge Rodney S. Page for sentencing.
Sanders asked for outpatient treatment, saying he wants to finish his schooling at the University of Utah and then work counseling young people against drug abuse.
Sanders said an injury suffered while playing football for BYU led to his addiction to percodan.
Page, however, said he believes Sanders has not fully accepted the responsibility for his addiction and is still trying to blame it on others. And, the judge told Sanders, he has an addictive-type personality and needs treatment in an inpatient facility, ordering him into Salt Lake's Odyssey House.
Sanders, a part-time starter as linebacker on the BYU team in 1985, suffered a knee injury and began taking painkillers under supervision of team doctors.
He was kicked off the team and expelled from BYU in 1987 after pleading guilty in December 1986 to his first prescription fraud charge.
Sanders was arrested again in April 1987 on another prescription fraud charge, also involving percodan, and was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and put on probation.
That probation was revoked and Sanders was ordered into the diagnostic center after his arrest in Bountiful, charged with passing a false prescription for percocet on June 28 and July 5.
Sanders, along with two other BYU players, was involved in the 1986 investigation. Sanders, tight end Trevor Molini, and linebacker J.C. Von Colln enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program.
Von Colln was reinstated but Sanders and Molini, who was also involved in the April 1987 incident, were not.