Peter Lalich, the starting quarterback at Virginia for the first two games before he was sidelined by legal trouble, admitted Thursday to violating his probation by drinking, but told a judge he has not recently smoked marijuana.
During a court appearance that was moved up at the request of his attorney, Lalich told General District Court Judge Robert Downer that he misspoke when admitting to his probation officer that he had smoked marijuana since his arrest on July 21 for underage drinking.
He said the results of drug tests he provided to the court backed his claim.
Lalich, 20, was placed in a pre-conviction probation program after being charged with unlawful purchase and possession of alcohol, a misdemeanor. He is scheduled to return to court July 21, 2009, at which time the charge will be dropped if he stays out of trouble.
In a statement distributed by Lalich's attorney, Tim Heaphy, Lalich said he has learned about personal responsibility from his problems and pledged to clean up his behavior.
"My family, the University of Virginia and the court have all given me opportunities to succeed in life," his statement said. "I know that my actions have disappointed the people who have helped me. From this point forward, I will try my best to show my family, the university, my teammates, the court and everyone else that I am worthy of their faith and trust in me."
Downer told Lalich he tries to give people that come before him charged with underage drinking the chance to utilize the probation program, but also warned him that he would face a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service if he violated probation once more.
It was not immediately clear what impact the court proceedings would have on Lalich's status with the football team.