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Simmons Charges Deferred

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC cornerback appeared in court on Thursday to answer for two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest in July and possession of marijuana in May.

Via WRAL

North Carolina defensive back Malik Simmons must perform 24 hours of community service after two misdemeanor charges were deferred.

Simmons appeared before Orange County Judge Charles Anderson on Thursday on the resisting arrest and marijuana possession charges.

Attorney Randy Griffin says that by Feb. 4, Simmons must complete the community service, issue a written apology to the arresting officer and pay court costs.

In the end, Simmons does community service, apologizes, pays court costs and the charges will be dismissed.

Earlier in the week Simmons case created a minor storm in the media when it was reported by the Durham Herald-Sun that he had missed his court date while attending practice even though he had been previously suspended. Fedora said after practice Simmons had been reinstated and it was later revealed the court date moved to Thursday, August 6th. Simmons missed Thursday's practice to attend to appear in court with the case getting wrapped up with little fuss.

All in all, the legal issue is minor but the optics of how this played out was a tad more troublesome than it probably should have been. Given how quickly the legal side of this case was wrapped up and the nature of Simmons' suspension, one has to wonder why a punishment at all? Why not issue a statement similar to what Fedora ultimately said on Monday? If Fedora was willing to lift the suspension without the legal status quo changing then it would have made more sense to issue a broader statement to keep all the options open. That way when Monday rolled around and Simmons practiced, Fedora can point to the legal process and that's it. And now that the legal process has played out Fedora can act if he chooses.

Yes, this is a minor issue but in a hyper sensitive media environment and amid a seemingly constant string of UNC stumbling in the PR game, it would be nice to cut down on the unforced errors as much as possible.