New York Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis walks on the...

New York Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis walks on the field during training camp at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. Credit: AP, 2011

Jets defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis pleaded guilty Monday to assault and battery stemming from a 2010 fight while attending college at Hampton University in Virginia.

Ellis was sentenced to 179 days in jail, with 89 suspended, according to court records. But per Virginia law, he only has to serve half of that time because assault and battery is a misdemeanor. His attorney, Timothy Clancy, said Ellis likely would serve 45 days when he reports to jail June 15 and said that he shouldn't miss any of the NFL season.

Jets training camp begins July 26, meaning Ellis could miss four days of camp.

The Jets' third-round draft pick in 2011 originally was charged with malicious wounding -- a felony -- after the altercation. Ellis would have faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted of that offense.

Ellis entered an "Alford plea'' Monday morning, allowing him to acknowledge the prosecution's case could be proved but without admitting guilt. Court records show he will be on unsupervised probation for 2 years.

The Jets knew of his legal troubles but believed there was enough reward to warrant drafting Ellis 94th overall in 2011.

"Based on all the information we have, we're comfortable taking him," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said on draft day. "Maybe his risk is more than others. But if we didn't feel like there was a path to have him be successful here, we wouldn't have taken him."

The Jets have not released a statement regarding Ellis' sentence, and the NFL, through a spokesman, said it will review Ellis' case to determine if league punishment is in order.

The victim, Dennis Eley, had Ellis served with a $3-million civil suit before court, according to The Associated Press.

With AP

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