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Ex-Bengal Gets Job, Wins Release

December 7, 1999 GMT

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Former Cincinnati Bengals running back James Brooks will enter a work-release program to complete his six-month jail sentence for failure to pay more than $110,000 in child support.

Brooks, whose football contracts sometimes exceeded $1 million, will begin working this week for about $10 an hour at a concrete company.

Brooks, the Bengals’ all-time leading rusher with 6,447 yards, also will serve as a mentor for a youth football program and attend literacy classes. He was released from jail Monday and placed on probation for five years.


He will spend his nights at Talbert House, an agency that operates criminal justice, mental health and drug- and alcohol-related programs.

Brooks pleaded no contest last month to two counts of nonsupport. His attorney described him as a broke, unskilled laborer who earned $7 an hour at a warehouse job in England.

Brooks, 40, testified that his only marketable skill was playing football. His wife, Emma, said her husband was barely literate and had a learning disability.

Prosecutors said Brooks must pay about $2,600 a month to support three of his children. The criminal charges involved Brooks’ 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Their mothers said Brooks has not paid support for years.

Under Ohio law, up to 55 percent of Brooks’ wages could be deducted to support the children.