Sinclair, Matha receive jail sentence for bar fight

By Lisa Koulias

Illinois football players Matt Sinclair and Ryan Matha were sentenced to jail time Wednesday at the Champaign County Courthouse for their involvement in a bar fight at Joe’s Brewery, 706 S. Fifth St., Champaign, on July 31.

State’s Attorney John Piland said the two pleaded guilty to battery charges and received a sentence of eight days in county jail, which they will begin serving Nov. 21, the day after regular season play ends.

In addition to the eight days in jail, Sinclair and Matha must serve 12 months of probation and have substance abuse evaluations, Piland said.

Illini head coach Ron Turner hadn’t heard about the players’ day in court, but did say he was going to talk to them after practice.

“I don’t have any comment on that yet because I haven’t really heard anything officially,” Turner said. “I found out just yesterday that they would possibly be doing something (Wednesday), and I am going to wait until I find out. I haven’t even talked to them. They got back just in time for practice. I’m going to sit down with them and find out exactly what is going on before I have any type of statement.

“I’ve already had some (discipline for them). I’ve already done quite a bit with them. I anticipate them playing this week.”