Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
Background here, if you're just coming into the story. The deal from there on in: James Padgett pleads guilty to reckless driving, but the DWI charge was dropped. (Padge and his attorney claim that they didn't wait 20 minutes in between the first and second breathalyzer test, but I don't know if the charge was dropped because of that specifically or some other reason, like pleading the charge down.) And with no DWI charge ... no suspension.
My first thought: "Wait, isn't this a blatant violation of the Student Athlete Code of Conduct"? After a minute's thought, it isn't. The CoC does explicitly read that any S/A charged with DUI/DWI is automatically suspended for 10% of the season, apparently regardless of conviction status. But it wasn't that Padgett was merely not convicted; the charge was dropped in its entirety. So yeah, after the fact, but still: no charge, no suspension.
So the Shaq Cleare era starts a few games later, then. I wasn't too terribly upset about the suspension to begin with, but the experience and post depth Padge provides is without a doubt a bonus.
Takes some of the sting out of Nerlens Noel's eligibility. But only some of the sting. Dez Wells needs to get the green light for all that to even out. (Do the right thing, NCAA. You know you want to.)