Cincinnati QB could face jail in drinking case

CINCINNATI -- A judge warned University of Cincinnati sophomore quarterback Zach Collaros on Thursday that he could spend the bowl season in jail if he doesn't get his act together after being accused of showing a fake ID at a bar.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard scolded Collaros for failing to begin a court-ordered program on the dangers of underage drinking. Bouchard told Collaros he had until Dec. 7 or would face jail time.

"Got it? Are we clear?" Bouchard asked him. "You're not going to get another chance."

Collaros said through his attorney that he would begin the program right away.

"He knows better," attorney Bill Mikita said in court. "The last few weeks have been kind of crazy."

Collaros took over quarterbacking for the unbeaten, fifth-ranked Bearcats while senior Tony Pike recovered from an Oct. 15 arm injury. Collaros started four games.

Bouchard explained afterward that the diversion program is a chance for first-time offenders to "get a break and learn from their mistakes."

Collaros was 20 when cited for presenting a fake ID to get into a bar near the main campus. Completing the diversionary program, ordered Oct. 5, would allow him to have the case dismissed and the record sealed. Otherwise, he could face as many as 180 days in jail.

Bouchard told Collaros, now 21, that skipping the program isn't like "blowing off a math class" and that he needs to grow up.

Bouchard said afterward that he expected Collaros to quickly take the first step in the program -- an interview about life history and any issues with substance abuse. A defendant also must pay $200 and attend an eight-hour class on underage drinking.

"I think he understands crystal-clear what he needs to do," Bouchard said.

University spokesman Ryan Koslen declined to comment.