Ex-player’s NFL concussion payment would go to restitution

FILE - This May 29, 2013, file photo shows former NFL wide receiver Reggie Rucker after a news conference for Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown in Cleveland. A federal judge sentenced Rucker on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, to 21 months in prison and ordered him to pay $110,000 in restitution, after he was accused of stealing over $100,000 from two charities to pay gambling debts and personal expenses and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and false statements. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — If former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Reggie Rucker gets money from a potential settlement between the NFL and athletes who suffered concussions, he’ll have to use it to pay restitution for stealing from his nonviolence nonprofit groups.

Rucker’s attorney previously said the 70-year-old intends to pay restitution using whatever payment he might get from a class-action settlement in the concussions matter. Cleveland.com reports a federal judge recently made that an order.

Rucker was sentenced last year to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $110,000 for using the charities’ money to pay gambling debts and personal expenses. Part of his NFL pension payments also are being garnished for restitution.

His attorney blamed Rucker’s actions on a gambling addiction caused by football-related brain injuries. Prosecutors scoffed at that argument.

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