ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio coach Frank Solich is fighting a drunken driving conviction based on testing that revealed the “date rape” drug GHB in his system, his lawyer said Friday.
Attorney Sam Shamansky filed a request Friday asking the Athens Municipal Court to look at the drug test and consider overturning Solich’s conviction. Solich, a former Nebraska coach, pleaded no contest in November after police spotted him slumped over the wheel of his vehicle.
A test performed in January on a hair sample from Solich showed positive for GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), an odorless, colorless drug that is often mixed with alcohol.
“There’s no way he could have been in the condition described by police given the moderate amount of alcohol he consumed,” Shamansky said. “Frank is not a drug user.”
Ohio law says a defendant who seeks to withdraw a guilty or no contest plea after a sentence has been served must show the withdrawal is necessary “to correct a manifest injustice,” according to Shamansky’s request.
Solich pleaded no contest without knowing that he apparently was under the influence of GHB when arrested, Shamansky wrote.
Athens Prosecutor Lisa Eliason said the request was rare.
“I’ve been prosecuting drunk driving cases for 16 years and this is the first time I’ve seen a motion to withdraw,” she said.
Solich’s driver’s license was suspended for six months, and the university required him to participate in alcohol-education programs on campus to keep his job.
Ohio hired Solich last year to turn around its football program, which had had just two winning seasons since 1982. He had a record of 58-19 in his six years at Nebraska but was fired after the Cornhuskers went 7-7 in 2003.
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