Experts

Tiger Woods has reached a plea deal, and experts say it’s a smart move


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Tigers Woods has reached a plea deal after being charged with
reckless driving, according to an AP report.

The agreement comes after Woods was arrested for driving under
the influence and reckless driving back in May, and will
keep him out of jail as long as he complies with
Florida’s program for first-time DUI offenders.

Woods attributed his poor driving not to alcohol, but
rather an 
unexpected reaction to
prescribed medications
‘ he was taking to recover from back
surgery.

On Wednesday when his hearing was scheduled, Woods did not
have to appear in court once the agreement had been reached,
instead entering a plea of “not guilty” on the charge of driving
under the influence through his attorney. His hearing for the
reckless driving charge will be heard on October 25, at which
Woods is expected to appear, plead guilty, and begin the 12-month
diversion program.

Michael McCann of Golf.com noted in a story
that by taking the plea deal and avoiding the spotlight,
Woods saved himself a lot of potential trouble with media
coverage.

By not appearing before cameras on Wednesday, Woods avoided
the media spectacle of entering a courthouse and attending a
legal proceeding as a defendant. That kind of imagery almost
never benefits a person. Fairly or not, it suggests that a person
has broken the law, even if he or she is ultimately found not
guilty.

By keeping a low profile, Woods is also more likely to
protect his endorsement deals—which is surely a sensitive topic
for him. Woods lost many millions of dollars in anticipated
endorsement earnings following media coverage of his 2009-10
marital infidelity scandal. A number of companies dropped Woods
pursuant to his endorsement deals’ “morals clauses,” which allow
an endorsed company to drop an athlete if the athlete’s personal
conduct causes serious controversy.

Thus, rather than appearing in court on Wednesday and
taking up another news cycle, Woods instead deferred to a later
date when the sports world will be a bit more occupied with other
stories and he will be starting with his diversion program right
after.

Woods has not participated in competitive golf since
withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in
February.

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