SPRINGFIELD, MASS. >> A former Massachusetts college football player charged with fracturing his girlfriend's skull has pleaded guilty to related charges and avoided prison time.

John Perry, a former linebacker at Western New England University, was sentenced this month to a year of probation after pleading guilty to assault and battery. He had faced a more serious charge of aggravated assault for allegedly punching the woman last November during a party at his off-campus house.

The Republican reports that the 22-year-old Perry, of Marblehead, was also ordered to avoid alcohol, stay away from the victim, and complete a court-approved domestic violence treatment program. He was dismissed from the Springfield school.

Perry's lawyer said the woman was intoxicated, did not remember what happened, and Perry was not at the home when she was injured.

Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/