Former Southern California quarterback Todd Marinovich pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Marinovich, who made himself available for the NFL draft following his sophomore season, entered his pleas in an out-of-court arraignment this week in Orange County (Calif.) Harbor Municipal Court.

Marinovich, 21, had been scheduled to be arraigned next Monday, but the Los Angeles Times reported that a pretrial hearing is scheduled Feb. 25.

Marinovich, arrested Jan. 20, is eligible to apply for a diversion program and could request it at the hearing. If he does not apply, a jury trial date will be scheduled.

In announcing last week that he would make himself eligible for the NFL draft, Marinovich said he would opt for USC if he had the choice to make again. He also sent a letter to Coach Larry Smith apologizing for past problems.

The two often argued, and Marinovich was suspended from the team twice. . . .

The man who promoted a "Baseball Legends" show in September and wrote bad checks to Mickey Mantle, Brooks Robinson and former Dodger Bill Russell was sentenced in Glendale, Calif., to eight years in prison for fraud.

Paul Hammack, who used the alias Ernest Dent, still faces 20 federal charges stemming from complaints about the card show. Police say Hammack, 43, stole more than $200,000 worth of memorabilia and cheated celebrities he had hired to sign autographs.

Police said they recovered 786 items, including a Mantle jersey, from two of Hammack's employees.

Prosecutors had recommended that Hammack serve a year in prison in exchange for his guilty plea, said Barbara Curry, an assistant attorney general. But U.S. District Judge William D. Keller ignored the recommendation.

In an earlier statement, Hammack's lawyer said his client didn't have enough money to pay all the celebrities he hired for the show, which was held Sept. 7-9 at the Pasadena (Calif.) Civic Center.