BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Penn State defensive tackle Chris Baker was sentenced to 2 years' probation yesterday after entering guilty pleas in two cases involving two separate fights.

Baker pleaded guilty yesterday to simple assault and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, in connection with a fight at an off-campus apartment in April 2007 in which authorities said two people were hurt, according to Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira.

Baker, 21, of Windsor, Conn., also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault for a fight at the campus student union last October, Madeira said. One man was hurt in that encounter.

Madeira said Baker also must pay about $2,500 in restitution covering both cases. All other charges, including felony counts in both cases, were dismissed.

Also, Joe Paterno, attending a dinner in Austin, Texas, a day after he was hospitalized for dehydration, joked that, "I didn't thinbk this event was getting enough press. I decided to go to the hospital and see if I could spruce it up a bit."

The 81-year-old Penn State coach added, "The minute you don't feel good, people get nervous." *