MSU Coach Dantonio Comfortable With Chris L. Rucker Decision

Despite the criticism he's taken for reinstating Chris L. Rucker to the Michigan State football team after a drunken driving arrest, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio says he wouldn't have handled the situation differently.

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Mark Dantonio Stands Firm On Chris L. Rucker Decision

Despite the criticism he’s taken for reinstating Chris L. Rucker to the Michigan State football team after a drunken driving arrest, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio says he wouldn’t have handled the situation differently.

From the Detroit News:

“In terms of the timing of it all I would have done nothing different,” Dantonio said at his weekly news conference. “I believe whenever you have a problem you need to get out front and handle the problem as best you can. I think we did that. The problem was not resolved until Thursday, so I was not making a decision until Thursday.”

Dantonio went on to say that while reinstating Rucker hasn’t been a popular decision among some, others support him sticking behind his players.

“As I said before, I try to do the best I can for each individual player that’s here and their families. I think that’s what they signed up for. They didn’t sign up to go 11-1. They signed up because they felt like I would take care of their sons. I would take their sons and mold them into productive members of society. I don’t think that work is done until they graduate and you don’t see that work until they are 25, 26, 27 years old.”


Chris L. Rucker Dressed For Michigan State

It appears that Michigan State's Chris L. Rucker will in fact play today. He is in uniform and apparently took part in the pregame warmups, running through drills with the second-team defense.

As mentioned in previous updates to this StoryStream, Mark Dantonio left the decision to play or to not play up to Rucker. Considering the magnitude of this game, it should come as no surprise that Rucker is dressed and ready to go as the Spartans ready to take on Iowa. While he has been out of practice for a few weeks, I can't imagine it will take him long to shake off the rust, so for MSU this will be a very nice boost to their secondary as they take on Ricky Stanzi and the Hawkeyes.

UPDATE: According to ESPN's Heather Cox, Rucker will not start, but other than that there are no restrictions on him.


Chris L. Rucker Travels With MSU To Iowa

Cornerback Chris L. Rucker, who was reinstated to the Michigan State football team on Thursday, made the trip to Iowa on Friday. It's not clear if he will actually play against Iowa, but it would be pretty surprising if he didn't after traveling all the way to Iowa for the game.

When Rucker was reinstated, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said that any decisions about playing or not playing would be left up to Rucker. Although Rucker has essentially missed the last three weeks of practice, I don't see a scenario where he wouldn't play. This is not only the biggest game of his football career, but for Michigan State the entire season may very well come down to this one game. To say the least, it would take a lot for Rucker to not be out there.

When Dantonio made his announcement about Rucker, he said that he consulted players on his team and they all voted for reinstating the senior cornerback. As if you needed more proof that they are on board with the decision, Rucker had players huddled around him as MSU entered its hotel so cameras couldn't get a picture of him. Regardless of what the critics out there say, there's no doubt MSU is united on this decision.


Michigan State Reinstates Chris L. Rucker To Football Team

Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker has been reinstated to the Spartans football team. Head coach Mark Dantonio made the announcement on Thursday.

Rucker’s reinstatement comes as he’s scheduled to be released from Ingham County Jail. He served eight days in prison for violating the terms of his probation. The probation stems back to pleading guilty to assault for taking part in a fight at Rather Hall last November.

The senior cornerback was suspended from the football team following his arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. Rucker received an additional two years probation for one count of reckless driving.

UPDATE: Dantonio said Rucker will decide whether or not he travels with the team to Iowa and plays in Saturday's game.

Here are quotes from Dantonio's statement to the media.

From the State News:

“I have known and have watched Chris L. Rucker for four years on the field, in the classroom, in the community and as a team member,” Dantonio said in a statement. “The poor decision he made had need for serious consequences which he has now met and resolved from a team and legal perspective. It does not; however, rise to a lifetime banishment.


Mark Dantonio Declines To Comment About Chris L. Rucker

During his weekly press conference today, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was asked about the status of senior cornerback Chris L. Rucker. Dantonio refused to address the situation and also declined to answer a question about a "zero tolerance" statement he previously made.

"In both cases, I'll just not answer your question," Dantonio said. "How about that?"

Rucker missed Michigan State's last two games because of a suspension related to his drunken driving arrest. A plea bargain got the charge reduced to reckless driving, but Rucker is spending some time in jail because he violated his probation. He is set to get out Thursday, so is it possible he could play against Iowa on Saturday? It's unclear because Dantonio declined to comment, but it sounds like the door is at the very least open to the possibility.

This is just speculation on my part, but if Dantonio were going to kick Rucker off the team, he would have done it by now. And if Rucker were for sure suspended for at least one more game, that announcement would have likely been made by now. I don't know if he will actually play considering he's been away from the team for a couple weeks, but Dantonio seems to be considering reinstating his starting senior cornerback for Saturday's game. Although discipline is important, I don't know if I could blame him for making the move considering the magnitude of the Iowa game. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens for sure before making a judgment one way or the other, though.


MSU's Chris L. Rucker In Jail After Reaching Plea Agreement

Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker, who was arrested earlier this month for drunken driving, has reached a plea agreement to have the charge reduced to reckless driving. The new charge, a misdemeanor, has landed Rucker in jail for 10 days for violating his probation, which has been extended to two years. Rucker has been in jail since last week and is going to be released on Thursday, as he will not have to serve the entire sentence.

Rucker got one day of credit for the night he spent in jail after his arrest, Jordon said. An Ingham County jail official said prisoners there get a day of credit for each week served. So Rucker will end up spending eight days in the county jail.

There is no word just yet on what Rucker's status with Michigan State is, but I imagine we will get an update during Mark Dantonio's weekly press conference on Tuesday.


MSU's Chris L. Rucker Waives Arraignment, Still Suspended

Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker, who was arrested earlier this month for drunken driving, waived his arraignment. Rucker was scheduled to be arraigned today, but because he had it waived, he will simply have a pretrial date scheduled at some point in the future.

Rucker, who was suspended for the Illinois game this past Saturday, will apparently be out again this week. He is not on the depth chart for the upcoming Northwestern game, and Dantonio's lack of an update indicates that the suspension is continuing for the time being.

Rucker was replaced by freshman Darqueze Dennard against Illinois. Dennard played a solid game, forcing and recovering a fumble.


Jail Time Recommended For MSU's Chris L. Rucker

Chris L. Rucker has already been suspended by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio for being charged with operating while intoxicated, but that could be the least of his concerns if the wishes of his probation officer are granted.

According to court documents, Rucker violated two orders of his probation, including purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs. Rucker’s probation officer, Matthew J. Brundage, is recommending a 21-day jail sentence. 

Rucker has until Oct. 20 to appear in 54-B District Court in East Lansing for his arraignment. A determination on a jail sentence could be made at that time.  

If Rucker ends up spending three weeks in jail, you would have to imagine his MSU career would be over. The senior is already on thin ice as it is, and even if Mark Dantonio didn't kick him off the team, I can't see how Rucker would stay eligible after missing three weeks of class. It would take some exceptional work to pull that off, so a jail sentence is exactly what Rucker will want to avoid for more reasons than one.


MSU's Chris L. Rucker Was Suspended For OWI Charge

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio suspended cornerback Chris L. Rucker on Sunday for a violation of team rules. He declined to say anything specific about Rucker's violation, as expected, but the Free Press is reporting that Rucker was charged for operating while intoxicated early Sunday morning.

According to a ticket released by East Lansing police, Rucker was stopped at 2:19 a.m. on the 300 block of Grove Street in a 2002 Oldsmobile and had a blood-alcohol level of .10. 

Dantonio didn't say if Rucker would be suspended for only the Illinois game on Saturday or if it would last beyond one game. Given the nature of the incident, a one-game suspension is usually the punishment for this type of thing, but then again, Rucker was already on probation for his involvement in the Rather Hall brawl last November. He was suspended for the Alamo Bowl for that issue, so this second strike could lengthen the typical punishment for an OWI charge.

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