Thursday, August 23, 2012
Ohio State reinstates LB Storm Klein
By Brian Bennett
Ohio State has reinstated linebacker Storm Klein after his domestic violence charged was dismissed.
Klein instead pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Wednesday. The senior, who was kicked off the team after his initial July 6 arrest, will face at least a two-game suspension from head coach Urban Meyer. But he is back to being a Buckeye.
His reinstatement adds depth and experience to a position that has talent, but a lot of youth for Ohio State. Sophomores Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant are slated to start next to fifth-year senior Etienne Sabino. Klein started 10 games last year at middle linebacker, collecting 45 tackles. He will likely serve as a backup to Grant when allowed to play.
Klein was originally charged with "violently and purposefully" removing the mother of his child from his off-campus apartment. But the woman later recanted her original accusation and said Klein did not strike her. She said she was injured while flailing around during the argument and wanted the charges dropped.
Meyer had dismissed Klein as part of his zero-tolerance policy involving violence against women. But domestic violence cases are often murky, and Klein was cleared of any violent charges. By welcoming Klein back but still suspending him, Meyer is still making a statement. Meyer's handling of discipline at Ohio State will be closely monitored because of his time at Florida, which included a string of arrests involving prominent Gators.
"As I had indicated previously, if there are changes in the charges against Storm, I would re-evaluate his status," Meyer said in a school release. "The charges that would have violated our core values have been totally dismissed.
"I have spoken extensively to members of both families and that has prompted me to reassess his situation and allow him back."