Courtesy of the Ohio State Athletic Department
Ex-Ohio State linebacker Storm Klein might just have a second chance with first-year coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes’ football team.
Having been dismissed from the squad after being arrested and charged for domestic violence and assault, Klein pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct Monday morning, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.
He faces 18 months of probation and court fees, and the linebacker is asking to be reinstated with the program.
Klein’s lawyer, Larry James, confirmed that both of the charges originally leveled against his client have been dismissed.
Klein was arrested late on July 6 after allegedly striking the mother of his child. A day later, Meyer booted Klein from the team because the charges against Klein “violate the core values of the Ohio State football program,” Meyer said in a released statement.
Meyer, however, did not entirely slam the door shut on Klein.
“If there are any changes in the charges, we will re-evaluate his status,” Meyer said in the statement.
James confirmed that Meyer said he would take Klein’s new legal-status “under advisement.”
OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said there is no timetable for when anything will be determined.
James said Meyer has a zero-tolerance policy for certain type of offenses – domestic violence among them – but he said Klein isn’t accused of violating any of Meyer and the Buckeyes’ “core values.”
James, however, added that Meyer told him any infraction “whatsoever” could still result in a penalty.
James said he thinks Klein “deserves to be back on the team.”
“I thought all along that the allegations were not true, Storm did not harm her, did not hit her, did not injure her. Therefore, I didn’t think – I’ve always thought – that he should be on the team,” he said.
James said Klein is “exhausted, frustrated and scared.”
“You know, this is his senior year and he’s had this matter pending for some time and it hasn’t been resolved. His worst nightmare would be that if he wasn’t allowed back on the team to participate,” he said.
For now, James said he is not entirely sure of Klein’s circumstances with the university, but said Klein is “not officially able to attend classes” and “would not be able to attend without an athletic scholarship.”
James, who was hired to represent OSU’s football players involved in the 2011 “Tatoo-Gate” NCAA investigations, told The Lantern that Klein’s family, not the university, is compensating him.
In his three years on the field, Klein has amassed 73 tackles in 38 games for the Buckeyes, including 45 in 2011.
Before his dismissal, Klein was not listed as a starter on OSU’s depth chart.
Klein did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment.