Dantonio Reinstates Chris L. Rucker

By: News 10
By: News 10

MSU football coach Mark Dantonio has reinstated Chris L. Rucker effective immediately. Rucker, a senior defensive back, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving a few hours after Michigan State defeated Michigan 34-17 on October 9. Prosecutors reduced the charge and Rucker served 8 days in jail for violating his probation in connection with last year's Rather Hall attack. Dantonio did not say if Rucker will play against Iowa. He's allowing Rucker to decide if he'll make the trip to Iowa City for Saturday's game. Dantonio explained his decision in the following statement:

“When I first came to Michigan State and since then, I have attempted to do things the right way. I have always positioned myself as a parent would in many – if not all – actions of discipline. My belief in young people is a positive one. I look for the greater good in our young people in today’s society , hoping to always find value even in difficult circumstances.

“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. 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.

“Our decision to immediately reinstate Chris has been endorsed by the team’s unity council and the program at-large. This was a difficult decision. After much soul searching and dialogue with those who are vested in the program, I am comfortable and confident in the decision I have made.

“I have been asked about last year’s statement regarding zero tolerance. Zero tolerance means exactly that. We have no tolerance for Chris L. Rucker’s actions. I repeat, I have no tolerance for his actions. He was immediately suspended. He has served his civil punishment, and there are other internal disciplinary measures nobody will know about outside the program. Again, zero tolerance does not mean automatic dismissal.

“When I find something I cannot tolerate, my response is not found in some playbook. There is no call that fits all situations. Sometimes, the reason for calling a play – either on or off the field – is known only to those closest to the situation.

“I made this call, and I should be held accountable. I hold myself accountable. To some critics, it might be seen as a low-percentage call or the wrong decision. It is neither. To me, our coaches, and our entire team – the men in the arena – it was the right call for the right reasons.

“Each case, like every young man on this team or every other student at this university, is different.

“Losing a game hurts. Removing a young man like Chris from the team is unacceptable.

“My decisions can never be only about the next game. The scoreboard I most care about has very little to do with a Saturday in October. This is about positioning a young man for a successful and productive future. Again, I am very sorry for his actions and irresponsibility. It is my hope that we can forgive his actions and move forward."

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  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Nov 1, 2010 at 08:35 AM
    Will, seriously?!?!?!?!?!?!? "Win at all costs policy"?!?!?!?! We must not have been paying enough to cover those costs a lot of these past few years because we haven't exactly been winning to a hugely stellar degree in football until this one. You must hang out a lot in Idiotville with Bob R. Crack is whack people; just say "NO".
  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Nov 1, 2010 at 08:01 AM
    Bob R, my response to you is to say you're an idiot for even posing such a ridiculous question. That's the only reponse you deserve for being nothing but an extremist, judgmental jerkwad. For the record, plenty of "regular taxpayers" get breaks on their sentences because the jails are horribly overcrowded-in other words this is me pointing out that you, besides being a judgmental jerkwad, are also an ignorant spouter who has no evidence to back up what he's spewing. Please also demonstrate to me your perfect life record. Not able to? What a surprise; I guess it's too bad no one brought the hammer down on your worthless self for any of the wrong you've done in the past. We'd all have been spared your sad little rhetoric that way.
  • by Phil Location: Los Angeles on Oct 29, 2010 at 06:07 PM
    The guy committed two pretty serious offenses and was guilty of both. Just reeks that MD needs him for the game and found some whatever reason to justify reinstating him in time to travel to Iowa. Talking about going soft on crime - MD, please do not run for AG.
  • by JEG Location: LANSING on Oct 29, 2010 at 04:24 PM
    I spent my entire life encouraging associates/friends to "take a chance on someone" and trust that they will suceed. I am pleased to report that their are now many examples of sucesses in our community. Why crush this kid if their is a chance that he has finally learned his lesson. DUI is a serious offence but the kid is young, he deserves a "third" chance. We are to quick to crush a life....it's sad. The coach is much closer to this situation and I trust his judgement.
  • by Will Location: Lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 03:28 PM
    This is just another example of MSU's win at all costs policy.
  • by Steve Location: Lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 03:23 PM
    Well, I'm sure glad that Jesus isn't as eager to write us off as we are of each other. If I, or anyone of us, had been given only one, two, or a thousand chances, where would we be now? Let the young man have to opportunity to learn and grow from his mistakes, just like the rest of us.
  • by Harry Location: Jackson on Oct 29, 2010 at 03:15 PM
    Dantonion is just like the politicians, win at any cost.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:14 PM
    Bill: You are respecting a very wrong decision. No matter how close the coach is to him, it doesn't take away the fact that he drove drunk risking his own life and others. This is not the correct message to send out to kids who are considering getting behind the wheel after drinking.
  • by Bob R Location: Okemos on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:24 AM
    So Jen, I take it that if this misunderstood young man has a third transgression and this time accidently kills someone's spouse or kids or grandkids when driving under the influence, we should all understand. Right? BTW, he spent 8 days of his 30 day sentence in the slammer. So he even got a break there. You would have gotten the max because you're just a taxpayer.
  • by Bill Location: Okemos on Oct 29, 2010 at 05:42 AM
    I agree with the coach. He is way closer to the situation than any of us are. I totally respect his decision and his honor as a coach.
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