As far as days that start out behind a set of steel bars go, today was a very good one for Michigan State’s Chris Rucker.
First, the senior cornerback was released from jail Thursday after serving eight days for a probation violation, which was the result of an operating a vehicle while intoxicated charge. Then, shortly after his release, Rucker was reinstated to the football team.
The starting corner had been suspended since his Oct. 10 arrest on the drunk-driving charge, but the coaching staff has steadfastly left the door open for Rucker despite two arrests in less than a year. Head coach Mark Dantonio said this afternoon that Rucker’s served his time, and now it’s time to move on with him as a member of the football program.
“The poor decision he made had need for serious consequences which he has now met and resolved from a team and legal perspective,” the coach said. “It does not, however, rise to a lifetime banishment. …
“Losing a game hurts. Removing a young man like Chris from the team is unacceptable.”
All told, Rucker missed two games because of the suspension, but he could miss a third even after being reinstated. While he was back at practice today, Dantonio said it would be up to Rucker if he travels with the team to Iowa City for Saturday’s game against Iowa.
Regardless of Rucker’s travel decision, Dantonio said freshman Darqueze Dennard will make his third consecutive start against the Hawkeyes.