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October 17, 2010


The first BCS standings are out (kinda wild that you care, isn't it?) and MSU comes in at No. 7 -- tops among Big Ten teams and its highest BCS ranking ever. Ohio State is No. 10 fresh off its loss at Wisconsin on Saturday night, while the Badgers are No. 13 and Iowa is 15. Oklahoma is No. 1 and Oregon No. 2.

    Meanwhile, Mark Dantonio said tonight that the Chris L. Rucker situation "has yet to be resolved," per Denny Schwarze. He wouldn't say if Rucker has a chance to play Saturday at Northwestern or not.

    Rucker is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 a.m. Wednesday (though he could come in before that) after he was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and his probation officer has recommended a 21-day jail sentence for violating the probation he received for a misdemeanor assault conviction in the Rather Hall fight.

    We don't know what Dantonio will decide on Rucker, but is there a chance it won't matter? Might Rucker get that jail time immediately? I asked that of 54-B District Court Judge David Jordon, who is assigned to Rucker's case.

    Without speculating specifically on Rucker's situation, Jordon said that technically it's possible that a defendant would come right out and plead guilty at arraignment in a case like this. If so, sentencing could happen that day. But that would be unusual.

    Typically, a defendant pleads not guilty and a pre-trial hearing is set for a couple weeks later. If no plea deal is reached at that hearing, jury selection is scheduled in another four weeks or so, Jordon said. By then, a plea deal is reached and a sentence is decided. These typically don't go to trial.

    If that's the timeline here (and if Rucker is guilty), he may receive his sentence right around the end of the regular season -- unless his lawyer can convince Jordon to delay everything. Might Rucker be in jail just before the Penn State game? Just after? Maybe he'll serve his sentence between the end of the regular season and MSU's bowl game -- but that would bump into the end of the school semester.

    And again, we still don't know what Dantonio is going to do. What we do know is that it's doubtful Rucker will be jailed in the next few days.


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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter

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