|QB will be allowed to return to practice after arrest|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 27 September 2007 13:31|
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Ohio State quarterback Antonio Henton, suspended indefinitely earlier this week after being arrested and accused of offering a female police officer $20 for sex, will be permitted to begin practicing with the team next week, coach Jim Tressel said Thursday.|
Speaking after the eighth-ranked Buckeyes' practice, Tressel said the third-stringer will begin training with the team Monday - one week after Henton was arrested by Columbus police in an area just south of campus. He was charged with soliciting prostitution.
Henton did not practice with the team this week, and he will not make the trip to Minnesota on Saturday. He will continue to practice on the scout team until his case has been resolved, Tressel said.
``I just think it's the right thing to do,'' Tressel said when asked why he was allowing Henton to return to the team. ``He's a part of our family. You wouldn't toss somebody out of your house; you'd still have them be a part of the family activities.''
Asked if he cared that many people might not agree with his decision, Tressel said, ``I don't want to say that I don't care (what people think), but I care a lot about Antonio. I'm basing my decisions on how much I care about him and that there's a process. I would think if you asked most people and it was their son or daughter, they would want the care for their son or daughter to be first and foremost.''
In 2001, Tressel's first year as Ohio State's coach, he indefinitely suspended starting quarterback Steve Bellisari after he was arrested on drunken driving charges. Tressel reinstated him three days later and allowed him to practice and play in games.
Henton, a 20-year-old redshirt freshman, entered a not guilty plea Tuesday in Franklin County Municipal Court to the misdemeanor charge and was released on bond, according to court records.
``Within our athletic department policy, we do not have defined sanctions for a misdemeanor,'' Tressel said on Tuesday. ``Those are usually left up to the sport, but what action we've taken thus far has been solely football-initiated.''
Tressel said he spoke with Henton and then met with several other people before reaching his decision to allow Henton to practice.
``He's very disappointed,'' Tressel said of Henton. ``He's very sad that this is even being discussed. He's ready to partake in the legal process.''
Henton is Ohio State's fourth-leading rusher while filling in behind starter Todd Boeckman and backup Rob Schoenhoft.
The soliciting charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, but convictions generally result in a small fine.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Henton is from Fort Valley, Ga. He competed for the starting job last spring but had less game experience than the two players in front of him.
In the Buckeyes' 38-6 win over Youngstown State in the season opener, he threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Taurian Washington. In Saturday's 58-7 win over Northwestern, he was 1-of-4 passing for 20 yards and ran for 31 yards on seven carries.
Henton is 3-for-6 passing for 57 yards with the one touchdown and no interceptions this season. He has rushed for 41 yards on nine carries.
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