Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio will soon have a big decision upon his hands: Does he dismiss a very talented high school prospect due to trouble with the law and time spent in jail, or allow the young man to join his team and possibly become a huge distraction?
Over the weekend, it was announced that Michigan State recruit Jayru Campbell, 17, would spend 60 days in jail as part of his conviction for the assault of a school security officer at Cass Tech, where Campbell played.
Reports are that Campbell was asked to remove his hood when entering the school (which is in accordance to mandatory school rules) and when he refused, he was told to report to the principal's office. After a short altercation, Campbell then slammed the officer's head into the floor.
In addition to his jail time, Campbell was required to write a letter of apology to the security officer and read it aloud in the courtroom, which he did, stating that he was sorry and has learned from the Jan. 22 incident and would handle things differently now. The officer did not attend the sentencing.
Campbell must also attend and participate in psychological counseling and anger management classes.
After his release, the young football star will serve 15 months probation and must perform 75 hours of community service, as well. He is expected to turn himself in to serve his jail time in July after he completes summer school.
Before the January incident took place, Campbell, a talented and highly-sought after quarterback, had committed to play football at Michigan State. MSU coaches and personnel are not allowed to comment on the legal and penal issues now surrounding Campbell, as per NCAA regulations and rules, and his status with the school is unclear.
Mark Dantonio has taken chances on risky players who have had legal troubles in the past, but with the new-found success that Michigan State has been enjoying, including a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl victory over Stanford, the national spotlight is now upon East Lansing more than ever. The pressure to avoid athletes who would present themselves as a liability is now greater than ever for the coach.
Campbell was earlier charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a felony, and aggravated assault, a misdemeanor. He then plead guilty to the misdemeanor after the felony charge was dropped last month.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.