Ed Ruth, two-time NCAA wrestling champion for Penn State, has been accepted into an alternative sentence program rather than face jail time for driving while intoxicated charges, StateCollege.com and the Centre Daily Times reported Thursday.
According to the Centre County Administration Office, the Nittany Lion 184-pounder will participate in the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which StateCollege.com described as “a pre-trial intervention program operated out of the district attorney's office. It is intended to help eliminate court costs for non-violent offenders.”
Ruth formally entered the program Wednesday before Centre County Common Pleas Judge Pamela Ruest.
Defendants in ARD can avoid jail time and have their records cleared if they meet requirements set by a judge, which can include community service and drug and alcohol counseling, according to StateCollege.com.
In early December, State College police charged Ruth with DUI for an incident early November 13 in which his car reportedly struck a tree while he was attempting to park at a Taco Bell in State College. Police took Ruth to Mount Nittany Medical Center to determine his blood alcohol content, which, according to court documents, was .281 percent, about three times the state driving limit.
At the time of the incident, Penn State announced that Ruth had been suspended from the wrestling team for one month for breaking team rules. Nittany Lions wrestling spokesperson Pat Donghia confirmed to the Centre Daily Times in December that the suspension was because of the DUI charge.
Despite entering the ARD program, Ruth may still face sanctions from the school. However, under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students are protected against the release of personally identifiable information derived from education records, including information regarding student disciplinary matters.
Ruth returned to the team in mid-December, winning his match at the Penn State-Ohio State dual meet in Pennsylvania. However, Ruth suffered his first loss since his freshman year in the finals at the 2014 Southern Scuffle at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 2, losing to Cornell University freshman Gabe Dean in the 184 finals, breaking Ruth’s 84-match win streak.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Ruth is a three-time NCAA All-American and two-time NCAA champ, winning the 174-pound crown at the 2012 NCAAs by beating Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui, 13-4, in the title bout. The following year, Ruth claimed the title at 184 at the 2013 NCAAs with a 12-4 win over Lehigh's Robert Hamlin in the finals. He is also a two-time Big Ten conference champ. This summer, Ruth was named Penn State Male Athlete of the Year.
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