Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer told reporters at Big Ten Media Days that Tracy Sprinkle was no longer a part of the program. Sprinkle was charged with cocaine possession after a bar brawl in Elyria, Ohio. Even though Meyer dismissed the defensive lineman, the coach left the door open for Sprinkle’s return to the team.
“You remove them from the program and readdress it at the appropriate time (if something changes),” Meyer said at the time.
The appropriate time came a week later. Sprinkle returned to practice Monday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The opportunity to return to the Buckeyes was based on the outcome of Sprinkles’ legal situation. Sprinkle pleaded no contest Thursday to lesser charges.
Urban Meyer says that Tracy Sprinkle was reinstated after the drug charges were dropped and he tested negative for cocaine.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) August 4, 2014
Sprinkle was previously expected to be a part of the Buckeyes’ defensive line rotation this season, but he’ll have to regain the coaching staff’s trust. Sprinkle didn’t practice with the team’s veterans Monday afternoon, per the Pain Dealer. He was on the field during the morning session with team’s younger players.
At 283 pounds, Sprinkle presents the size and athleticism to provide depth at both defensive end and defensive tackle. But he must first earn his spot among one of the most talented units on the Buckeyes’ roster.
UPDATE: While Sprinkle was reinstated to the team, he will be suspended for Ohio State’s first game of the season against the Navy Midshipmen.