OSU third-string quarterback posted bond
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
|Ohio State's third-team football quarterback Antonio Henton appears in Franklin County Municipal Court Tuesday. At left is attorney Tasha Ruth. Henton, 20, entered a not guilty plea in Franklin County Municipal Court to a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute.|
The 20-year-old redshirt freshman has been suspended from the team indefinitely following his arrest.
Henton, who competed for a starting spot in the spring and was still regarded by many as the school's future quarterback, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge Tuesday morning in Franklin County Municipal Court.
He was arrested by Columbus police at 8:30 p.m. Monday for soliciting sex at the corner of North High Street and 6th Avenue, according to a police report. Henton agreed to pay an undercover officer $20, though he was reportedly only carrying $19.
He will not travel with the team to Minnesota Saturday and coach Jim Tressel did not indicate when - or if - Henton would return.
"Those types of things, I think in my mind, feel worse than the good feeling you have when you come and win games," said Tressel, who spent the first 10 minutes of his weekly press briefing fielding questions about Henton.
"I guess what's most disappointing to me is that our guys, I think, know deep down what is expected, and when we err, whether it's a player, a coach, whomever, that's disappointing."
Henton, wearing a baggy jump suit, cast a somber image in court Tuesday. He stood silently with his head slung as Judge Amy Salerno addressed him.
"I have to tell you, sir, that I and many fans and graduates of Ohio State University are very disappointed to see you here today in my courtroom," Judge Salerno said. "The fact that you are an ambassador of Ohio State University, your visibility in the community, you need to keep that in mind, sir."
Legal trouble is nothing new for OSU's football program. There were 15 football players arrested between 2001, the year Tressel was hired, and May 2004. And three Buckeyes were arrested in a two week stretch in May 2005.
But the front had quieted recently. Henton's arrest is the first by an OSU football player since left tackle Alex Boone was charged with driving under the influence last April.
For this reason, his teammates said they were stunned as word of the arrest spread across campus early Tuesday.
"Antonio's a great guy. What happened (Monday) night was a mistake," quarterback Todd Boeckman said. "I'm sure he truly, truly regrets it ... It's tough for me to see him doing something like this or how this could happen."
Safety Kurt Coleman said: "I love Antonio to death. He's my brother. But whatever happens, happens."
What will happen is murky. Tressel has never been against giving his players second chances and he had spoken highly of Henton this season. Splitting time with Joe Bauserman leading the scout team during practice, Henton's athleticism had impressed.
"You can tell he has something there," Coleman said.
But his legal issues will likely need to be resolved before the Buckeyes would reinstate him.
"We've got to first and foremost do what we have to do to make sure that Antonio is well cared for," Tressel said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
David Briggs can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.