About 5 seconds.
That’s roughly the time Ohio State student Anthony Wunder spent sprinting down the Ohio Stadium field in the middle of an OSU football game, but that’s all the time it took to land him a court-ordered fine and months of required counseling.
Wunder, a fourth-year in mechanical engineering, appeared in Franklin County Municipal Court on Thursday morning on one count of criminal trespassing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
He pleaded guilty to the charge.
“He’s taken responsibility for his actions,” said Mark C. Collins, the attorney representing Wunder. “He made the poor choice to go out there … He put himself in that situation.”
Collins said the severity of the punishment is what he’d expect for a case like Wunder’s. Because of his age and lack of criminal history, 21-year-old Wunder did not receive the maximum sentence punishable by law. He won’t serve any time in jail, but he will be required to pay $100 and attend three to nine months of counseling.
Although Collins denied any leniency in Wunder’s punishment, some students expressed mixed feelings about whether the punishment was harsh enough.
Stephanie Keller, a third-year in industrial and systems engineering, said a lot of people were expecting Wunder to get a harsher punishment for his actions.
“I was surprised at how — not how easy he got off, but how small the punishment was because at the game, people were talking about how he might be expelled,” Keller said. “I also understand that we’re college kids, so we make stupid mistakes all the time.”
But it’s a mistake Ricky La Ve’, a fifth-year in psychology, said future offenders might intentionally make now because of what seems to be a lack of punishment for Wunder.
“I don’t think it’s going to set a precedent for people not to do it,” La Ve’ said. “I mean, $100 and counseling … I don’t think it’s a deterrent for people doing it again.”
The charge stems back to Sept. 27 when Wunder bolted onto the field during a second-quarter play against Cincinnati. Wunder made it to the 50-yard line before he was slammed to the ground by assistant strength and conditioning coach Anthony Schlegel — a former OSU linebacker.
Videos of Wunder’s stunt and the Schlegel tackle have since gone viral.
In the courtroom Thursday morning, Wunder apologized to his family, the Evans Scholars Program — of which he is a part — and his fellow scholars for his actions that night.
“I made a mistake, and it was very poor judgement,” Wunder said.
Collins said Wunder had been drinking the night of his stint on the field, but said he was not drunk.
In addition to consequences from the state, Wunder also faces punishment from the Evans Scholars Program. As long as he complies with all that the scholars group asks of him, Wunder will not lose his full-ride scholarship. However, he is no longer allowed to live in the scholars house, nor is he able to participate in Evans Scholars activities during the disciplinary process.
“That is a lot of punishment in and of itself,” Collins said. “It’s a close-knit group, and he’s very tied to that group.”
If Wunder complies with all that’s asked of him, Collins said he will eventually be eligible to try and expunge the criminal trespassing charge from his record “as though it never existed.”
Collins said Wunder was not seriously injured as a result of the on-field tackle and will not be pursuing legal action against Schlegel.
“He felt a little sore, but nothing that would amount to anything,” Collins said. “As far as we’re concerned, this case is over.”