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COLUMBUS — Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer dismissed Tracy Sprinkle from the team Monday after the defensive lineman spent the weekend in a Lorain, Ohio, jail on charges of cocaine possession and helping inflame a wild bar brawl.
Appearing in Lorain Municipal Court, Sprinkle, 19, pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on $2,000 bond. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for July 31.
Meyer in the past has laid out a near-zero-tolerance policy for what he calls “core value issues” — including drug use — though circumstances can change.
A team spokesman said Sprinkle’s status with the Buckeyes “will be re-evaluated after all legal issues are resolved.”
Two years ago, Meyer booted Storm Klein off the team but reinstated the linebacker after his domestic violence charge was dismissed. Klein pleaded instead to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
For now, though, Sprinkle is gone.
A 19-year-old Elyria native, he was arrested early Saturday at Grown & Sexy Lounge in Lorain. Sprinkle was allegedly among the instigators of a massive brawl characterized in the incident report as “absolute mayhem” — a scene that required assistance from all available Lorain police, dog units, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Police said they twice warned Sprinkle to break away from a confrontation with another man, then arrested him after he was spotted in a separate skirmish. According to the report, police found two small plastic bags of cocaine — each weighed 0.2 grams — in the backseat of the police car in which he was detained.
One of three men arrested from the incident, he was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, rioting, and failing to disperse.
Sprinkle, named the 2012 Ohio Division I co-defensive player of the year as a senior at Elyria, redshirted last year but was expected to compete for time in the defensive line rotation this fall.