Berry to Be Suspended Indefinitely
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jaamal Berry will have his day in court. Until then, Ohio State’s backup running back will be suspended from the team indefinitely.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The third-year sophomore out of Miami (Fla.) was charged with assault and disorderly conduct on Wednesday, both misdemeanor criminal offenses, for his role in an alleged incident that occurred last month near Ohio State’s campus.
"Junior running back Jaamal Berry, from Miami, Fla., has been suspended from the Ohio State University football team for violating the athletic department’s student-athlete standards of conduct. Berry will remain suspended until charges filed against him have been resolved,” an Ohio State spokesperson said in a release Wednesday.
He was already facing a civil lawsuit from a 21-year-old non-student who alleged he was “struck in the face with a closed fist” during an unprovoked attack in the early-morning hours of Friday, Oct. 21.
The civil suit, which was filed on Oct. 27, accused Berry of assault, battery and ethnic intimidation.
The alleged incident took place outside a Vine Street parking garage near the North Market just three weeks after Berry was hospitalized following an altercation with another student on campus.
Berry was admitted to and released from the OSU Medical Center after witnesses saw him “wrestling on the ground” with another student in the South Oval on Ohio State’s campus.
Athletic Director Gene Smith let be known last week that Berry would face an indefinite suspension if and when charges were filed.
“If Jaamal is charged, he will be suspended pending the outcome of the case,” Smith said.
According to court documents, Berry is scheduled for an arraignment hearing on Dec. 1. That is five days after the Buckeyes’ regular-season finale at Michigan and two days before the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis.
Berry is a starting kick returner for the Buckeyes and their No. 4 tailback, but he did not play in the victory over Wisconsin this past Saturday. He has played in only five games this season because of a hamstring injury suffered during fall camp, and has only three carries for five yards.
He does have two catches for 14 yards and seven kick returns for 150 yards, an average of 21.4 yards per return. His best return of the year was 28 yards. Receiver Chris Fields, who took his spot back deep during the Wisconsin game, will replace Berry on the kickoff return team.
Fields has one kick return for 15 yards this season, but he did return a punt 69 yards for a touchdown against Toledo.
The Buckeyes face a one-win Indiana team Saturday at noon in Ohio Stadium.
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