In something of a surprise the Trav’on Chapman case has resulted in some real jail time stemming from a guilty plea.
Former Kent Roosevelt star quarterback and University of Pittsburgh freshman Tra’Von Chapman pled guilty to a charge of attempted assault on Monday afternoon in Portage County Municipal Court.
Judge Barbara Oswick accepted the plea and ordered Chapman to spend three days in jail, pay a $200 fine, 40 hours of community service and must report to adult probation Aug. 2. Judge also issued a no-contact order, which prohibits Chapman from speaking to the victim or her family.
“Attempted assault” is a class 4 misdemeanor — the lowest classification for misdemeanors in Ohio. That’s why I was surprised a first-time offender would get any jail time. Technically the the judge can order jail time but it is also for no more than 30 days under the Ohio Revised Code (Sec. 2929.24(A)(4)). But, according to the stories, Chapman was sentenced to 90 days with 87 suspended.
Of course, Chapman was also ordered to fulfill 40 hours of community service and it seems the court suspended 20 of that by his working 20 hours with his old high school football team this summer. So, yeah. I really shouldn’t think too much about the details of the sentencing.
The question for Pitt fans is that there becomes the question of what happens to Chapman at Pitt.Will he be allowed to return? Is he dismissed from the team and school?
The facts remain that even the “attempted assault” happened. That it was committed towards a woman.
A “suspension” of a full year would seem like a possibility. The issue would be whether that would really be a true consequence. Chapman was already headed for a redshirt season. If he was completely barred from practicing and working with the team that would give it some teeth. He would be another year behind at that point with a more likely chance that Voytik would have the starting job in hand — possibly for three years. But it still is a question of whether that is sufficient.
Is it simply black-and-white that he must be dismissed? It would be easier for Pitt and Paul Chryst to do that. It sets a clear line. There wouldn’t be a lot of debate. Not much of a public explanation would be needed on that path.
But eventually letting him return? That would be hard. That would be something requiring a public explanation. There can’t be hiding behind vague statements and pretending to hide behind privacy laws.
It’s one thing to completely ignore/avoid/refuse to answer questions about Rushel Shell and his desire to transfer then trying to come back. That is annoying and frustrating from the sense that we are curious and would like to know.
This is something else. This absolutely would need an explanation. Words with real thoughts behind them rather than platitudes and spin. And it would have to come from Chryst. Not from the AD. Not from anyone in the administration. This is Chryst’s football team. It would be his decision to bring him back. He would have to stand in front of people and actually explain the decision and reasons behind it.
Is he willing to do that? I don’t know. He’s not comfortable in front of a crowd. He certainly likes to guard his words carefully. Chryst was able to avoid even bothering with a “no comment” last night because he was in transit from his trip to Bristol, Connecticut for ESPN media appearances.
He can’t avoid it too much longer, and it is assured that he will want/have to make a decision and public comment this week. No way he wants this to be hanging over everyone’s head when training camp begins next week.