COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio State University student who gained online notoriety for running onto the field at a football game last month was ordered by the court Thursday to pay a $100 fine for the stunt.
OSU mechanical engineering student Anthony Wunder, 21, pleaded guilty to criminal trespass for sprinting onto the field during the Sept. 27 game against the University of Cincinnati, which ended abruptly when former OSU linebacker turned coach Anthony Schlegel slammed him to the ground, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
The incident was caught on video and posted to YouTube, where it has garnered more than 7 million views. The city’s chief prosecutor, Lara Baker-Morrish noted Wunder’s clean criminal history, and said the sentence issued by Franklin County Judge H. William Pollitt Jr. was consistent with the low-level misdemeanor, according to the news site.
The student’s attorney, Mark C. Collins, acknowledged alcohol was a factor in the incident.
Officials with the Western Golf Association, which sponsors a scholarship for golf caddies through the Evans Scholars Foundation, told the Dispatch Wunder will retain his scholarship through the organization if he completes an alcohol-awareness program.
The university program, “Success Not Excess,” lasts between three and nine months, during which time the Cincinnati native will not be allowed to participate in the association or reside at the Evans Scholars residence.
“I made a mistake, and it was very poor judgment,” Wunder said while also apologizing to the university, his family, and the association. He also promised to complete the alcohol program, the Dispatch reports.
“Anthony has accepted responsibility; he’s apologized and cooperated fully,” said Jeff Harrison, senior vice president of the WGA. “He’s a good kid who made a mistake.”
Judge Pollitt seemed to have come to the same conclusion, considering the mild sentence. Collins told the Dispatch Wunder can have the conviction expunged from his record in about year – roughly the same time he’s set to graduate from the five-year engineering program.
Wunder is set to face at disciplinary hearing with OSU over his stunt next week, and is also faced with “the embarrassment that’s he’s gone through on social media and the humiliation, and he brought that upon himself,” Collins said.
“People can disagree about whether or not he was treated properly or slammed to the ground too hard, but that’s another discussion,” Collins said, adding that Wunder was not injured by Schlegel.
Most who commented on Wunder’s sentence agreed it fit the crime, but many wondered why” Schlegel has not been reprimanded or charged for his behavior.
“I wish the prosecutors would explain why Schlegel isn’t facing criminal charges, and I wish OSU would explain why he isn’t facing disciplinary charges,” Joe Sommer posted. “ … (T)he public is left to speculate that OSU football might be too much of a sacred cow in Columbus for those things to happen. Maybe this student didn’t get hurt, but the next time someone like Schlegel overreacts and slams a student to the ground, a serious injury could result.
“The student here was young and drunk, but Schlegel didn’t have either of those excuses for his reckless and irrational behavior. No doubt OSU’s reputation was hurt in the eyes of many who saw the video of what happened.”