October 17, 2010

VIDEO: Dantonio says Rucker's status unresolved

EAST LANSING - Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio indicated during his weekly Sunday night briefing that a decision has yet to be made as to whether senior cornerback Chris L. Rucker will join the Spartans for Saturday's game at Northwestern.

Rucker missed Michigan State's victory over Illinois on Saturday due to an Oct. 10 charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Dantonio suspended Rucker from the team the day after Michigan State's victory over Michigan, on Oct. 10.

When asked on Sunday night if Rucker remains under suspension, Dantonio said: "Things have not been resolved and there is work to do to get them resolved, and at this point in time I don't know that he would play (Saturday at Northwestern)."

Last week, Dantonio announced that Rucker would definitely sit out one game. This week, he didn't quite close the door on the possibility of Rucker - a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten player - returning to the team for this week's game.

Dantonio was asked: You don't know if he is playing this weekend?

"That's correct," Dantonio said.

Dantonio provided no more details on the matter.

Full-Time Sideline For Dantonio?

Dantonio said he is inching closer to returning to the sidelines to tackle head coaching duties.

"I feel good. Very, very good," Dantonio said, Sunday night.

Dantonio was on the field for pre-game, prior to Saturday's Homecoming victory over Illinois. As he did a week earlier in Ann Arbor, Dantonio went up to the press box after the coin toss.

"I wanted to stay (on the field), but I promised my family that I would take care of my health, so that's what I'm going to do," Dantonio said.

With less than two minutes remaining in Michigan State's 26-6 victory over Illinois, Dantonio made his way from the press box to the field. He emerged from the stadium tunnel during a time out, walking slowly, by himself around the back of the end zone and down the home team sideline. First, fans in the north end zone saw him, and began to cheer. The cheers spread to the western sideline and soon the entire stadium greeted Dantonio with a rousing ovation as he made his first appearance on the sideline during game time since suffering a mild heart attack after the Sept. 18 overtime victory over Notre Dame.

Dantonio shook hands with coaches and players on the sideline as the clock wound down on MSU's victory over the Illini.

"Really at the end I wanted to get down there and see Coach Zook, and see him after the game," Dantonio said in reference to the Illini head coach. "He's become a good friend of mine. When I felt like the game was put away, that's when I was going to come down."

Dantonio continues to say that he won't return to coaching on the sideline until he can complete a three-hour practice without tiring.

"I'm probably getting pretty close," Dantonio said. "I don't want to put a time line on that, but when I can do that, when I can move quick enough to get out of the way, that's when I'll do that."

MSU No. 7 in the BCS

Michigan State is ranked No. 7 in the initial Bowl Championship Series poll of the 2010 season. It's the first time that Michigan State has been ranked in the Top 10 of the BCS poll since the inception of the BCS.

Oklahoma tops the poll at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Boise State, No. 4 Auburn, No. 5. TCU and No. 6 LSU.

No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Utah and No. 10 Ohio State round out the Top 10.

Dantonio met with media two hours before the BCS standings were announced. When asked if he would be watching the ESPN BCS poll announcement show, Dantonio said no, he'd be watching film of Northwestern.

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