MSU reinstates Winston following jail term

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Michigan State sophomore running back Glenn Winston has been reinstated after serving jail time for his role in an assault that seriously injured an MSU hockey player.

Winston practiced with the team today as the Spartans opened preseason camp. Head coach Mark Dantonio said Winston, who began serving time in April, remained eligible and met all the conditions necessary to return to the field.

"Glenn has done everything that he's been asked to do from a judicial and a team standpoint," Dantonio said in a statement. "He has paid the penalty for his actions -- publicly, legally and athletically -- and he worked hard to maintain his academic eligibility while doing so. We regret the entire incident, however at this time, it is important that we support Glenn socially, academically and athletically. He still has a lot of work to do."

Winston pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. The off-campus fight left hockey player A.J. Sturges with a serious head injury. Sturges hopes to return to the ice this season.

Winston appeared in seven games last season for Michigan State and led the team with 16 kickoff returns for 364 yards. He could be in the mix at running back, which remains an open competition following the departure of All-American Javon Ringer.

"I support Mark Dantonio's request to reinstate Glenn Winston," athletic director Mark Hollis said in a prepared statement. "Glenn has much work to do, however, the athletics department will not turn its back on this young man. I am supportive of all student-athletes that are a part of our program. We will move forward and continue to support A.J. Sturges and Glenn with all the resources available to us."

I'm all for second chances, but this decision definitely comes as a surprise. Sturges' family can't be pleased to see Winston back on the field. I figured Michigan State would release Winston and he could start over somewhere else.