COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The door was never completely shut. Storm Klein could now be in position to walk back through it and into the Ohio State locker room again.
The legal situation has been resolved. Now it's up to Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer to provide the verdict that will determine the future for the would-be senior linebacker.
Klein was dismissed by the program almost instantly for violating one of the team's core values after his arrest in early July included allegations of violence against a female. But a charge of domestic violence against Klein was dismissed on Wednesday, and he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Early in his tenure with Ohio State there's not a clear precedent for how Meyer will handle the situation -- but he has maintained publicly all along he would reassess Klein's status depending on how the case was resolved.
That time has arrived now, and with no charges that appear to conflict with the core values Meyer has established in his first season with the team, he could decide Klein has already been punished significantly after missing the last month of offseason workouts and every practice so far this fall. A 10-game starter last season, Klein lost his starting job even before the incident when Curtis Grant replaced him at middle linebacker coming out of spring camp, and he's now almost three weeks behind his teammates in terms of the conditioning and defensive installation done in training camp.
If Meyer rules in Klein's favor, he might be able to jump back in the mix considering his previous experience and existing knowledge of the schemes. And the Buckeyes could use another body at linebacker, one of the few positions on the team that could use more depth -- though how much help Klein could provide at this point is debatable.
According to a school spokesman, there is no timetable for a decision on if that absence will end. But school started Wednesday at Ohio State and the season opener is closing in, and Klein's evidence has now all been presented.
Now he's waiting for Meyer to provide a final ruling.