Standing in a courtroom nine days before the NFL draft is not an ideal way to make a positive closing impression with pro football teams.
Having a legal matter linger beyond the draft would be even worse.
Given the choice of unpleasant options, former Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby decided to plead guilty in Franklin County Municipal Court yesterday morning to an amended charge stemming from an incident on April 20.
Roby, originally charged with driving while impaired, pleaded guilty to physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Judge Carrie Glaeden sentenced Roby to 180 days in jail, which was suspended on the condition that he participate in a three-day driver-intervention program. Defense attorney S. Michael Miller said his client plans to begin the program on Thursday — his 22nd birthday. He also was fined $375 plus court costs. The judge did not suspend his driver’s license.
Roby was arrested on Vine Street in the Arena District after a bystander called 911 to report that a Dodge Charger “almost hit some kids on the sidewalk” and the driver now “was passed out drunk” in the car. The traffic citation shows that Roby recorded a 0.008 percent in a breath test for blood alcohol, which is less than the 0.08 percent at which it is illegal to drive. Columbus police said he had an odor of alcohol and failed field-sobriety tests. Roby did not respond yesterday to a request for comment from The Dispatch, but his agent, Michael Perrett, released a statement on his behalf.
“Though my client, Bradley Roby, maintains his innocence and feels he would have been completely exonerated had he taken this matter to trial, Bradley has accepted the prosecutor’s offer of a reduced charge to ‘physical control’ to bring closure and finality to this situation ahead of next week’s NFL draft,” Perrett wrote.
This is the second legal matter that Roby has faced in the past year. Last July, he was involved in an altercation at a bar in Bloomington, Ind. Charges in the incident ultimately were dismissed, but coach Urban Meyer suspended Roby for the opener in what would be an up-and-down 2013 season. He missed the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson because of a bone bruise in a knee.
After strong performances in predraft workouts, Roby’s draft stock had improved lately. ESPN’s Todd McShay had him as the 27th pick in his mock draft released yesterday. Colleague Mel Kiper Jr. did not have him as a first-round pick.
Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden said that Roby will be deeply scrutinized by NFL teams.
“It’s not good right before the draft to have anything like this occur for any reason,” Gruden said. “Here’s a kid who missed the opening game. He was suspended for some reason. He didn’t play against Clemson in the bowl game — an injury problem. Now, here’s an incident. So there are some red flags and concerns regarding Bradley Roby.”
Dispatch reporter Tim May contributed to this story.