Crime

Penn State men's basketball player charged with possession of marijuana paraphernalia

Penn State forward Mike Watkins participates in a drill at practice during Media Day on Wednesday, Oct 12, 2015 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State forward Mike Watkins participates in a drill at practice during Media Day on Wednesday, Oct 12, 2015 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Centre Daily Times, file

Penn State men's basketball forward Mike Watkins was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia Monday after Penn State police found a metal grinder containing marijuana in his team issued duffel bag.

"We are aware of the incident and take this situation seriously," Penn State Associate Athletic Director Jeff Nelson said. "We hold our student-athletes to high standards and will address this violation of team rules."

A detective was investigating the 22-year-old's apartment due to concerns that Watkins was in possession of an unregistered firearm. Watkins was "well mannered" during an interview with police and agreed to let them search his apartment.

Police found three .40 caliber rounds and the duffel bag in a green suitcase.

"Where were the bullets? I didn't know they were there," Watkins asked the detective.

When asked about the grinder, Watkins said, "Ahh, that's old ... man."

He also acknowledged the grinder and bullets were recovered from his belongings.

The Philadelphia native averaged 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in his redshirt sophomore season. He led the Nittany Lions in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage, despite missing the final nine games of the season due to a right knee injury.

Watkins' preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 11.

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