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Published: Wednesday, 3/2/2005

BGSU player cited for drug, traffic offenses

Fitch Fitch

BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University basketball player Germain Fitch will not be on the court or the bench at tonight's game with Western Michigan University. He was cited for possession of marijuana by city police yesterday.

J.D. Campbell, assistant athletic director for communications at BGSU, said Mr. Fitch "would not be making the trip to Western Michigan," adding he could not comment further on Mr. Fitch's status with the team.

Mr. Fitch, a redshirt junior at BGSU on a basketball scholarship, started all but one of the first 14 games this season before suffering a knee injury in the on-court celebration after BG's victory over the University of Toledo Jan. 22. "He's had three knee surgeries in his career," Mr. Campbell said. "He's only played one minute in the last eight games."

Mr. Fitch, 22, of Willoughby, Ohio, was stopped by a Bowling Green officer at Clough Street and Mercer Road about 12:15 a.m. after the officer reportedly saw Mr. Fitch's car cross the center line twice. When Mr. Fitch pulled over and rolled down his car window , the officer said he smelled "a strong odor of burnt marijuana." Mr. Fitch told police a friend whom he had dropped off at a dorm was smoking marijuana in the car.

After Mr. Fitch was patted down and placed in the back of the cruiser, the officer said he found a burnt marijuana "blunt" in the ashtray and marijuana stems and seeds on the passenger-side floor.

A blunt refers to a hollowed-out cigar that is filled with marijuana and smoked, said Lt. Brad Conner. "People can smoke it without being detected because it looks like they're smoking a cigar, and occasionally the smell from the cigar will override the smell of the marijuana so it won't be as easily identified either," he said.

Mr. Fitch was cited for no operator's license, marked lanes, and possession of marijuana, a minor misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory six-month license suspension and a fine of up to $150. He is to appear in municipal court March 16.

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