CLEMSON — Clemson football star Sammy Watkins was arrested by university police early Friday morning, charged with possession of a controlled substance and simple possession of marijuana. The arrest could place his early-season status in jeopardy as coach Dabo Swinney promised disciplinary action.
The freshman All-American was stopped after a university police officer saw the white 1999 Cadillac Watkins was driving scrape against a curb on campus and because the Florida temporary tag on the car was not illuminated, according to the police report. When the officer pulled the car over in a campus area parking lot, he smelled marijuana.
The officer asked Watkins if there was a reason the car smelled like marijuana. Watkins said, “No, I just got the car not long ago,” according to the police report.
Watkins consented to a search where it was found he had possessed a small bag of marijuana and two pills, Adderall and Vyvanse, for which Watkins did not have a prescription.
The pills are commonly used to treat ADHD, but are banned by the NCAA without a perscription, considered a stimulant.
Watkins was transported and held at city police.
Both chargers are misdemeanors and Watkins was released on a $1,620 bond Friday.
Watkins issued an apologetic statement Friday afternoon.
“I made a mistake last night and I am truly sorry for my actions,” Watkins said. “I let the team down, the coaches down and this University down. I will learn from this. I will accept any discipline Coach Swinney and the University issues.”
Swinney indicated there will be discipline for Watkins, whose status figures to be in jeopardy for Clemson’s season opener against Auburn in the Georgia Dome in September.
“I am aware of the arrest last night,” Swinney said. “I am mad and hurt by the poor decision that Sammy Watkins made. He is a good young man who has been a model student, citizen, player and teammate.
“This is a reminder that good people make poor decisions. But, there are consequences for your actions ... and there will be in this case. ... I am in the process of gathering the facts and discipline will be determined when I have completed that process.”
Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia, 18, a freshman member of the men’s soccer team, was with Watkins and charged with simple possession of marijuana.
Watkins was freshman All-American last season after recording more than 1,200 receiving yards. He helped lead Clemson to its first ACC title in 20 years.