OSU Linebacker Indicted On Drug Abuse, Weapons Charges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State linebacker Marco Cooper was indicted Tuesday on charges of drug abuse and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police said Cooper had a handgun, ammunition and Ecstasy pills hidden in his sport utility vehicle when he was stopped for a traffic violation April 27. Cooper faces up to 7½ years in prison if convicted.

Coach Jim Tressel suspended Cooper following the arrest.

The 19-year-old player from Detroit was stopped hours after the Buckeyes played their annual intrasquad scrimmage at Ohio Stadium.

According to the arrest report, Cooper was driving without a license and gave officers permission to retrieve a temporary permit from his glove compartment.

The handgun and a plastic bag containing 12 white pills, which officers later determined was Ecstasy, were hidden in the center console, police said. An officer found a marijuana pipe in the passenger side door handle, the report said.

Cooper is the fourth Ohio State player to run into trouble with the law since Tressel became head coach in January 2001 with a mandate to clean up the program.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)