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Penn State Mike Watkins who has shared his mental health struggles has recently been suspended

By World Exposure News Services, 03/09/20, 10:15AM CDT


Mike Watkins Journey

Penn State center Mike Watkins did not play Saturday at Northwestern, as he was suspended for a violation of team rules, according to published reports.

It’s unclear if Watkins’ suspension was just for the one game, or if it will carry over to the Big Ten Tournament and beyond. PSU is a lock to earn an NCAA bid for the first time since 2011.

The senior has had a roller-coaster career with the Lions basketball program and found himself in trouble numerous times during his career, but PSU coach Patrick Chambers has always stood by him. Chambers said after the game that Watkins will be back but did not disclose when.

He had a disorderly conduct charge in 2018 and several other minor brushes with the law.  He had previously faced (and settled) a summary charge of possession of drug paraphernalia (Penn State police, June 2018); summary disorderly conduct (State College police, July of 2017); and misdemeanor criminal mischief and summary disorderly conduct (State College police in September of 2016).

Watkins is coming off his first start in 13 games, as he received the first-team nod in Tuesday’s home loss to Michigan State because it was Senior Night for the Nittany Lions.

Watkins has been a bit inconsistent for the Lions this season but is still averaging a strong 9.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game in a backup role.

Even though, Watkins’ overall playing time dropped, to the point where he is now averaging only 21.1 minutes per game. But the efficiency of his game improved and he had played in every contest for the Lions. Meanwhile, he has climbed to No. 2 on Penn State’s career lists for rebounds (953) and blocked shots (265).

Back in 2018, with the assistance of Black Cager Sports's Delgreco Wilson Penn State's Mike Watkins wrote an emotional essay  in which he detailed his mental health issues.

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