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Penn State Player Charged

January 2, 2001

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Penn State basketball player Marcus Banta was arrested and charged with tampering with a motel fire alarm.

The sophomore reserve center was charged Saturday with risking a catastrophe after police were called to the Motel 6 in Ferguson Township.

Banta was at the motel with his brother, Victor, and a friend, Stephen Fletcher. Both were charged with possession of marijuana.

Penn State coach Jerry Dunn said Tuesday that Marcus Banta’s status with the team is questionable because he has a hand injury and might have to be in court Wednesday.

``I think you have to review these things on a case-by-case basis, and from all the information that I have received, Marcus was simply not being malicious but was trying to help out when he walked into the room that his family was in,″ Dunn said.

Banta has averaged 1.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10 games this season. He did not immediately return a call.

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