Originally created 12/22/99

Campbell will be with Tech for bowl



ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech's preparation for the Toyota Gator Bowl on New Year's Day has been anything but routine.

The Yellow Jackets were forced to scrap Tuesday's two-a-day workouts on campus. Then they learned record-setting receiver Kelly Campbell will be with the team when it faces Miami at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville.

Campbell, 19, a sophomore wide receiver who set school records for receptions (69) and receiving yards (1,102 yards), passed a drug test following his arrest last Thursday night in Cobb County for possession of marijuana.

According to the arrest report released late Monday, the car in which Campbell was a passenger was stopped by the police for having a license tag attached with only one screw and a broken tail light. As officers approached the car, they noticed Campbell, the front-seat passenger, stuffing a marijuana-laced cigar between his seat and the console.

When police smelled the odor of burning marijuana, a search also produced a bag of marijuana in Campbell's jacket pocket.

Yellow Jackets coach George O'Leary said Friday that Campbell told him he was merely at the wrong place at the wrong time and that the marijuana belonged to one of the other two passengers -- neither football players, but both Georgia Tech students.

O'Leary ordered a drug test to confirm Campbell's version. Those results apparently satisfied O'Leary regarding Campbell's account lof the circumstances that led to the player's arrest.

Georgia Tech (8-3) now heads into its game against Miami (7-4) with its top two receivers. Kerry Watkins, who was third on the team with 33 receptions, already has been suspended for the first half of the game by the NCAA for his role in a fight during the regular-season-ending game against Georgia.

"In instances of this kind, we have a certain procedure which we follow," O'Leary said. "The procedure is a very thorough one. Kelly Campbell has successfully completed this to my satisfaction and he will remain with the team and will compete in the Toyota Gator Bowl game.

"I might add that Kelly has steadfastly maintained his innocence in this incident from the beginning. Any further action by me will be dependent on the resolution of this court hearing on the legal charges."

While Campbell seems to have been spared by Georgia Tech, he still faces a misdemeanor charge. Also charged were Anthony Todd Grimmett, 24, and Frank Al Ricotta, 21.

Tuesday's announcement came after the Yellow Jackets were forced to change their practice plans. Rain and cold weather washed away morning and afternoon sessions at the campus and forced the team to a single workout at the Georgia Dome.

The Yellow Jackets' national championship aspirations were squashed by a defense that allowed 30.3 points a game. Georgia Tech had hoped to get 11 practice sessions in before their kickoff with Miami, which averages 33.7 points a game, including 51.7 in their final three games.

"Miami is playing very well, and our players are looking forward to playing them," O'Leary said. "Our offense will have their work cut out for them, and our defense will definitely have their work cut out for them because of the amount of points Miami puts on the board.

"Hopefully, it doesn't become an NBA score by halftime."

The team will wrap up its practice schedule at Atlanta today, then prepare for the trip to Jacksonville. Once they arrive, they will conduct daily workouts at The Bolles School, starting on Dec. 26.