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Bowling Green football player charged with OVI

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    Bowling Green's Matthew Wilcox returns a kickoff for a touchdown at Eastern Michigan. The return was called back because of a penalty.

    BLADE/LORI KING

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    Bowling Green's Matthew Wilcox Jr. (6) pushes forward under pressure from Michigan State's Andrew Dowell (5) in the Falcons season opener against the Spartans last season.

    Blade/Katie Rausch

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    BGSU head football coach Mike Jinks talks to freshman Matthew Wilcox Jr. during BGSU spring practice at the BGSU Fieldhouse last season. Wilcox has not practiced with the Falcons this spring.

    Blade/Lori King

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BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football player Matthew Wilcox was charged with operating a vehicle impaired early Sunday morning.

Wilcox, a sophomore receiver, already had been suspended indefinitely from the BG football team and has not taken part in spring practices this season.

Wilcox was arrested by Bowling Green city police in the early morning hours Sunday after his vehicle struck a tree. He was charged with operating a vehicle impaired, operating a vehicle without reasonable control, failure to wear a seat belt, and obstructing official business.

His next hearing is scheduled for May 16.

"I am disappointed in the decision-making that led to this incident and we are very thankful that no one was injured,” Falcons football coach Mike Jinks said in a statement. “This is inconsistent with what we believe in as a football program and my hope is that this will be a teachable moment for everyone to learn from.

“Right now, our concern is for Matt's health and well-being. While he had already been suspended from the program and had not practiced with our team this spring, our primary focus is on providing him with the help he needs."

The problems for the 19-year-old Wilcox began when he was charged with operating a vehicle impaired Jan. 14 of this year; court records indicate his blood-alcohol content was .17, and an OVI charge comes with a minimum blood-alcohol content of .08.

WATCH: Bowling Green football player throws punch during spring break fight

Then during Bowling Green’s spring break in early March, Wilcox was shown on video throwing punches on a Florida beach. There were no charges filed against the players involved.

After that incident, Jinks said punishment for the incident was being handled internally, and Wilcox was suspended from the team indefinitely.

Wilcox graduated from Wayne High School in the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, Ohio, a semester early and enrolled at Bowling Green in spring 2017. That helped the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder get on the field last season, and he played in all 12 games with three starts.

He finished fourth on the team with 14 receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown. Wilcox also excelled on kickoff returns, returning 21 for 517 yards for an average of 24.6 yards per return.

Wilcox had three kickoff returns for 120 yards in the Falcons’ win at Kent State, including a season-best 61-yard return, and was named Mid-American Conference East Division special teams player of the week after that contest.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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