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Added trouble for USF's Fisher

Utility football player again is cited for driving with a suspended license.

PETE YOUNG
Published March 30, 2004

TAMPA - South Florida football standout Brian Fisher was cited again Sunday for driving with a suspended license. The utility player was arrested and released on $250 bond.

Fisher's license suspension is linked to his failure to make child support payments to two women in Escambia County, where he attended Pine Forest High School. Last month Fisher was cited for driving with a suspended license, and last week he was arrested for delinquent child-support payments dating to 2001 and totaling more than $17,000.

Fisher, 21, is done with football for the rest of spring practice.

"We're going to hold him out until he has his life back in order," coach Jim Leavitt said.

Fisher's mother, Doniel, said she paid the cash purge of $570 when her son was arrested last week for delinquent child-support payments to Shacondra Primm (by wiring the money through Jesse Turner, a friend of Fisher's), and her son's situation will be resolved.

"Any situation he is in will be cleared up," said Doniel Fisher, who lives in Pensacola. "As his mother I will do what I have to (in order to) make sure his name is cleared. He has family that cares. We will get together in any type of emergency and do what we have to do to take care of our family."

Fisher owes Primm $80 a week and Sarida McWilliams $55, amounts that increased about 15 percent for back support. He owes McWilliams a $750 cash purge.

"That will be resolved; there isn't a warrant for (the $750) and won't be," Doniel Fisher said. "It will be taken care of soon."

Last fall a judge found Fisher in contempt of payment to Primm. But it was not learned until last fall through a paternity test that Fisher had fathered a child with McWilliams. A warrant was issued in January because Fisher had not paid Primm by or complied with the "pay or appear" program. If a payment is missed, he is obligated to appear before a hearing officer and explain why.

Fisher has limited opportunities to earn income since he is a full-time student and member of the football team. His mother said it is possible but not likely he could take a job this summer, and Fisher, a rising senior, has a redshirt year available.

"He's going to do what he has to do to make sure his responsibilities (are taken care of)," Doniel Fisher said.

His status as a student-athlete, could provide access to financial assistance. Fisher can apply for the need-based Pell Grant, which provides up to $4,000 annually and would make him eligible to receive money from the special assistance fund. Associate athletic director Steve Horton said the fund can be used for a variety of reasons, and USF athletes have drawn from it to help provide day care.

A new fund established this year, the student-athlete opportunity fund, also might be available.

Fisher could be punished by the school and athletic department. His arrest last week was referred to USF's office of student affairs, and he could be suspended a minimum of two games, as per USF's student-athlete code of conduct, for not informing Leavitt and Horton of his arrest.

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