The last thing that Minnesota needed in the aftermath of power forward Trevor Mbakwe getting two more years of probation was to have someone else get in trouble.
And more trouble came in the form of assistant coach Saul Smith being arrested on a charge of suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday morning.
As a result of his arrest Smith has been placed on indefinite unpaid administrative leave by the school.
“While we do not want to rush to judgment before the legal process proceeds, Coach Tubby Smith and I are taking this matter seriously,” athletic director Norwood Teague said in a statement according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“University of Minnesota values dictate that our coaches and staff be positive role models for our student-athletes. As such, we are taking disciplinary measures while the legal system takes its course.”
According to Amelia Rayno of the Star-Tribune Smith was booked just before 4 AM and released four hours later. And given these tweets by Rayno this isn’t a good situation at all for Smith.
[tweet https://twitter.com/AmeliaRayno/status/260162295873802240 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/AmeliaRayno/status/260164416329359360 align=’center’]
Since being hired as athletic director back in late April, Teague rewarded head coach Tubby Smith with a contract extension in early September and has seen two members of the program land in legal hot water.
The Golden Gophers have enough talent to at the least be an NCAA tournament team, but not if guys (players and coaches alike) can’t stay out of hot water.
With a schedule that includes the Battle 4 Atlantis (opening game against Duke) and trips to Florida State and USC in addition to a tough Big Ten slate, the Gophers need all hands on deck in 2012-13.
And at this rate, that may be easier said than done.
Photo credit: University of Minnesota Department of Athletics