By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(AP) — Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl indefinitely
suspended four Tennessee basketball players, including starting
senior forward Tyler Smith, who were charged with gun possession
and other counts after a Friday traffic stop.
The Knoxville Police Department said Smith, 23, junior point
guard Melvin Goins, 22, junior center Brian Williams, 22, and
sophomore guard Cameron Tatum, 21, were arrested during a
traffic stop for speeding near Tennessee’s campus.
“I am deeply saddened and troubled by today’s news,” Pearl said.
“I am indefinitely suspending Melvin, Tyler, Cameron and Brian
from all team activities until we have more information about
(Friday’s) incident. I apologize for the embarrassment this has
caused to our university.”
According to a police report, officers smelled marijuana coming
from the car and found a handgun with an altered serial number,
a bag of marijuana and an open container of alcohol. Tatum was
Officers could not determine whether any of the players were
under the influence of marijuana, though the strong odor
suggested marijuana had recently been smoked in the car, the
police report said.
Tatum was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and
having an open container of alcohol. Smith was charged with
unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm
with an altered serial number, which police first said was a
felony but later Friday reported as a misdemeanor. Goins and
Williams both face gun and drug possession charges.
All the counts the players face are misdemeanors.
It was not immediately clear if any of the players had
Smith averages 26.8 minutes per game – more than any of his
teammates – and is averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per
game. He leads the team with 44 assists this season.
Tatum has started six games this season and averages 8.7 points
in 19.6 minutes of play per game. Goins averages 6.1 points and
2.2 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game, while Williams averages
5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game.
The 14th-ranked Vols (10-2) won at Memphis 66-59 on Thursday
afternoon and face Charlotte in Knoxville on Wednesday.