Breaking: Four UT Vols Basketball Players Arrested New Years Day

William RamseyContributor IIJanuary 1, 2010

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 20: Tyler Smith #1 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena on March 20, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The big story out of Knoxville today is that four UT basketball players were arrested on drug and weapons charges after a traffic stop for speeding near campus. 

Tyler Smith, Brian Williams, Melvin Goins, and Cameron Tatum were arrested by Knoxville Police just after noon when an officer stopped them for speeding and then called for a backup K-9 unit while smelling a "strong odor of marijuana."

The K-9 alerted police and the vehicle, driven by Tatum, was then searched.  They recovered two handguns, one under each seat in the front of the car, a bag of marijuana, and an open alcohol container.  One of the handguns had an altered serial number as well.

The charges are as follows:

Tatum - Weapon and unlawful container charge.

Smith - Felony weapons charges.

Goins - Weapon and drug possession charges.

Williams - Felony weapons charges.

The news comes as a bit of a shock just one day after the Vols picked up a huge non-conference win over in-state bitter rival, Memphis at the FedEx Forum.  The win for the Vols snapped a 22 home game win streak for the Tigers.

Bruce Pearl issued a statement earlier in the day saying, "We take these matters very seriously. We are still gathering information. Once the appropriate authorities have provided us with all of the facts, we will act accordingly."

The Vols host Charlotte next up in Knoxville just before #1 Kansas storms into Thompson-Boling Arena on January 10th.  No word on the status of the four players for these next two games. 

More to come as this story unfolds.