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Saturday / May 28.
  • Tennessee Dismisses Tyler Smith

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    Tennessee dismissed All-SEC senior Tyler Smith on Friday.

    Smith, who was averaging 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 26.8 minutes, was among four players arrested on New Year’s Day for drugs and weapons charges.

    The other three players involved will remain indefinitely suspended.

    No. 16 Tennessee faces No. 1 Kansas Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena without all four players.

    “When we have a situation like this involving our student-athletes, we want to make sure we get as much information as possible before making difficult decisions,” UT head coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. “From the beginning, the student-athletes involved have been accountable, remorseful and cooperative with me. While we are not allowed to discuss specifics, we felt we had enough information at this time to dismiss Tyler Smith from the team. Melvin Goins, Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams will remain indefinitely suspended.

    “I am deeply troubled and saddened. Playing basketball at the University of Tennessee is a privilege, and where conduct is displayed that is detrimental to the team and the University, this discipline is required. Tyler has accomplished a great deal and we are all disappointed his playing career at the University of Tennessee will end this way. However, it is my hope that someday soon he will return to the University and complete his degree.”

    Smith and the other players were stopped for speeding by Knoxville Police, who found guns and a bag of marijuana in the car.

    “I am truly sorry for my actions in the recent case that everyone is familiar with,” Smith said. “From the beginning, I have accepted responsibility for my actions and what I have been charged with, and I am very sorry that my decisions have affected Brian, Cam and Melvin.

    “One day soon I hope I can finish the 12 classes that I need for my degree. My recent actions do not reflect who I am and I can only hope that what I do in the future can make everyone believe in me again.”

    Tennessee recruit Tobias Harris of Long Island previously told me he planned to stand by his commitment to the team.

    “I’m just monitoring the situation to see how they handle it,” Torrel Harris, Tobias’ dad, said Friday.

    **Torrel said Tyler Harris, a 6-8 junior forward who is Tobias’ younger brother, holds offers from UConn, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Hofstra, Fordham and  Delaware and interest from Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Maryland and South Florida. “We’re going to Seton Hall Saturday to watch the Cincinnati-Seton Hall game,” Torrel said. “And then we’re going to watch Syracuse-Rutgers next Wednesday.”

    (Photo courtesy UT Athletics)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.