Report: Vanderbilt assistant Vavae Tata charged with DUI, suspended

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

Freshly arrived Vanderbilt defensive line coach Vavae Tata was arrested Sunday and charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, the Tennessean reported Tuesday.

Tata has been suspended indefinitely by the university.

Per law enforcement affadavits, the 37-year-old Tata struck two parked vehicles along Nashville's West End Avenue and then fled the scene on foot before being located "several blocks away." According to police, Tata admitted to striking the vehicles, blew a .18 in a breathalyzter test and could not complete a field sobriety test.

Vanderbilt issued a statement Tuesday afternoon which reads:

Based upon information received Tuesday, Vanderbilt assistant coach Vavae Tata has been suspended indefinitely by Head Football Coach Derek Mason stemming from an incident that occurred Feb. 16 in Nashville. Vanderbilt University will continue its investigation into the matter.

Tata was introduced by the Commodores and new head coach Mason only 25 days ago, arriving from Stanford after two seasons working under Mason as a defensive assistant with the Cardinal.

A Hawaii native, Tata was a standout defensive end for UCLA from 1994 to 1998, beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant with first the Bruins and then San Jose State.

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