Source: Pearl intends to suspend arrested Vols
Posted on: January 1, 2010 6:29 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2010 6:50 pm
Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl plans to indefinitely suspend all four players who were arrested Friday morning and then gather more details before determining which players, if any, will continue their careers as Vols, a source has told CBSSports.com.
An official announcement should come in the next 48 hours.
Cameron Tatum, Tyler Smith, Melvin Goins and Brian Williams were arrested on drug and weapons charges Friday when the car in which they were riding was caught speeding in Knoxville. Police found a baggy of marijuana in the car. They also discovered guns -- one of which had an altered serial number -- under both the driver's seat and the front passenger's seat.
Tatum is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and having an open container of alcohol. Smith is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of firearm with an altered serial number. Goins is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana. Williams is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of marijuana.
According to a source, each player refused to claim ownership of the guns, which is why all four are facing gun charges. The reason Smith and Williams got additional charges is because the gun with the altered serial number was under Smith's seat and accessible by either him or Williams, who was seated behind Smith.
Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk told CBSSports.com the players were in a rental car when arrested. He said it's unclear who rented the car, but that finding out would "be part of the ongoing investigation." This development is of special concern to Tennessee because it could mean NCAA problems if it's determined that the players were using the car in a way that doesn't comply with NCAA regulations about extra benefits.
The car was a Dodge Charger with Illinois tags.
Tennessee beat Memphis 66-59 at FedExForum on Thursday.
The Vols are 10-2 and ranked No. 14 heading into Wednesday's game against Charlotte.