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Tennessee dismisses Smith

Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:00 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2010 1:04 pm

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl announced Friday that Tyler Smith has been dismissed from the basketball team.

"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,” Pearl said. "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."

Smith, Goins, Tatum and Williams were arrested New Year's Day when police found guns and marijuana in their car after a routine traffic stop. It remains unclear whether Goins, Tatum and Williams will be reinstated, and if so, when. But a source close to the program told that it's reasonable to think at least two of those players will eventually be reinstated, although details about what happened and how it happened are still being gathered.

Tennessee plays No. 1 Kansas on Sunday.

"First, I want to thank the University of Tennessee, the UT Athletic Department and the basketball program for my support here," Smith said in a released statement. "This place is a family for me and I look forward to a long relationship with this team and program as I go on in life. I am truly sorry for my actions in the recent case that everyone is familiar with. 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."

Smith was averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Vols.

He was named Preseason First Team All-SEC.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2010 11:22 am

Tennessee dismisses Smith

1) Five years to graduate is in fact "normal" for NCAA athletes; it is so normal that the NCAA measures graduation rates by how many graduate within five years; however
2) Smith wasn't kicked out of school -- yet -- so 12 classes to go implies two semesters, not one.  12 credit hours, the minimum to qualify as a full-time student, is a low load even for a student athlete and would put him behind if this was his norm.  That's four classes a semester, and most colleges require 130+ hours (40-something classes) for graduation, depending on the degree.  A "normal" student takes 5-6 classes a semester, plus one or two of those little 1- or 2-hour classes in order to make it on time.  Four classes a semester is the absolute minimum, and few athletes (in my experience) do that consistently.  Smith does seem to be lagging a bit here, as others have pointed out.
3) Smith came back to TN because he wasn't going to be a round-one pick last year; this year's performance, on and off the court, hasn't helped his standing.  If he pursues a professional career, it's likely going to be in Europe--except there his record will be held against him a bit more, I'm guessing.
4) If he's really sorry, and he's really learned something, good luck to him.  But he hasn't explained yet why the serial numbers on the gun had to be obscured.  I find that little fact quite worrying, and probably so did Pearl.
5) The other players should be done for the year too, at least.  Pearl looks good now, but how good did Oregon look when it suspended LaGarrett Blount for the year only to let him back later?  I'll withhold judgment for now.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2010 4:31 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith


Being an athlete and going to college is difficult.  12 hours is full-time, usually.  18 is about a max that you can generally take.  Classes are usually 3 hrs.  That means he would have been taking at least 4 classes in his senior year (12 hrs).  That would leave 8 classes or an extra 2 semesters.  Most students must take a maximum amount of classes to graduate on time and summer courses.  If I had not taken summer courses, I could not have graduated on time even though I took 18 hours most semesters (16 being the least amount).  5 years to graduate is very common. 

Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2010 4:19 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

StockSwami--don't who your replying to, but these kids admitted of doing wrong and making bad decisions--thats proof enough to me to say good-bye, if people like you keep implying that its OK to make these kind of mistakes (Guns and Drugs), where will it end?

Washington Wizards funny-man (Arenas) thought it was funny until he got slapped in the wallet, then he is sooooooooooo sorrrrrrrrrrrry now?  Give me a break.

Nobody is trying to be holier then thou, but if you think taking drugs and screwing around with guns is acceptable, then your part of the problem.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2010 2:21 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

He still needs 12 classes to graduate? Apparently Tyler is on the 7 year plan. Who's going to pay for those 12 classes?Smith will likely go pro and take his chances with the NBA or go to Europe.  He might finish school if he has enough money or a booster steps up and pays...after he left Iowa and reading the stories, I am really surprised this kid would end up this way.  I hope he gets his life together and does good things.

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:57 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

Well no doubt you have never done anything wrong in your hoier then thou life. You don't even know anything but what you have heard through the press and you think you know the correct action to take. Yea, people like you kill me.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:51 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

I believe the University had no other choice in this case.  Coach Pearl and Mike Hamilton are conducting this review process as professionally as possible.  I've been a UT fan for a long time and I know a little about Tyler Smith's character.  He made some stupid choices this past month, but overall, he is a decent young man.  I believe his released statement is a sincere one.  As long as there are no federal weapons charges that come from this (due to the handgun that had the serial number altered), he will finish his eduacation and move forward.  He is not a bad kid. 

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:41 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

He still needs 12 classes to graduate? Apparently Tyler is on the 7 year plan. Who's going to pay for those 12 classes?

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:30 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

  1. You would accept a 10 Game suspension?  Wow, you have some high standards.  These so called kids have full scholarships for being top notch athletes.  Show me something Tennessee and dismiss these other idiots as well.  You actually think it was Pearl who dismissed this punk--think again. 
  2. drugs and guns--what were they thinking...and for the ones that say, well the others were in the wrong place--they got into the car with him correct?  Oh, he must have held the gun to his head before he took a toke of smoke--you idiots make me sick.

Since: May 13, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2010 1:26 pm

Tennessee dismisses Smith

i agree i also would love to see ut beat kansas not so much for uk and their advancement up the rankings but to advance bruce pearls team and strengthen the sec stature we took home the bcs championship in football now lets take the basketball crown too lol kudos to the sec and their new found toughness

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