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Minnesota AD Calls Saul Smith DWI Arrest ‘Embarrassing’

Saul Smith’s arrest for suspicion of driving while impaired by alcohol was “embarrassing,” Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague said, “and I won’t tolerate it.”

That strong perspective does not bode well for Smith, the Gophers’ assistant coach who is the son of head coach, Tubby Smith.

The 32-year-old Smith, who has been suspended indefinitely, was pulled over early Saturday on a highway when a state trooper noticed his vehicle was driving on the shoulder at speeds between 70-80 mph in a 55-mph zone.

According to Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske, Smith’s eyes were watery and bloodshot and his speech was slurred and his reactions slow.  He was then arrested and taken to Hennepin County jail where he took a breath test that registered a 0.18 blood alcohol concentration; the legal limit in Minnesota is 0.008. Smith was charged with fourth-degree driving while intoxicated and released four hours later.

“We’re the front porch to the university in a lot of different ways no matter how you slice it, and we just can’t have behavior like,” Teague said. “It’s just not good for anyone. It’s embarrassing, and I won’t tolerate it.”

Teague and Tubby Smith have discussed the situation, “But in the end it’s my call,” Teague said. “I want to be respectful. It’s his son. It’s very personal.”

In his conversation with Saul Smith, Teague said, “I was very firm with him. This obviously not what we expect, and we never will. He was definitely remorseful, and there was a little bit of shock.”

Teague is likely less tolerant of Saul Smith’s misstep because the week before Smith’s arrest, forward Trevor Mbakwe was allowed to stay on the team after receiving a DWI over the summer, as long as he fulfilled unspecified requirements.

Teague said suspending Smith does not represent a double standards because he said the school’s values “dictate that our coaches and staff be positive role models for our student-athletes.”

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