AD says Saul Smith DWI ‘embarrassing’

Published 8:57 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague said Monday that the unpaid leave for assistant basketball coach Saul Smith following his weekend arrest for drunken driving is indefinite and the discipline is up to him, not Smith’s famous father.

“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 that,” Teague said. “It’s just not good for anyone. It’s embarrassing, and I won’t tolerate it.”

Teague said he’s still evaluating Smith’s status but indicated he’d keep him on indefinite leave from his post as one of coach Tubby Smith’s assistants at least until the fourth-degree driving while intoxicated charge is resolved.

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Saul Smith’s responsibilities will be spread among the rest of the staff for the time being. Teague said he doesn’t believe the arrest is a violation of Smith’s contract.

“Tubby and I talked a lot about it, but in the end it’s my call. I want to be respectful. It’s his son. It’s very personal,” Teague said.

The 32-year-old Smith was pulled over early Saturday on a highway after leaving downtown when a state trooper saw his vehicle driving on the shoulder between 70 mph and 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. Smith has a Dec. 3 court date.