Gophers assistant coach Saul Smith was placed on indefinite unpaid administrative leave on Sunday after a Saturday arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Smith, who is head coach Tubby Smith’s son, is a first-time offender, the U of M said in a press release. The 32-year-old was arrested early Saturday morning after leaving a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Smith was stopped at 2:20 a.m. on westbound 394 for speeding and driving on the shoulder of the highway, Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol said. He blew a 0.18 on the breathalyzer, more than twice the legal limit. Smith was booked at 3:59 and released about four hours later, according to police reports.
“While we do not want to rush to judgment before the legal process proceeds, Coach Tubby Smith and I are taking this matter seriously,” Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said in a statement. “University of Minnesota values dictate that our coaches and staff be positive role models for our student-athletes. As such, we are taking disciplinary measures while the legal system takes its course.”
Smith is heading into his sixth year as an assistant coach after Tubby hired him after taking the Minnesota job. He oversees Minnesota’s guard development and ball handling improvement.
The announcement comes two days after standout player Trevor Mbakwe’s probation violation hearing, which was triggered by a DUI in July. Tubby Smith said the sixth-year senior was suspended from all team activities over the summer and said it was being handled "internally," but Mbakwe is currently practicing with the team and is not expected to miss any games.
Teague could not be reached for additional comment on Sunday, but will be fielding questions from the media in a press conference on Monday. Saul Smith also could not be reached for comment.
Smith is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 3.