Smith: Players not with team

Three arrested Arkansas football players - receivers Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey, and tight end Andrew Peterson - are not currently part of the Razorbacks' team or enrolled in summer school, head coach John L. Smith said Wednesday.

Three arrested Arkansas football players - receivers Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey, and tight end Andrew Peterson - are not currently part of the Razorbacks' team or enrolled in summer school, head coach John L. Smith said Wednesday.

The three players were arrested May 12 and subsequently placed on indefinite suspension. Each was charged with felony residential burglary after allegedly stealing textbooks, DVDs, laptops and cash valuing more than $4,800 from a university dormitory.

All have hearings set for June 15.

"It's a felony and it's a serious, serious thing," Smith said. "They're not a part of this football team until this thing gets cleared up or they never be a part.

"If they can't correct it, then you have to correct it for them; that's the way it is going to be. It's in the legal channels and we're just going to have to wait and see if they can correct the issue."

The players account for half of six arrested on the Arkansas football team since March - five of which have been charged on felony counts. In reaction to the slew of legal troubles, Smith said he had spoken to the team about better off-field conduct.

"We tried to explain to them what's going to be accepted and what's not going to be accepted, and what are going to be the consequences," Smith said. "We're going to demand that they do the right things.

"If (the message) hasn't got across, it certainly will before it's all said and done."

Smith said linebacker Tyler Gilbert, arrested April 17 on charges of felony aggravated assault, has "at least a locker to work out of", but his legal issues have yet to be resolved.

Kane Whitehurst, who was arrested April 1 on marijuana possession charges, was given a scholarship release earlier this month, while Jason Peacock, arrested March 16 on felony theft of property charges, was reinstated to the football team prior to Bobby Petrino's firing as head coach in April.

Despite the high volume of off-field incidents this spring, Smith - hired to a 10-month contract in April - said things are going well for the Razorbacks and he is excited about the program's future, which he hopes to be part of past the highly anticipated 2012 season.

An estimated $44.98 million worth of construction is underway on a football operations center, new practice fields and a new stadium video screen. Arkansas also picked up verbal commitments from a trio of highly-recruited Fayetteville High School standouts Monday, giving the program five commitments in the rising senior class since Smith's hire.

"We get one (recruiting) call the month of May, and not one individual has asked me, 'Hey, Coach, do you know the head coach will be (long term)?,'" said defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell.

"John L. Smith is the head coach, and we're planning on him being here a long time."

In an attempt to interact with the fan base, Smith is speaking at Razorback club events throughout the state this spring and even opened a Twitter account last week.

"I think taking ourselves as a university and a program out to the people more is a challenge that we all have to embrace and do as a staff," Smith said.

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