Four Hoop Vols arrested, suspended

Less than 24 hours after contributing to Tennessee's most impressive win of the season, four Vol basketball players were arrested on drug and weapons charges.

The arrest, reported on The Knoxville News-Sentinel's GoVolsXtra.com website, occurred at approximately 11:30 this morning on Alcoa Highway, not far from the UT campus. The four involved players are preseason All-America forward Tyler Smith, reserve wing Cameron Tatum, reserve post Brian Williams and reserve point guard Melvin Goins.

Tatum, who was driving the car, reportedly was stopped for speeding. Detecting the scent of marijuana, the police officer requested backup. The ensuing search of the vehicle turned up a handgun under each of the two front seats. The gun on the passenger side reportedly has an altered serial number. Reportedly, police also found a bag of marijuana and an open container of alcohol in the car.

Tatum reportedly is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and having an open container of alcohol.

Smith, who was in the front passenger seat, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of firearm with an altered serial number.

Goins is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana.

Williams is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of marijuana.

"We take these matters very seriously," Vol head coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement released by the university at around 3 o'clock. "We are still gathering information. Once the appropriate authorities have provided us with all of the facts, we will act accordingly."

Roughly seven hours later, Pearl released a follow-up statement announcing disciplinary action against the four players. It read:

"I am deeply saddened and troubled by today's news. I am indefinitely suspending Melvin (Goins), Tyler (Smith), Cameron (Tatum) and Brian (Williams) from all team activities until we have more information about today's incident. I apologize for the embarrassment this has caused to our University."

The Vols, 10-2 and ranked No. 14 nationally, beat Memphis 66-59 at FedExForum Thursday afternoon, ending the Tigers' 23-game home win streak. The Vols flew back to Knoxville Thursday night and are scheduled to host Charlotte Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena.


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