Smith's suspension modified

UW announces that tailback can return after missing five practices; In Dane County Court, Smith's preliminary hearing rescheduled

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Citing witness testimony that "uniformly contradicted the nature of the allegations" the Appeals Committee of the University of Wisconsin's Student-Athlete Discipline Policy modified sophomore tailback Dwayne Smith's suspension late Wednesday afternoon.


Smith has been suspended since Feb. 23 after he was arrested and later charged with being party to the crime of second-degree sexual assault.


Bruce Jones, chair of the Appeals Committee and also chair of Wisconsin's Athletic Board, made the announcement in a prepared statement.


The criminal complaint filed Feb. 25 in Dane County Circuit Court states that Smith raped a 19-year-old woman after another man, 22-year-old Anwar Jones, led her to a downtown apartment.


Wisconsin's appeals committee found that witness testimony contradicted these allegations. According to Wednesday's statement, though, "the committee did conclude that Smith was involved in conduct unbecoming to a student-athlete at the UW." As a result, he will remain suspended for the Badgers first five spring practice sessions, after which he can return to competition, "pending additional information that might cause the Appeals Committee to re-evaluate his situation." Wisconsin's spring practices begin Friday.


Monday, Smith's attorney, Charles Giesen, filed a motion requesting police records that he felt would clear Smith and also asked for the preliminary hearing in the case to be rescheduled.


Wednesday, judge John Albert granted a continuance, changing the date of the preliminary hearing from March 4 to March 26. Attorneys have until March 8 to file additional arguments relating to the release of further evidence.

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