Teague takes the lead on Saul Smith case

Gophers AD Norwood Teague denied any “major problems” with the team this fall following two DWIs.
October 23, 2012

Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague will decide whether Saul Smith, assistant men’s basketball coach and Tubby Smith’s son, will stay on the team following his DWI arrest over the weekend.

Saul Smith, 33, was placed on indefinite unpaid administrative leave after being arrested Saturday on suspicion of driving drunk.

Teague said Monday that he is content with the initial punishment and won’t make any long-term moves yet.

“We need to wait [for] the legal process to work its way out,” Teague said. “Being unpaid is a pretty good penalty.”

Saul Smith, who is entering his sixth year with the Gophers, has a court date scheduled for Dec. 3.

A day before Saul Smith’s arrest, sixth-year senior Trevor Mbakwe was sentenced to two more years of probation stemming from a DWI conviction in September.

Teague, who is in his first year at Minnesota, denied the appearance of a larger problem.

“If I felt like it was something that was out of control or some major problems, trust me, I’d do something about it,” Teague said. “All programs are going to have slip-ups.”

Tubby Smith, the Gophers’ head coach, decided to keep Mbakwe on the team provided he completes some undisclosed requirements. Teague said he expects Mbakwe to play in the team’s regular-season opener Nov. 9.

But Saul Smith’s potential future with Minnesota lies in Teague’s hands.

“Tubby and I talked a lot about it,” Teague said. “But in the end, it’s my call. … He’s deferring to me right now.”

Teague said Saul Smith was remorseful and “in a bit of shock” when the two talked following his arrest.

“I was very firm with him, and obviously it’s not what we expect,” Teague said.

Teague insisted the two DWI incidents were different.

“Trevor’s obviously happened well back in the summer [with] a lot of complications,” Teague said.

Teague pointed to discrepancies with Mbakwe’s breathalyzer test in which he registered a 0.12 blood alcohol concentration.

“There was a urinalysis involved [with Mbakwe] and a debate on whether or not it was over the legal limit,” Teague said.

Smith registered a 0.18 BAC after his arrest at about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

“It’s embarrassing,” Teague said.

Comment Policy

The Minnesota Daily welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.
Minnesota Daily Serving the University of Minnesota Community since 1900