Four UT basketball players face drug and weapon charges

KPD finds marijuana, guns during traffic stop; all four suspended

KNOXVILLE - Four University of Tennessee basketball players were arrested on drug and weapons charges today after a Knoxville police officer stopped the car they were riding in for speeding on Alcoa Highway near Kingston Pike.

The four are: Cameron Tatum, who was driving the vehicle; Tyler Smith, who was sitting in the front seat; Melvin Goins, a rear seat passenger; and Brian Williams, also sitting in the backseat.

All four face misdemeanor charges.

Knoxville police say information they previously released that Smith and Williams faced felony charges was incorrect.

UT coach Bruce Pearl suspended the four players late Friday.

“I'm deeply saddened and troubled by today's news,'' Pearl said. “Accordingly, I'm suspending Melvin, Cameron, Tyler and Brian pending further information.

"I apologize for the embarrassment this has brought to the university."

According to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk, a KPD officer stopped the car about 11:30 a.m. today. He smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car as he spoke with the driver. He requested back-up and a K9 officer.

After the K9 officer's dog signaled the presence of drugs in the vehicle, the four young men were removed from the car so police could search it.

Inside the vehicle, according to DeBusk, officers found a handgun under the driver's seat, "accessible by either the driver or left rear seat passenger." They also found a handgun, with an altered serial number under the passenger seat, accessible by either the front seat passenger or right rear seat passenger, according to DeBusk.

They also found a baggy of marijuana and an open container of alcohol.

"It could not be determined if the driver and passengers were under the influence of marijuana or not, although the strong odor indicated that marijuana had been recently smoked in the car," according to a statement from DeBusk. "Because of this, physical arrests were made instead of misdemeanor citations for the misdemeanor charges."

Tatum, 21, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and having an open container of alcohol.

Smith, 23, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of firearm with an altered serial number.

Goins, 22, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana, a schedule VI drug.

Williams, 22, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of marijuana.

DeBusk said the vehicle used was a Dodge Charger and had Illinois plates. A source told the News Sentinel that the vehicle was a rental and was borrowed from a player's friend.

UT compliance is expected to look into the relationship between the players and the person responsible for the rental car to determine if the NCAA would deem it to be a violation of the extra benefit rule.

Smith is a senior and the starting power forward, Tatum is a redshirt sophomore who has started on the wing, Williams is a junior backup center and Goins is a junior college transfer who is the backup point guard.

The 14th-ranked Vols (10-2) flew back from Memphis Thursday night after defeating the Tigers 66-59.

UT's next game is Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena against Charlotte.

Smith has started all 12 games and is averaging 11.7 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. Tatum has started 6 games and is averaging 8.7 points per game. Williams has averaged 5.9 points and 5.4 rebounds off the bench. Goins has made one start and is averaging 6.1 points.

Smith announced in June he would not enter the NBA draft. Pearl said when it became apparent that Smith was not "locked down'' as a first-round pick, Smith weighed that against his opportunity to return to UT and graduate and lead the team.

Smith said that he considered playing in Europe, but he never seriously pursued it.

"There was a very slim chance I'd go there,'' Smith said. "I thought about it, but you can't get better fan support and exposure over there than you can right here at the University of Tennessee.''

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Comments » 710

DSmith1669 writes:

WTF?

allvol32 writes:

I must be having a nightmare...somebody please wake me up.

HHUUMMBBLLEE writes:

PUCK

JamminVol11 writes:

Well good....hate to start 2010 off without some sort of issue. There goes this year. Bruce will have to make a stand.

rusty_shackleford writes:

good grief!

Thad123 writes:

What a sad day to be a ut fan.

RichmondVol42 writes:

WHY WHY WHY am I not surprised. Thank you, Wayne Chism and Scotty Hopson, for keeping your noses out of it.

RichmondVol42 writes:

Toss 'em. Clean house.

Your next starting Lineup:

Chism
Hopson
Prince
Hall
Maze

McBee & Woolridge off the bench.

Ironcity writes:

Not surprising but really disappointed. What a last 24 hours. I wonder who the driver was?

MillisaAnn writes:

That's awful they should know better not to do something stupid like that. I would hope this is all a big misunderstanding.

TopTenn writes:

Dumb@##%%

bhjohnso#207063 writes:

i guess these guys couldn't stand the positive press after a nice win. it'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

BillsBrother writes:

Definitely not the kind of Swagger that the basketball team or the athletic program needed.

AWOLVol writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Not surprising but really disappointed. What a last 24 hours. I wonder who the driver was?

Probably some 22 year old chick in a 2010 Toyota Prius.

volsoutwest writes:

Here we go again. Heavens to Mergatroid!!!

IslandVol writes:

Never trust people with neck tatoos. Smith and Goins.

utken1942 writes:

UT will be label the the TOP GUN in sports, fisrt bb guns in football program, now guns and drugs in basketball. Sad day for Vol Nation

movol53 writes:

OMG!!!!! What on earth is going on in K-town?
Maybe Pearl will need to go to the YMCA just to have a team to play Kansas in ten days. GOOD GRIEF!!!!

LEXKYVOLS writes:

Never felt more ashame to wear my Tennessee colors than now!!

Pitch26 writes:

Tyler Smith must be the stupidest person alive....

anyonebutfulmer writes:

Hamilton, you gotta go buddy. You are running a penal colony of an athletic program. Nice work.

Sad day to be a Vol fan on all fronts.

jone8191#247590 writes:

What have we done? Cornered the market on outlaws at UT? This is a great 24 hours we have going here. A night in that hellhole Georgia Dome and now most of the starting lineup caught with guns and drugs. Clean house Bruce and shoot for next year. And Tyler Smith has to be the biggest disappointment we've had in years!!

RJ_Vol writes:

Hamilton's knees have to be knockin' now. May be time for a change @ the AD, respectfully.

anyonebutfulmer writes:

Note to Vols coaches:

Stop recruiting thugs just because they can play ball and start recruiting guys with just a little bit of character.

chrisw2967 writes:

Pearl has lost control of these kids , goes back to last year.If Pearl doesnt get control now he can hang it up.

carbonzip writes:

We need a new blog named "GoneVols"

midnite__VOL writes:

How bout them VOLS!!!!!!!!!!

LibertyVolance writes:

Rather see us go short-handed than have thugs on the team. Send them away.

golfin_blondie writes:

This is almost unbelievable.........just like the football players what were they thinking??? Does anyone out there wonder why is it or just is it Tennessee players that get in trouble??? You don't hear about other teams with maybe the exception of Florida State.

john_mc2 writes:

Think this will cost us the season and possibly recruits?

utvolz#637682 writes:

If true, it's obvious the criminals are running the jailhouse on the Hill. Hamilton needs to lay down the gauntlet to ALL head coaches; clean up your roster and their actions on and off the field or face the consequences. I doubt he'd man up and do that though....he's too much of a bottom line kinda guy. Is his undergrad degree in accounting? Just sayin'.....

Slystone writes:

Let this shake out before we make accusations. Someone may be innocent in this mess.

GreyhairedVol writes:

Hamilton this program is starting tp look like the old UNLV teams. I think it's time you step in and take control of this program.
It's very obvious with how these kids act on the court and off that Coach Bruce Pearl has no control over our program.

newportvol writes:

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid,

KIDS STAY OFF OF THE DRUGS AND STAY IN SCHOOL..

Vol_in_GA writes:

Good God!

Did these idiots not learn anything from the Nuke incident? They live in Knoxville, not Compton. Why do they need to carry a weapon? Smoking weed is one thing, but carrying a deadly weapon while smoking weed is beyond retarded.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to beersheebavol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

cityinsouthernisrael. The tone is set from the top. Who do you think signs off on the hires?

tinknoz#660213 writes:

come to UT....get ur P.H.D. in drugs and going armed

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to newportvol:

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid,

KIDS STAY OFF OF THE DRUGS AND STAY IN SCHOOL..

Gives a whole new meaning to "cut and paste." Agreed.

Brentwoodvol writes:

in response to RJ_Vol:

Hamilton's knees have to be knockin' now. May be time for a change @ the AD, respectfully.

How is this Hamilton's fault. 2nd post I read about changing AD

cdonsbach writes:

ugh!

GreyhairedVol writes:

in response to beersheebavol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's also the AD, he is Bruce Pearls boss and if he continues to ignore all of the problems that are going on under Pearl he is to blame as well.
If Coach Pearl was losing games the fans would be calling for his head right now. This program is way out of control and an embarrassment to the University.

Thad123 writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your right kids riding around with weed and a knife ( i say knife because i cant imagine a gun not being a more serious charge i could be wrong) is Lane Kiffens fault.

Hoops43 writes:

Looks like our season is up in smoke. We need to weed out these problem kids.

golfin_blondie writes:

in response to anyonebutfulmer:

Note to Vols coaches:

Stop recruiting thugs just because they can play ball and start recruiting guys with just a little bit of character.

I could have not said it better....AGREED!

eduardo writes:

send them packing, preferably not with a piece or a blunt.

PEYDAY writes:

in response to anyonebutfulmer:

Note to Vols coaches:

Stop recruiting thugs just because they can play ball and start recruiting guys with just a little bit of character.

Our athletics department starting with the AD care nothing about character. This is evident in the way Hamilton handled firing fulmer, the quality thugs...I mean palyers kiffin has recruited, and now this by the bball team!

Hamilton needs to go!

newportvol writes:

in response to golfin_blondie:

This is almost unbelievable.........just like the football players what were they thinking??? Does anyone out there wonder why is it or just is it Tennessee players that get in trouble??? You don't hear about other teams with maybe the exception of Florida State.

happens at almost every school.. i guess most of the athlethes get away from mommy and daddy or whoever and think they can do it all they have a little bit of fame.. Dont ever think they can get caught Very sad.. Verry sad sometimes it ruins there life forever..

eduardo writes:

idiots!!!!

Ringside writes:

Forfeit the season and take Pearl with you.
Nice job thugs!

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

What a great 2 days. First, the bowl game and now this. I'm going to take a long nap. Wake me when it's time for the spring football game.

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