Geno Smith Suspended After 2nd DUI Arrest
Alabama safety Geno Smith has been suspended from the team, UA coach Nick Saban announced Monday night.
Saban would not elaborate on either the length or type of punishment for Smith but implied that he may be back relatively soon. The announcement comes two days after Smith was arrested and charged with driving under the influence for the second time.
"Little disappointed in Geno Smith," Saban said. "When he does a few things that he needs to do over the next few days, and he’s going to have quite a bit of things he has to do in the future, which I’m not going to be willing to share with anybody – that’s kind of a private matter – then he’ll be back on the field and we’ll allow him to practice again.
"But our focus right now is to try to help Geno in every way that we can, do the things that we need to do so that he can be a productive person, a productive student and a productive player. He’s always been a good student and he’s always done a good job and he’s always been a good competitor on our team. And has always set a pretty good example in terms of how he’s played."
Smith was arrested early Saturday morning by the University of Alabama Police Department and placed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on $1,000 bond, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department website.
Smith was suspended for the 2013 season opener against Virginia Tech after he was arrested and charged the first time for DUI in August of that year.
Saban said he had “no consideration” of dismissing Smith because he’s “never gotten rid of a guy on a second incident when it comes to drugs and alcohol.”
“We have a drug and alcohol policy here, and we have circumstances that a guy has to go through,” Saban said. “I guess discipline is punishment. I've always viewed my position as a coach to help young people have a better chance to be successful as you would your own children in your own home. I don't know if you have children, but you don't throw them out with the bath water every time they do something wrong. This is the second (DUI) for him. There is a series of things that he has to do internally, which will – the term will be inpatient and outpatient – to help him get better. ...
“Rather than try to condemn Geno for what he did, which I don't approve of – I don't even drink – so I don't approve of people driving and putting other people in danger when they're drinking. I don't want you to think I'm condoning what he did. I don't. We're disappointed in him. But we're also here to help our players, and we're going to try to help Geno every way that we can. We have a lot of good people who have helped people in the past and hopefully we'll be able to help Geno.”
Smith, a senior from Atlanta, Georgia, was fifth on the team in tackles as a junior last season with 56. Prior to the suspension, Smith has appeared to be the favorite in practices to replace the graduated Nick Perry at free safety.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who was arrested Saturday night on domestic violence charges for the second time, was dismissed from the team on Sunday.