Charged Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl suspended four players, including starting senior forward Tyler Smith, after they were charged with gun possession and other counts after a Friday traffic stop. The Knoxville Police Department said Smith, 23; junior point guard Melvin Goins, 22; junior center Brian Williams, 22; and sophomore guard Cameron Tatum, 21, were arrested during a traffic stop for speeding near Tennessee’s campus. According to a police report, officers smelled marijuana coming from the car and found a handgun with an altered serial number, a bag of marijuana and an open container of alcohol. Tatum, who was driving, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and having an open container of alcohol. Smith was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, which is a felony. Goins and Williams both face gun and drug possession charges.
Hospitalized Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake has been hospitalized with pneumonia. Portland says Blake is expected to remain in the hospital for several days. Also, forward LaMarcus Aldridge has a sprained left ankle and it expected to miss today’s game against Golden State.
Benched Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy says cornerback Perrish Cox will not play in the Cotton Bowl against Mississippi today. The coach says Cox violated team rules. Cox is one of the team’s top defensive players and a second-team All-American.
Removed South Carolina basketball coach Darrin Horn has dismissed forward Mike Holmes from the Gamecocks for repeatedly violating team rules. A release from the school on Friday said Holmes did not meet Horn’s expectations both on and off the court, but didn’t specify what the junior did to get kicked off the team. Holmes was averaging 11 points and 4.8 rebounds a game this season.
Declared Tennessee safety Eric Berry is skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft. Berry said after Thursday night’s Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Virginia Tech that he played his final college game. Berry, the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, is expected to be a high first-round pick.
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