Arkansas linebacker Terrell Williams is suspended indefinitely following his weekend arrest on charges of driving while intoxicated.
According to a preliminary Fayetteville police report, Williams’ vehicle crossed the center line before he was pulled over early Sunday morning, hours after the Razorbacks’ 19-15 victory over Tulsa. Williams refused a blood-alcohol test after failing a field-sobriety test and was ”uncooperative” and ”very argumentative” after being transported to the Washington County Detention Center.
Interim Arkansas coach John L. Smith immediately suspended the senior, and he wasn’t prepared to offer a more specific timetable on Monday. The Razorbacks (4-5, 2-3 SEC) are at No. 12 South Carolina on Saturday.
”I don’t even want to talk about that right now,” Smith said. ”I don’t even want to talk to him right now. If you have that little compassion, respect, love for your teammates, it’s hard for me to show compassion, love for you, if that makes sense.
”So, right now, I don’t even want to talk to him, and we’ll decide. I can’t give you an answer. I’m just extremely upset with him.”
Williams, who had seven tackles against Tulsa, was released on $910 bail and has a Dec. 14 court date. The 21-year-old is the fourth Arkansas player arrested since Smith’s hiring in April.
Two former players, Marquel Wade and Andrew Peterson, were sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation last month for their roles in on-campus burglaries. They were arrested, along with former teammate Maudrecus Humphrey, on May 12, and arrest reports said the three stole textbooks, DVDs, laptops and more than $4,800 in cash from a university dormitory.
Each of the three was kicked off the team during the summer, though Smith left open the possibility of their return at the time.
Three other Razorbacks were arrested on various charges shortly before Smith’s hiring in the spring, while former coach Bobby Petrino was still at the school.
Smith said Monday that the transition from Petrino, who was fired for hiring his mistress to a position in the athletic department and initially lying about her presence during an April 1 motorcycle accident, had nothing to do with the recent arrests. His strong reaction to Williams’ arrest, though, was a clear sign of just how much each of the arrests has hurt the personable and player-friendly coach.
”They’re your guys,” Smith said. ”Our guys. We love and care about them.”
The former Michigan State and Louisville coach said he’s learned to accept that arrests will happen during his 40 years on the sideline, but added that the hardest thing is releasing a player from the program.
”I guess the point that hurts is when they make a mistake that you can’t correct it, or we fail to correct it,” Smith said. ”And consequently, having to divorce, which we’ve had to do.
”That’s the point, as a coach, (when) you look at yourself and say, `Gosh, you’ve failed.’ And that’s what you do. You look in the mirror and say `We failed that guy. We failed that guy. He’s not here.”’