Junior guard Smith dismissed from Illini

Updated: July 31, 2008, 11:16 PM ET
Associated Press

URBANA, Ill. -- Junior guard Jamar Smith was dismissed from the Illinois men's basketball team on Thursday, two days after a prosecutor asked a judge to revoke his probation for allegedly drinking alcohol.

Coach Bruce Weber said Smith's decision to violate terms of a personal agreement for his return to the team left him without a choice.

"At this time, Jamar and his family need to focus their attention on the issues that have brought Jamar to this point," Weber said in a statement posted on the team's Web site. "For the good of our program and players we need to move forward and prepare for the 2008-09 season."

No one answered at a Champaign telephone number for Smith on Thursday night.

Smith is serving two years' probation after pleading guilty to felony driving under the influence. He wrecked his car in February 2007, injuring former teammate Brian Carlwell.

Smith sat out last season after his guilty plea but was expected to return to a prominent role on the team this fall if he met unspecified obligations. Under the terms of his probation, he can't drink.

Champaign police breaking up an argument outside a bar Friday said the 21-year-old Smith smelled of alcohol.

A judge set a hearing for Sept. 17, to consider whether Smith should have his probation revoked.

Smith played in 53 games over two seasons, averaging 8.0 points.

"Our entire team and coaching staff are obviously very disappointed he will not be with us," Weber said. "We will continue to do everything we can to help him continue his academic career and achieve his goal of graduation."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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