Goins, Tatum to rejoin team Sunday

Updated: January 16, 2010, 5:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee point guard Melvin Goins and guard Cameron Tatum will rejoin the Volunteers (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) on Sunday after serving suspensions for their Jan. 1 arrests.

In a text to ESPN.com Saturday prior to the Vols' game against Mississippi (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP), Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said the two players were cleared by judicial affairs on campus based on evidence and testimony.

He added that the courts take longer to make a decision. Because of the judicial affairs result, the school decided not to wait for the court hearing on Jan. 29, which was set after Thursday's arraignment.

Pearl suspended Goins, a junior, and Tatum, a sophomore, along with forward Tyler Smith and center Brian Williams after the four were arrested on misdemeanor gun, drug and alcohol charges during a traffic stop in Knoxville.

Pearl had said for weeks that there could be different levels of punishment based on the information that was going to come forward. He said there were varying levels of involvement in the arrest.

Pearl says Williams, a junior, will remain indefinitely suspended. Smith, a senior, was dismissed from the team Jan. 8.

How Pearl handles Tatum and Goins going forward still is a question because the Vols managed to rally with the six remaining scholarship players and three walk-ons in beating Charlotte, Kansas and Auburn -- in the SEC opener -- at home prior to Saturday's game against Ole Miss.

Information from ESPN.com college basketball reporter Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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