Alvarez reinstates RB Smith an hour before practice
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin running back Lance Smith, who was charged with battery and disorderly conduct last month, was reinstated to the team Monday just before the first practice of the season.
The sophomore was suspended after being arrested by Madison police after an alleged dispute with his girlfriend on July 14. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez lifted the ban an hour before practice.
Smith has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges that he pushed down his girlfriend during an argument over a cab fare, refused to let her leave his apartment and took her money and shoes.
If convicted, Smith faces up to nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine on the battery charge and up to 90 days in prison and a $1,000 fine on the disorderly conduct charge.
Smith released a statement through the university apologizing for his actions.
"I first want to apologize to my girlfriend, my coaches, my teammates, our fans and the university community," Smith said. "My actions did not measure up to the standards we have here at Wisconsin."
Smith said he would receive counseling and perform community service work at the direction of coach Bret Bielema. He pledged "to conduct myself in a manner that I can be proud of."
Smith, 19, was the team's second-leading rusher with 345 yards and five touchdowns last season on 95 carries.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press