Junior point guard Jerret Smith was suspended from the Michigan men’s basketball team yesterday for breaking the University’s class attendance policy for athletes.
The suspension was supposed to take place for tonight’s season-opener against Radford, but Smith injured his ankle in practice today within half an hour of Michigan coach
John Beilein notifying him of the suspension. Beilein said Smith will serve his suspension the first game he’s healthy.
“I’m sure he’s disappointed, but this is the way it’s going to be here at Michigan,” Beilein said. “We are going to go to class and we are going to do things right.”
Smith will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Kelvin Grady.
Before Smith was injured, Beilein hadn’t planned on announcing the suspension until the day of the game so Radford wouldn’t have time to plan for Smith’s absence.
“I don’t know where it goes from here because I’ve never had a guy, after you suspend him, gets injured,” Beilein said. “Then what do you do?”
Because Smith wasn’t on the floor when the media came to Crisler Arena to watch the last half hour of Michigan’s practice, Beilein thought it would look strange to announce an academic-related suspension today.
Instead, a press release with today’s date was handed out yesterday detailing the suspension.
“Jerret violated an important team rule and I felt it was necessary to warrant this course of action,” Beilein said in the release. “There is a high priority of academic responsibility at this university and on this team. Jerret did not meet his obligation to that.”
Smith averaged 5.7 points, 3.4 assists and 2.6 turnovers per game last season.