EAST LANSING (AP) – Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker apologized yesterday for the substance abuse problems that led to his suspension, and he shouldered some of the blame for the firing of coach Bobby Williams.
Smoker was suspended indefinitely Oct. 24 for violating team rules, and 10 days later his family announced he was seeking treatment for abuse of an unspecified substance.
Smoker, who said he did not fail a drug test, said he was suspended when he told Williams he had a substance-abuse problem and needed help. He said he entered an “intensive” inpatient treatment program and will continue to be treated for his problem for at least a few more months.
“It wasn’t just one substance, and I don’t believe that saying the specific substance is the issue,” he said in his first public comments since the suspension. “But I did abuse them, and it really did affect me.”
Smoker’s absence only accelerated Michigan State’s deterioration on the field. The Spartans (4-6, 2-4 Big Ten) were ranked 15th after a 2-0 start, but they lost six of their next seven games.
Smoker, a junior, hopes Michigan State’s next coach will drop his indefinite suspension.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to become a Spartan again,” he said.