Smith dismissed from basketball team

By Meghan Montemurro

Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber announced Thursday junior guard Jamar Smith has been dismissed from the basketball team. The dismissal stems from Smith’s recent run-in with the law which violated the terms of a personal agreement with Weber implemented after a February 2007 alcohol-related car accident.

“Jamar’s decision to violate the terms of our personal agreement for his potential return to our basketball program has left me with no other recourse but to rescind that opportunity,” Weber said in a statement. “At this time, Jamar and his family need to focus their attention on the issues that have brought Jamar to this point. For the good of our program and players we need to move forward and prepare for the 2008-09 season.

“While Jamar will always be a part of the Illinois basketball family, I have made the decision that he can no longer be a part of our team. Our entire team and coaching staff are obviously very disappointed he will not be with us. We will continue to do everything we can to help him continue his academic career and achieve his goal of graduation.”

The Peoria, Ill., native turned himself in Monday after an arrest warrant was issued due to allegedly violating his probation on July 25. Smith was set to return to the team after redshirting last season. He scored a total of 425 points, averaging 8.0 points in 53 games during his two years at the University.

He is set to appear in court Sept. 17.