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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Report: Smith faces third-degree assault charges

Running back Eric Smith will surrender to Auburn police Monday after an additional third-degree assault complaint was filed against him stemming from an alleged altercation early Friday morning, according to a report in the Opelika-Auburn News today.

Smith, 19, was arrested for disorderly conduct at 1:42 a.m. Friday morning in the parking lot of the Lexington Hotel on South College St. after police responded to a call about a fight. He was taken to Lee County Detention Center and released on $300 bond.

A warrant for his arrest was issued later Friday, according to the O-A News. According to a victim's report, a 22-year-old male was treated for injuries in the hotel parking lot at the same time. He was taken to East Alabama Medical Center for a laceration over his left eyebrow.

Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor under Alabama law. Punishment is not more than $6,000 and one year in jail.

Smith did not practice with the team Friday or Saturday and his status with the team remains ambiguous. Head coach Gene Chizik called the incident a "family matter between Eric, myself and our football team." He said is Smith were to be in an Auburn football uniform again, he would have "paid a price."


ron mexico said...

So does it seem strange that Thompson, Jemison and Savage were kicked off the team, and Pierre-Louis was supposedly involved in that crew and is still on the team. And now Smith gets into this trouble and chizik acts like he doesn't know what the punishment will end up being. Do you think Malzahn has a say over the offensive guys?

Because looking back on things not having Jemison and thompson is really hurting our depth and maybe the whole "acting up" in class thing shouldn't have been handled so harshly.

Also i don't think you should be able to press charges just because you lost the fight.

Anonymous said...

These kind of incidents get way more ink than they deserve. Seems both AU and UAT are so eager to "one up" the other that they take fairly routine student misbehavior and make it seem like a major felony. Would seem that the sports writers would be mature enough to know when enough is enough.

Andy Bitter said...

Absolutely true that a regular person getting charged with third-degree assault would not be big news.

However, because he plays for the Auburn football team, and because Gene Chizik repeatedly trumpets everybody on the team needing to live up to the ideal of being "an Auburn man," it becomes a bigger deal.

Not to mention the fact that Chizik will not clarify Smith's standing with the team. A more definitive answer in that regard would certainly end a lot of the speculation that inevitably has come up since Smith's arrest.

War Eagle AC-47 said...


Being charged is not the same as being guilty. It is possible that the loser's bruised ego, and eye, led him to seek revenge via Big Brother.

Testimony at trial, if it comes to that, will shed light on what happened.

Anonymous said...

Actually, we would like to see all students live up to the "Auburn Man" level of conduct but unfortunately, not all do. And the fact that a coach encourages his players to do so (and some fail) is no reason to single out football players for special condemnation to extent that I witness here or on other Al.com sites. You and some other writers seem to hint at hypocrasy on the part of Auburn whereas I would not expect you or the law to make a special example of Smith by being more lenient or more severe. Let the situation play out and see if there is anything to the charge and don't pre-judge beyond informing the public of the event.

notabanker said...

Man thank god we fired Tubs...look at the great discipline and behavior of players now. Ah I guess this is part of the winning gene.