Hudson duo suspended at least 20 days



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Tue. August 3, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

Hudson remained quiet Tuesday regarding last week’s arrests of quarterback Austin Smith and receiver Dontaie Collins.

The only bit of new information was a confirmation from Pasco County athletic director Phil Bell that he had spoken with Hudson principal Dave LaRoche about the incident. Smith and Collins will serve at least a 20-day suspension, in accordance with the school district handbook, from extra-curricular activities. The suspension began Friday when the administration became aware of the incident, Bell said.

But it remains unclear when the duo will be available to practice or play with the team. Preseason games start Aug. 27.

Bell also advised LaRoche to follow the county guidelines while the school continued its investigation of the events. Bell wanted to clarify the suspensions could be extended at the school’s discretion.  

“In these situations it’s important to stick with the code of conduct and policy,” Bell said. “...Football shouldn’t be the biggest concern. Participation in athletics is a privilege.”

The duo was arrested and charged with robbery last week after police said Collins tried to grab $3,000 in cash from a bedroom dresser. Collins, 17, told police he did not take the money.

Smith, 16, was shot in the leg as he tried to leave the home. He was treated and released from a local hospital. Both boys were held in the juvenile detention center over the weekend.

A message left for Sheila Smith, Austin’s mother, was not returned.

Hudson coach Justin Fenton said Monday he planned to meet with athletic director Andy Schmitz and LaRoche to talk about the incident.

Fenton had no comment Tuesday afternoon, and Schmitz did not return a message seeking comment. 


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