Texas' Kerwin Roach II, waits for "The Eyes of Texas" to finish playing after the Longhorns lost to Texas Tech on Saturday. [Rodolfo Gonzalez for STATESMAN]

Men's Basketball

Shaka Smart: Suspended Texas guard Kerwin Roach likely to return this season

University-based suspension takes punishment out of coach Shaka Smart's hands

Posted February 23rd, 2019

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NORMAN, Okla. — Suspended Texas senior Kerwin Roach II is likely to return this season, coach Shaka Smart said Saturday.

But the Longhorns’ leading scorer has been suspended by the university, thus taking the penalty out of the coach’s hands and leaving the player’s future in limbo.

“Don’t know exactly when,” Smart said when asked about Roach’s return. “It’s an indefinite suspension.”

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Texas officials have not given specifics of why Roach is suspended, only saying that he committed an undisclosed violation of team rules. However, the university has drug policies that outline how many violations can occur before a player is suspended or dismissed.

According to the UT student-athlete manual, the first positive test for marijuana means that a player can be suspended for 10 percent of his or her athletic contests. However, that penalty is left up to the coach’s discretion.

A second positive test for marijuana results in another suspension for 10 percent of athletic contests. A third positive results in a suspension for half a season. A fourth positive test results in permanent dismissal.

The penalties are stiffer for other drugs, excluding marijuana, and even tougher for performance-enhancing drugs.

Roach was also suspended for two preseason scrimmages that were closed to the public and the season opener against Eastern Illinois. At the time, school officials said Roach was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Roach, who is averaging 15 points per game, did travel with the team and was on the bench for Saturday’s 69-67 loss to Oklahoma.

“That’s my brother right there. That’s my brother,” fellow senior Dylan Osetkowski said. “He’s in a tough place right now, and as a leader, as one of the dudes who’s been around the longest on this team, we have to be there for him. Continue to help him, and hopefully we get him back sooner rather than later.”

Said freshman Jaxson Hayes: “We’re all here for him, trying to support him. It’s obviously rough. He made a mistake, and we’re just here for him.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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