Michigan guard Zavier Simpson was suspended for one game last month after he crashed the car that belonged to athletic director Warde Manuel’s wife, according to MLive.
Simpson was suspended for the Wolverines’ game against Nebraska on Jan. 28 for violating a team rule, but was reinstated for their next game days later against Rutgers. Per the report, Simpson crashed Manuel’s wife’s car into a pole and street sign around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26 — just hours after their two-point loss to Illinois.
He reportedly lied to officers about the incident, too, telling them initially that his name was Jeff Jackson Simpson and that he saw the crashed car while walking down the road. Officers, however, recognized him quickly as a Michigan basketball player.
Simpson then told officers, per the report, that the car belonged to Evan Manuel, Warde’s son who is also a student manager for the team.
Evan and Warde’s wife, Chrislan, confirmed the next day that Simpson was the driver of the car. Simpson then told investigators that he drove into the pole due to icy conditions, per the report. Officers did not “notice any odor of intoxicant on Simpson’s breath.”
He was issued a traffic citation for speeding.
Simpson has averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 assists per game for the Wolverines this season, his fourth and final with the program. Neither Simpson nor Michigan coach Juwan Howard revealed why Simpson was suspended for that game at the time, however Simpson did issue a lengthy apology that week.
“This past weekend, I made some disappointing decisions which violated our team rules,” Simpson said in a statement that Friday, via MLive. "I accept full responsibility and having to sit out the Nebraska game was part of that. I deserved it and fully supported coach Howard’s decision. Not being with my teammates made it a long night, however, it gave me the time to reflect.
"I know I let my coaches, teammates, and fans down as well as athletic department and community members. More importantly, I let myself and family down. They say you learn something new, or from something, every day and this is one of those times.
“I have apologized to my team and now apologize to everyone who continues to support me as well as our program. I am grateful for the opportunity to get back on the court Saturday and to represent this great university.”
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