Zavier Simpson Suspension Issue Stirs Controversy
Zavier Simpson’s suspension issue stirred controversy for the Michigan program this past week.
Earlier this week, Simpson was suspended for reasons unknown. On Friday, the cause was finally revealed to the media.
Many speculated originally that it was because Simpson had crashed a Toyota RAV4 that was owned by Chrislan Manuel, the wife of athletic director Warde Manual.
Simpson was reportedly driving it around in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 3 am a couple of weekends ago.
This week, Michigan head coach Juwan Howard revealed that that the real reason for the suspension was Simpson’s violation of curfew.
“That right there was something that he’s aware of, as well as all his other teammates,” Howard said.
“Being out at that time of the evening is not acceptable. We all have those type of rules that we have to abide by. That was something that I was not happy with at all whatsoever.
“I felt it was important that no matter who you are — if you’re my best player or the 15th player — there are rules that you have to respect.”
At this point in time, it is still unclear what precisely Simpson was doing out at that hour.
Michigan starters vs. Michigan State: Simpson, Brooks, Wagner, Livers and Teske.
Livers making his return after missing last three games with a lower-body injury.
— James Hawkins (@jamesbhawkins) February 8, 2020
Police are said to have discovered the car after it rammed into a street sign utility pole at 3 am on January 26.
The vehicle was found with no driver behind the wheel, but Simpson and a pair of others were near the scene of the accident.
Speaking to police about what transpired, Simpson reportedly told them that he had been walking home when he spotted a friend’s car crashed, so he paused to see what happened.
Simpson insisted the vehicle belonged to Evan Manuel, Michigan’s student manager and son of Warde Manuel.
On top of that, Simpson also reportedly gave a fake name to police.
Despite Simpson reportedly stumbling around a bit, because he could not be identified as the driver of the vehicle, he was not given a breathalyzer test.
“We didn’t see him behind the wheel,” police said in a statement.
“He did not admit to being behind the wheel that night. We had no independent witnesses saying that he was behind the wheel,” the statement continued.
“Until we can establish who was driving the vehicle, we don’t do Breathalyzers. We’ve got to have a legal reason to do that.”
Even police were able to identify Simpson as the driver and who the car in fact belonged to.
When confronted with the new facts, Simpson acknowledged being behind the wheel and said he had lost control of the car after striking a patch of ice.
One day after the crash occurred, on January 27, Howard suspended Simpson for a “violation of team policies.” However, no further details were offered at the time.
Now we know what really transpired.
Michigan is currently 13-9 on the season and 4-7 in the Big Ten.