On Thursday morning news broke that Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith is facing a felony weapons charge.
Just hours later statements are now in from athletic director Warde Manuel and head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Statement from Manuel
We are aware of the charge against Mazi from a traffic stop back in October. Mazi was honest, forthcoming and cooperative from the very beginning and is a tremendous young man. He is not and never has been considered a threat to the University or community.
Based on the information communicated to us, we will continue to allow the judicial process to play out. Mazi will continue to participate as a member of the team.
Statement from Harbaugh
I have respect for our judicial process and with that respect brings confidence that a fair and just resolution is forthcoming. Mazi’s character and the trust that he has earned over the past four years will continue to be considered throughout the process.
Manuel and Harbaugh are both defending Smith’s character and he will continue to practice and play in ball games as the legal situation plays out. Michigan plays Purdue in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Smith has 44 tackles and one sack in 12 games this year.