Michigan guard Zavier Simpson served a suspension last month for a nebulous violation of team rules, but a police report uncovered by MLive.com revealed the suspension’s timing came shortly after the Wolverines guard crashed into a utility pole while driving a car owned by Michigan AD Warde Manuel. The car belonged to Manuel’s son, a student manager for the Michigan basketball team.
Simpson missed one game serving the suspension.
The police report says Simpson in the early morning hours of Jan. 26 crashed into a pole shortly after Michigan fell 64-62 to Illinois in Ann Arbor. He was cited for driving too fast for road conditions, and he told an investigator that the road was icy. He compounded his problems when he lied to officers about his identity the night of the accident. Officers recognized him as the Michigan point guard after he initially identified himself as Jeff Jackson Simpson.
Simpson’s suspension was handed down a day after the accident — on Jan. 27 — and the team did not divulge details. He missed Michigan’s game the next day, on Jan. 28 against Nebraska. His reinstatement came on Jan. 31.
“This past weekend, I made some disappointing decisions which violated our team rules,” Simpson said in a statement upon his reinstatement. “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.”
Simpson is averaging 12.7 points per game this season and leads Michigan with 8.2 assists per game on the year.