By Bryan Mullen
PULASKI, Tenn. -- Tyler Smith, Tennessee's top-rated basketball player, said he bought the gun that brought down his college career because someone had threatened to kill his 3-year-old son. He's never said that before. And he still won't go to the police.
Last November in Knoxville, Smith, who lived off campus, had much of his personal property stolen. The former Giles County High School star said he was about to call the police, but the threats came first.
He said the first text message threatened his life. The second promised to kill his son. Smith said he knows who did it, but he never called the police. Instead, two days later, he bought a Taurus pistol for protection.
Then, on the way back to Knoxville from Nashville on New Year's Day, a car in which he and three teammates were riding was pulled over by police. The pistol was found. Smith admitted it was his. He was booked. The arrest became a national story. And Smith, an all-SEC first-team talent, was