Provo » BYU football player Shiloah Te'o, who was kicked off the team on Tuesday by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and two other traffic violations nearly six weeks ago, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
According to documents filed in Provo City Justice Court, Te'o was arrested on suspicion of failure to yield, improper lane change and DUI by Provo police on the night of Aug. 29, exactly a week before he played in the Cougars' 14-13 season-opening upset of No. 3-ranked Oklahoma at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Contacted Wednesday morning, Mendenhall said through BYU football spokesperson Brett Pyne that he was not made aware of Te'o's legal troubles until late last Saturday night, around midnight. Mendenhall said after investigating the matter Sunday and Monday, he decided to boot Te'o off the team after Tuesday's practice, a practice that included the participation of Te'o'.
Steve Schreiner, an assistant Provo city attorney, confirmed that charges against Te'o, 20, were filed on Sept. 18 and the case has been assigned to Judge Vernon F. Romney. He will be arraigned on Oct. 22 in Romney's courtroom, court documents show.
Te'o was investigated by BYU's Honor Code office for his role in an off-campus drinking party in January.
A sophomore, Te'o was a backup safety and a special teams regular in five games, making five tackles. His role with the defense was expected to increase this season because he figured to be the fifth defensive back in when the Cougars faced spread-option offenses such as the ones used by UNLV and Utah.
Schreiner declined to release details of the DUI incident, referring questions to the Provo Police Department.
Provo police public information officer Cliff Argyle did not immediately return phone calls seeking the police record of the incident.
Te'o, listed as Shiloah Ima Bruce Te'o in the court documents, is from Laie, Hawaii.