Pitt coach Dixon suspends Zeigler after DUI charges
Pitt junior swingman Trey Zeigler has been indefinitely suspended from the basketball team after being charged with drunken driving early Sunday.
City police said they found him passed out behind the wheel of his Hummer at the intersection of Craft Avenue and Boulevard of the Allies in Oakland shortly after 3 a.m.
Two misdemeanor driving under the influence charges will be mailed to Zeigler, who must appear in Pittsburgh Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing Feb. 5.
"The incident involving Trey Zeigler is not only surprising, but incredibly disappointing," coach Jamie Dixon said Monday afternoon in a statement. "Although I believe it was out of character for Trey, he has been immediately suspended until further notice. Trey has expressed his deep regret to me and understands and respects the importance of accountability for one's actions."
The 21-year-old shooting guard's legal name is Ernest Zeigler III. Zeigler has averaged 6.2 points for the Panthers this season after transferring from Central Michigan where his father was fired as Central Michigan's coach.
Pittsburgh police were called to the intersection after a cab driver reported seeing Zeigler passed out behind the wheel when he picked up a group of people about 2:50 a.m. He called police when he returned to the intersection about 15 minutes later and saw Zeigler still passed out in the vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.
Police identified Zeigler from his Michigan driver's license and said he failed field sobriety tests after they woke up Zeigler and had him checked out by paramedics.
Zeigler was handcuffed after a breath test showed his blood-alcohol content was 0.129 percent, more than the state's legal 0.08 percent limit for drivers. Zeigler also vomited in a police holding cell toilet before officers were able to contact his parents, who came and picked him up shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, the complaint said.
It is routine for drunken driving suspects to be released to family members or other responsible parties.
"I want to apologize to my family, the University of Pittsburgh, my teammates and coaches and the entire Pittsburgh community," Zeigler said in the same statement provided by the university. "This is not indicative of the kind of person I am, nor the kind of person I want to be."
Zeigler's vehicle was towed and impounded, police said.
Zeigler was able to play for Pitt this season because the NCAA granted him a special transfer waiver in light of his father's firing in March.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Importance stressed of securing your online banking
- Great coaches make best work managers
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Review: New Edna O’Brien story anthology spans 5 decades of author’s work
- Homewood woman accused of card game stabbing
- Review: A real ‘Shepherd’s Life’ proves a hit in print, online
- Review: Sarah Lotz’s ‘Day Four’ sends a cruise adrift in supernatural waters
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Man fatally shot in East Liberty; police investigating 2nd shooting