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Jeff Eisenberg

Hofstra's has to make a choice after coach Tim Welsh's DWI

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Tim Welsh arrived at Hofstra earlier this month promising to lead the Pride back to the top of the Colonial Athletic Association. Now, he's in jeopardy of losing his job without even coaching a game.

Hofstra suspended the former ESPN analyst without pay on Friday just hours after learning via media reports that he had been arrested for driving while intoxicated the previous night.

Welsh was behind the wheel of a silver 2006 Lexus when an officer found him asleep at a green light in Levittown on Long Island. Nassau County Det. Lt. Kevin Smith told the New York Post that Welsh "had bloodshot eyes, slurring of speech and was unsteady on his feet" and police sources said he blew more than twice New York's legal limit in a sobriety test.

Not exactly the example you want your head coach setting for his players, though you'd never know it from the oddly composed-looking mug shot above. (Maybe Welsh's ESPN tenure prepared him for stressful situations in front of the camera?)

Of course, the lingering question in the wake of Welsh's arrest is whether Hofstra will pull the plug on his coaching tenure before it truly begins or reinstate him and gamble that this was an isolated incident. Other coaches such as Bob Huggins and Billy Gillispie have kept their jobs or earned second chances after a DUI, but they also had built up more favor with their universities than Welsh has at Hofrstra in just 29 days on the job.

Whatever Hofstra decides, school officials will have to do it quickly because Welsh hasn't formally hired any assistants yet and the basketball program is without any leadership at the moment. In the midst of a busy spring recruiting period and with summer recruiting season not far away, the timing is certainly not ideal.

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