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IUPUI men’s basketball coach Jason Gardner resigns following arrest for driving while intoxicated

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis men’s basketball coach Jason Gardner resigned from his post Tuesday, two days after he was arrested for reportedly being found intoxicated and asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

The school confirmed its parting with Gardner on Tuesday afternoon, as first reported by the Indianapolis Star. Gardner was apprehended after 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, per the Star, when he was suspected of drinking and driving. Gardner spent Sunday and Monday in Hamilton County Jail and was released on Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

Gardner resigned from his post at IUPUI sometime Tuesday, Assistant Athletic Director Ed Holdaway confirmed. Holdaway said it was a mutual decision between Gardner and the university, adding “we certainly wish him the best.” 

The OWI investigation began around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when police were called to the intersection of Cumberland Road and Bruddy Drive to check on the welfare of a man driving a 2016 Nissan.

Officers were there on a report that the vehicle had stopped in the intersection for unknown reasons. 

Officers from the Fishers Police Department arrived at the scene and found Gardner asleep behind the wheel, police said. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to wake Gardner, officers entered the Nissan and took it out of gear.

Police said Gardner was asked to step out of the vehicle, and officers noticed that he was staggering and smelled of alcohol. Gardner submitted to multiple field sobriety test and failed each one.

Gardner, who played high school basketball in Indiana and was a lauded, blue-chip player before attending the University of Arizona in 1999, spent the past five seasons as coach of the IUPUI Jaguars. The program went 64-93 but was coming off its best season under Gardner: 16-17 in 2018-19.  

It has not been determined who will step in and act as interim or permanent head coach for the program. College basketball’s regular season begins in 70 days, on Nov. 5. 

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