WCIA — Illinois basketball player Alan Griffin will miss the next two games after getting ejected in the 79-62 win at Purdue on Tuesday. The sophomore stepped on Sasha Stefanovic in the first half and was thrown out of the game. Griffin was also issued a public reprimand for violating the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy.
“After a thoughtful and thorough review of this incident, we are all extremely fortunate this did not create a hostile and unsafe environment for the players, coaches, game officials and fans,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in a statement. “It is important for me to emphasize and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, period. We place the utmost importance on the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, game officials and fans. The situation provides a teachable moment for all parties involved, especially our student-athletes as they use their time in the Big Ten to grow as individuals both on and off the field of competition.”
Griffin will miss Illinois’ game at Michigan on Saturday and the team’s home game against Minnesota next Thursday. The guard is averaging 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season as a key bench player for the Illini.
“Alan Griffin is a great young man, and I remain proud of him as a person and as a member of our team,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said in a statement Thursday evening. “He is a 19-year-old student-athlete who made a mistake – a mistake we don’t condone and that reflects negatively on our program. He showed poor judgment in a moment of emotion and has been remorseful from the outset, meeting with Sasha Stefanovic after the game to apologize and following with a public apology to Sasha, Coach Painter, and the Purdue team. He was ejected from the contest and essentially missed the entire game as a consequence of his actions. I am proud of Alan’s accountability, response, and growth from this experience. I feel the further penalty of a two-game suspension is excessive and am disappointed in the timing. But I respect the Big Ten’s decision and am moving on. We will continue to support Alan and help him learn from this situation.”