The Big Ten Conference suspended Illinois guard Alan Griffin two games for stomping on the chest of Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic on Tuesday night, the league announced on Thursday.
Midway through the first half of No. 21 Illinois’ 79-62 win at Mackey Arena, Stefanovic drove to the hoop and made a layup, though fell to the ground in the process and landed directly on Griffin’s right foot.
Griffin, clearly upset, freed his right foot from underneath Stefanovic while stomping his left foot onto Stefanovic’s chest. Griffin was hit with a flagrant 2 foul after a review and ejected from the game.
"That's just absolutely ridiculous, uncalled for and he should be gone."— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
Illinois' Alan Griffin was ejected after stepping on a Purdue player. pic.twitter.com/LzG9GWqkap
“It is important for me to emphasize and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, period,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement, via the Indianapolis Star. “The situation provides a teachable moment for all parties involved.”
Griffin — who has averaged 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench this season for the Illini — apologized on social media on Wednesday night for the incident, and said that he met with Stefanovic after the game to apologize to him directly, too.
“I sincerely apologize for my actions toward Sasha Stefanovic during last night’s game,” he wrote, in part. “What happened was out of character, and does not reflect who I am as a person … I am deeply sorry that this incident caused a distraction in what was otherwise a great night for our team. I promise to Coach Underwood and my teammates that I will be more mindful in the future.”
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