IIlinois’ Alan Griffin suspended 2 games for stepping on opponent

Illinois guard Alan Griffin was suspended for two games and reprimanded for stepping on the chest of Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic during Tuesday’s game, the Big Ten announced.

“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,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said Thursday in a statement. “It is important for me to emphasize and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, period.”

Griffin’s actions violated the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy, the conference said. He will miss No. 21 Illinois’ game against Michigan on Saturday and the Jan. 30 game against Minnesota.

Near the 12:18 mark of the first half of Tuesday’s game, Stefanovic drove to the basket and converted an off-balance drive, falling to the court in the process. Griffin stepped on Stefanovic’s chest as he turned to go back up court.

Griffin received a flagrant 2 personal foul from the game officials for his action and was ejected, missing the final 32 minutes of the game.

“We don’t condone that,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood told reporters after the game. “It’s not part of anything we’re trying to do with our program.”

Underwood said Griffin apologized to Stefanovic.

Griffin, a sophomore, is averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season.

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