Colleges

Another tripping incident leads Duke to suspend Grayson Allen

Elon's Steven Santa Ana (22) is tripped by Duke's Grayson Allen (3) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Allen was called for a technical foul on the play. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
AP
Elon's Steven Santa Ana is tripped by Duke's Grayson Allen in the first half.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — For the third time in a year, Duke’s Grayson Allen got caught tripping an opponent in a game, and it has resulted in an indefinite suspension for the guard.

“We have had the opportunity to thoroughly review the incident involving Grayson Allen from last night’s game against Elon. As I stated last night, the incident was unacceptable and inexcusable. He took an important step last night by apologizing in person to Steven Santa Ana and Coach Matt Matheny. As a program, we needed to take further steps regarding his actions that do not meet the standards of Duke Basketball. To that end, we have determined that Grayson will be suspended from competition for an indefinite amount of time,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement posted on the school’s website.

Allen picked up a technical foul for tripping Elon’s Steven Santa Ana on a drive in the first half of a 72-61 win Wednesday night. That earned him a seat on the bench for the final 4:15 of the half and the start of the second half, though he returned to the game with about 16 minutes left.

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Afterward, Allen met with Santa Ana and Elon coach Matt Matheny to apologize before hanging his head and fighting back tears while talking to reporters in the locker room.

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‘‘Just talking about what led up to it is just an excuse,’’ Allen said. ‘‘There’s no excuse for it.’’

Krzyzewski called it ‘‘unacceptable.’’

‘‘I handle things the way I handle them,’’ Krzyzewski said. ‘‘I think I’ve handled this correctly and moving forward I will continue to handle it correctly, and I don’t need to satisfy what other people think I should do.

‘‘I’m a teacher and a coach. And I’m responsible for that kid, so I know him better than anybody. So to think that it’s the last thing that’s said about this to him is wrong. Obviously, we will do more. It doesn’t mean you have to see it, or anybody else has to see it.’’

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Teammate Matt Jones said he tried to console the emotional Allen afterward.

‘‘I love Grayson, he’s my brother,’’ Jones said. ‘‘We’ve been to battle, we’ve won a (national) championship together. We won plenty of games together. So there’s nothing really you can say.

‘‘I just gave him a really big hug, told him, ‘I love you.’ That’s all that was, and let the silence kind of fill the void. There’s nothing really you can say about it.’’

It’s officially a pattern for Allen, who was twice caught tripping opponents last winter.

On Feb. 9, Allen received a flagrant foul for extending his leg to trip Louisville’s Ray Spalding after he fell to the court and Spalding tried to go by him. Roughly two weeks later, Allen kicked up his left leg to trip Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes as Rathan-Mayes tried to run by from behind.

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Allen wasn’t called for a foul there, but the Atlantic Coast Conference later reprimanded him.

The Blue Devils don’t play again until opening ACC play at Virginia Tech on Dec. 31.