GREENSBORO, N.C. — Duke University suspended Grayson Allen indefinitely from the men’s basketball team Thursday, one day after he tripped an opponent for the third time in a year.
In a brief statement announcing the suspension, coach Mike Krzyzewski said the program “needed to take further steps regarding his actions that do not meet the standards of Duke basketball.”
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford issued a statement supporting the move, calling sportsmanship “one of the core values of our league” and adding that the suspension “demonstrates adherence to this important principle.”
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.
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.
“Just talking about what led up to it is just an excuse,” Allen said. “There’s no excuse for it.”
Krzyzewski called Allen’s actions “unacceptable and inexcusable” in the statement. He described them similarly in the immediate aftermath of the game, but at that time declined to publicly reveal any other measures or reprimands.
“I handle things the way I handle them,” Krzyzewski said after the game. “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.”
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.”
Allen twice tripped opponents last season.
On Feb. 9, he received a flagrant foul for extending his leg to trip Louisville’s Ray Spalding after he fell to the court and Spalding tried to run 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.
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.