Following his third incident of intentionally tripping an opponent in game, Duke’s Grayson Allen was suspended ‘indefinitely’ by the university. Many people seem to have a strong reaction one way or the other as to whether or not the one-game suspension, as it turned out to be, was enough to reprimand his actions. I have an argument for both sides, and I think it really depends on what you were looking for out of the suspension.
I believe that the suspension was enough IF the goal was to keep Allen from continuing his behavior. Since this was the third incident, Duke is already a little late to the game, but I do think that the suspension will prevent a fourth. He has been able to act out for a while now without any repercussions, and you can barely call this suspension a repercussion, but at least there was something. If nothing else, Allen now realizes that Duke will react if it absolutely has to, and if there is yet another behavioral problem displayed by Allen, Duke WILL have to come down much harder on him.
Now from the other perspective, if the goal of the suspension was to punish Allen and actually work toward correcting his pattern of repeatedly tripping other players, then this whole thing is a joke. There is absolutely no way that it taught him anything more than that he might actually be held accountable for his actions in order to save Duke’s reputation. This was 100% a PR move by Duke, and it can be shown by the way that they handled it. The timing was so that it started right before an extended stretch without a game, and it ended minutes before the second game was set to start. For someone who wasn’t paying attention, this was a 2-week suspension; for someone in tune with college basketball, it was a pathetic one game suspension that ended because the team needed him after a sorry and lethargic performance at Virginia Tech. Analyst Seth Davis’ ridiculous tweet below is written like a true Blue Devil, and like someone who values winning over playing the game the right way. Who said a punch is only worth one game, and are we ignoring that this was the third time? Duke is clearly showing that success on the court is more important to them, and that’s okay, but don’t bother trying to put up a facade because it isn’t fooling anyone.
If a player punches another player he is suspended for one game. Yet somehow Grayson Allen's tripping warrants more? Yup. Got it.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 5, 2017