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Blog Entry

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:46 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:16 pm

By Jeff Goodman

When D.J. Byrd was arrested for public intoxication, it was expected that the junior wing would be suspended for Sunday's game against Michigan State. Nothing more than that. 

What wasn't anticipated was that teammate Kelsey Barlow would be kicked off the team. 

“This is an unfortunate situation, but we will move forward as a program,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We expect our student-athletes to live up to a high standard, and when their actions become detrimental to the program, there are consequences.”

According to a source, the story goes like this: Barlow left his wallet in a bar last night and couldn't get back into the establishment. He rounded up a few of his buddies -- Byrd included -- and they went back to the bar. There was apparently a verbal exchange and Byrd wound up getting arrested while sticking up for his teammate. He was booked into jail at 3:35 a.m. and released at 8:31 a.m. 

Barlow was under a zero tolerance policy with Painter for several issues in the past -- including one last season that resulted in a suspension from the NCAA tournament.  

The timing couldn't be any worse with Purdue hosting No. 8 Michigan State on Sunday and now being without two starters. The Boilermakers have won two straight and are 17-9 overall and 7-6 in Big Ten play. However, they can ill-afford to slip-up with five regular-season games remaining in order to secure an NCAA tournament bid. 

Byrd has been terrific over the past five games, averaging nearly 17 points per game and making 18-of-34 from beyond the arc. He was 7-of-9 from deep in a close lose in Columbus to Ohio State and finished with 13 points and was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc in the win over the Illini earlier this week.

Barlow (8.3 ppg) has been erratic throughout his career, an underachiever of sorts who was suspended for the NCAA tournament a year ago. 


Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:49 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

Hey stud, mind explaining which guys missed the next 2 games after getting hit by a ballrack (that was the rumor, not a chair as you've screwed up the false rumor.)   Ryne Smith was the guy who suppsoedly got hit and concussed.  But amazingly neither he nor anyone missed any games.

YOu're spreading a msg board-borne rumor from last spring and are perpetuating it.  Check the box scores, no one missed games.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:17 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

So there is probably more to the story for booting the kid off the team but does being a legal college adult at the bar at closing time on a Thursday translate to such a horrible offense? Outside Byrd not keeping his mouth shut and spending a couple hours in the pokey this is a non-story. I'm not sure that Bob Knight would have kicked the kid off the team. He would have been puking all day with the sprints he'd be running the next day a practice though.

Barlow had the dunk of the year over Sullinger a few games ago.


Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:40 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

I admire Matt Painter and whoever else initiated this move. College athletes should be held to standards of behavior higher than regular college students because they are often in the public eye and become role models (rather they like it or not), of our children who hope someday to follow in their footsteps.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:57 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

Well what you say is correct. They are adults and have to be accountable.
What we don't really know is whether this kid is an alcoholic. Zillions of students go into campus bars to dance, listen to the tunes, fraternize ... they aren't alkies. I didn't see that anybody said this guy even had a drink. He could have been on 7-Up. All I know is that he had troubles with Painter before. Was that over drinking?

What is the point is how Painter handled it.
More to the point is how the universities handle this sort of thing. The game aside, Purdue will probably lose their next game. Oh well, toughski sheetski ...

Universities are in a tough spot, giving out scholarships to guys for million-dollar (at least) programs and basically don't have much control over them after that until the players screw up and force the coach to make an either-or deal. If he does the "right" thing, he might end up with a 14 seed ... out in the first round (or worse, the NIT) ... if he does what's good for the program and keeps the kid on the team, he might make it to the Sweet 16 ...

The money difference is pretty great.

This is the point, I think. Not about the game or the behavior ... but the tough spot the university finds itself in over this.

I am not going to say who is to blame. If this guy has a drinking problem, he needs to fix that. That isn't Purdue's problem.
Purdue can help him as his "employer."

I hope this is what I think ... is the point.

Big-time athletics has to make some tough choices and, people being human, sometimes we expect too much of them.
For Purdue, I don't know if these guys are that important. I'd say they are.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:38 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

You are still missing the point.

Fill me in on this point I am missing then... 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:21 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

That said, I think that kids doing some drinking and partying in college is to be expected, I hate to see them treated differently from other students,

I agree.  I'd love to see a lot more intelligent young men and woman that don't excel in a sport get treated with half the respect students athletes do and maybe even get half the scholarship money some of these punk kids get.  But that's not gonna happen...

I have a cousin that excelled in school from a very young age and continued to do so all the way through college, up to and including the time she recieved her masters.  She busted her ass all year long between school, volunteer work and everything else it takes to succeed.  Her schooling ended up costing her 200 thousand dollars yet a total of only around 30 or 40 thousand dollars was scholarship money.  

In the end it worked out well for her, late 20's and a 6 figure income is pretty good.  But it amazes me how many people out there defend student athletes.... it's a joke. 

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:18 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

That said, I think that kids doing some drinking and partying in college is to be expected
It is, but this is certainly not an isolated incident with Barlow. 

He's had other off-court issues over the past two years, and the almost-last-straw happened late last season when he started a fight... with his own teamates in practice... and hit one of his own team members with a chair.  No joke.  The coach suspended Barlow for the duration of the tournament, and the recipient of the chair-to-the-face was also out for a game or two (not for fighting, but because of the injury).  That's when Painter put him on the 'zero tolerance' warning.  Knowing that one more thing would get him booted out made it doubly stupid of him to go gather friends and try to make a stink at the bar.  Attempts to get him help, and then to have team-related consequences clearly didn't get the message accross.  So Painter had to use the last tool at his disposal to try and make Barlow see reality.

Let's hope Barlow takes the hint, and learns to make some better choices before he gets in some real trouble.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:03 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

Rough backgrounds? Barlow's dad played at notre dame and pro ball in Europe and is now a millionaire in Indy. Byrd comes from Crawfordsville. Not exactly tough situations, just stupid decisions. Just two guys who felt they were untouchable and Painter put them in their place.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:01 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

You are still missing the point.

But as you say ... It is what it is.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Purdue boots Kelsey Barlow, suspends D.J. Byrd

Point being missed here, sadly.

Oh the point is thoroughly understood. You want me to express sympathy and worry for some college kids who got drunk at a bar and wanted to start a fight?? They are adults. They make their own decisions. It is what it is. I am not going to sympathize with them. Especially when they have their school paid for through a basketball scholarship. But you can do so if that is what makes you feel like a good person, johnU11.



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