Big Ten suspends Illinois' Alan Griffin for two games after stepping on a Purdue player during game

The Big Ten has suspended Illinois guard Alan Griffin two games after he stepped on Purdue's Sasha Stefanovic on Tuesday midway through the first half of the Illini's victory vs. the Boilermakers. The league reviewed the play and issued the suspension as well as a public reprimand, saying Griffin violated the Big Ten sportsmanship policy.

"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 in a statement. "It is important for me to emphasize and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, period. We place the utmost importance on the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, game officials and fans. The situation provides a teachable moment for all parties involved, especially our student-athletes as they use their time in the Big Ten to grow as individuals both on and off the field of competition."

Griffin was assessed a flagrant 2 personal foul for his actions during the game and was ejected, missing the final 32 minutes of the game -- a 79-62 Illinois win. He'll miss games against Michigan and Minnesota as the Illini close out the month. He issued an apology on Wednesday to the Purdue player he stepped on and to others he affected.

"What happened was out of character, and does not reflect who I am as a person," he said. "To Sasha, Coach Painter, the rest of the Purdue team, my coaches, teammates, and Illini nation, I am deeply sorry that this incident caused a distraction in what was otherwise a great night for our team."

The sophomore guard has been a key role player for Illinois this season, averaging 16.3 minutes, 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Illinois has won five-straight after a 9-5 start to its season. It faces Michigan on the road Saturday.

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