It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks for Illinois head coach John Groce and that theme continued on Friday, only this time it was by his own volition, as it was announced he has dismissed junior forward Darius Paul from the basketball team. If you recall, Paul was sent home from Illinois’ trip in France almost a week ago after he reportedly vandalized some vehicles and resisted arrest while under the influence of alcohol.
“After further review of the situation, Darius has been dismissed from our team,” coach John Groce said in a release (h/t Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette). “Although his playing days here are over, we are committed to helping him move forward.”
This news comes just a few weeks after it was learned that senior guard Tracy Abrams will be out for the season with a torn Achilles, which is the second consecutive year that he will sidelined. Also, this is the second arrest for Paul as he was suspended last season after he was arrested for failing two drug tests for marijuana use and charged with underage drinking and resisting arrest in April 2014.
I guess Paul ran out of chances.
Suffice to say, it is no fun being Groce these days, as CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish explains.
Paul, a 6’8” power forward from Gurnee, Illinois, transferred to Illinois from Western Michigan in May of 2013. He was a force at Western Michigan, as he averaged 10.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while being named MAC Freshman of the Year. He is also the younger brother of Illini star Brandon Paul.