Griffin Ejected For Intentionally Stepping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic

Matthew Stevens

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For the second time this season, Illinois guard Alan Griffin was ejected from a game.

Following a contested layup by Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic, Illinois’ sophomore guard intentionally stepped on the Purdue player with his left foot while he was laying on the ground.

With 12 minutes and 18 seconds left in the first half, game officials called for an early media timeout to head to the monitor to assess the play. Before the end of the timeout, Griffin was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul, which calls for an immediate ejection from the game.

Immediately after seeing the play on replay, ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich immediately called Griffin’s removal from the contest.

“Alan’s unfortunate situation in no way, shape or form...we don’t condone any of that,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “That’s not part of anything we’re trying to do in our program.”

Illinois would win the game Tuesday night 79-62 ending a 15-game home conference win streak for Purdue and ending an 11-year streak of losses inside Mackey Arena for the Illini.

Griffin, who had a career-high 16 points and 12 rebounds in the 63-37 win over Purdue in Champaign just 16 days earlier, was ejected after playing just four minutes.

“I told him to go to the locker room and then we moved on,” Underwood said. “In order to overcome that, people would have to step up. That (situation) is something we’re going to have to talk about more.”

Underwood said in the post-game media conference that Griffin apologized to Stefanovic after the game and the situation would be handled in-house Wednesday before practice.

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 5.25.02 PM
Illinois guard Alan Griffin issues statement of apology following his ejection from the game at Purdue on Jan. 21, 2020. Griffin was issued a Flagrant 2 foul after intentionally stepping on Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic in the first half of the 79-62 win over the Boilermakers.

The first ejection of the 2019-20 season for Griffin came in the Braggin’ Rights Game loss to Missouri on Dec. 21 in St. Louis when Griffin got two separate technical fouls.

Purdue went into the locker room up 30-29 with Stefanovic having seven of his nine points in the first half. After the loss, Stefanovic declined to comment when asked about the situation in the post-game media conference.