Davis, Perea left Crean without a choice

Tom Crean had no choice but to dismiss Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea from the program.

Tom Crean did the right thing on Thursday. He did the only thing he could do.

After a year filled with off-court drama, Crean took a stern stance by dismissing Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis from the Indiana basketball program. They left Crean no choice, really.

The players nearly brought Crean to his knees last November when, after a night of drinking, Davis walked into the road and was struck by a car driven by teammate Emmitt Holt. Davis was left with a traumatic brain injury and missed the entire season.

Days later, the program announced that Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson would be suspended four games apiece for multiple failed drug tests.

Crean didn't kick his players off the team then because he's a believer in second chances. He's as much a father to these kids as he is a coach, and it's his responsibility to help them learn without losing their futures.

He gave them second chances like he gave Mosquera-Perea a second chance in February 2014 when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Crean hit him with a light suspension, and hoped he had learned his lesson.

He gave them second chances like he gave Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson a second chance in April 2014 when they were cited for underage consumption of alcohol and possession of fake IDs. They were trying to get into Kilroy's Sports Bar during Little 500 week.

All the while, Crean accepted the blame and the criticism for the actions of his immature players. He believed in them so much, wanted to see them succeed so badly, that he may have gone a little lighter on the punishments than other coaches would have.

If he had a fault, it was that he cared too much. Kicking them off the team could very well ruin their futures. That's the last thing he wanted.

But when Davis was cited on Monday for possession of marijuana -- a mere six months after the car accident that left him hospitalized in serious condition -- Crean had no choice but to do what he hoped he'd never have to. Regardless how you feel about marijuana, it's illegal in Indiana, and Davis knew that. It doesn't matter how many people smoke at IU. What matters is he had the privilege of being an Indiana basketball player, had been given a giant second chance, and continued to disregard the rules.

Mosquera-Perea was with Davis in the room, but was not cited. But he has had plenty of chances as well, and he should have been setting an example for the younger guys. He never did that.

It's a sad day for the Indiana basketball program, and it's undoubtedly a sad day for Crean, who loved these kids like his own children. We'll never know the true potential of Mosquera-Perea, once a top 50 prospect. We'll never get to see Davis' heroic return to the court in an Indiana uniform.

Months of rehabilitation had Davis poised for a heartwarming comeback. Instead, in the blink of an eye, his Indiana career ends in sorrow and in heartbreak.

This is a lesson for all young athletes and people. Actions have consequences. If someone is generous enough to give you a second chance after a poor action, you better not falter again. If you do, your future will be compromised.

I hope this isn't the end for Davis and Mosquera-Perea. I hope they surface somewhere and thrive on the basketball court. But Crean had no choice but to do what he did today. Hopefully the other players on the Indiana roster will learn a valuable lesson from today's news.

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