Bloomington – Devan Dumes' punishment for his actions in Saturday's game at Michigan State is to not only sit down and watch, but to stand up and talk.
The Hoosiers' leading scorer has been suspended for at least one game for the over zealous use of his elbows in the 75-47 loss to Michigan State. Dumes was ejected with 2:11 remaining for an elbow directed at Spartan forward Austin Thornton, and he was suspended by Crean after the Hoosier coach saw the film of not only that play, but the elbow that caught Goran Suton below the belt.
"We're not going to do that," Crean said Monday afternoon moments before the team departed for Minneapolis for Tuesday night's game at Minnesota. "That's not what we teach, that's not what I want anyone to be about here, that's not what he's about."
While the indefinite suspension is his primary punishment, Dumes was also front and center Monday afternoon to talk about Saturday's events that led to Crean's decision to sit him. It didn't necessarily look like IU's press room was the first place in the world he wanted to be, but he did apologize for his actions.
"It was a mistake on my behalf and I take responsibility," Dumes said.
Dumes said he's received words of both advice and encouragement from Crean as well as his brother and his cousin in the last couple of days.
"They're saying everyone makes mistakes," Dumes said. "You have to learn from it, get through it. If you don't learn from it that's when you don't capitalize on your mistake and you're stuck in the same position."
Indiana University officials had been contacted by Big Ten Conference officials late last month for an incident involving Dumes and Wildcat guard Craig Moore. Crean spoke with Dumes about the Northwestern episode, but on Saturday in East Lansing Dumes had three incidents with three different players where the use of his elbows were called into question. The first (directed at Travis Walton) resulted in an offensive foul; the second (Suton) led officials to review the play on the courtside monitor before deciding to do nothing; and the third (Thornton) resulted in an intentional foul call and Dumes' ejection.
Dumes made it clear there was never any intent to hurt another player.
"I never mean to hurt anyone if I'm swinging an elbow," Dumes said. "It's the nature of the game. Sometimes people say it's not a physical sport, but it really is. I didn't mean to throw anything that would intentionally hurt anyone. That's not the way I play basketball.
"If I wanted to be like that, I'd be playing football or wrestling. That's not how it's supposed to be done."
It's not the way Crean wants things done at Indiana, which is why the first-year Hoosier coach decided to suspend his leading scorer. But he also wants to make it clear that the Dumes suspension is in no way similar to some of the other things that plagued the program before his arrival.
"It's not a social issue, it's not a flunked drug test, it's not a grade issue, it's not an irresponsibility issue outside of the program," Crean said. "It's a basketball issue."
Now, Indiana must go on the road to face Tubby Smith's Minnesota Gopher squad without its leading scorer. Crean is concerned about not only Dumes' absence, but whether or not the series of events will prevent his team from playing with the level of tenacity that he thinks is needed for it to be competitive.
"I don't want us because this instance happened to us and we're dealing with it the way we are to become gun shy," Crean said. "Right now I'm scared to death of that. At the same time, I don't want it to cross lines."
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Dumes Has To Sit and Watch, Stand and Talk
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