Paul Suspended For ACC Tournament Opener

<B>Winston-Salem, N.C. - </b>Wake Forest University sophomore guard Chris Paul will not play in Friday's ACC Tournament quarterfinal game because of his involvement in an altercation during Sunday's game at NC State, athletic director Ron Wellman and head basketball coach Skip Prosser announced today.

Paul, a candidate for the Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy, the Rupp Trophy and the Cousy Award, has played in all 61 games of his two-year career. Paul averages 14.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. In just two years, Paul already ranks among Wake Forest's all-time leaders in assists and steals.

Paul will be eligible to practice with the team when the Demon Deacons return to the court on Tuesday. Paul will return to game action following Friday night's contest.

Wake Forest, the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament, will play either NC State or Florida State Friday night at 7 pm.

Statement From Athletic Director Ron Wellman
"Chris Paul is an excellent representative of our program and he has been for two years. However, the incident last night is not something that Wake Forest condones, and neither does Chris Paul. It is an incident for which he is extremely sorry. We are proud of Chris and we are convinced that his future behavior will reflect the outstanding individual that he is.

"This is not an easy decision to make because of the type of individual we are dealing with. After consulting with (ACC Commissioner) John Swofford, we believe it is the right thing to do for Chris Paul, Wake Forest and the ACC."

Statement From Head Coach Skip Prosser
"I have said for two years that I would not trade Chris Paul for any point guard in the country. This remains the case. The game of basketball is best played in a certain manner. Chris committed a grave error in judgement Sunday evening. He is contrite and aware that his actions did not reflect the best of Wake Forest and our basketball team. This disciplinary action speaks on our intention to hold our players to the highest standards of sportsmanship and proper conduct.

"At this time we turn our attention to improving our team and preparing for the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. I will have no future comment about this decision."

Statement From Sophomore Guard Chris Paul
"I would like to apologize to Julius Hodge, the NC State team, Wake Forest fans and my teammates for an incident that I truly regret. Sunday night was emotional for me for many reasons and I let my emotions get the best of me. However, that is no excuse for my actions and I fully accept and agree with my suspension."


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