Illini forward Darius Paul given 1-year suspension

Illinois forward Darius Paul has been suspended from all team-related activities for the entire 2014-15 men’s basketball season, head coach John Groce announced Tuesday.
Paul, a transfer forward from Western Michigan, sat out this year, and was arrested on April 22. He is being charged with resisting a police officer and underage consumption of alcohol, University Police Department Capt. Roy Acree said. Paul is due in court on May 16 at 9:30 a.m. for pretrial.
“After a thorough review of Darius’ year, which includes multiple transgressions, I am suspending Darius from all team-related activities for the entire 2014-15 season,” Groce said in a statement. “As head coach, my concerns are always what is best for the University of Illinois, what is best for the men’s basketball program, and what is best for our student-athletes as people. I feel this penalty is necessary to help Darius as a person. We will continue to support him through this process.”

An officer observed Paul and another individual walking in a parking lot at 25 E. Springfield Ave., shortly before 3 a.m. on April 22.

The officer approached the individuals because of the time of night and because they appeared to be trying to avoid contact with police, Acree said.

The officer lost sight of the pair but was later able to locate one of the men, Paul.

The officer tried to ask Paul a question, and he began to walk faster. When the officer addressed him again, he ran, Acree said.

More officers joined and after a short foot chase, Paul was tackled at 57 E. Healey.

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    The fact that Paul ran “drastically changed” the nature of the stop, Acree said. Had Paul not run from police, it is possible he would have only received a citation for underage consumption.

    It is best not to run from or argue with police if one feels they were stopped for no reason, Acree said.

    “If you are stopped, just obey what the police are asking,” he said. 

    During the 2012-13 season, his only season at Western Michigan, Paul averaged 10.4 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Broncos. He was also awarded the Mid-America Conference Freshman of the Year before transferring to Illinois after the season. He is the brother of former Illini star Brandon Paul.