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MSU codifies team punishment standards
Seeking to avoid backlash from its often disparate player punishment procedures, the Michigan State basketball program has formally institutionalized new standards of consequences. For any players with off-court legal issues, the Spartans will allow players to be suspended for a maximum of three games. The new rule will give the school maximum flexibility to ensure it still has the best possible basketball product on the court in meaningful games.
In the event that the offense is prior to the practice season, one of those games can count as Midnight Madness. Another can count as an exhibition game. Therefore, a player with legal issues will only have to miss one meaningless non-conference game. If the offense occurs during the season, MSU law dictates that the suspension must first go into effect for any games against teams with an RPI measure of over 150. If a player gets in trouble during Big Ten play, the new rule allows the Spartans to hold off on the suspension until the next season. An MSU official was glad to cofidy the standards.
“We anticipate this move will strengthen our basketball product. It adds objectivity to often subjective situations, and shows our players that even when trouble comes calling, winning basketball games is the most important thing for us. More than anything, we want our players to be prepared for the NBA job market when they leave here, and by doing this we are giving them a sense of entitlement, by far one of the most important soft skills for future professionals.”
The precedent for such a rule was set earlier this year when Korie Lucious was suspended for one exhibition game and one regular season game after being arrested for drunk driving while underage. The idea to suspend him for these two games came as a result of wanting to send a message to the player while ensuring that the team would still have adequate manpower to win games.
The policy was a hit with Michigan State fans, though those without green and white lenses were more skeptical of the move. The school hopes that the new rule will prove that the handling of the Lucious situation will be no different in the future. Players will all be treated the same, and that is as Gods.
With punishment standards now in place, the public can expect several other schools to follow. Baylor coach Scott Drew was excited when he heard the news.
“Well we went through this with LaceDarius [Dunn] this off-season. We weren’t sure how to handle it because he’s our All-American player, yet we didn’t want the public to think we were being pushovers just for him. By making this official, we can show that all players will be treated equally as Gods. Now folks can’t say that we only suspended Lace for three games because he was our most important player since we only gave three games to the walk-on over there too!”
Clearly, major basketball programs across the nation breathed a sigh of relief today.