Talk to any Illinois fan about their season-ending loss to Miami in the NCAA tournament and you’re likely to hear about an out of bounds call late in the second half that went against the Fighting Illini.
Turns out assistant coach Jamall Walker was none too thrilled about the finish either, and post game verbal confrontations with game officials and a police officer have landed him a public reprimand and a two-game suspension from the NCAA. The suspension is to be served during NCAA tournament play, so Walker won’t be on the bench for Illinois’ next two games in the event.
And if Walker happens to make his next tournament appearance as a member of another program’s staff the suspension will carry over.
“Coach Walker’s behavior violated the expectations that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship,” said Ron Wellman, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and athletic director at Wake Forest, in the release. “The nature of his actions led us to issue the two-game postseason suspension.”
The controversial play in question occurred with less than a minutes remaining, as a D.J. Richardson missed three-point attempt appeared to hit Miami’s Kenny Kadji before going out of bounds. The officials awarded the ball to the Hurricanes however, and Miami went on to close out the 63-59 victory.