After reaching the Final Four this past spring, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has been forced to deal with a couple off-court issues involving two players. Eron Harris, who began his career at West Virginia, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated earlier this week and suspended from the program indefinitely as a result.
And Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Alvin Ellis III ran afoul of the law on two separate occasions this spring.
Ellis was charged with underage purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol twice this spring, with the charge stemming from a May 2 incident being dismissed. For that Ellis, who took responsibility for a public littering charge, was required to pay $615 in fines. Just over a month later Ellis was once again charged with underage purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol, with that legal case yet to be resolved.
And the fact that this is an issue Izzo needs to address has the head coach disappointed in his rising junior guard.
“Being a student-athlete at Michigan State University is a privilege. But it also means having increased expectations and responsibilities that don’t exist for all students,” Izzo said. “Alvin Ellis did not embrace those responsibilities, and as a result there are consequences. We are disappointed in Alvin’s actions and will manage the matter appropriately.”
What those consequences will be remains to be seen, but to have the same issue occur twice within six weeks or so is not a good look for Ellis. As a sophomore Ellis averaged 1.8 points in just under nine minutes of action per contest for Michigan State, which has to account for the loss of guard Travis Trice and forward Branden Dawson as it prepares for 2015-16.