clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

My Column: Tom Crean Makes Necessary Move With Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea

New, 2 comments

After an offseason that began with plenty of positive press, an incident involving upperclassmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis put a screeching halt to the good buzz.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea had each put Tom Crean in a tough position before. Last Halloween, Emmitt Holt was driving when he struck Davis after a night of drinking. Holt was suspended over the incident while Devin lost a season recovering from the brain injury he suffered as a result of the collision.

Hanner was cited for a DUI and suspended indefinitely in the midst of Big Ten play, he would go on to miss two games. When Devin Davis ended up in the hospital after Halloween on the heels of Hanner's DUI arrest, people began to wonder whether the program was out of control.  After all, Yogi Ferrell, Stanford Robinson, and Troy Williams were also involved in drug or alcohol related incidents within this period, incidents for which the latter two players also served suspensions. Instead of panicking and capitulating to mounting public pressure, Crean stood behind the discipline he handed down and reiterated his trust that his players would work it out.

Devin and Hanner repaid that trust on Monday of this week by getting caught with marijuana in a student dormitory. While Davis was the only one cited, Mosquera-Perea was present and both players were dismissed from Indiana's basketball team on Thursday with an unusually curt statement.

Indiana Men's Basketball announces that sophomore Devin Davis and senior Hanner Mosquera-Perea have been dismissed from the program effective immediately for not living up to their responsibilities to the program.

Devin and Hanner weren't likely to hurt anyone or themselves in that dorm room, they had a responsibility to their coaches, their teammates, and the university to put the team before their own recreation. While public opinion regarding marijuana's may be rapidly shifting in favor of legalization, especially among the millennial set, it remains illegal in Indiana.

Even if marijuana were legal nationwide, it's a banned substance under NCAA bylaws and its use is strictly prohibited among NCAA athletes. Different athletic programs punish infractions differently, with some programs opting for light or non-existent discipline, but those found to be in violation by the NCAA face a mandatory one-year suspension. Recently, Mitch McGary opted to forego his final two seasons at Michigan rather than serve a one-year suspension after failing a drug test while sitting out the NCAA Tournament.

Still, Indiana did what was right for its program in dismissing two players who simply couldn't meet the expectations laid out in front of them after prior disciplinary incidents. Indiana fans were pulling for Devin Davis, who had a chance to be an impact player for the Hoosiers after losing a season to a brain injury that fortunately was not more traumatic but that opportunity is gone now.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea had his strongest stretch of play at Indiana down the stretch of last season after returning from an injury, but now, he will no longer have the opportunity to build on that success as an Indiana Hoosier. In fact, Devin and Hanner both had potential to be key pieces of a frontcourt rotation that struggled a season ago. In reserve roles, they could've flourished.

But Tom Crean had to send a message that the rules governing Indiana Basketball are meant to be taken seriously and Thursday afternoon he did that. Devin and Hanner will surely be missed by their teammates on and off the court, but if Tom Crean wants to build a culture at Indiana that he could be proud of, these are the tough decisions that you have to make.