Champaign, IL, United States (4E Sports) – The NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee hit Illinois assistant coach Jamall Walker with a two-game suspension and a public reprimand for his misconduct after the Illini’s loss to Miami in the NCAA tournament last season.
“Coach Walker’s behavior violated the expectations that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship,” Division I men’s basketball committee chair Ron Wellman said in a statement. “The nature of his actions led us to issue the two-game postseason suspension.”
According to the NCAA, Walker made “inappropriate contact” with a game official and “verbally confronted” the game officials and a police officer after the game March 24.
Walker was infuriated with a controversial out-of-bounds call that went against Illinois and gave Miami the ball with a two-point lead and 42.3 seconds left in the second half. Miami won the game 63-59 and advanced to the Sweet 16.
The two-game suspension will be applied to the next NCAA postseason berth Walker makes as a coach at any school.
Walker and Illinois coach John Groce released separate statements after the decision was handed.
“I accept the NCAA’s penalty regarding this matter and am ready to move forward,” Walker said in a statement.
“We have great respect for the game of basketball and the NCAA, and take pride in demonstrating good sportsmanship. After doing its due diligence, the NCAA has decided on this penalty. It is an unfortunate situation, but we accept the penalty and will move on,” Groce said.