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Illini Forward Darius Paul arrested in France, suspended indefinitely

The trouble-making forward and brother of former star guard Brandon Paul has been suspended by coach John Groce yet again.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (12:10pm)

Darius Paul was arrested in Deauville, France early Friday morning. He's been charged with vandalism, public intoxication, and resisting arrest. (via Bret Beherns)

The Deauville police superintendent, Madam Pons, told WCIA 3 sports reporter Bret Beherns Paul was "very, very drunk" when authorities approached him.

"He rebelled against us," Pons said.  "It was hard to get him into custody because he is so big."


Junior forward Darius Paul, younger brother of former Fighting Illini basketball star Brandon Paul, has been suspended indefinitely and sent home from the team's ongoing European basketball tour, the team announced in a press release early Saturday morning.

Head Coach John Groce supplied a statement in the release, though it left out the exact details of Paul's actions which led to the suspension:

"Darius has been suspended indefinitely after violating team rules during our trip," Groce said. "We have specific standards of behavior for every member of our team, and when those expectations are not met, there are consequences. Darius is returning home immediately, and we will evaluate his status with the team following our return to Champaign."

Paul has been disciplined for similar issues before: after transferring to Illinois from Western Michigan in 2013, Paul was arrested in Champaign for underaged drinking and resisting arrest (a story would come out later that he had attempted to evade cops after being approached by one).

Paul was subsequently suspended for the entire 2014-15 season, and chose to transfer to JUCO college Lamar State-Port Arthur, where he played out the season before returning to the Illini. Paul recorded 12 double doubles with Lamar State-Port Arthur and averaged over 17 points with the team.

We don't know yet what Paul's playing status will be for the 2015-16 hoops season, but given his history of disciplinary errors, it wouldn't be surprising to see a hefty punishment from Groce.

The Illini were expected to boast the strongest front-court depth the team has had in years; that could be in jeopardy because of Paul's actions. Paul was expected to compete for a significant amount of back-up minutes this season, at the four in larger line-ups and the five in slightly smaller ones.

The Illini basketball team is currently in Deauville, France on a preseason tour throughout Europe. They've played two games thus far; a win over Belgium squad Waragem and a loss to the Dutch national team.

Two games remain on the team's European tour, after which they will return on August 19.

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