WACO, Texas - In addition to a one-game suspension mandated by NCAA basketball playing rules, Baylor University freshman post Brittney Griner has been suspended for an additional game by Lady Bears' head coach Kim Mulkey, following Griner's ejection from the Lady Bears' 69-60 victory at Texas Tech, March 3.
Because Griner's foul against Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle was ruled flagrant and she was ejected by game officials, per NCAA basketball playing rules, Griner is automatically suspended for Baylor's next contest, a Sunday, March 7, match-up against No. 18 Texas in Waco. Mulkey then imposed an additional one-game suspension which will force Griner to miss Baylor's Big 12 Championship opener on either March 11 or 12.
"I am very disappointed in the incident which happened during our basketball game last night at Texas Tech," said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. "There is no place for those types of actions in sports. I do not condone that type behavior in my program and have dealt with it accordingly. Also, the rules of the game are clear that coaches and players are not allowed to leave the bench area in these situations.
"I don't believe this incident should define Brittney Griner - either as a person or as a player," she added. "Anyone who has been around her knows that she's a great kid. Her actions last night were very uncharacteristic of her. Unfortunately, she let her emotions get the best of her, and that can't happen. Brittney is a special young lady, she is great for our game, and I believe she will learn from this mistake and will become a better person moving forward."
Griner, a 6-8 native of Houston, Texas, leads the 14th-ranked Baylor squad, currently 22-7 and 9-6 in Big 12 play, in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. She is averaging 19.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game. Griner's averages are among the NCAA Division I and Big 12 Conference leaders.
"I'd like to apologize to Jordan for my actions during last night's game," Griner said. "I also owe an apology to the Lady Raider team, my teammates and coaches, the fans and the game of women's basketball. I let my emotions get the best of me and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I am committed to doing a better job of maintaining my composure in the future. I will grow from this and I am dedicated to setting an example to others of how to learn from personal mistakes."
Big 12 Conference Commissioner Dan Beebe has accepted Coach Mulkey's action.
"I commend Coach Mulkey and Athletics Director Ian McCaw for taking strong action and for their support of the Big 12 sportsmanship standards. I appreciate Ms. Griner's remorse about her behavior and her determination to ensure she is not involved in such conduct in the future."
Neither Mulkey or Griner will comment further on the situation.