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Illini weighing options on Paul

Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 12:54 a.m. CST

Illinois basketball coach John Groce said legal issues surrounding Darius Paul must be resolved before he even considers reinstating the sophomore forward to the team.

Paul, 20, was suspended indefinitely from the Illini after university police arrested him April 22 for underage drinking and resisting arrest.

"All directions are possibilities," Groce told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday during an Illini Caravan stop in Rosemont. "I'm still gathering information and educating myself on the situation. Obviously two big hurdles are the on-campus part of things, and the legal part of things with the hearing.

"Once that happens, I'll be able to filter it out and figure out what's best for us and best for Darius as a person."

Paul, younger brother of former Illini star Brandon Paul, was arrested early in the morning after allegedly running from a university police officer following an order to stop. He eventually was taken into custody outside his Champaign residence.

"Obviously I'm not real thrilled with the choice he made that night," Groce said. "I always tell our guys there are consequences for actions in life, and the greatest gift God gave us was the gift to choose, and choose wisely. And obviously, he didn't choose very wisely that night."

Paul was released on bond and is scheduled to appear May 16 in a Champaign County court. He faces up to 365 days in jail for the misdemeanor.

A high school star at Warren High School, Paul spent one season at Western Michigan, where he was the Mid-American freshman of the year. He transferred following his first season and sat out the 2013-14 season under NCAA transfer rules. He was expected to be eligible for the 2014-15 season, with 3 years of eligibility remaining.

Thursday's Rosemont stop was part of a six-city tour promoting Illini athletics. Athletic director Mike Thomas and football coach Tim Beckman were also on hand for the event, which drew around 100 Illini boosters.

 

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