Purdue boots Barlow, suspends Byrd
Purdue kicked guard Kelsey Barlow off the team Friday and suspended swingman D.J. Byrd for a pivotal late-season game following an early morning incident at a bar.
Lt. Gary Sparger of the West Lafayette police said officers were called to Where Else bar near the Purdue campus just before 3 a.m. after a disturbance. Both Barlow and Byrd were there when police arrived.
Police are investigating an allegation that Byrd assaulted one of the bar’s bouncers. Sparger said Barlow had been kicked out of the bar earlier that night, then told bar staff he had left his wallet inside but was not allowed back in.
Byrd was arrested by Indiana State Police for public intoxication and spent five hours in jail. He will miss Sunday’s home game against No. 7 Michigan State as the Boilermakers (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten) try to improve their record and RPI in hopes of an NCAA tournament berth.
In a statement, Purdue said the players were punished for violating unspecified team rules.
”This is an unfortunate situation, but we will move forward as a program,” coach Matt Painter said. ”We expect our student-athletes to live up to a high standard, and when their actions become detrimental to the program, there are consequences.”
The school said it would have no further comment.
Barlow, a 6-5 guard from Indianapolis, started 22 of 26 games this season, averaging 24.3 minutes and 8 points. Byrd, a 6-5 player from Crawfordsville, Ind., had started four games, averaging 17.1 minutes and giving the Boilermakers a deep threat with 45 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Barlow was suspended just before last year’s NCAA tournament for conduct detrimental to the team. The Boilermakers lost in the second round to Virginia Commonwealth.
Police were expected to file their report with the Tippecanoe County prosecutor’s office by Tuesday. A message left at the bar was not immediately returned.
State police declined to comment on the matter, saying the county prosecutor’s office would release information. The prosecutor’s office did not return repeated calls for information.