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October 28, 2013
With Purdue slated to open its 2013-14 season Wednesday night with an exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis, center A.J. Hammons has been suspended three games for a "violation of team rules," Coach Matt Painter announced Monday.
The suspension, which will sideline Hammons for Purdue's two exhibition games and its season opener against Northern Kentucky, is the result of a matter related to "conduct," Painter confirmed when asked for clarification, thus ruling out legal problems, academics or potential NCAA concerns.
"It's one of those things where when a guy violates team rules, you try to hold him accountable and hopefully he can learn from it and be better because of it," Painter said.
The absence of Hammons, an All-Big Ten Freshman Team member last season, should translate to more playing time for redshirt freshman Jay Simpson and senior Travis Carroll early in the season.
"One of these situations," Painter said of Hammons, "you learn a lot about the individual, because when something like this happens, you've let your teammates down, but you've also let yourself down and if you have some pride, you're going to make sure it doesn't happen again and you don't have any more distractions. That's going to be his challenge."
Painter relayed an anecdote from his time at Southern Illinois in which a suspended player was impacted for the better by the situation and the player who filled in for him established himself during the absence.
"We took it as a positive," Painter said, "even though sometimes it's tough sometimes when something happens and you have a distraction. But we took it as a positive and that's what we're going to try to do here.
"Jay Simpson and Travis Carroll, they're going to get to play more minutes and get to try to establish themselves with some positive play and use it as a springboard into the season, even when A.J. returns."
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