Clemson’s David Collins gets off easy with one-game suspension for flagrant foul on Duke’s Wendell Moore

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And you thought it was just because they liked Grayson Allen.

Or Duke.

Or maybe just Coach K.

Nope. It turns out the Atlantic Coast Conference isn’t really up for dishing out harsh punishments, based on what we learned Friday afternoon with the league’s suspension of Clemson guard David Collins for a Flagrant 2 foul that occurred in Thursday’s game against visiting Duke.

David Collins was called for a flagrant 2 for this foul on Wendell Moore Jr.

Moore Jr. was able to remain in the game. pic.twitter.com/m8KFBnWj6V

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 11, 2022

For an offense described by Mike Krzyzewski as “one of the most dangerous plays I’ve ever seen” – this from someone who involved in more than 1,500 Division I games as a player, assistant or head coach – Collins received a one-game suspension. He will miss Saturday’s game against Notre Dame. And that’s it.

MORE: Stars tell what it was like to get recruited by Coach K

Collins was ejected late in the first half of the Tigers’ loss to Duke for putting a shoulder into the hip of Duke wing Wendell Moore as Moore was completing a slam dunk. Moore had stolen the ball from Collins near Clemson’s foul line and raced toward the opposite goal for a breakaway basket. When Collins fouled Moore in such a precarious position, Moore had no way to recover his balance and land properly; instead, he fell directly to the floor.

Through Instagram, Collins said he was attempting to block the shot from behind, “but I was going to fast and I couldn’t stop. I realized I needed to stop when it was too late. I have never been a dirty player, never will I.” 

He apologized for what he acknowledged was a “reckless play.”

There’s a thin line between dirty and reckless, and perhaps repeated violations of sportsmanlike conduct are necessary to breach it. Collins does not have such a track record.

However, even at that, one game is a meager punishment for a “reckless” play that could have ended Moore’s season. He was fortunate to escape without injury, but his conduct could have led to a broken wrist or elbow for Moore – or worse.

In the 2016-17 season, when Allen was a junior, Duke suspended him for a third incidence of tripping and opponent over the course of a year. The ACC allowed the punishment to be handled internally. Allen returned after missing one game.

For all the annoyance Allen caused, his actions never put an opponent into the degree of jeopardy Moore faced when he fell to the hardwood and essentially landed on his back from what was, essentially, a 10-foot perch.

Collins’ expressed remorse might have mitigated the penalty assessed by the conference, but what occurred Thursday night still was at least worth twice as much. He was ejected for slightly more than half a game. He’ll miss another.

It should have been more.

 

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