Donovan says Gators guard will play tonight.
By JOANNE KORTH
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000
Florida junior guard Teddy Dupay will play against No. 2 Michigan State tonight after his suspension for breaking an unspecified team rule was declared over Tuesday by coach Billy Donovan.
"He has done everything we asked," Donovan said. "He has humbled himself. He wants to be part of our team. I don't believe in having a doghouse. He made a mistake, and we are going to move forward."
Dupay, a shooting guard, led the Gators in scoring after two games with a 22-point average. But he was not on the bench for Saturday's 83-76 victory against DePaul.
He returned to practice Monday.
"I am really embarrassed that I wasn't out there with my team and that I embarrassed the university, the coaches and myself," Dupay said. "I am just going to try to bounce back from here and see what I can do.
"I am trying to be humble. I think everybody needs to be humble -- myself, the whole team, everybody. It's part of the recipe for us to be successful."
Neither Donovan nor Dupay would say what rule was violated. Donovan denies the suspension was related to Dupay criticizing UF fans for a mediocre turnout for the home-opening victory against Florida Atlantic. Neither would say what acts of contrition led to Dupay's reinstatement.
"Just team stuff, just humbling things," Dupay said. "They were just things between us."
Early last season, Donovan suspended Brent Wright for two games for what Donovan called an attitude problem. Dupay's suspension is believed to send a similar message.
"I just believe there are certain clear-cut things that are right and wrong," Donovan said. "In the first team meeting, we go over the team rules and how we expect our guys to act. If I don't make a stance on certain things that are not right -- and what Teddy did was not right -- then what kind of message am I sending to the other guys on our basketball team?"
- Correspondent Debi Jones contributed to this report.