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When current ASU football head coach Todd Graham arrived at ASU, he vowed to revamp the entire football program starting from the ground up. This meant a focus on teamwork, accountability and discipline. The effects of his leadership have been seen both on and off the field, where Graham has instituted a strict adherence to the ASU student-athlete code of conduct, with a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct from players. Graham's dedication to the betterment of the Sun Devil football program has now branched out to include eliminating players who may be toxic to the program's lifeblood.

In this case, ASU has suspended its only five-star prospect for the 2015 recruiting class, Davon Durant, following his arrest on March 6. Durant was arrested on three counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and one count of felony aggravated assault.

While previously considered a contender for the vacant Devilbacker position, Durant has been indefinitely suspended from the team, removed from the online roster and was not present at Monday's practice. Durant's suspension is an applaudable move by Graham and Sun Devil Athletics and shows that ASU opposes player misconduct and criminal activity. It also highlights the zero tolerance policy Graham has put in place and complements ASU's opposition to behaviors that are violent and far less than desirable.

Following his arrest and deplorable behavior, Durant falls into a category of football players who have been arrested on domestic violence based charges. Surrounded by cronies like Ravens running back Ray Rice, who most recently made news following punching his then-fiancée in an elevator, Durant is part of a company of athletes who should no longer be respected for their misogynistic and violent behavior.

Durant's undeniable athletic ability is not an excuse for his behavior. There is no place on the ASU football team — or any other ASU sports team — for a person that feels they have the permission to harm another human being based on emotionally irrational and impulsive behaviors. With this suspension decision, Graham and ASU have secured the admirable image that they have been working so hard to build for the ASU football program.

While several news sources have begun to report that Durant's girlfriend has recanted her statement about what occurred in the Chevrolet SUV that night, this is a typical response by victims of domestic violence. Following the reactions from fans, family members and critical parties, victims may begin to believe that the violence committed upon them is their fault, or that they are hurting the lives of the abusers. This guilt is unwarranted and uncalled for. Despite this supposed recant, Durant's behavior should not be taken lightly nor his position on the ASU football team re-evaluated.

Athletes should be held to the same standard as any other miscreant, criminal and abuser. Showing zero tolerance for violent behavior is a requisite for a successful sports program and university culture. Graham and ASU have made the right decision in suspending Durant. The possible absence of his jersey on the football field this fall will hardly be a loss, though it will be a gain for the reputation and seriousness of ASU football.


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