During Iowa State’s men’s basketball media day on Wednesday, head coach Fred Hoiberg revealed the suspension time for both Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader, who both faced offseason arrests. Now that we know, is the punishment enough for both of them?
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Thomas and Nader both received three-game suspensions, but that includes the exhibition game. That means they’ll both conveniently be eligible to play in Kansas City for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Hoiberg said the reasoning for that suspension time was because both Thomas and Nader “conducted themselves” maturely after their mistakes.
"“Since (the arrests), I have been proud of the way they have conducted themselves,” Hoiberg said during media day."
Let’s take a trip in the way back machine and find out why these guys were arrested. Back on late Saturday, April 12th, Nader was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The only details released was that he was stopped just before midnight and he pleaded not guilty in May. Two months later, early in the morning on June 14th, Thomas was arrested for the same thing.
To make things clear: driving under the influence (DUI) is the same thing as an OWI. It’s just not recognized as a DUI under state law.
Both players were under the age of 21 when the arrests occurred. Nader just turned 21 on September 25th while Thomas turned 20 on August 4th.
I’d defer to Hoiberg’s suspension because he’s been around the situation and knows if these players have learned from their mistake. I’m all for second chances, and unless there were other details that weren’t released, these were straightforward arrests that they fully cooperated with.
That being said, I would have made these suspensions a bit tougher. I would have let them play in the exhibition game (it doesn’t matter after all) but suspended them for the next four — that would include the trip to Kansas City. It’s a bigger blow to all involved, but it’s one that sends more of a message. OWIs are serious offenses, and it only takes one time to kill somebody and it’s over.
I don’t disagree with the suspension, I just would have been slightly harsher on it because they were underage. What are your thoughts on the suspensions to Thomas and Nader?