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Paul Hewitt suspends forward Anali Okoloji for stepping on opponent (Video)

The Dagger

George Mason coach Paul Hewitt could have taken the easy way out.

After watching forward Anali Okoloji purposely step on South Florida Anthony Collins in the second half of a loss to the Bulls on Thursday, Hewitt reviewed the incident and suspended Okoloji for an unspecified length of time.

“Anali’s actions in Wednesday’s game were inexcusable and not what we expect from a George Mason student-athlete,” Hewit said in a statement.

The press release from the school said Okoloji's suspension will include the BB&T Classic on Sunday against Oklahoma.

Plenty of other coaches would have opted to handle the matter internally and not go public with a punishment even if that punishment was holding the player out of a game or more. Hewitt chose the public reprimand and transparency. Good for him.

Okoloji earned a personal and technical foul on the play and his actions led to South Florida scoring six points on one trip down the floor when George Mason was leading by 12. The play ended up playing a major part in South Florida's comeback.

Okoloji used his Twitter account to show he's at least handling the punishment better than he handled his emotions during the game.

I just want to thank everyone for their continuous support and I respect the decision of Coach Hewitt. #GMU

— ANALI OKOLOJI (@KING_AOK1) December 5, 2013

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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