Initial Thoughts on Grayson Allen

By Jennifer Janicki

I’m excited to start working on this research paper. In addition to being interested in learning more about image repair and effective crisis communications, I have a personal connection to the subject we will be writing about. Both my sister and my dad graduated from Duke University, so I have grown up watching the Blue Devils play basketball.

As such, I have seen Grayson Allen, our focus for the paper, make mistakes and work to repair them in real time. Allen became a favorite player of my family when he unexpectedly led to Duke basketball team to win the NCAA National Championship in 2015. The next year he was chosen as the preseason ACC Player of the Year by the media and was expected to be a lead scorer on the team.

But then, in two different games in February 2016, Allen allegedly tripped an opposing player. His story is particularly interesting because he successfully employed image repair tactics and seemed to be moving past his indiscretions, when he tripped another player in December of the same year. Throughout our paper, we will be able to explore if an athlete can successfully repair their image twice, or if it is damaged beyond repair by making the same mistake after promising to change.

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The media ripped Allen and Duke apart, especially after the trip in December. He is “booed” by opponents every time he touches the ball. We believe it will be very difficult for him to recover from this and anticipate we will suggest him using most of Benoit’s strategies.

His social media portrays him as a dedicated athlete and faithful Christian. His twitter and Instagram are full of biblical quotes and expressions of team spirit. Currently, he has not addressed the scandal on his social media. Instead, he seems to be subtly bolstering his image and reinforcing positivity surrounding his character. Only time will tell if he can restore his reputation.