ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aftermath of Cincy-Xavier brawl

Here is an AP story on the aftermath of the Cincy-Xavier brawl on Saturday.

By Al Behrman, AP

Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates fought off tears when he apologized for his role in a fight at the end of the Bearcats' game against Xavier.

"Never to wear the jersey again," he said Monday during an unscripted news conference at which the school's four suspended players apologized for their roles in the fight. Referees ended the game, won by host Xavier 76-53, after the fight broke out with 9.4 seconds left.

Gates, suspended for six games, and other players now have to worry about the possibility of criminal charges. Earlier Monday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said his office will review the fight to determine if charges are appropriate for Cincinnati and Xavier players. Xavier also suspended four players.

"I was the highlighted guy," Gates said of the video that shows him landing a punch to the face of Xavier's Kenny Frease. "I was the bigger guy out there."

Gates, listed at 6-9, 260 pounds, grew emotional and bowed his head after saying people have called him a thug and gangster. "I'm just not that type of person," he said.

Another consequence of the fight could be the end of a series between the teams that has been in place every season since 1946.

No decision has been made, Cincinnati athletics director Whit Babcock said.

"This isn't rocket science," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "If we're not going to take the floor against each other in an appropriate manner, there's no point in taking the floor."

Sunday, Xavier athletics director Mike Bobinski sounded hopeful the series could continue but said the hostility has to end. He and Babcock have discussed getting the teams together for community projects after the season.

Along with Gates, Cincinnati suspended freshman Octavius Ellis and junior Cheikh Mbodj for six games each and freshman Ge'Lawn Guyn for one. Gates' and Mbodj's suspensions included a mandatory one-game suspension imposed by the NCAA for fighting.

Xavier suspended star guard Tu Holloway for one game, freshman Dezmine Wells and sophomore Landen Amos for four games and Mark Lyons for three, including one mandated by the NCAA for fighting. Xavier coach Chris Mack, Bobinski and Holloway issued apologies Sunday.

Babcock said he found no road map or precedent in handing out punishment: "No amount of games can take those punches back."

Only one technical foul was called, against Xavier's team. Cronin said officials should have called more against both teams. "I don't recall a game where there were not technical fouls called on players by officials that had control of the game early on. That being said, it doesn't absolve us from anything that happened."

Cronin said the referees were put in a bad situation, unfamiliar with the extent of the bitterness between the programs. He seemed to blame the Atlantic 10 Conference for assigning the crew of Michael Roberts, Jeff Anderson and Tony Crisp.

"The crew assigned for the Xavier-Cincinnati game work for both the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Big East Conference and are a 'blended crew' as required by the game contract," the A-10 said in a statement. "As is standard, the A-10 communicated with the Big East coordinator of officials on the assignment."

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