A great college basketball rivalry ended in a manner Saturday that left two institutions embarrassed and now has a prosecutor mulling charges against the players.
A fist fight erupted between Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers players with 9.4 seconds remaining in the game. It was an ugly scene that ended with the eighth-ranked Musketeers winning 76-53 but unable to finish the game.
Both teams suspended four players each, and apologies were issued by both sides. But that could be the least of the players' problems now that Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters, a UC alum, announced Monday he is considering filing charges against the offending players on both sides.
"Anything we're asked to do, we will comply with," UC coach Mick Cronin told the Associated Press on Monday. "Whatever they feel they need to do, we understand."
The Bearcats have already suspended Yancy Gates for six games because he threw a punch that caused a gash below the left eye of Xavier’s Kenny Frease and also hit at least one other Xavier player during the fight. Additionally, UC suspended Cheikh Mbodj and Octavius Ellis six games each. Ge’Lawn Guyn will serve a one-game suspension.
On the Xavier side, Dez Wells and Landen Amos have been suspended for four games, Mark Lyons will sit out two games and Tu Holloway has to serve a one-game suspension.
Apparently tensions flared when Holloway walked toward the Cincinnati bench when the clock stopped at 9.4 and mouthed something in the direction of the Bearcats. He was upset that a Cincinnati player said he wasn’t good enough to start for the Bearcats.
Holloway was pushed in the face by Guyn and then Wells pushed Guyn to the ground. The melee was on from there.
Eventually the coaching staffs and officials were successful in getting the fight broken up and the game was called with time still left on the clock.
Holloway took responsibility for starting the embarrassing scene.
“Coach (Chris) Mack always reminds me,`You’re a leader of this team. The young guys are going to do what you’re going to do,'" Holloway said. “If I would’ve never talked to (UC’s) bench or if I wouldn’t have said anything to their players, maybe Dez Wells wouldn’t be suspended four games. The result of what I did, I kind of brought him down, I brought Mark Lyons down, I brought the rest of my teammates down because of what I did out there on the floor.”
Contact Terrance Harris at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
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(Photos: AP Photo/Al Behrman)