Last Saturday Cincinnati and Xavier took the court in an old fashioned rivalry game. It is safe to say that the rivalry is as bitter as ever after their on- court brawl. The fight was ugly and has no place on the hard wood! If you want to fight, step into a cage or boxing ring, not a basketball court. Today the teams announced their suspensions and they aren’t as strong as you may think. If they want to act like men, the suspensions should have been tougher!
Cincinnati players Yancy Gates, CheikhMbodj, and Octavius Ellis were all suspended for six games and Ge’Lawn Guyn for just one game.
Xavier suspended Dez Wells and Landen Amos for four games, Mark Lyons for two games, and Tu Holloway for one game.
In one of the most respectable quotes of the year, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin told ESPN “Before any of them put a uniform back on they will apologize and that’s just the first step before putting the uniform back on.”
He also said “The university issued the suspensions and I supported it. But for me it’s different. I have the autonomy to not let anybody back on the team.”
Mick Cronin may not be the caliper of coach of a Coach K, Tom Izzo, or Rick Pitino but he is quickly showing he deserves to be head coach of the Bearcats!
He truly is taking this fight serious. He understands the shame and embarrassment that his boys caused the institution, NCAA, and team. His actions during this entire process are the only positive that has yet to be seen. He really is a man among boys in this situation. He is proving that doing what is right really is more important than wins or losses.
The issue I have with the suspensions is that they aren’t long enough. The longest suspension is 6 games. Think about it this way, all players will return prior to serious conference play, Cincy is not undefeated nor ranked, and are at best a bubble team. It is important for this team to understand and grow as a unit. I forsee them missing the tourney, so this is where Coach Cronin needs to be the better man and teach life lessons as much as how to stop the fast break.
Xavier is a top ten team, their worst suspension is 4 games and their trouble makers aren’t being held away from the team, and may even travel to future games during the suspension!
At the end of the day, student athletes must understand that they are just that. Their jobs are to go to school and play sports. It takes a strong commitment to the school and the sport to be a positive student and a baller.
Think their suspensions are harsh… At no point did they have their scholarship pulled, they weren’t fined, they weren’t arrested, and they didn’t have to worry about how it would affect their wives or children.
Those involved may say that they are men. Actions like these do nothing but prove that they are children who still do not have the maturity to act on their own accord.