Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University each suspended four men’s basketball players for their part in a bench-clearing brawl during a Dec. 10 game between the crosstown rivals.
The matchup at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati was stopped with 9.4 seconds remaining after a chest-to-chest shouting match between Xavier’s Tu Holloway and Cincinnati’s Ge’Lawn Guyn escalated when Xavier’s Dezmine Wells shoved Guyn.
Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates was handed a six-game ban for punching Xavier’s Kenny Frease, knocking the 7-foot, 275-pound center to the floor and leaving his face bloodied. While he was down, Frease was kicked by Cheikh Mbodj, who received the same punishment as Gates. Cincinnati also gave a six-game ban to Octavius Ellis, while Guyn will sit out one game.
“We will not tolerate this,” Bearcats Athletic Director Whit Babcock said yesterday in a statement on the school’s website. “I want to apologize to our students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as to our fans and community.”
Xavier said on its website that Wells and Landen Amos will each sit out four games, while Mark Lyons will serve a two-game ban. Holloway got a one-game suspension.
“It was both embarrassing and disappointing,” Xavier Athletic Director Mike Bobinski said of the fracas in a statement on the Musketeers’ website.
The eighth-ranked Musketeers have an 8-0 record after the 76-53 win and are the only undefeated team in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“These penalties reinforce Xavier’s and the Atlantic 10’s commitment to sportsmanship and accountability and the importance we place on the integrity of intercollegiate athletics,” conference Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in Xavier’s statement.
Cincinnati fell to 5-3 with the loss and has five non- conference games left before starting its Big East schedule. Big East commissioner John Marinatto said such events have “no place within intercollegiate athletics.”
“Cincinnati has responded with swift, expeditious and appropriate action, which the Big East conference fully supports,” Marinatto said in an e-mailed statement.
--Editors: Erik Matuszewski, Rob Gloster
To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com