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College Basketball Insider

Cincinnati dismisses freshman Ellis after last weekend's nightclub incident

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin announced Friday that Octavius Ellis has been dismissed from the Bearcats basketball team in light of an incident at a nightclub last weekend that left a bouncer with a swollen eye.

"Octavius didn't adhere to the standard of conduct I expect from members of our team," Cronin said. "I will work to help him find a fresh start at a new program because I do care very much for him as a person. I believe he can benefit from being in a new environment. That's likely what will help him the best to learn and mature from this."

Ellis is freshman from Memphis with a history of temper issues that his grandmother once told The Commercial Appeal stem from anger he harbors about the murder of his mother. Ellis was 10 years old and in the house when his stepfather murdered his mother with a gunshot to the face on April 23, 2003.

"He was there," Ellis' grandmother, Flossie Ellis, told the paper back in June 2010. "He said, 'Look at what you done did to my mama!' He ran behind [his stepfather] and was throwing rocks at him, saying, 'You done killed my mama!'

"See why he acts up?" she added. "We've been through some stuff with that boy. But I am so proud of him. If he can just maintain his temper and keep that under control. ... Some days can go real good, [others] are like I don't know what."

Ellis only appeared in four games last season.

No criminal charges are expected to be filed against him.

But he's still off the Cincinnati basketball team and looking for a new home.

"I regret the mistakes I made this year, and I know I need to mature as a person," Ellis said in a statement. "I want to thank my coaches and teammates for the opportunity I had at UC."

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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