Blog Entry

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 1:14 pm
By Matt Norlander

There was a national writer at the Cincinnati-Xavier brawl Saturday, and we've brought him on the podcast to discuss every angle of this story. Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News lives in the Cincinnati area and knows the two programs as well as anyone.

Did he see this coming? Why were star players on the court in the closing seconds a blowout? DeCourcy and I disagree on the severity of the suspensions. I think they're too soft on both sides, while DeCourcy doesn't really care what sportswriters think about suspension lengths. (I also disagree with him in principle here -- it's writers' job to comment and react to these things, even if DeCourcy isn't particularly interested in what his fellow scribes think).

One quick note: The call was a computer-to-phone connection, which means it makes me sound like I have a lisp. This is not the case, but you'll be amused all the same.

The discussion breaks down like this:
  • From the beginning: DeCourcy was right there. Did he see the fight coming?
  • 7:40: Why were Tu Holloway, Yancy Gates, Mark Lyons and other players of note on the floor with less than a minute to go in the blowout?
  • 9:55: The suspensions discussion. I'll simply tease it and say I don't agree with where Mike is coming from here.
  • 13:40: DeCourcy's case for why so many of us misinterpreted Cronin's words from his press conference, and more of his case for why Gates shouldn't necessarily be off the team or serving a longer suspension.
  • 20:53: It clear the coaches weren't the ones calling the shots with the player suspensions, right?
  • 23:03: We also squeeze in room for the biggest basketball only-related topic from the weekend: Indiana's buzzer-beating win against Kentucky. This doesn't mean Indiana's all the way back, but the Hoosiers still provided a top-10 moment for this season with that W. And Calipari, in some ways, will take this loss because he can use it for a good humbling with his team.

You can listen to the College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.

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Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:47 pm

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Yea the Cincinnati Administration want's to please sports writers.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:03 pm

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

if you threw a punch your suspended indefinitly. they dont deserve to go to jail because of this but if the schools dont hand out a harsh enough punishment maybe someone will feel the pressure to file charges.

Since: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:01 pm

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Glad someone from Cinci who understands the rivalry was able to speak.  I think he was dead on with a lot of comments.  Unfortunately, Matt Norlander had already made up his mind about how the interview would go.  Obviously he has an issue with the whole thing by saying Frease should be suspended based on being a "knucklehead" in the past.  What does that even mean?  What did he do in this situation to warrant a suspension?

It is too bad that everyone in the media is trying to top themselves with this story, being more outraged than the last writer.  I am biased, I am an X fan but to say Tu was the catalyst is a joke.  Do you honestly think he was the only one trash talking?  Get real, both UC and X were jawing back and forth.  People not from Cinci do not understand this wasn't an in game issue, the trash talk goes on the whole year.  I am not defending anyone, fighting is not acceptable ever.  But can someone for one second understand how Lyons and Holloway just played their biggest game of the year, and were involved in a fight when they were pushed into the media interview?  They were stupid after being asked the same question four times but their adrenaline was pumping, and that should in no way be taken as literal.

Also, to anyone who watched the game, I think it was impossible to call a TO.  The game flow would just not allow for it, so asking why the starters were left in the game is understandable, but not correct in this case.  The situation just did not warrant a TO in this instance.  It would have rubbed the game in UC's face even more, and I honestly do believe that is what Mack was trying to avoid. 

But congratulations media, you have done the impossible.  You united both X and UC in hating you all for overblowing the whole sitation.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:56 pm



;      There is much self-righteous outrage being circulated around the Xavier-Cincinnati brawl.   And much praise being heaped on Bearcat coach Mark Cronin for his hard-line talk after the incident.  This, I think, misses the point.  And, more importantly, a learning/teaching opportunity.  

;      Sure, suspend the kids.  Make them deeply consider what they did.  Hit them in a way that, should things escalate again, something clicks and says “back away”.   But don’t vilify them.  At least for throwing punches. These players are kids.  Huge man-children perhaps, but still 20-something kids.  Mostly, I’d wager, products of some pretty mean streets.   Once a fight starts, reason goes out the window.  It’s all instinct.  Protect yourself.  Protect your teammates.  Protect your sense of manhood.  

;      It’s fine for Mark Cronin to be indignant in the rearview mirror.  But where was he in the weeks leading up to the game?  In the first half when the woofing and trash-talk heated up.  In creating a venomous locker room culture?  In allowing basketball games to take on the bluster and aura of street fights?

;      Before he point fingers, I’d suggest Mark Cronin ask himself :  What did I do to instill sportsmanship.  To humanize the competition?  To put the game in perspective?  Do my players honor the other team as fellow competitors? Have I drawn a clear line between winning and humiliating?   Did I bench players for trash talking?  For woofing to the press?  For taunting?   Show boating?   Did I put the expectations of my university above adding another “W”?   Only he knows. 

;      This, of course, isn’t really about Mark Cronin.  Or a brawl.  It’s a wake up call for everyone who loves the game. 



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:43 am

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Stop acting like this is unprecedented, there is a precedent here. I'm thinking of another time where a BCS team got their asses kicked by a non BCS team and couldn't control their temper through the taunting at the end of it. Remember LeGarrette Blount?

The only difference is that Blount's sucker punch didn't have quite the ensuing brawl. It was still a sucker punch, Blount didn't go to jail but he was suspended for most of the season. Blount hasn't been in trouble since and he is currently in his second year in the NFL.

The same should apply to Yancy Gates, don't throw him out of the NCAA because it's a first offense but give him a hefty suspension. But I do think he deserves one more chance to get back on the court before his college career is over. Blount has made the best of his second chance so far.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:03 am

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

The difference in this and a hockey fight is that hockey fights are controlled and limited.  No sucker punches with strict rules.  Players are suspended for leaving the bench to join in.  On rare occasion when a sucker punch is thrown, the league deals with it years suspension.  This was a street brawl with no rules of conduct.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:29 am

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Gates and the other guy who stomped the player should be thrown out of the NCAA.  What a sucker punch, the xavier center wasnt even looking at him. 

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:22 pm

Cintas configuration

I always figured the configuration of the team benches and locker rooms is because they usually do cross paths at the end of the game for the handshake line.  When the game is over, they can go through the line and keep on going to the locker room.  Otherwise, they would need to cross paths twice.

Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:35 pm

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

Xavier coach needs suspension for being unable to control his own player. If Holloway don't act the fool and run his mouth for entire game then no fight

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 7:59 pm

All that's wrong with the Cincy/X fight/fallout

I wonder how many of the people who claim to be outraged by this are hockey fans. 

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