University of Cincinnati and Xavier University suspends players after basketball shootout brawl

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates got a six-game suspension on Sunday for throwing punches during a brawl with Xavier in the closing seconds of their annual crosstown rivalry game.

Gates punched Xavier's Kenny Frease in the face, causing a nasty gash, and hit at least one other Musketeer during the fracas, which prompted the referees to call Xavier's 76-53 win with 9.4 seconds left on Saturday.

Cheikh Mbodj and Octavius Ellis also got six-game suspensions.

Ge'Lawn Guyn was suspended for one game.

Mbodj kicked Frease while he was on the court after getting punched by Gates. Guyn shoved Xavier's Tu Holloway in the face at the start of the bench-clearing fracas.

The players' punishment will go into effect immediately and will be concurrent with the NCAA standard one game suspensions that would be applied to Gates and Mbodj for being ejected during the game. 

"After reviewing all available video and giving due deliberation to the seriousness of this behavior, we have decided to take these actions," said UC Athletic Director Whit Babcock. "We want to deal with this in a prompt and direct manner and send the message that we will not tolerate this from those who have the privilege of representing the University of Cincinnati."

"We have advised the BIG EAST Conference of our decision and the measures we're taking. I'm thankful for the full support of President Williams and Coach Mick Cronin."

"Further, I want to apologize to our students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as to our fans and community. We hold our student-athletes to a very high standard and take very seriously the role that our entire department plays in reflecting the overall image of this great university. We will continue to work diligently to represent the Bearcat family and the Cincinnati community in a first-class manner. There will be zero tolerance for a repeat of this behavior."


CINCINNATI - Xavier University suspended four of its men's basketball players Sunday, a day after a bench clearing brawl ended the annual Crosstown Shootout at the Cintas Center.

Senior Tu Holloway was immediately suspended for one game for his part in the court fight on Saturday. Junior Mark Lyons has been put on a two game suspension.

Sophomore Landen Amos was given a four-game suspension. Freshman Dezmine Wells, who already had a mandatory one game suspension for being ejected from the game for fighting. Wells is also being given an additional three game suspension by Xavier University.

Xavier University Athletic Director Mike Bobinski told an afternoon news conference that the school is embarrassed by the brawl and accepts full responsibility for what happened at the end of the game.

"The additional disciplinary actions taken by Xavier University are fully supported by the conference," said Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner Bernadette McGlade. "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."

Suspended player Tu Holloway apologized at the news conference for the fight.

"We are not thugs and we are not bad kids here at Xavier University," Holloway said. "I really apologize for what happened yesterday."

Xavier Basketball Coach Chris Mack says he was sickened by what he saw happen at the end of the Crosstown Shootout. He says he should have not allowed several of the players to address the media after the game.

Mack went on to say that Holloway's use of the word, "gangster" at the post game news conference was inappropriate. Mack said his wording was wrong, but his intentions to show that Xavier players don't back down.

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