It takes something either very special or very crazy to keep a buzzer-beater to knock off the #1 ranked team from being the biggest college basketball story of the weekend, but Cincinnati and Xavier breaking into a Royal Rumble at the end of their game managed just that yesterday. Today, the discipline for the melee was handed down, with four players from each team being suspended for their roles in the ruckus.
Cincinnati’s best player and the most egregious offender in the scuffle, Yancy Gates, was suspended for six games. That’s two fewer games than the number of stitches that Xavier’s Kenny Frease needed to close the cut that resulted from Gates sucker-punching him. Freshmen Octavious Ellis and Cheikh Mbodj, who kicked Frease while he was on the ground after the Gates punch, were also suspended six games. Ge’Lawn Guyn received a one-game suspension.
For Xavier, Landen Amos and Dez Wells, who shoved Guyn as he jawed with Tu Holloway to push things over the top, were both suspended four games. Junior Mark Lyons got two games and Holloway, an All-American candidate, received a one-game suspension.
Honestly, this is pretty much a joke, especially the Gates suspension. He landed a clean shot on Frease, then went looking for, and found, some more people to swing at before the fight finally settled down. Most people agreed after reviewing the video yesterday that Gates deserved ten games at least, and I have to agree. Instead, the suspension will encompass five games against teams that are terrible and end one game into the Big East schedule after he misses UC’s game against Pitt, which they would lose either way. It’s basically a slap on the wrist given the offense, and it makes Mick Cronin’s “we’ll see who’s on the team” line from yesterday look like a bunch of BS. Cronin received a lot of praise for his post-game press conference, but it seems those were mostly empty words. If I landed an unprovoked punch on someone, I’d probably face charges. Yancy Gates does it, in a college basketball game, and he gets suspended for games against such powers as Wright State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Chicago State. Justice is served.
Here’s the video of the brawl if you haven’t seen it: