The scene at the end of Saturday’s Cincinnati-Xavier basketball game was ugly and scary enough to invoke memories of last summer’s fight involving Georgetown and a Chinese club team, and even the infamous 2004 brawl between the Pacers and Pistons at Auburn Hills.
But the post-game press conference soundclips — which included Musketeers star Tu Holloway claiming his team had “a whole bunch of gangstas in the locker room” — were just as alarming as the on-court violence.
On Sunday, both school suspended four players for their involvement in the fight, but criminal charges could be on the way.
Hamilton County Ohio prosecutor Joe Deters said Monday that he will determine if criminal charges are appropriate following the melee that broke out in the final seconds of Xavier’s 76-53 win.
In a statement, Deters said possible charges could include assault and battery or disorderly conduct.
Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates drew the longest suspension — six games — for sucker-punching Xavier center Kenny Frease in the face and then throwing multiple other punches. The Bearcats also suspended junior Cheikh Mbodj and freshman Octavius Ellis for six games and freshman Ge’Lawn Guyn for one.
Holloway will sit for one game for the Musketeers, junior Mark Lyons got a two-game ban and freshman Dezmine Wells and sophomore Landon Amos were suspended for four games.
Holloway’s words after the fight will no doubt linger, even after his 40-minute news conference on Sunday, arranged by the school in an effort to throw some water on the fire.
“I talked to that whole staff. I said, ‘This is my city. I’m cut from a different cloth,’” Holloway said immediately after the game. “None of them guys on their team is like me. I let the whole staff know none of them was like me.”
He followed by saying: “I don’t regret anything that happened.”
On Sunday, Holloway recanted, but for many, those words might ring hollow.
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