The University of Cincinnati and head basketball coach Mick Cronin announced the suspensions of four Bearcats players following the shocking brawl that ended the game with rival Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout with 9.4 seconds still left on the clock. The school announced that four players will be suspended. This statement was posted to the school's athletic department website:
The University of Cincinnati today announced the suspension of four men's basketball student-athletes for their participation in a fight that brought a premature end to Saturday's game at Xavier University.
Yancy Gates, Octavius Ellis and Cheikh Mbodj will each be suspended for a total of six games and Ge'Lawn Guyn for one game. The suspensions will take effect immediately and will be concurrent with the NCAA-standard one-game mandated suspensions that would be applied to Gates and Mbodj for ejections from the game for fighting.
"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 (UC) President (Gregory H.) Williams and (UC men's basketball head 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."
The Big East released a statement that it supports the suspensions to the Cincinnati players. In reviewing the tape of the fight, Gates is the one that brutally punched Xavier's Kenny Frease and Mbodj is the one that kicked/stomped him while he was on the ground. I expected longer suspensions for both. A six game suspension means both players will miss just one Big East game.
The Big East's statement from Commissioner John Marinatto was just released:
The very unfortunate events that occurred in the final seconds of Saturday’s Cincinnati-Xavier basketball game have no place within intercollegiate athletics. The University of Cincinnati has responded with swift, expeditious and appropriate action, which The BIG EAST Conference fully supports.