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No place in basketball for fighting

December 13, 2011 - Seth Staskey
I absolutely love sports of all types. I am especially fond of basketball and taking it a step further, college basketball.

However, what I watched Saturday between Cincinnati and Xavier Universities was just ridiculous. The game was well out of hand with the Musketeers putting it to the Bearcats.

Unfortunately, the game never heard the sounding of the final horn because officials and the teams opted to end the game with just over 9 seconds to play because of an all-out brawl. It wasn't just pushing, shoving or jawing. It was a fist fight that involved kicking, throwing hay makers and sucker punches left and right.

That really ticked me off. There's absolutely no place in sports -- especially basketball -- for that. I don't want to hear that it's heated competition or 'boys will be boys.' These are adults playing a sport and cooler, educated heads need to prevail at some point well before it got to the level it was at Saturday.

The brawl was so bad that Xavier center Kenny Frease came out bloodied and no fewer than 10 players from the teams are suspended for at least one game.

The part that gets me is the fact that if this kind of fight broke out in a bar or on the street, there would be massive arrests and charges files. Athletes should be treated the same when a fight breaks out in a sporting event. Now, again, if it's pushing, shoving, jawing, etc. then obviously charges aren't warranted, but when an individual is physically assaulted, it's a CRIME, and should be treated as such.

Now, the second part of this fiasco that really made me mad was the fact that the Xavier Sports Information Department allowed its student-athletes to go to the podium following the game and talk to the media. As a media person, I was soaking it up and would have loved it sitting in the audience as my article and/or column would have been writing itself. As an adult, the university and coaching staff should have stepped in and said, "due to the nature of today's events, we've opted to not allow our student-athletes address the media today. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Instead, we hear Xavier players talking about "being gangsters." Not a good PR move for Xavier.

Again, whether it's fighting or in the interviews, I don't want to hear it's the heat of moment and emotions got the best of them.


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