One of college basketball’s most intense local rivalries erupted in mayhem Saturday at the end of Xavier’s 76-53 win over crosstown rival Cincinnati.
A game-long buildup finally exploded with 9.4 seconds left, when shoves turned into punches and kicks. Even more significant post-fight was the forthright, incisive reaction of contempt by Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin for the brawl.
Instead of mush-mouthed excuses, Cronin promised he was going to take strong action. In his postgame news conference, he said, “I have never been this embarrassed in my entire career. It’s a complete embarrassment. Toughness is doing the right thing. You take your ass-whipping and go home. If my players don’t act the right way, they will never play another game at Cincinnati.”
Cronin led the Bearcats to the NCAA tournament for the first time in his five seasons last March and received a three-year contract extension in April. Cronin said that he and the school president will watch the tape and determine which players “remain on the team.”
Anyone who cares about sports and athlete conduct should should watch the video here. Skip over the game discussion and start at the video’s 3:38 mark to hear Cronin’s impassioned soliloquy.