|"The fight that could've been avoided!"|
On Saturday the annual Crosstown Shootout between Xavier and Cincinnati, which has been played 79 times since it started in 1928, was prematurely ended with 9.4 seconds left because the two teams began fighting. The Xavier won the game in a blow out 76-53.
As a result 8 players in all were suspended. Cincinnati suspended senior Yancy Gates, junior Cheikh Mbodj and freshman Octavius Ellis six games each and freshman Ge'Lawn Guyn for one game. Xavier suspended freshman Dez Wells and walk-on Landen Amos for four games, junior guard Mark Lyons for two and senior guard Tu Holloway for one game.
I've listened to all of the commentary over the weekend from analysts, coaches, school presidents etc. about who was at fault and to a man everybody is blaming the players solely. I completely disagree! Not only are the players at fault but the officials, coaches and administrators of both schools to blame. When big time universities go into the war zone to recruit players; they not only get their talents but they get their baggage as well. Don‘t be so naïve to believe that you can just uproot a kid from the ghetto and think he‘s not bringing it with him to school.
Unfortunately, respect or disrespect in the hood becomes a matter of life or death. It may not sound like anything to a person from the suburbs or rural America but everyday a kid’s life is on the line in the ghetto. So when you've got guys that live by those rules, regardless of them being college students, you're at risk of the bomb going off.
That's why it's mandatory to have people on your staff that can relate to those players so that they'll be able to alert you when something is going wrong. I can remember being at parties or events growing up and when the mood would change it was time to leave. The mood changed prior to the game starting and during the first 4 minutes of it I saw the fight coming. It was clear as a bell.
Right at the half the players got real chippy and at that point both coaching staffs and officials should have brought both teams together and had a talk right on the floor. This type of situation occurs daily in the hood between rival schools. The coaches and officials take control of the situation before the bomb goes off. Neither Cincy nor Xavier recognized there was a problem and if they did they didn‘t handle it.
So for Cincy head coach Mick Cronin to show boat after the game about being embarrassed, throwing guys off of the team and wondering whether he'll even have a job or not was complete garbage. Now don't get me wrong the players have to be disciplined and held accountable for their actions because that's part of the transition I was talking about earlier. However, Cronin was fine with having those players when he rolled into the war zone to get them.
You've got to take the good with the bad and learn how to recognize the warning shots when they’re being fired bruh! They were being fired off the entire game and nobody heard them but folks like me that grew up hearing them daily.
I thought that it was irresponsible for the Xavier coaching staff and sports information department to have their players speak to the media after the game because they were emotional at the time. They obviously said some things that they regret but the school set them up for failure.
Again, if you're going to go get these kids from the ghetto you've got to be culturally competent in order to have success with them. Otherwise, the bomb is going to keep exploding in your face. Now I know that there are people that will argue that I’m completely wrong and if you’ve never been to the ghetto then I am. I didn’t grow up in a world of what should be. I grew up in a world of what is and the fuse more often than not is lit. So the question is, are you going to help put the fuse out or keep blaming kids for growing up in poverty?
Holla At Ya Boy!
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Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.