Monday, December 12, 2011


You've seen the video. It's beyond disturbing. Two high-powered college basketball teams, two nationally-known programs, crosstown rivals in Cincinnati, Ohio, exploding into a senseless brutal brawl in the concluding moments of an emotional game.

Afterwards, Mick Cronin, the coach for Cincinnati, gave an incredible speech in his press conference, professing profound embarrassment at his team's conduct and detailing how he stripped off each player's jersey and would only return them when those players "earned their way back on the team." He then berated his players for how lucky they were to even be in a college program, and attending on scholarship. It was coaching bravura at its finest. His counterpart at Xavier, Chris Mack, showed little embarrassment in his comments, stating that he "was not in a position to be a decision maker." No, not you, you're just a coach, right. Weak.

But to me the most disturbing aspect of this street brawl was the unapologetic comments from Xavier player Tu Holloway:

"That's what you're going to see from Xavier and Cincinnati," Holloway said. "We got disrespected a little bit before the game, guys calling us out. We're a tougher team. We're grown men over here. We've got a whole bunch of gangsters in the locker room -- not thugs, but tough guys on the court. And we went out there and zipped them up at the end of the game."

Who is running that Xavier program? Sounds like the gangsters on the team.

I went to a Jesuit high school of which I am immensely proud, Scranton Prep in Scranton, PA. The school motto is "Ad Altiora Natus" - "Born to Higher Things" and that was impressed upon us as students on an almost daily basis. Xavier is Jesuit college. Its motto is "Vidit Mirabilia Magna" --"He Has Seen Great Wonders". Jesuit institutions are renowned for their high academic, community and athletic standards. But I don't know what they're doing at Xavier in Cincinnati.

The actions--and words--of Xavier's most prominent players and the hand-off comments of their coach, are more than enough proof that the wrong people are running the basketball program there. No great wonders to be seen. We have seen great hypocracy. Shame on all of them.

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