There’s No Crying In Basketball: Bearcat Breaks Down After Brawl, Prosecutor Mulls Possible Charges
Many people have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moments in their lifetime, but unlike most of us, Yancy Gates had the misfortune of his being televised. Watching the Cincinnati forward cry during a moment of sorrow, self pity and shame on Monday after seeing the same young man throw punches in a fit of rage on Saturday was sad, yet satisfying.
Suspended six games for throwing (and landing) multiple punches in a brawl between Cincinnati and Xavier’s basketball teams on Saturday, the senior appeared genuinely remorseful for his actions as he broke down in tears while explaining that the violence he displayed isn’t a reflection of who he is as a person.
Surely a few of those tear were shed because he got in trouble. The disappointment of a coach or loved one is often a stronger source of sadness than actual regret. Regardless, Yates seemed truly sorry. Watching the Cincinnati press conference, I couldn’t help but think how lucky those young men were that this fight occurred in a controlled environment and not in public where the justice system in action makes any NCAA punishment look like a walk in the park [insert joke here].
Just as a sense of relief came over me, since I believe the Bearcat players really have indeed learned from this - as head coach Mike Cronin alone is making these young men pay for their misbehavior - I read a headline that these players might not be able to hide behind the hardwood after all.
Hamilton, OH prosecutor Joe Deters released a statement saying his office is considering filing criminal charges if the situation warrants it.
I have always wondered why law enforcement tolerates criminal behavior within the confines of an arena or stadium. Surely there are several reasons, none of which we will delve into now, but it is a fascinating societal loophole nonetheless.
The ice rink is one of the only sports venues that has not been granted legal immunity as a few NHL players have been charged with assault after incidences during in-game incidences.
On one hand, I’m hoping the prosecutor’s office is bluffing because I would hate to see these kids get in serious, legal trouble as a result of Saturday’s brawl. On the other hand, if the fight occurred inside a nightclub, or on a street corner somewhere, between men whose names didn’t appear on the backs of jerseys seen on my television screen, I doubt that I, or anyone else would have the same sense of compassion.
Note: Cincinnati and Xavier each suspended 4 players stemming from the brawl that took place with 9.4 seconds left in Xavier’s 76-53 victory. The length of the suspensions varies from one to six games. More disturbing than the physical violence, in a way, were the comments made by Xavier guard Tu Holloway after the game : http://larrybrownsports.com/college-basketball/tu-holloway-xavier-cincinnati-fight-bunch-of-gangsters/103823
Jackie Pepper is a sports journalist with nearly a decade of experience. As an anchor and reporter for Comcast SportsNet in Boston she covered the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins for the network's flagship show SportsNet Central and sister station New England Cable News.
In addition to her work with Comcast Boston, Pepper also anchored and reported for CBS affiliate KIDK, covering the Utah Jazz and various sports teams throughout the United States.
Pepper began her sports journalism career as a college radio reporter and talk show host at the University of Arizona. She went on to work for ABC Sports, ESPN and NFL Network. Recently she started her own sports website, www.pepperonsports.com, featuring daily interviews, commentary and articles on the latest sports news.
Pepper also frequently contributes to LIVE radio broadcasts as a guest sports and cultural analyst.
VIDEO RESUME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E22wrK2EX_I