Cincinnati, OH – Xavier University has handed down suspensions to four men's basketball players for their involvement in a fight at the end of Saturday's game against Cincinnati.
Freshman Dezmine Wells and sophomore Landen Amos will each serve four-game sentences, junior Mark Lyons will sit for two games and senior Tu Holloway, the team's leading scorer, was given a one-game ban.
"We accept full responsibility for our part in the events that occurred at the end of our game [Saturday]," Xavier athletics director Mike Bobinski said. "It was both embarrassing and disappointing and clearly did not reflect the standards of behavior we expect from our student-athletes.
"We resolve to do whatever is necessary to prevent an incident like this from occurring in the future. Additionally, we regret the poorly-chosen words our student-athletes used in the post-game press conference and have addressed the matter with them."
Lyons and Holloway were two of the players Bobinski was referring to, namely Holloway saying, "We've got a whole bunch of gangsters in that locker room. Not thugs, but tough guys out on the court."
Lyons added, "We're not going to sit there and get our face beat in by somebody like Yancy Gates or somebody like that. We're not going to let that happen."
Gates was at the center of the melee that occurred with under 10 seconds remaining in a game Xavier was leading handily.
Officials were forced to end things early after Gates connected with a punch to the face of Xavier center Kenny Frease, who dropped to the floor. The blow opened a cut over Frease's left eye.
The incident began with Ge'Lawn Guyn jawed with Holloway near one of the baskets, and Wells entered the confrontation with a two-handed shove of the Bearcats freshman.
Players then came together in a scrum as officials and coaches tried to separate them.
Cincinnati suspended four players for their role in the incident, with Gates getting tagged with a six-game ban.
Holloway will only miss a December 18th tilt when the eighth-ranked Musketeers host Oral Roberts.