Blog Entry

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Posted on: December 10, 2011 5:23 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 7:19 pm

By Gary Parrish

Cincinnati lost to a crosstown rival by 23 points. The Bearcats best player threw a punch that might end his career. But I'm not sure Mick Cronin has ever had a better day as a college basketball coach.

"There's no excuse for any of it on our side or on their side," Cronin said. "Guys need to grow up."

And it got more intense from there.

In an era when too many coaches play it safe, avoid questions and promise to address everything at a later date, Cronin, clearly emotional, spent roughly 13 minutes talking about the brawl that overshadowed Xavier's 76-53 win over his Bearcats. The fight featured lots of punches. The Cincinnati coach pulled none.

"We accept full responsibility and it will be handled," Cronin said. "There is zero excuse for that in basketball. ... The fact is the guys ... represent an institution of higher learning. Xavier has been a great school for years. We're trying to cure cancer at Cincinnati. I go to school at a place where they ... created Benadryl; I think that's more important than who wins a basketball game. And our guys need to have an appreciation that they're there on a full scholarship and they better represent the institution with class and integrity. ... I just told my guys I will meet with my AD and my president and I'm going to decide who is on the team going forward. That's what the University of Cincinnati is about. Period. I've never been this embarrassed."

Cronin went on to explain that he didn't know exactly why the fight started.

He said he needed to watch the film.

But he also made it clear that, ultimately, he didn't care about the details.

If his players started it, he said his players were wrong.

If Xavier's players started it, he said his players were wrong to react violently.

"Toughness is doing the right thing," Cronin said. "You take your ass-whipping and go home."

The entire press conference was fascinating.

You can watch it here.

It's a great example of how to handle a terrible situation. Cronin didn't make excuses and he wasn't guarded. All anybody wanted to hear from anybody involved after the bloody court was cleared was that they were as disturbed by what happened with 9.4 seconds remaining as the nation that was watching, and that those responsible for starting -- or escalating -- the incident would be held accountable. Cronin sat at a desk with a microphone in his face and made both points convincingly. It was a nice performance on a horrific afternoon.

We like to pretend college coaches are "leaders of young men."

Oftentimes, that's laughable.

But on this day, after it was all over, Mick Cronin very much looked the part.

Photo: AP

Since: Feb 11, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

The eight players and coaches should never be involved in another NCAA game again. ^ games is a JOKE!!!!

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 6:50 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Oh and PS...Re-read the article, they removed his quote because it was WRONG...Thanks for playing.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Um I guess so...zeotch...To be honest, nobody knows, or cares who the hell Sabin is...Thats because he improved upon what Salk discovered, got it? When somebody asks, "who created the vaccine for Polio?" They are looking for the answer...Dr. Jonas Salk, thats a fact.  Sorry to bust your sarcastic bubble brother...

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:42 am

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Cronin responded correctly, and the punishment is appropriate for the young men involved.  The punishment is severe enough for everyone involved to realize the seriousness of their actions and it give them a chance to eventually learn from their mistakes and redeem themselves.  These players are between the playground and real life, and some of the playground showed up.  They'll need to learn that this behavior going forward in their lives is not acceptable, or further more severe concequences will result.  They have a second opportunity they deserve if they can learn from their mistakes.

Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:24 am

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

We are used to Mick Cronin's all bark and no bite attitude here in Cincy.Typical Mick talks real big and carries a short little stick.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:48 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Big talk, gutless response. 6 games is a joke.

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 1:13 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Way to go, another attempt to blame someone other than the parties involved.  The players have to play the right way regardless of what is going on around them.  Excusing them because other people may be giving mixed messages just allows more of the same.  Cronin has it right, you show your toughness by how you act in difficult situations.  Gates, Tu and Lyons at the very least all deserve long suspensions.  They need to understand that they are responsible for their actions - and there will be few better times to make that point than right now.  They can't go around blaming the media or fans or whatever throughout life.  There will always be someone willing to point them in the wrong direction.  They have to avoid those people and do what they know is right.

Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:05 pm

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Cronin is a man. I would love for him to coach my team. He showed he gets it unlike most of these ego maniacs in college bb

Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:45 am

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

You would never have made it into West Point, and you call him a moran. and he no longer has a zero rating, I for one gave him a five. As for you, a zero is more than you deerve.

Since: Sep 18, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:43 am

Cronin shines on a bad day for UC-XU rivalry

Although most of the posters here and on other chats have been indignant about the fighting, trash-talking, Tu's use of "gangsta". etc. etc., we also have cvgbnr criticizing Tu for keeping his arms at his side and backing away from the brawl, and others praising various players for fighting.  Mixed messages, anyone?

XU and UC players play with each other in Cincinnati's summer league; they're teammates then, on different teams now; they know each other and some of them are friends as well as rivals. This game is a really big deal in Cincy.  Fans and media trash-talk and goad each other before the game; most of it is good-natured stuff between friends and neighbors who are alums of the two schools, but some of it has become increasingly mean-spirited and hateful over the years.  So now we have a big rivalry game with national media attention, lots of pressure on the kids, lots of frustration for the UC team this time around, lots of trash talk going both ways before and during the game, and it all boiled over.  Except for the Gates sucker punch, the Modbj stomp, and the Wells (and maybe Lyons - I don't see that in replays but maybe I missed it) punch(es), this is all very understandable and rather age approriate.  Young kids erupt under a ton of stress -- big deal. 

I am NOT suggesting that suspensions, and maybe more for Gates at least, are not warranted.  I am suggesting that lots of fans have gone from rational to irrationally judgmental and morally indignant awfully fast.  Fire the coaches?  Cancel the seasons? Send 'em to jail?  Disband the programs?  Get rid of EVERYONE and start over?  I've read all those reactions from the very fans who helped create the tensions in the first place, plus a lot of antagonistic fan posts that put all the blame on one team and spread "facts" that simply aren't true.  I won't even get started on how the local and national media fan the flames of non-existant HATRED before the Crosstown Shootout.  Maybe it's time to take a look at the mixed messages that society in general and the media and we the fans in particular, send to young athletes.  Anyone other than me think that our collective moral indignation over this brawl is as much of a comment about US as it is about the players?     

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