Anyone remember the black eye given to the game of college basketball during the Xavier and Cincinnati game earlier this season? That infamous brawl that was brought on by some pre game trash talking followed by some fairly aggressive play.
Lots of punches were thrown, blood was spilled and one player even got kicked in the head.
That being said, the schools need to let it go and move on. Both recently announced that because
of the brawl, the teams will be playing their next two matchups at a neutral site. I understand that
both sides want to ensure that fans feel safe, but I fail to see how moving the site can make a change.
This is unnecessary — it doesn’t even make sense to move the game.
First, the fighting was not among fans. This wasn’t a scenario where an Xavier fan was beaten by a group of Cincy fans, or vice versa. It was among players, meaning that whether the game was played at Cincy, Xavier or in Australia — given the nature of the rivalry and the pregame comments — the fight was probably going to happen regardless.
Second, both schools are located in the same city, so fan attendance will be pretty split anyways. I could understand if something like this happened in, say, a football game between Texas and Oklahoma, where a neutral site would be useful because though the teams aren’t incredibly far, but they are far enough to see a large discrepancy in fan allegiance.
Third, these two schools have gone through enough PR hell to try and legitimatize their programs, we all remember what happened, do we really need to go through it all over again? Let these guys move on and try to move their intense rivalry back to nothing more than a fantastic basketball game. All moving the game is going to do is remind both schools of what happened. It will be the first time in years that they will be playing each other outside of one of their college campuses.
They are young kids who made mistakes, they know what they did is stupid, despite the fact that there are locker rooms “full of gangsters…not thugs, but gangsters”, it’s better to just move past it. Last I checked, the Pistons and Pacers aren’t playing games at neutral sites.