A prosecutor in Cincinnati said Wednesday he has decided against filing criminal charges in an on-court brawl involving University of Cincinnati and Xavier basketball players.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he made the decision following an investigation that included review of films and interviews with the teams' coaches and some players and witnesses. He also said that Xavier center Kenny Frease was satisfied with an apology from Bearcat forward Yancy Gates after the two "reached out to each other privately."
Gates punched Frease in the face during the melee. The 7-foot, 275-pound center fell, bleeding from below his left eye, and was kicked by someone else while on the floor. X-rays were normal.
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Gates was suspended by UC for six games. The senior, a native of Cincinnati, gave a tearful public apology on Monday in a news conference.
The two archrivals' annual "Crosstown Shootout" Saturday ended in the brawl.
Officials and players of both schools have apologized, and both schools suspended four players each. No. 8 Xavier won the game 76-53. It was stopped by referees with 9.4 seconds left.
"This was an unfortunate situation," Deters said in a statement. "However, after talking with both coaches, I truly believe that the teams will be able to deal with the situation more effectively than the criminal justice system."
Cincinnati athletics director Whit Babcock said in a statement that the school was pleased with Deters' decision.
"Our student-athletes, coaches and staff will continue to work diligently every day to represent UC in a first-class manner moving forward," Babcock said.
Criminal prosecutions from player confrontations in sports events are very rare. A handful of National Hockey League players have been charged with assault over the years. But there were no charges in a 2010 melee in Cincinnati between the St. Louis Cardinals and Reds baseball players that left Cardinal catcher Jason LaRue with a concussion after being kicked by Reds' pitcher Johnny Cueto.
Cincinnati 78, Wright State 58: Sean Kilpatrick scored 20 points and visiting Cincinnati won its first game without suspended forward Yancey Gates.
The Bearcats (6-3) started a three-guard lineup with JaQuon Parker in place of Gates. Parker, playing in his second game this season, scored 14 points.
The Bearcats showed no hangover from the suspensions, jumping to a 17-2 lead behind three three-pointers by Kilpatrick, who finished with a career-high six threes. The Bearcats were 4-for-7 from long range to start the game and finished 14-for-32 — both season highs. Cincinnati shot 54.9 percent from the field (28-for-51).
Cashmere Wright added 12 points for Cincinnati.
John Balwigaire and A.J. Pacher led Wright State (4-7) with 11 points apiece.
Ohio State 82, USC Upstate 58: Deshaun Thomas scored 23 points and host Ohio State welcomed back star forward Jared Sullinger in a victory over South Carolina Upstate. The Buckeyes (9-1) were effective if not overwhelming in rebounding from a 78-67 loss at No. 13 Kansas on Saturday.
Sullinger, who had missed Ohio State's last two games, received polite applause when he entered the game at the 14:37 mark of the first half. He took his time getting into the pace of the game, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Torrey Craig had 20 points for Upstate (6-5), playing its third game in a monthlong, seven-game road swing. The Spartans, in their fifth season of Division I competition, are 0-20 against teams from the six major conferences.
Mississippi 66, Louisiana-Lafayette 54: Dundrecous Nelson scored 21 points, including five three-pointers, as host Mississippi defeated Louisiana-Lafayette for its sixth consecutive win. Nick Williams added 12 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists for the Rebels (9-1), who shot 24 of 55 (43.6 percent) from the field.
Darshawn McClellan and Bryant Mbamulu led the Ragin' Cajuns (5-7) with 12 points apiece while Josh Brown added 11. McClellan also grabbed nine rebounds.
No. 14 Louisville 64, Cincinnati 59 (women): Shoni Schimmel scored 16 points to lead Louisville past host Cincinnati in the Big East opener for both teams. After trailing for much of the second half, Louisville (9-2, 1-0) tied the score at 55 with 2:37 left in the game and went ahead on Schimmel's three-pointer.
Both teams lost their top scorers to injuries. Louisville's Monique Reid, who averaged a team-high 14.6 points per game coming in, scored three points before being helped off the court with a knee injury. Cincinnati's Dayeesha Hollins, who averaged 14.3 points per game, scored 15 before dislocating her shoulder midway through the second half.
With less than a minute left, Bjonee Reaves' jumper pulled Cincinnati (6-3, 0-1) within one, but Cardinals forward Shawnta' Dyer responded quickly to give Louisville a three-point lead with 39 seconds remaining. Becky Burke, who had 14 points for the Cardinals, made four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.