Xavier Doles Out Punishment For The Crosstown Shootout Brawl To… Its Student Section?

Posted by nvr1983 on January 5th, 2012

Like most college basketball fans we recoiled at the scenes from this year’s Crosstown Shootout where what should have been an easy Xavier win over Cincinnati quickly turned into one of the uglier on-court incidents in college basketball history. As we noted in a post the following day, while the incident was unfortunate it was blown out of proportion to a degree by a media and fan base that wants rivalries to be all-consuming, but acts shocked when that passion boils over and we get an ugly incident like what happened four weeks ago. In the aftermath, there was quite a bit of criticism by various observers directed at both sides with the attention focused primarily on Cincinnati for its on-court actions and Xavier for its off-court actions. Suspensions for the involved players ranged from one to six games with Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin saying that his players would not return even after their suspensions were complete unless he felt that they had proven to him that they understood what they had done was wrong. While some media members and fans questioned the relatively short suspensions, eventually most commended both programs for taking some responsibility for what happened.

The People Being Held Accountable Include Those Not On The Court

One group that was largely left out of the conversation were the fans at the game in particular the student sections that have been known to get a little rowdy at times (a quality that is not unique to these schools). As a society, we tend to laugh off the majority of the comments and actions of members of the student section as humorous or merely immature. The only times where we take aim at student sections are when they pose a physical threat to the opposition or cross some line defined by societal mores such as racist or homophobic taunts. Typically these actions are met with either a verbal reprimand or a glare of disapproval from authority figures. The administration at Xavier apparently feels differently as they sent out a letter today stating that due to the actions of the student section during the Cincinnati game that included “unacceptable chanting, verbal expletives, and objects being thrown onto the arena floor” those who were seated in that area would not be allowed to receive any more tickets to men’s basketball games this season unless they attended one of three one-hour long “reflection sessions” being offered on-campus between 7 and 8 PM on January 8, 9, and 10.

Here is the full text of the e-mail sent to Xavier students (minus the contact phone number):

Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 2:26 PM
Subject: Crosstown Shootout Mandatory Reflection Session

This message is being sent on behalf of the Dean of Students

Dear Xavier Student:

As you are aware, violations of what Xavier considers to be appropriate conduct occurred at a variety of levels at the Men’s Basketball Crosstown Shootout between Xavier and the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, December 10, 2011. The student section contributed to the hostile atmosphere that charged the arena with unsportsmanlike conduct through unacceptable chanting, verbal expletives, and objects being thrown onto the arena floor. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, the behaviors demonstrated are not becoming of its students and is in conflict with the mission, values, and standards of Xavier University.

There are consequences associated with inappropriate behaviors by the student section ticket holders; therefore, all Xavier students who attended the Crosstown Shootout and who sat in the student section are expected to participate in one (1) of three (3) reflection sessions during the first week of the spring semester, 2012. All three (3) reflection sessions will be held in Kennedy Auditorium, Conaton Learning Commons from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. The dates from which you may choose are:

  • Sunday, January 8, 2012
  • Monday, January 9, 2012
  • Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Attendance will be taken at these sessions. You will be ineligible to receive men’s basketball home game tickets for the remainder of the 2011-12 season should you dismiss this obligation.

There will be no make-up sessions and no exceptions for non-compliance with this expectation.

There will be a sign out procedure following the session that will require your University ALL Card; please make sure to bring this with you.

Thank you.

Dr. Luther Smith

Dean of Students

Luther G. Smith, PhD
Dean of Students
Division of Student Life and Leadership
Gallagher Student Center, Room 300

While we commend Xavier to a degree for their decision to attempt to teach their students a “life lesson”, it is a strange action to take particularly when it is announced nearly a month after the incident took place. We would be interested to see what kind of reaction the administration gets from its students, but we suspect that it will not be a positive one. The “offending” students will probably sit through these “reflection sessions”, but will probably do so with the attitude of an insolent teenager, which many of them technically still are. With Xavier’s next home game coming on January 11, the day after the last “reflection session” and with their once hot team reeling, we may get some very quick feedback on how effective this intervention was although as we all know the best teaching can be undone in moments of passion, which was evident in the incident that started this whole ordeal.

nvr1983 (1290 Posts)


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