It’s one of the resolute truths in big-time college basketball. Coaches will tell you that if they can just keep their players on campus, preoccupied with attending classes and getting better each day in the gym, that’s more than half the battle. The most difficult part of keeping them out of trouble is when there is downtime — idle hands are the devil’s plaything and all that. You see it every offseason. The news blotter explodes with player run-ins with the law twice a year — the first period of bad conduct is in April and May, after practices have ended and the semester/quarter is winding down. The next is in August and September, when guys are back on campus but not yet fully committed to practice and school obligations.
Dating back to the Bob Huggins era, Cincinnati is a program whose players have managed to find trouble year-round. Art Long’s infamous fracas with a police horse occurred 17 years ago this month, but other UC players from Donald Little’s kidnapping to Cheikh Mbodj’s head stomp have continued to sully the reputation of Bearcats basketball regardless of time of year. If you believe the latest police report involving UC players submitted Sunday morning by a bouncer at a downtown nightclub, a group of unidentified players “punched and kicked” Brian McLucas after he asked them to leave. From the Fox19 report: