A bouncer's swollen right eye may result in another black eye for Cincinnati basketball program.
Brian McLucas, a bouncer at PLAY nightclub in Cincinnati, filed a police report Sunday claiming several Bearcats punched and kicked him when he tried to remove them from a VIP table the previous night. McLucas told Fox19 in Cincinnati that he asked the players to leave because they were drinking liquor that didn't belong to them from another party's table, but they refused to cooperate.
"I said you guys need to calm down," McLucas told Fox19. "And whenever I did that I looked to the right of me and right as I looked to the right of me I seen the dude take three quick steps and punch me in the eye."
The incident at the night club comes a mere five months after Cincinnati took part in one of the worst brawls in recent college basketball history in the final seconds of a loss to rival Xavier last season. Four players from each team were suspended including Cincinnati's Yancy Gates, whose right hand to the face of an unsuspecting Kenny Frease bloodied the Xavier center.
It's important to note we've only heard one side of the story from Saturday night's incident and we don't know which Cincinnati players (if any) were involved, yet this isn't the sort of publicity the team needs if it turns out to be true.
Coach Mick Cronin and his players helped heal the wound from the brawl last winter with their exemplary behavior and on-court success. Backlash from an incident like this can only undermine some of that progress.
Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock released a statement late Monday morning urging fans not to rush to judgment yet promising to hold players accountable if necessary.
"It is a privilege to play for and represent UC. It is not a right," Babcock said. "We have made great strides in our program and this type situation is not what UC athletics is about or will be about. As of now, to my understanding, there are no charges filed, only accusations. We will next comment after we have had time to gather facts and our process moves along or is completed."