Report: Cincinnati players allegedly involved in nightclub altercation

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For a program that did so much to repair its image in the aftermath of their brawl with rival Xavier in December, Sunday’s news isn’t the best for the Cincinnati Bearcats.

According to Fox 19 in Cincinnati a bouncer at PLAY nightclub filed a police report alleging that he was punched and kicked by members of the basketball team on Saturday night at the club.

Bouncer Brian McLucas said that the problem arose when he asked the players to leave the club’s VIP section after players sat down at another patron’s table and began drinking her alcohol and verbally abusing her.

“I’m asking you guys to get up. You’re drinking her alcohol,” said McLucas. “And I said, you guys are making rude racial remarks towards her. And I said you guys need to get up.”

The players apparently refused to move and became rather vocal at that point. “I said you guys need to calm down. 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,” said McLucas.

According to McLucas PLAY management knows which players were on the VIP list Saturday night, and the club gave Fox 19 no comment on the situation when approached.

The same can be said for the Cincinnati athletic department, which according to the report was not aware of the alleged altercation.

UPDATE: Per Gary Parrish of, athletic director Whit Babcock issued the following statement:

“Right now we are working to gather information and facts,” Babcock said. “While we certainly don’t want to rush to judgment and will allow for due process, we also want to strongly emphasize that we hold all of our student-athletes to a high standard for their behavior in the community. It is a privilege to play for and represent UC. It is not a right. 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. We will invoke disciplinary action if any of our student-athletes acted in an inappropriate manner.”

h/t to Down the Drive

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.